Ringside Blog

Advice from The Best in Boxing

  • A Guide to Maintaining Your Boxing Gear

    All your ringside boxing gear stored in a locker at the gym

    “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses—behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” – Muhammad Ali

    It never hurts to consult a guy called "The Greatest" for advice in his area of expertise. Of course, in the quote above, Ali was referring to the work he did training his body day in and day out, training his mind to be able to out-think his opponents in the ring, and developing tactics and strategies suited to each opponent he faced.  But there's another aspect of behind the scenes preparation that should be top-of-mind for boxers of all skill levels: your boxing gear.

    Don’t let countless hours of work and the money you spent on great boxing gear go to waste because you failed to take care of said gear. By following our guide to maintaining your equipment, you can place most of your focus on the the journey from boxing training, that behind the lines work, to dancing under the lights on fight night.

    Handwraps

    Wearing a clean pair of handwraps underneath your boxing gloves will protect your hands and wrists while also absorbing the sweat that you generate. To get the most out of your wraps, though, you cannot let them sit in your gym bag, wet and unwashed, after you leave the gym. Unpleasant odors are just the tip of what you'll start to run into. And no one wants to start a workout with wraps that are still damp from the last training session. 

    The biggest step in properly taking care of your handwraps is to just take the wraps out of your bag and hang them up, so they can dry out. This will help guard against funky smells and mold buildup. After every few sessions, you'll want to stick them in the washing machine to get them thoroughly cleaned up. Here are some suggestions on getting the best results from the next wash cycle:

    • Put each wrap in a small mesh bag or pillowcase to prevent tangling.
    • Since the colors of the wraps may bleed, wash them by themselves.
    • Hang up instead of using a dryer. While most wraps can go in the dryer, many boxers believe they’ll get more shelf life out of wraps that are hung to dry instead.

    Wrapping a boxer's hands with a red handwrap, a key piece of boxing gear.

    Gloves

    Boxers are fixated on their boxing gloves. A lot of time goes in to choosing just the right pair. And that makes sense, because good gloves aren't cheap, and they will be your steadfast partner through all of your training. Get the most out of your investment and keep that attachment going as long as possible by keeping them in peak shape.

    It’s essential to wipe down gloves after each workout. A washcloth and some antiseptic spray on the inside and outside of gloves will do the trick. The goal here is to snuff out bacteria, whose presence will cause nasty odors and mold buildup. Just like with hand wraps, take your gloves out of your bag as soon as you can so that they can dry out. You can speed up the process by placing them in front of a fan.

    To go the extra mile and keep them smelling good—or as realistically “good” as possible—shove a few dryer sheets deep into each glove. You could also fill two socks with cedar chips, tie the end of each sock, and then place a sock in each glove. Creativity points for the latter.

    Headgear and Groin Protectors

    For obvious reason, both of these items are pretty important. Don’t neglect them. Wipe your headgear and groin protector with antiseptic wipes and hang up to air out after each training session.

    Shoes

    You know you’ve put some work in when you feel pools of sweat collecting in your shoes. That’s a good thing. What’s not good is failing to air them out afterward. So, don’t do that. Another “don’t do” is to wear your shoes outside. Boxing shoes are exactly that—boxing shoes. Wearing them outside or anywhere but in the gym or in the ring will mean you’ll have to invest in another pair far sooner than you'd like.

    Mouthguard

    Clean your mouthguard before and after each workout. Rinsing with water beforehand will suffice. After your workout, we advise that you soak it in a glass filled with water and mouthwash overnight. For sanitary reasons, always keep your mouthpiece in its case while in your bag.

    Jump Rope

    Jumping rope is likely part of your routine in some form or fashion. Avoid tangling by taking the jump rope out of your bag as soon as you get home. Hanging the rope on a hook or hanger. Then tie a paperweight to each handle. That should help prevent annoying tangling.

  • 9 Exercises that Will Improve Your Punching Power

    Hitting the heavy bag is a key element of boxing training.

    While so much of what makes a great boxer or MMA fighter is technique, speed, and mental toughness, it doesn’t hurt to have a powerful punch. No matter how the fight is going, it can turn decidedly in your favor if you can land one devastating punch.

    If you’re not blessed with innate punching power, though, don’t worry. Making these nine exercises part of your boxing training program can help you improve in a big way.

