Heavy punching bags could be considered as one of the most important boxing gears that a boxer will need to improve the way they deliver their punches. Primarily designed to build up strength in the arms, wrist and fists, heavy bags as they are more fondly called are made from two types of materials namely leather and canvass. Heavy bags are commonly filled up with sand and covered with fiber paddings all over before it is completely encased in a leather cover and suspended on a ceiling or beam. Most of the time, the area that frequently gets hit by punches is wrapped with an extra layer of duct tape to protect it from the abusive force that it incurs. This protects the leather from breaking open and from exposing the materials inside as it also reinforces the area to make it more durable.
Developing a boxer’s punching strength is not enough to determine their success in the ring as they also need speed and agility to be able to throw counter punches while dodging their opponent’s attempts to knock them down. To develop a boxer’s ability to throw fast punches and avoid their opponent’s attacks in the process, speed bags are used to develop their ability to fend off their opponent’s advances while being able to target and retaliate at the same time. Speed bags are smaller and much more lighter than heavy bags and are attached on a pivoted harness and positioned at the same height as that of a boxer’s head. Speed bags move with a bobbing motion and boxers punch this bag with a much more faster momentum, increasing the speed of their hands and the firmness of their wrist muscles. Speed bags also develop a boxer’s ability to maintain a defensive stance by training to keep their hands up at all time to protect their face while being able to throw straight jabs from that position.
In a different light, double-ended bags are rounder than speed bags and are usually suspended on the ceiling in one end and with an elastic cord on the bottom end. Double-ended bags are used to train boxers to hit a moving target precisely which can be compared to that of an opponent’s dodging movement. Double-ended bags move in a wider angle, giving boxers the feeling that they are being attacked by their opponent from different directions, developing their ability to respond with increased hand and eye coordination. The direction of the motion of the double-ended bag will react differently to the direction in which a boxer punches it, giving it a lot of variations on its movement.
Boxing boots are also important as well though there are no serious injuries related to a boxer’s feet, nevertheless it is still important to wear specially designed leather knee length boots that have a specially designed shin guard that protect that area.
Being accidentally kicked on the shin is not a very serious life threatening condition but it is excruciatingly painful and can momentarily debilitate a boxer’s ability to focus on his opponent. Also, the feet area of the boxing boots is reinforced with paddings to protect the boxer from any untoward incident of being stepped on by his opponent.
If you might think that any sport clothing will be good enough for boxing, you’re wrong. Boxing clothing and then especially the trunks are special made for the boxing sport. A punch below the belts says enough. The belt has major influence in a training and fight. If you use your normal sport shorts, your belt will be a lot lower then with the boxing trunks, providing the opponent a bigger area where punches are aloud. Of course there are some rules and regulations regarding the belt (otherwise you will see boxers wearing the belt under their armpits) but the boxing trunks should not be forgotten.
Along with good boxing gloves, protective boxing safety gear like head gear is used to soften unintentional hard punches that may accidentally hit a boxer’s face, although that is the main target of every boxer, they are only limited to exchange light blows to train their sense of discernment towards their opponent, but there is a great chance that some of the punches that they put out may accidentally be a bit excessive and may find its way to an opponents face.
Wearing Head & Teeth Protection while training can be a very wise idea, certainly if you are a beginner and receiving a lot of punches against your head. When you become a better boxer, the head protection might be a smaller issue but the teeth protection is still important to have in while boxing. The high impact of a direct punch against your mouth will be spread more and the risk of loosing some teeth will be smaller. It isn’t a guarantee because you can still loose some teeth while wearing teeth protection!
There are also alternatives to sparring such as the use of boxing pads, focus mitts or target mitts, that simulate a sparring opponent. Target mitts are designed in a circular shape and may be as wide as 12 inches. These circular pads are worn on the hands by the trainer and are used to train the boxer to follow it as a moving target and deliver straight jabs while keeping their hands in a defensive position.
Physical Training Gear
Another essential boxing gear used for training boxers is the medicine ball, which has an average weight between 1 to 3 pounds, which is used to strengthen the abdominal muscles. The medicine ball looks similar to a basketball but much larger and heavier. Covered entirely with leather and containing either a sand filled bag which can be adjusted to weigh accordingly with a boxer’s prescribed training regimen, the medicine ball is used to strengthen the abdominal muscles by bouncing it against the boxer’s stomach, simulating the punches of an opponent. This method builds up a boxer’s tolerance for pain in the stomach area since having a weaker abdominal muscle area can leave a boxer vulnerable to punches that can literally knock out the diaphragm’s ability to pump air into the lungs.