Is hand wrapping necessary?
Yes hand wrapping is necessary when boxing - Hand wraps reduce your chances of getting injuries to the tendons and wee bones in your hands, both during training and in actual bouts. Make sure that an expert demonstrates the proper way of wrapping your hands to begin with. If that's not available to you, remember that the thumb gets placed through the hoop, the fingers must be separated to allow freedom of movement and the knuckles should be padded evenly. Also take care not to wrap your hand too tightly or you might cut off the blood circulation. It's something that seems difficult, but in reality it's fairly simple once a boxing trainer shows you how to do it properly. Aye you'll make a mess of wrapping your hands the first time you ty it. With practice, you'll soon figure it out though.
For small hands - 120" size hand wraps should do........For medium and larger hands, you'll need roughly 170" or more.
Hand wraps are the more modern version of the elasticated crepe bandages that were used by fighters in the past, and i know some fighters who still prefer to use crepe bandage as hand wrapping - No matter what version you opt for, remember that your hands are the tools of your trade, so you need to look after them.
To begin with, hold your hand in a relaxed position with your fingers spread. The hand wrap will have a thumb loop on it which, obviously, should be placed around the thumb. Bring the wrap across the top of your hand and wind it around your wrist 2 or 3 times. Make sure you wrap it in such a way to support your wrist. Do not wrap it so tight enough to reduce your blood circulation.
Next, bring the wrap across the back of your hand, around the palm, then across the knuckles 2 to 3 times. Create an ‘x’ pattern from your knuckles, across the back of your hand, and around. Repeat this 2 or 3 times. Wrap around your palm to the base of your thumb, and then around your thumb and back toward your wrist. Do not twist the wrapping. After wrapping around the back of your hand, wrap again around your thumb from the opposite direction. Now take it from the thumb toward the back and around your wrist. The next step will be repeated between each finger. Come over the back of your hand and between each finger, starting with the space between your pinky and ring finger. Wrap around the palm toward your wrist and continue with each finger. It is important to keep the wrap flat and do not twist it. Now come across the palm towards your wrist. Wrap across the back of your hand. Wrap around the knuckles one more time and then across the back of your hand. Secure the wrap at your wrist snugly, to ensure wrist support. Fasten with the closure provided.
There are many other hand wrapping methods available too, so check them out and use the method that works best for you.
Is a gum shield necessary?
Yes a gum shield is necessary for boxing. You can buy a gum shield for just a couple of pounds/dollars, but that doesn't mean you should buy it. In fact, the worst thing you can do is just grab the cheapest gum shield that you can find. The gum shield you should go for is the type that is moulded to fit your mouth, often called the 'Boil & Bite'. The extra amount you pay for that type of gum shield helps prevent any possible injuries and damage to your gums, teeth and lips. If you have enough money, you can go and see a dentist instead, then get a custom made gum shield specially created for you.
Again, gum shields are a mandatory piece of boxing equipment. If you lose your gum shield during a fight, the referee will stop the bout until it has been refitted. They protect the lips and inside of the mouth from being cut by your teeth, but more importantly they help to lock your top and bottom jaws together. A hook punch to a loose lower jaw can easily result in damage to the joint and even a broken jaw, so a well fitting gum shield is a vital piece of boxing equipment.
A new gum shield can take a bit of getting used to, so do not wear a new one in a competition. Wear your new gum shield in the boxing gym a few times beforehand to get used to it, as some can make breathing a bit more awkward. That isn't something you want to have happen to you in a proper boxing bout.
It's also important to keep your gum shield clean, and warm soapy water will do just fine for that after each use. Remember that it's called a 'boil and bite' gum shield for a reason though. So don't drop it into water that's too hot, as that can alter it's shape.
Low Blow Protector
Is a low blow protector necessary for a boxer?
Yes - Wearing a low blow protector is as important as wearing a gum shield and head guard.
If a gum shield helps protects you from possible mouth and jaw injuries, wearing a Low Blow Protector will hopefully save you from having to sing soprano for a few days after being on the receiving end of a low blow. Seriously - Low Blows can cause major damage so always wear this piece of equipment. If you don't wear one and suffer a low blow, trust me, you sure won't make the same mistake a second time. They don't just protect the obvious place, but also give protection to the lower back as a punch in the kidneys is no fun either.
In the gym, they often get worn outside the clothing - During competition they are worn under the shorts.
They come in a variety of sizes, obviously mine was a large size. :-)
Are boxing shoes necessary?
Boxing Shoes are different from your conventional 'trainers' and other rubber soled shoes, so yes they are necessary. Boxing Shoes are lighter, often leather soled, and provide excellent ankle support. Wearing footwear other than those that are truly made for boxing, make you look and feel awkward when moving around the ring. Non boxing shoes also increases the risk of ankle injuries, and your leg fatigue level rises significantly. Chances are that you would not even be allowed into the ring at a gym without proper boxing shoes anyway, as dirt and grime on footwear that has been worn outdoors can damage the ring mat.
When selecting boxing shoes, don't just buy any old kind, buy ones that suit your fighting style and try them on first - Basically, if you rely on quick movement in the ring, you will probably want to buy high top boxing shoes as they support your ankles and shins while you pivot and move, plus you may like a more smooth sole to make it easier to glide around the ring. While other fighters with a different style may prefer shoes with a more ribbed sole to increase traction.
A focus mitt is a padded target attached to a glove, it's usually used in training and it is a common piece of boxing equipment in a gym. They come in various sizes.
The person holding the focus mitts will typically call out combinations to keep the puncher thinking constantly, and 'feed' the puncher good counter force while maneuvering and working specific skills. Focus mitts are often used to augment sparring, with more focus on the puncher. Especially used to develop good punch combinations and defensive maneuvers. When wearing focus mitts, it is important not merely to hold them but to also actively 'feed' them into the punches, to balance their force and prevent injury to both parties.method that works best for you.
A good simple Skipping Rope/Jump Rope is self explanatory and costs next to nothing. Leather skipping ropes are the ones normally associated with boxing training, but i always preferred the plastic ones while using weighted wrist bands. A skipping rope is a skipping rope though, so don't go spending too much cash on this type of equipment.
If your are under 6ft tall, a 9ft skipping rope will be fine - Go for a 10ft skipping rope if you are over 6ft tall though.
It is also better if you can find an absorbant surface to do your skipping rope training on too, rather than a solid surface like concrete or cement. If you do have to skip on a solid surface, lay a foam or rubber mat (or something similar) down and do your skipping on that. There is no point jarring your joints if you don't have to.
Commercially sold boxing training clothes are not really a necessary piece of boxing equipment at the beginning, but are specially designed to give you maximum comfort while in the boxing gym. Don't go to any great expense buying this equipment, any loose fitting training gear that allows your skin to breathe will do just fine to begin with.
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