Boxing breakdown: All your boxing gear explained
Boxing is one of the coolest workouts around, and right now it’s attracting more people than ever as it becomes more accessible and less intimidating. Models do it, trained fighters do it, your mum likely does it! But when you’re a boxing newbie, it can be hard to know where to start. From buying your first pair of gloves, to everyone asking what kind of wraps you have, it can be pretty overwhelming. We’re here to help break it all down for you and explain exactly what each piece of boxing gear is for.
Wait, what’s so good about boxing?
Firstly boxing is FUN! “Boxing is a fantastic workout and will certainly get you fit”, Anna Whiteside, founder of training gear brand UNIT NINE, explains, “but it is also very therapeutic and stress busting as you can't think about anything else when you are boxing.” Boxing is of course also great for honing your hand eye coordination, which plays an important role in gross and fine motor skills.
There’s many misconceptions about boxing, such as that it’s violent or only for fitness experts. “You don’t have to be super fit and strong to start boxing, boxing is for everyone,” Anna says, “The majority of boxing classes are super inclusive and love it when newbies join.”
Plus, with cool gear and even more classes that cater to all skill levels, why not try boxing? In fact, UNIT NINE started from this idea! “We wanted to create high performance and on trend boxing gear,” Anna tells us, “Why shouldn't your boxing gloves and hand wraps be as fashion forward as your training gear?!”
Boxing gloves are simple and effective in their design, with their main job to keep your hands and knuckles safe as well as protect your opponents face.
Wraps are almost more important than gloves. They protect your hands from injury, and help you use the correct muscles when punching as they give you something to ‘grip’. Before slipping on your boxing gloves it is highly recommended to wrap your hands properly to help avoid injuries, such as tearing open your knuckles or even worse potentially breaking one of the many little bones in your hands. They can also help prevent you from spraining your wrists when delivering a solid punch.
There are many different hand wrap options, but at a minimum you should invest in some 4m long hand wraps, such as the UNIT NINE Black Stars hand wraps. There are a few different methods for wrapping your hands for boxing, which ultimately comes down to personal choice and what works best for you. It might take some time to get the hang of wrapping your hands, but keep practising and you’ll get the hang of it.
For people who are short on time and don't know how to wrap their hands properly there are quick wraps, which are easy to slip on in a matter of seconds.
Training mitts are the ideal partner to use with more serious boxing gloves. They tend to have less knuckle padding and are lighter. Focus mitt training can help you improve your punching skills (technique, power, speed, endurance and accuracy), as well as offensive (angles & combinations) and defensive skills (blocking, slipping & rolling). Mitts are better used when light partner training with a set of pads, rather than punching a bag.
Boxing glove liners, or inners, are a personal choice. Boxing wraps with your boxing gloves offer the best protection for your hands, while liners offer no protection to your hands, knuckles and wrists. Of course many will use them for hygiene reasons if sharing gloves, as it stops your hand directly touching the sweaty glove lining. Overall they’ll help soak up sweat, but in terms of performance they don’t increase your hitting power - that’s all you!
Pads are for partner work and are for defensive purposes. They’ll have a hand hold inside so your partner can wear them comfortably while ‘catching’ or knocking your punches away.
Boxing bags come in many materials, shapes and sizes. You can get large heavy duty bags that take strong, straight punches and kicks, right through to smaller speedball bags which are good for fast punches and uppercuts. Bags can either be hanging or free-standing on a base. There’s no right or wrong bag, in fact, try them all! You’ll get a different workout on each bag and refine your technique the more you try.
Ready to step into the ring? Find your nearest boxing class here or follow our boxing circuit workout below.