One of the great things about boxing is that there are not many barriers to participation. If you’ve got a pair of fists and some gloves, you’re on your way.
Of course, if you’re planning on squaring up against competition in the ring, you’ll need expert guidance at a boxing gym. In addition, having your own home boxing garage gym will allow you train at will in order to perfect the skills you learn at the professional gym.
In this article, we describe the 7 essentials you need to create a kick-ass boxing gym right in your basement.
Essential #1: A Heavy Bag
The heavy bag is the mainstay of the boxing gym. It is a multi purpose training tool, allowing you to work at a range of distances and with different punching styles. A heavy punching bag is also the ultimate stress releaser at the end of a long day.
There are two mounting systems for heavy bags. It may use a wall mounted bracket or it may hang directly down from a cross beam or from a ring mounted into a ceiling beam. It is imperative that the mounting system be extremely robust.
You will want a bag with a strong leather hide. Most bags are filled with tightly packed pieces of cloth. You want enough give in the bag to provide some relief to your hands when doing an extended session.
Essential #2: Skipping Rope
The skipping rope has become recognized as the iconic piece of boxing equipment, and for good reason. As well as being a fantastic all body warm up, it is one of the best cardio exercises you can do. It also provides training in synchronizing the arms and legs and moving on the balls of your feet.
Skipping is a low impact plyometric activity. This makes it a safe alternative for those who have suffered Achilles tendon issues from running or knee complaints from cycling. With skipping, you can get in a killer workout with minimum stress on the body.
Skipping is amazingly time efficient. After all, which would you rather do – run 8 miles in an hour or skip for 10 minutes? Skipping will reap the same benefits, while handing you back 50 minutes to spend on whatever you wish. Look for a leather rope with wooden or steel handles. Leather is hard wearing rope that provides the resistance to allow you to get a challenging speed going. Check out this jump rope buying guide over at GarageGymBuilder.
Essential #3: Maize Bag
A Maize Bag is a small pear shaped bag made of leather. It is filled with maize, which provides a unique response to every punch. The maize bag absorbs your punches far more effectively than a heavy bag. It is especially beneficial for close in fighting. This bag is surprisingly heavy and will require a chain for hanging.
Essential #4: Mirror
There’s a reason that gyms are filled with mirrors, and it has nothing to do with vanity. They are there to allow the trainer to check his exercise form. As a boxer, your form is critical.
You’ve probably heard of the saying that practice makes perfect. Well, it’s not quite true. Perfect practice makes perfect. Imperfect practice merely develops bad habits that can be near impossible to get out of. To make sure that you are not practicing imperfectly, you need to be looking into the mirror when you train.
Mirrors are especially important when you’re doing shadow boxing. In fact, the mirror will actually provide you with your opponent. You will need a mirror that allows you to see your whole body. Finding a good mirror for your home gym is a bit difficult as there are lots of options, I suggest checking out this home gym mirror buying guide before making any commitments.
Essential #5: Focus Mits
Focus mits are worn by a training partner who takes control of the positioning of your punching target, forcing you to react and respond. This makes focus mit training the closest thing you can get to actual sparring. Some pads on the market provide pad length that extends down to provide protection to the wrists.
Essential #6: A Timing Device
The best type of boxing training simulates the in-the-ring experience. Rather than just pounding away at the heavy bag until you get bored, you should follow a set structure. Logically, this should follow a 3-minutes on / one minute-off pattern. Not only will this prepare you for your next fight, it will also provide you with a fantastic cardio workout.
You will want a timer that is easily visible from your training location. An analogue clock with a second hand will do the job nicely. Of course, if you want to get fancy you can purchase a more authentic gym timer.
Essential #7: Exercise Mat
You will want to be spending quite a lot of time on the floor of your home boxing gym training your core. This will require a well padded exercise mat. You’ll want a general purpose exercise mat that you can roll up when not in use. It should also be easily washable