Boxing is a great sport for any gender. It increases stamina, builds endurance, trains strength and coordination and boosts confidence. For women who aren’t boxing fans, aren’t all that familiar with boxing but are interested in trying it here are a few things that you need to know:
- Wear comfortable clothes you can move around in but: refrain from wearing very short shorts.
“Fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee” goes Ali’s old adage. You will indeed do a lot of jumping and running around. Boxing training includes footwork, roadwork (meaning jogging/running some distance for warm up/endurance) and muscle stretching afterwards. When choosing training clothes from your closet, grab the good loose t-shirt or running singlet that doesn’t chaff, sports bra, jogging/running pants or sportswear (ask your trusted sports store) and you’re good to go.
Now, about the shorts: boxing is a male dominated sport. Most of the time you’re going to be training together with a lot of men and your trainer will be a guy. Short shorts such as running shorts are indeed comfortable when boxing because you have less friction, but if you’re not open to them seeing your underwear during muscle stretching (you will be lying on the ground and your feet would be pulled up, etc.) a good alternative would be muay thai shorts. They’re lightweight, longer, and don’t chaff. Plus you can comfortably wear short stretch pants underneath if you want.
- If you have long hair, remember to always bring scrunchies, and stash extras in your gym bag while you’re at it. For people with shorter hair, hair clips are your best friend.
Since you’re going to be jumping around and getting sweaty, nothing will be more irritating than your hair sticking to your face or your bangs poking your eyes. (Yes, those movies where the female protagonists fight with their hair whipping their faces has eyes made of steel and are secretly members of the X-men.) For people with shorter hair remember to check your hair’s length while it’s wet to see if your hair will make it harder for you to train. If you’re seeing any part of your bangs, then you will have to clip them upward or to the side. Good choices would be hair clips that don’t move around. Hair pins can work, but most of the time they can dislodge if they’re not tight. If you’re going to be tying your hair, a good high pony works every time. Tight braids work even better at restraining your hair.
- Thinking of training long term? Buy your own wraps and gloves. Additional tip: authentic leather’s the way to go.
Most gyms would have gloves and wraps that they lend out to those who come to training without their own. But a lot of people use them, and every hand will be sweaty. Sometimes you would have to use gloves right after someone and the inside would be wet. If you’re uncomfortable with that, you can buy your own at a sports store. It is always best to buy your own wraps even if you don’t own your own gloves. Wraps are your hands’ best friends, and unlike gloves which you use during mitts and spars, wraps are constantly used throughout the training session.
If you are buying gloves but are on a budget, take note: do not buy synthetic leather ones. They will not last long, and you will end up buying another pair after 6 to 8 months. Buy authentic leather gloves. Even if the leather is thin, authentic leather gloves will last you at least more than a year. They are a little more expensive, but the extra bucks are worth it.
- Say goodbye to your French tips because you’ll need to keep your nails short.
The first thing your trainer is going to say is that you would have to cut your nails. Why? Because you might injure your hand! Long nails with get pushed back by the end of the boxing gloves, and it will hurt you every time you punch. Also, your nails might scratch and injure your palm, especially when you’re doing speed ball training.
- Your thick-soled running shoes? Nope, they’re not going to work.
The thing with boxing is that you’re going to be bending your feet, and your running shoes may not be up to the task. The best shoes for boxing are flexible and thin soled. An example would be Nike’s Free Run series. Do take note that not everyone’s feet are the same; some might need more support in other areas of the foot such as the arc. You might want to do a foot strike test, or do some researches before you buy your training shoes.
For beginners who are not fans of boxing, it will be very helpful to watch a few videos of boxing matches and boxing training sessions before you sign up and pay for a bundle of sessions. If you have any ailments such as asthma or back issues it would be best to consult a doctor first as boxing is a high impact sport. Try one session first to see if boxing is for you. The most important tip of all: have fun! Boxing may feel awkward at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’re sure to get hooked.