Before answering your question "what do I need for a home boxing gym?" let me share my story.
You know, I have been doing strength training for about 20 years now, but cardio training was never my favorite activity. I knew it is essential for endurance, health and to lose weight. I tried running, football, cycling, and many others, but I enjoyed none of them very much.
I used to box for a year when I was a teenager, so I decided to start it again. I did not have time going to the local boxing gym. So, I bought a heavy bag, a pair of boxing gloves and a skipping rope.
I jumped right into the boxing training. The beginning was not easy, because my physique, mainly my cardio, was so weak that I could not hit the bag for long. Also, my technique was poor. But, I enjoyed every minute of my boxing workouts.
I went mad, and I wanted to learn this sport inside out. I read books, watched videos, etc. and practice as much as I could. And gradually, I became better and better. My technique and endurance now, after 3 years of at home boxing, is better than ever before.
Boxing has helped me to lose a lot of weight, improved my coordination, boosted my endurance and cardio level. That is why I say it is an all in one training for everyone.
Boxing is the ultimate challenge. There's nothing that can compare to testing yourself the way you do every time you step in the ring.
I made mistakes that I'm going to talk about later, but it was a great decision to pick up boxing as conditional training.
To sum up, if you are searching for exciting training, which requires continuous learning, to get a fantastic physique, boxing is an excellent choice. Just think about how perfect those fighters are!
Related: What are the benefits of boxing?
Now, in this guide, I want to share my experiences and tips on how to train at home and what you need for your home boxing gym setup.
The Basics (Jump over this topic if you are not a beginner)
To get an effective and safe home boxing workout, you should know the basics. This workout is not about hitting the heavy bag like a mad. It requires proper technique, skills and a lot of practice.
1. What are the fundamentals you should know?
Since there are many excellent tutorials online, just follow the links above to learn these fundamentals. And, practice, practice, and practice. (Alternatively, you can go to a boxing gym to learn the basics from a trainer.)
2. How to start?
Yes, there is no need to hit a punching bag. Just teach your body to perform the moves correctly. That is important for the future to have boxing sessions that will develop you both mentally and physically. Practice until the movements and the punches come somewhat naturally.
Get fit enough
Besides the proper technique, obviously, you need to be in good condition as well.
Hitting the heavy punching bag seems to be an easy activity, but if you do your training correctly, it is very tough.
To reach that condition you should develop your endurance and strength.
Personally, for strength training I do bodyweight exercises like push ups, pull ups, squats, lunges and their variations. To develop my endurance, I do plyometric exercises, jump roping and run. (Yes, thanks to boxing, because I was so motivated, I started running, and I like it now.)
Related: Find boxer workout plans here
3. Time for the heavy bag
Warning: Always wrap your hands correctly and put on gloves before punching the bag. You can quickly get hand injuries. Here is the guide for proper hand wrapping.
When most of the moves and punches come naturally, and you feel your condition is OK, you can start to get acquainted with the heavy bag.
Imagine as if you were in the ring, and the bag is a real opponent who you want to KO, but he wants to kill you as well. Respect it!
Start with 1-minute rounds, with easy punches and combos. Make 3-4 rounds with one-minute rest (or more depending on your fitness level.)
Try to be intensive during the whole round even at the last 5 seconds. But, keep the proper stance, throw your punches correctly and move.
As you get better, you can increase the length of the rounds to 2 minutes, then to 3 minutes and get more rounds.
If you can do 8×3 minute intensive rounds with 1 minute rests on the heavy bag, you have a great physique.
Tip: When you hit the bag do not stand at the same place, move it around as if you "play" with a real opponent.
To sum up, you need to learn, practice and train continuously. But, that is the beauty of boxing.
Home boxing gym essentials
Well, you can train without any exercise equipment since you can practice shadow boxing. However, to maximize the results, you need a few tools and keep in mind a few factors. Find my home boxing gym ideas below.
1. Enough place
For practicing, you obviously need some free space. Hitting the bag and shadow box requires area since you have to move around. The same is true for conditional training for jump roping. If you have a garage or a free small room that might be enough.
2. Gloves & wraps
Hand protection is vital for heavy bag training. Hitting the bag with bare hands may results in scratches on your knuckles. Even worse, you can get severe wrists and hand injuries. So, it is vital to wrap your hands and put on heavy bag gloves. (just follow the guide I shared above.)
