Training aids and equipment
There are various forms of equipment which are used in a boxer’s training regime:
- Bags (heavy bag, speed bag, double end bag, maize bag, pedestal bag, body opponent bag): – Bags are used to help boxers build up punching techniques, power, coordination and timing in place of an opponent.
- Boxing ring: – Used in sparring for practice fights between two boxers.
- Focus mitts: – Worn by a trainer as a means of protection, focus mitts are used to allow the boxer to practice punching and combinations by hitting the palms of their trainer’s hands.
- Hand wraps: – Protecting the boxer’s hands and wrists when engaged in sparring, hand wraps are made from gauze and tape and allow boxing gloves to fit securely and comfortably around the hand.
- Headgear: – Used in training as well as amateur and Olympic competition, headgear protects the boxer’s head from bruising caused by light punches. Contrary to popular opinion, however, headgear is not substantial enough to protect the boxer from powerful punches, knockdowns and knockouts. Unlike headgear used in competitive fights, training headgear covers the boxer’s cheeks, providing extra protection against punches to the face.
- Heavy bag gloves: – Lighter than the boxing gloves used in the ring, heavy bag gloves allow the boxer to build up their powerful punches whilst protecting the hand and knuckles from injuries that could be caused by the weight of the bag.
- Jump rope – Used to improve fitness, agility and footwork, boxers use a jump rope for skipping exercises.
- Medicine ball (also known as an exercise ball): Used in plyometric training, the medicine ball is dropped on the boxer to simulate a punch, acting to improve the strength of their abdominal muscles. Medicine balls may also be thrown between two boxers to build up power and strength.
- Mirror: Used in shadowboxing, the mirror allows the boxer to observe their technique in order that they may identify areas of weakness to be worked on during training.
- Mouthpiece (also known as a gum shield or mouth guard:) Locking the top and bottom jaws together, the mouthpiece protects the boxer from cutting their mouth and cheeks with their teeth when they are hit in the face.
- Sparring gloves: Used in practice fights, sparring gloves have extra padding in order to protect the boxer’s hand and their opponent’s head during training sessions.
- Speed bag gloves: Speed bag gloves are the lightest type of boxing gloves, allowing the boxer to practice quick punches but providing more protection than hand wraps alone.