Unorthodoxx recently discussing which essentials what women boxers and female fighters should be packing in their kit bags. In the following list we recommend 8 essentials every lady boxing should be packing ready for their next visit to the boxing gym or class.
Think there should be something extra on the list? Or something you just can’t train without? Tweet us @UnorthodoxxW to let us know.
1. Sports bra
Top of the list, we encourage all women boxing to find wear a supportive and comfortable sports bra. Beyond feeling nice, exercising in a supportive bra is crucial to avoid tissues damage, breast pain and potentially irreparable sagging. As breasts have no muscle and are not connected to any they move independently to the rest of the body and need to be supported especially in high impact sports. That means when we are pacing ourselves through high movement exercises such running, skill work, or (the dreaded) burpees, we need maximum protection and support. Not only does a sports bra provide support it helps to improve performance. Research has shown a sports bra can help us to breath deeper as there is less pressure on the ribs in comparison to a normal bra.
Remember to make sure the under band of your sports bra is still firm and to wash it inside out. We quite like wearing Adidas or Nike Medium Impact sport bras or the Calvin Klien’s Performance Sports bras.
2. Women’s Boxing Wraps
As we discussed in our past blog, women’s physiology is fundamentally different from men. The structure of women’s hands and fingers are slimmer, longer and more delicate than men. As such women boxing and training should take extra special care to wrap our hands before placing them snugly into a pair of women’s boxing gloves. We always recommend using 4.5 meters of Mexican stretch quality wraps to provide the maximum protection to your hands. Wrapping your hands protects the small bones and soft skin on the knuckles. Wrapped well you also add additional support to your wrists and reduce the chance of injury.
Remember to let you wraps air after each session and ideally, they should be washed at least once a week to maintain cleanliness.
3. Women's Boxing Gloves
With hands securely wrapped now comes finding the perfect boxing glove suited to the your type of training. Whether you are a woman boxing for fun, competitively or just going to boxercise class, it is important to find a glove that provides the perfect fit and maximum protection. Unorthodoxx designed our women’s boxing gloves specifically to achieve this with a smaller wrist, longer finger pockets and compact padding, these are the best women’s boxing gloves on the market. If you mainly attend a boxing fitness or boxfit class, then we would recommend a 12 oz training glove to maximise your punch output - as the lighter the gloves the less endurance is required. If you attend more traditional or competitive boxing session, then we recommend 14 or 16 oz women’s boxing gloves to gain the maximum protection and padding for heavy bag work and sparring. Check out our favourite training gloves and spar gloves.
Remember if you are using the club’s boxing gloves, many other people will hand have had their (often sweaty) hands inside so be sure to wash your hands properly before and after. We recommend buying your own boxing gloves as soon as you feel you are ready to commit to regular training – just make sure they fit properly.
For sparring this is an essential, but even for skill work, it can be reassuring to know that you have protected your teeth and gums - just in case a punch does slip through your guard. Be sure to make sure it is moulded and fits properly, and that are able to breathe easily out through your mouth (and in through your nose) with it in. If you are planning on competing in any amateur competitions make sure that is not orange or red in colour.
Remember to keep your gumshield in its case and to wash it before and after each use to maintain cleanliness and reduce the chances of germs spreading from the rest of your sweaty kit.
5. Pelvic Guard
If you are planning on competing or sparring then we highly advise purchasing a groin protector. The area deserves a high amount of care and protection to ensure no long- or short-term damage occurs even if by accident. Women boxing competitively and those intending to do contact training should take the time to research the various kinds available to find one that offers them the best fit and protection. The groin guard is an essential piece of protective equipment and helps to safeguard the lower abdomen, uterus and ovaries from stray and accidental shot. We always recommend wearing protective equipment in contact training and sparring.
Remember if you are training in a mixed-gender environment it is alright to remind a male training partner that there are no points awarded for shots that land on the women’s breats or below the belt.
6. Hydration, isotonic drinks, multi-vitamins and iron supplements
Due to the high intensity of boxing, we often find ourselves heavily sweating. The benefits of such a session are wholesome, but we also need to make sure that we replace all the liquid, minerals and vitamins exerted in the sessions. Isotonic drinks are a great way to provide the essential electrolytes and carbohydrates for pre and during training whilst also helping to keep us hydrated. Taking additional multi vitamins and potentially an iron supplement can further enhance the benefits of a training session. Multi-vitamins can help to reduce inflammation, promote a healthy immune system and support muscle growth. For women with heavy periods the large loss of blood during a cycle can leave women feeling fatigued or exhausted and even suffering from an iron deficiency. Iron is an important mineral that helps red blood cells to form which carry oxygen from the lunges around the body. You should be able to consume the recommended 14.8 mg for women aged 19 – 50 or 8.7mg women aged over 50 from a healthy and balanced diet. However, if you still feel fatigued with a balanced diet speak with a doctor to discuss taking an iron supplement.
Remember during breaks between rounds and drills taking smaller sips of a drink is better than large gulps as your body is able to more efficiently absorb the liquid. It also helps to reduce the sudden need to run to the ladies room due to the sudden increase of liquid in your body.
7. Emergency Toiletries
Boxing gyms are notoriously male-dominated, and sometimes male minded, so for your personal ease be sure to pack a spare pack of tissues and a couple spare pads/tampons. We also recommend packing hand sanitizer in case the antibacterial soap has run out. Lastly, don’t we always keep a couple of spare hair ties, clips and scrunchies for the days we forget to have your hair up.
Remember all boxing gyms and clubs should provide male and female changing areas. If where you are training doesn’t already have a female changing area you can always inform the head coach that there is funding available for England Boxing clubs to assist them with this.
8. Women's Boxing Boots
It’s no secret us ladies love shoes, but why is it important to wear boxing boots?
We all remember our first session going through basic footwork. We feel our feet drag across the floor whilst all the other boxers appear to float effortlessly around the gym. It would take us a few more session to realise that the footwear of choice makes a big difference on our ability to move across the ring and gym. Not only do boxing boots have less grip on the bottom, making it easier to move, but they are also lighter in weight and provide ankle support to protect against sprains and ankle rolls whilst moving laterally.
Remember boxing boots are advantageous as they have less grip than a brand-new pair of trainers but enough grip to holt your momentum when throwing power shots and on the move. If you don’t have a pair to hand you can always use a slightly worn pair or trainers that still offer some grip on the forefront of the foot.
So there you have it - Unorthodoxx’s Top 8 Kit Bag Essentials for Women Boxing.
We truly hope that these tips are well received, but we would also love to hear from others and what are their women’s boxing tips to the wider female fighter community. So please don’t be shy, reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook and join the conversation.
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