The Ultimate Fighting Challenge, UFC, and pro boxing events are a big draw for the home box office and TV. People don’t just want to see fighting championships, but they also want to work out like fighters in the gym. Why? The workouts are great for health. Most techniques can be exercised on dummies and gym equipment. There is no need to actually fight. In addition to the health benefit MMA practitioners learn how to defend themselves.
MMA, Taekwondo, Kickboxing and boxing workouts are offered by many gyms for fitness, weight reduction and for self defense. With all the benefits of the training many practitioners often under estimate the remaining risks. One of the most important pieces of protective equipment are boxing gloves that are used for heavy bag workouts, partner training with focus mitts and eventually, if you are really good and ready, for sparring. Most people will buy the cheapest gear possible at retailers, sports stores and online vendors. 20 to 30 bucks are most often all that is spent on equipment while the membership fees for the clubs are often in the three digits.
A good boxing glove doesn’t need to be expensive, but there are a couple of things that are important for the safety of a fighter’s hand. The cushioning part of a glove needs to be in the right sport. It needs to protect the area right in front of the knuckles while the fist is completely clenched. Can you clench the fist with a cheap glove? Most likely not. There is a simple test for the padding of a good boxing glove. Simply put on the glove, clench your fist and press your knuckles against a hard edge. Something like a solid wooden table or a door frame. A good glove will give in nicely but you should not feel the edge hurting your knuckles.
Wearing a good boxing glove is essential to keep hands free from injury. Specially beginners don’t know how to hold their hands in most situation. A minor sprain or fracture in the wrist can set you back for weeks and months. It can happen easily. Many expert trainers therefore suggest to use the same gloves used in sparring for heavy bag workouts. Those are usually 16 Oz. protectors with larger surface area and softer padding. They will protect hands from serious injuries and increase the conditioning benefits of punching training. Due to the higher weight of the 16 Oz. sparring gear shoulders and arms will gain more strength. Practitioners will see great benefits in body sculpting from the upper mid section up to the neck. Let’s enjoy the sport and remember the credo of a true fighter: Never give up!