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Choosing Your Right Boxing Glove Size and Handwraps

When picking out a pair of boxing gloves, choosing one that best fits your hand is not exactly the right criteria you should follow. Try putting on handwraps underneath the gloves. 120" handwraps are right for small hands. For medium to large hands, you will want 170" or longer.

Why bother with handwraps?
When boxing, you will need to support your wrist and thum to protect your bones and tendons from injury. It is important that you always wrap your hands before working out or boxing.

BOXING FOR BETTER HEALTH: Do you want the strength of undefeated boxer Laila Ali or the body of heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis? [ More ]

A KNOCKOUT WORKOUT: Here's how you can do it at home. [ More ]
Women's Boxing News

Boxing Tips

A knockout workout: boxing offers a unique, all-body cardio and strength-training workout. Here's how you can do it at home
Personal Trainer - Men's Fitness, August, 2002 by Roy M. Wallack

Thunk! Thunk! Thunk! Left jab. Overhand Rattling left hook. "Take that, you big, ugly, no-talent, go-cry-home-to-Mama ... bag!"

Whether it's dressed up as box-aerobics, cardiobox, slug-mania or one of a dozen other names, the sport of boxing has become a heavyweight in the fitness world. You can now find boxing classes, or some offshoot, in 21 percent of all U.S. health clubs, according to the American Council on Exercise. And that figure is rising.

To discover what all the fuss is about, I went mano-a-mano with 100-bags for one week and learned what so many others before me have already discovered: Boxing delivers a peerless total-body workout--which you don't need to attend a class to get.


Boxing alone? At home? It's not as silly as it seems. No sparring partner is needed, and the equipment requirements are elementary: a bag, gloves, jump rope, timer and music. And you'll get a workout that doesn't miss a spot: a 1,000-calorie-an-hour cardio bomb on par with running, and a superb all-body tuner that builds shoulders and forearms and works legs, hips, abs, upper back, triceps, biceps and lats. (Want to blast your delts? Try holding 14-ounce gloves at chin level for two rounds.)

Moreover, a boxing-based workout offers you an opportunity to develop real-life skills during a cardio session, to learn the sweet science that many men think they should know, something that buoys their sense of their own manhood.

For others (okay, for me), it's a chance to unleash their inner Ali, to trash-talk the hapless heavy bag with jabs like "You dumb gorilla!" or the Sonny Liston-inspired "I'll beat you so bad, you'll need a shoehorn to put your hat on!" In fact, as home workouts go, I'd say that boxing might just be The Greatest.


First, find an instructor with genuine boxing experience and take a couple of days to learn the basics--jab, straight right, hook, footwork, etc.--either through private lessons or a small class (as low as $15 a session). Barring that, see the "Technique" sidebar (page 108) for a quick primer on boxing basics; sooner or later, though, you'll want to invest in a lesson to see how you're progressing and to stay motivated.

Next, clear a space in your apartment, basement or garage (under a strong rafter) for a heavy bag and other gear itemized in the "Equipment" sidebar (below). And be sure to follow a good boxing-workout regimen, such as the one outlined here (opposite page).

I took my lessons from former professional welterweight fighter Steve Petramale, owner of Shadow Boxing, a hard-core Hollywood boxing studio with its own roped ring. Petramale is a purist who cringes at the term box-aerobics; he teaches "boxing class." And he does everything by the book--the way pro boxers do.

Petramale stresses the importance of the number three. Three-minute rounds on the heavy bag, to simulate a boxing match. Three rounds of hitting the bag, which, Petramale says, is "as much punishment as you can take without compromising form." Plus, everything you do, from shadowboxing to jumping rope, from sit-ups to stretching, do for three minutes.

For the last 30 seconds of each three-minute period, you'll want to increase your intensity, just as fighters do in the last rounds of a close fight. (This focus on time requires a timer--anything from a $5 egg timer to a $150 programmable alarm bell featuring a 30-second warning buzzer, adjustable rest periods and multicolored flashing lights.)

In between each three-minute burst, there's one minute of rest. Real rest. "You don't see a boxer jogging in place during rounds, do you?" says Petramale, not waiting for an answer. "He's sitting in his corner, resting, getting a drink, because he wants to be at his best when he goes back out. And how can he do that when he's out of breath?"

Granted, most people don't go to a cardiobox class to rest; some instructors have their students sprint and do push-ups during breaks from flailing at the bag. And I do mean flailing; the emphasis appears to be on speed--in other words, quantity, not quality. It's a grueling cardio workout, but it may as well be Spinning. Remember: The objective here is to get a workout and hone your newfound boxing skills. If you must jog as you rest, take it easy.

The workout schedule (page 111) sticks to the "three minutes on, one off' rule, and gives you a choice of a short (31-minute) or long (48-minute) version. All ab work or push-ups are done after a round of boxing; done earlier, they'll tighten muscles and compromise form, says Petramale. If you're superfit and desire a longer workout, just add more jump-roping at the start and more push-ups at the end.

One more thing: Don't worry if you initially float like driftwood and sting like a gnat. According to Petramale, if you take a lesson and follow up two or three times, the butterfly and the bee will emerge within two weeks.


