While working with a trainer is always a great way to improve your skills, it’s also very much possible to get a sweat-inducing boxing workout at home. You just need the right equipment.
Whether you’re bobbing and weaving as a beginner or at an advanced level, Michelle Sim, boxing coach and creator of Move With Mich, says there are some essentials that will make you feel like a pro without ever leaving your living room.
“There’s nothing like the soreness you feel from hitting actual bags,” says Sim. “During bag work, you get to feel the impact of actually landing a punch, as well as mimicking the movement of another fighter.”
The best boxing equipment for home workouts, according to a boxing coach
1. Hand wraps: Superare Hand Wraps, $11
Sim recommends getting yourself a pair of hand wraps or quick wraps. “They protect your hands and wrists during impact. They also line the inside of your gloves, which ensures a snug fit and absorbs the sweat from your hands, keeping your gloves from getting drenched and sweaty,” she says. “My favorite wraps are from Superare. They’re soft with just enough stretch to them.”
Shop now: Superare Hand Wraps, $11
2. Quick wraps: BOOMBOX Quick Gel Hand Wraps, $10
If you’re new to boxing, Sim says to skip the hand wraps and instead opt for quick wraps. “If you’ve not yet mastered wrapping your hands, quick wraps are great for beginners,” she says. “It’s more like a fingerless glove with just enough length to wrap your wrists.” They also save a lot of time, as you can simply slip into them and put on your gloves whenever you’re ready for a workout.
Shop now: BOOMBOX Quick Gel Hand Wraps, $10
3. Boxing gloves: VSL Valle 2000 Matte Black Gloves, $50
If you want to get into bag or mittwork, a pair of gloves is essential for adding a little power behind your punches. I always go for genuine leather that’s about 10 oz, but no bigger than 12 oz,” Sim says. “My favorite gloves are by VSL Fighting and Fairtex.” If you prefer a faux leather option, try these boxing gloves from RDX ($79).
Shop now: VSL Valle 2000 Matte Black Gloves, $50
4. Jump rope: Ballistyx Jump Rope, $26
All you need for a good boxing warm-up is a jump rope. “I think the jump rope is one of the most underestimated exercises because it’s widely recognized but rarely practiced,” says Sim. “When I first started training in boxing, my coach would make me jump rope for one round (three minutes) straight as a warm-up. As simple as it sounds, I would never make it to the three-minute mark without tripping over the jump rope, or tapping out early to catch my breath.”
Shop now: Ballistyx Jump Rope, $26
5. Light hand weights: J-FIT Neoprene Grip Weight, $5 each
Another key piece of equipment is some light hand weights. “They’re always useful for taking your shadow boxing to the next level,” Sim says. “I’ve seen both egg-shaped weights and brass knuckle-style weights that allow the fighter to create fists while holding the weights. All you need is 1 to 2 pounds in each hand to feel a significant difference in your workout. Be ready for an incredible shoulder burn.”
Shop now: J-FIT Neoprene Grip Weight, $5 each
6. Training bag: 9Round Stand Alone Reflex Bag, $62
There are plenty of affordable bags on the market to choose from. “For example, the long bag—usually around six feet tall—is great for working level changes, as you have a long target of shots to work your high jabs to low jabs, body shots to head shots,” she says. “My personal favorite is the water-filled, teardrop shaped bag because I can land my power shots with a lower risk of injury.”
There are also super-compact options available for small spaces, like the one shown above. This training bag is adjustable and has a spring-mounted design that makes it swing and sway when you punch it, kind of like a long bag would. Like any boxing bag, using it can help improve your hand-eye coordination, increase your accuracy, and—of course—give you a really effective boxing workout.
Shop now: 9Round Stand Alone Reflex Bag, $62
Kick things off with this 10-minute boxing core workout:
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