    Medicine Ball Throw

    The key to packing more of a punch is training the explosiveness of your arms and increasing the power generated from your punching muscle fibers. Both of these techniques can help achieve that:

    1. Lie flat on your back and throw a heavy medicine ball as high as you can, pushing forward from the chest. Catch the ball with both hands and repeat until fatigue sets in.
    2. While standing upright in your boxing stance, take a medium-weight medicine ball into the palm of one hand and push forward as hard as you can. You can either throw the ball against the wall or have a partner catch it and throw back to you. You should do this as if you’re throwing a punch.

    Plyometric Push-Ups

    Increasing power and speed will allow you to make contact that can stagger your opponent. Plyometric push-ups can aid power and speed by training arm, shoulder, and pectoral strength--all parts of the body that influence punching power. Read on for a brief description of how they are performed.

    1. In the standard push-up position, dip down as you normally would but, as you rise, explode up so that your hands lift off the ground.
    2. To get peak results, ensure your core and glutes remain tight throughout the act.
    3. A slight variation to the exercise involves clapping your hands in mid-air or against your chest after you push off the floor.

    Work the Heavy Bag

    The heavy bag is training staple for a reason, so throw on your bag gloves (boxing- or MMA-style, you will benefit in either sport) and get well-acquainted with the heavy bag.

    In ten-second intervals, try to hit as hard as you can using any combination of straights, hooks, and uppercuts. Then, for 10-15 seconds, conduct an active rest time of light jabs and footwork before ramping it up for another 10 seconds. Carry these out for three-minute rounds, resting for about a minute in between sets.

    Shadowboxing in the ring with yellow handwraps Shadowboxing will help you refine your technique, ensuring more of your power ends up at the tip of your glove.

    Shadowboxing

    Although it may not seem like it, shadowboxing is great for increasing punching power because it forces you to focus on technique and proper execution. The better your form is, the more efficiently you will deliver your punches. This means that more of the power you’ve developed in your muscles will wind up at the tip of your glove.

    With the supervision of a trainer or boxing buddy, shadowbox in front of a mirror while paying close attention to technique and the way you throw punches. The bonus here is the exercise should also train defense, head movement, and footwork to make you a better all-around fighter. This is one of the reasons that Shadowboxing is a fundamental part of any boxing training program.

    Squats with Medicine Ball

    Whether you’re your training for boxing or MMA, rest assured that a majority of your punching power comes from your legs. Performing squats with a medicine ball will help give you a stronger base to work from.

    Combine Squats and Lunges

    Since full squats can add weight and force you up a weight class and lunges recreate movement patterns often used in the ring, combining split squats and lunges is a good option for efficient athletes.

    Tub o’ Rice

    Hand injuries are very common in boxing and MMA, so you need to put an emphasis on strengthening your fists. Start by getting a large tub of rice and digging your hands through it, fingertips first. You can also try punching through water or into sandbags to help strengthen your fists.

    Rotate Your Torso

    An underrated component to delivering impactful punches, especially later in fights when you start to tire, is rotating shoulders and torso as you deliver a hit. Work on creating that kind of torque by holding a medicine ball at chest level with both hands, straightening your arms and rotating your torso continuously from left to right.

    Chin-Ups

    Chin-ups are perfect for training your opposing (antagonist) muscles, so you’re not solely focusing on strengthening pecs, anterior deltoids, triceps, and other primary muscle groups used in punching. Get the most out of it by performing them with additional resistance as you go along.

  • What to Look For When Purchasing Speed Bags

    man hitting speed bag

    Speed bags are often associated with professional boxers, but the truth is that anyone can use them to improve their speed, timing, and endurance. Not only are these small, swivel-mounted punching bags fun to hit, they can also provide immense fitness benefits to beginners and skilled practitioners alike. As such, it’s not surprising that speed bags are a common addition to many commercial gyms and in-home gyms. If you’re currently searching for a speed bag, here is what you should be looking for: Continue reading

  • What Boxing Gear Is Essential for a Child’s First Competition?

    child boxer

    Your child’s first boxing competition is always an exciting time. Kids from all over the country congregate in one city to put their skills to the test inside the ring. After logging hours of training, your children will get their chance to shine and become true champions. However, before they can step into the ring, it’s critical that they have the right boxing gear. Making sure that your children are equipped with the right gear is essential. Not only is it required by every well-known youth boxing organization, but it’s also vital to their safety. Continue reading