To maximize your time on the bag, learn the fundamentals.


Stand almost sideways to your imaginary foe (or bag), feet more than shoulder-width apart. If you're right-handed, put your left foot forward and right foot back If you're left-handed, reverse your positioning. Line up your front foot, hip and shoulders, with your weight equally distributed on the balls of each foot and your knees slightly flexed. You should feel balanced and able to move easily, as if dancing:


Keep your hands up in front of your mouth and chin, with the lead hand about six to eight inches ahead of the rear. Tucking the elbows in protects your ribs and recruits your hips into your punches for more power. The rear elbow should rest near your ribs. How will you know you're doing it right? When you can, use your lead-hand knuckles as a "sight."


Properly thrown punches snap straight out from the chin, then retract straight back. This provides maximum power and minimizes the time your fist leaves your chin unguarded.

If you're throwing quality punches, the bag should not sway wildly when hit. "If you snap the punch," says Petramale, "you fee[ a solid thud and see the bag shudder."

3a Jab: Fire your fist out on a straight line like a bullet, twisting your thumb inward at full extension. Don't shift your body balance forward or move either foot forward; doing so restricts power.

3b Rear straight/ cross: Starting with your rear fist almost touching your chin, and your elbow tucked into your ribs, explode your arm straight out. Trying to keep your back leg straight, pivot on the ball of your foot and rotate your hip as far forward as possible. The punch will be longer, stronger, faster.

3c Lead hook: Your fist starts in the same place as with a normal jab. But instead of keeping your elbow angled down, pivot it outward so your forearm is parallel to the ground. Then snap your hip so that your upper body twists and your punch slams sideways into an imaginary cheekbone.


Don't dismiss this old-school training method. If your technique is off when you perform in front of a mirror--where you can watch yourself--it won't be correct when you're on the heavy bag or in the ring. "Shadowboxing is like watching a videotape of yourself and self-correcting," says former boxer Steve Petramale. "It's a great way to study and improve your form."

In your boxer's stance, practice moving in all directions: forward, back and side-to-side. Next, incorporate some jabs with your steps, Throw your jab as you step forward with your lead leg. Shadowbox in slow motion to isolate troublesome combinations.


For a good home-boxing workout, you need the right stuff. Try our recommendations:

1. Everlast 14-ounce leather training gloves with Velcro wrist closure ($50)

2. TKO wrist wraps ($6)

3. Egg timer ($10)

4. Leather jump rope ($12)

5. Century Wave Master 100-pound heavy bag ($100)



* Jump rope, 3 minutes

* Rest/jog in place, 1 minute

* Jumping jacks/squats/stretch, 3 minutes: 20 seconds each, then rotate (See below for stretching exercises.)

* Rest/jog in place, 1 minute

* Shadow boxing, 3 minutes (See sidebar, opposite page.) Alternate 90 seconds each:

1) Be your own trainer. Watch yourself in the mirror to correct stance, hand position, punching mechanics, footwork.

2) Stick and move around an imaginary opponent. Don't punch hard; you can't knock out the air.

* Rest/jog in place, 1 minute

* Boxing: Round 1--heavy bag, 3 minutes

One minute: Work on individual jab, hook and uppercut.

Next two minutes: Throw combinations.

Every 30 seconds: Throw flurry of punches for five seconds. (It's difficult if done right.)

* Rest/jog in place, 1 minute

* Boxing: Round 2--heavy bag, 3 minutes Pick up the pace. All combinations: double jab; triple jab; 1-2 (left, right); 1-2-3 (left-right, left hook to chin).

* Rest/jog in place, 1 minute
* Boxing: Round 3--heavy bag, 3 minutes All combinations; vary placement. Example: jab to chin, right to body; jab to body, right to chin; right to body; jab to chin, hook to chin; 1-2-3 jab to chin, right to body, hook to chin.
* Rest/jog in place, 1 minute

* Jump rope, 3 minutes

* Rest/jog in place, 1 minute

* Shadowboxing, 3 minutes. Cool down. Work the jab.

* Rest/jog in place, 1 minute

* Short program end: stretching, 3 minutes

Shoulder/lat stretch: Put arm across chest, then push it toward the center with opposite hand on elbow.

Triceps stretch: Put hand over shoulder and push elbow down with opposite hand.

Hamstring stretch: Bend at waist; touch floor with palms.


(add these additional minutes to lengthen the program)

* Abs/push-ups, 3 minutes Alternate the two. Use the following three abdominal exercises.

1. Crunch: With knees bent 90 degrees and feet flat, curl your sternum toward your pelvis..

2. Bicycle: Bring opposite elbow to knee. (Petramale: "If you do 50, you're a bad dude.")

3. Jackknife: Raise hands from chest to straight-legged, airborne feet.

Push-ups: Alternate hand width each set. Do each set to failure.

* Rest/jog in place, 1 minute

* Jump rope, 3 minutes

* Rest/jog in place, 1 minute

* Run in place fast, 3 minutes (Lift knees up high. Run hard.)

* Rest/jog in place, 1 minute

* Stretch, 3 minutes (See above.)

* End: Go home! Oh, yeah. You are home.


COPYRIGHT 2002 Weider Publications
COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group