3. A heavy bag
Buying the right a heavy punching bag for your home boxing gym is maybe the most challenging task. There many types, sizes and in a various price range. But, I try to help you here.
With leather or heavy-duty vinyl shell?
Both of them are a good choice. Leather bags provide the best training experience, and their vintage look makes them outstanding. But, they cost far more than bags with a heavy-duty vinyl shell. In my opinion, a heavy duty vinyl bags are absolutely OK for home boxing training. They are cheap and durable.
What weight bag do I need?
If a bag is too light for you, it will swing too much, so you cannot throw power punches on it. If it is too heavy, the bouncing will be minimal so you cannot practice the offense and defense skills correctly.
The rule of thumb is to pick a heavy bag which weight is about half of your body weight. So, if you are 200 pounds, a 100 lbs bag is suitable for you.
The length of the bag
Well, most of the hanging bags for boxing are about 40-60 inches long, while Muay Thai bags are much longer. The length is critical if you want to kick the bag as well. For high kicks, almost all the bags are suitable, but for low kicks, you need a Muay Thai one.
Freestanding vs. hanging bag?
Well, this is the hardest decision for most of the people. But, for me, the hanging heavy bag is the winner. Although, both have their pros and cons.
The hanging heavy bag
A hanging bag requires proper installation on the ceiling and with that space for swinging and storing (unless you unmount after usage.)
Tip: If for some reasons you cannot hang the bag, instead use a heavy bag stand. It wobbles a little bit but requires no installation.
But, the hanging bag provides the best boxing training experience since it imitates the moving opponent well. Hence, you can practice your offense and defense skills ideally.
The freestanding bag
This type of home boxing gym equipment is very popular these days, since it does not require any installation and easy to move around for storage. Also, it has a long "body" so you can kick them.
But, most of the products fall over, even worse break, if they are kicked and punched hard. There are only a few gym quality models that stand even the most massive usage, but their price is high.
Plus, in my opinion, their swinging is not so suitable for boxing. Hence, I recommend freestanding bags for lighter people, beginners or cardio training when light but quick punches are thrown.
Filled or not filled?
Well, all the freestanding models come filled, and most of the hanging ones as well. I recommend getting a filled one since you do not have to care about filling.
- Need more advice on how to buy a bag for home? Check out our detailed heavy punching bag buying guide with the comparison of the best home boxing equipment.
4. Jump rope & others for conditional workouts
The skipping rope is a portable and inexpensive gear. It develops your coordination, agility, cardio and the elasticity and resiliency of lower-leg muscles.
It provides a versatile workout since you can do many variations, plus combine this training with bodyweight exercises perfectly.
Personally, I also use a pair of adjustable dumbbells for my training to do advanced exercises like burpees with dumbbells and to improve my general strength.
5. Speed Bag (optional)
The speed bag is a useful addition to your home garage boxing gym. Hitting the speed bag develops your hand speed, eye-hand coordination, and reflexes. Also, it teaches you not to lower your arms during your workouts, and strengthen your shoulders. Plus, it is a delightful activity.
But, it also requires space and installation.
6. Double end bag (optional)
Just like the speed bag the double end bag is excellent equipment to develop your skills and technique. Great for enhancing your reflexes, hand speed, accuracy, but since it bounces so fast you can also practice the head moves.
The double end bag does not require so much space, but you have to fix the rubber bands to the ceiling and the floor.
7. DIY boxing equipment (optional)
You can also create a tennis ball boxing cap which is an excellent tool to develop your accuracy and cost nothing. Check the tutorial here.
+ Home boxing gym design (optional)
If you need motivation, it is possible to boost your boxing gym interior design by placing motivational quotes and pictures of the best boxers like Muhammad Ali or Tyson. Here my favorite ones.
I think these are the things what you need in a boxing gym to have a complete workout at home. Title Boxing and Everlast boxing equipment are the most well-known and rather reliable manufacturers, but it is worth to look around.
Checklist for beginners
So, if you want to have boxing workouts at home, here are the steps.
- Learn the basics. (punches, footwork, stance, etc.)
- Shadow boxing
- Conditional training
- Get the required equipment: gloves, wraps and a heavy bag that is suitable for you.
- Learn and practice constantly.
- Optionally, invest in other boxing equipment to make your workout more versatile and to develop a particular skill better.
I hope you found this guide useful and you will have a home gym for boxing that provides you great workouts. If you have any questions related equipment or training, feel free to ask below. I try to answer asap.
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