  • Finding the Right Punching Bag for Your In-Home Gym

    punching bag

    So, you’ve finally made the decision to add a punching bag to your home gym. Smart choice! Now you can reap the many benefits of boxing fitness in the comfort of your own home. Before you run out and buy the first punching bag you see, there are a few things you should consider first. For instance, how large is your space? What do you want to achieve from your boxing workouts? If you don’t do your research, you’re likely to end up with a punching bag that doesn’t meet your specific needs. To save yourself both time and money, keep the following in mind: Continue reading

  • 5 of the Best Cardio Machines for Boxers

    young man using exercise bike at the gym

    Boxers know that their cardio workouts are essential to winning fights. You can have the best technique in the world and still lose if you’re feeling fatigued by the second round. Becoming a better boxer, will require incorporating a comprehensive cardio routine into your training regimen. Cardio work can help improve not only your speed and endurance but also your agility, balance, and stability. But which cardio machines are best for boxers? To get the most out of your workouts and start outlasting your opponents, here are the some of the best cardio machines that you should be using: Continue reading

  • Purchasing Equipment for Your Boxing Gym or Class: Rings, Bags and More

    Purchasing Equipment for Your Boxing Gym or Class Rings, Bags and More

    Ringside Boxing GloveIf you’re considering opening up a boxing gym or hosting boxing classes at your fitness facility, you’ll need to choose the right boxing ring and training equipment. Building a viable training facility requires a substantial investment, so you want to make every dollar count. Choosing an established, high-quality brand that you can trust is a great idea. You don’t want to gamble on these types of products, especially if it’s an area where you lack experience.

    Before deciding what to buy, it’s best to do a bit of research on what to look for in each of your boxing training equipment purchases. Fortunately, we’ve done a lot of that research for you already. We’ve taken years of boxing training experience and working with various brands of equipment to figure out what works best. Let’s go through several staples in boxing gyms and see how to pick the right products.

    Continue reading

  • 4 Benefits of Using Weighted Gloves

    When you watch any professional boxing bout, you will notice that a boxers hands are rarely down to the side. For most of the fight, the hands are either up in a guard position, protecting the boxer’s head, or out in front throwing punches. And when it comes to punches, boxers fists are moving a lot: 40 to 80 punches thrown per round (depending on fighting style and weight class).  Training with weighted gloves is one way to develop the stamina you need to keep your hands moving for 10 rounds. Weighted gloves are a valuable training tool that can also help you develop the quick hands you need to set up your most powerful punches. So, what makes them so special?

    blue and red pairs weighted gloves Continue reading

  • What Are the Best Resistance Bands for Boxing Training?

    To succeed in the ring, a boxer must possess technique, strength, speed, and power. Boxers use a lot of different tools to build these attributes. One of the most common implements you’ll find in a boxer’s toolbox is a set of resistance bands. Proper training with resistance bands are scientifically proven to help boxers develop quick hands, a strong upper body, and endurance in their shoulders.

    man using resistance band

    While it’s no secret that resistance bands are a vital tool in training, the question we’re asked all the time is how to pick the best resistance bands for boxing? If you search for resistance bands online, you will likely be overwhelmed by the sheer number of results. Sifting through everything to find the best product seems cumbersome, so we’ve decided to take our experience to make it simple for you. Here’s what you want to look for when you’re purchasing the best resistance bands. Continue reading

  • Why Hand Wraps Are Crucial for Boxers

    hand wearing ringside handwraps

    Boxers cannot afford to train or compete without quality boxing gloves or hand wraps. In boxing, your hands will endure repeated impacts with other objects (heavy bags and opponents being the most common). As you train, your skill level and technique will improve. With better technique your punching power will increase. Sounds great, right? But we have to remember two things — your hands! Generally, the stronger your punches become, the greater the risk of injuring your hands. Learning how to punch properly—including clenching your fists firmly on impact—can mitigate the risk to a certain extent. However, your hands are composed of flesh and bone and need to be protected from repetitive impacts. While boxing gloves are the most obvious method of protection, hand wraps are just as important. Let’s take a deeper look at why hand wraps are so important to boxers. Continue reading

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