Training at the gym with a coach and partners is by far the best way to improve in boxing. But even in the gym, there are a lot of solo drills you will do. Shadowboxing, many technical drills, and strength and conditioning can all be improved and sharpened on your own and not necessarily in the gym.
I have placed a lot of emphasis over the years on training at home and in every possible place I can when I can’t attend the set hours of practice in the gym. Don’t underestimate the time you spend training alone, because it can be a real game changer.
What’s even better is that there are a lot of cheap and affordable boxing training tools that will help you train when and where you can and want to. Some are well-tested and proven over time, like the jump rope; others, like full resistance band trainers, are more recent inventions, but each piece of gear has something to offer.
1. Reflex Boxing Ball
Reflex boxing balls are a simple piece of equipment carrying a lot of benefits in a fun-to-use package. While even pro boxers implement it in their training, proving its effectiveness, where the reflex ball shines is as a home boxing tool due to its small size and cheap price.
The reflex ball is a ball on an elastic band attached to your head. Punching the ball takes concentration and improves hand-eye coordination and reaction time. It is also great for focus and concentration. Even simple drills are beneficial, but we as boxers like to find challenges in everything, so you can learn to do some more advanced stuff like slipping, pivoting, and blocking the ball.
I like to use the reflex ball for one round as a warmup but you can do a full workout with it if you want. What’s great is how compact it is. You can just put it in your luggage and use it to do some light training everywhere you go. Furthermore, reflex balls are dirt cheap, so there is no reason not to have one.
Check out reflex ball options in the links below
2. Jump Rope
The jump rope is another staple of boxing training and fitness in general. Jumping rope is a great way to build cardio while improving your footwork and calf strength. It helps with coordination and is an excellent warm-up or warm-down.
I like how once I get the rhythm flowing, jumping rope feels like an active meditation. Not to mention, it’s a good way to mix up your cardio work with it and build up athleticism.
Jump ropes are very cheap, accessible, easy to carry, and require little space to use, making them a sure companion in every boxer’s toolkit. Even the more expensive models are affordable enough for most people, and investing in a nice rope will improve the experience a lot.
I have personally used the following ropes below, or you can always get cheaper one on Amazon here.
|Best Overall||Boxing Life’s Pick||Best Value|
|Bag||Crossrope||Boxraw’s Sokudo Speed Rope||Boxrope|
|Type||Speed / Heavy rope||Speed rope||15% heavier |
than a normal PVC rope
|Price||Check price on Crossrope||Check Price on Boxraw||Check price on boxrope|
3. Double-end bag
The double-end bag is a valuable piece of equipment designed to sharpen your accuracy and reflexes. The speed and position of double bags can be easily adjusted, making them suitable for all different levels. The fast movements of the bag will test your skills and concentration, improving reaction time and accuracy with each session.
Double-end bags are cheap and easy to come by, but the downside is that they require a dedicated installation space. The space is not as much, and the bag does not make a noise like heavy bags, so they are very suitable for home use but are still not portable, like the reflex ball and jump rope.
Furthermore, you will need an anchor, bungee cord, and hooks. Usually, they are provided with the bag, but it’s worth mentioning. Then you need to install it, and you are ready to go.
Cobra reflex bags do not require installation and are good for those who want something they can use and then put away.
Check out the picks below or visit my top 12 double-end bags here.
Remember you will also need the following:
|Best Overall||Boxing Life’s Pick||Best Value|
|Size / weight||XS, S, M||M||5, 7, 9 in|
|Price||Check price on Amazon||Check Price on Hayabusa||Check Price on Amazon|
4. Wall punching bag
Wall punching bags are a good alternative to heavy bags that require a lot less space to use. Most wall-mounted punching bags are angular and designed for uppercuts and hooks, which are hard to train on other pieces of equipment. The wall bag is also a perfect place to practice switching steps and changing punching angles.
These bags are a bit more expensive to buy than the rest of the equipment on the list, but if you have the right space to mount them, they can be a great companion and let you train power punches at home. The advantage over a regular heavy bag is that a wall-mounted one requires a lot less space and can be mounted in every garage without getting in the way.
|Boxing Life’s pick||Best Overall|
|Bag||HOTSYSTEM Punch Bag||Fairtex Punch Bag|
|Size||23.6″(Tall) x 11.4″(Width)||60 cm (tall) x 40 cm (wide)|
|Price||Check price on Amazon||Check price on Amazon|
5. Dumbbells and Egg weights
Light dumbbells or egg weights are a great way to enhance shadowboxing. Using weights while punching has gotten a lot of bad rep in the last few years because the weight changes the biomechanics of punches and does not transfer to a proper punch, but using light weights still carries benefits and has a place in training.
Using small weights up to 2 kg can help with building shoulder endurance, but the main benefits are that the weight will make you more conscious of your punching technique and will not let you punch with open hands. If you perform the punches with proper technique, the extra weight will improve your endurance, but you really need to be careful how you punch to avoid deteriorating technique and injuries.
Egg weights are a more comfortable version of dumbbells and fit perfectly in your fist. If you have the extra money, they are a nice upgrade over regular light dumbbells, but the function is exactly the same.
Check out the options in the links below:
The agility ladder is a hugely popular training tool in many sports. The simple device is a gold mine of footwork exercises of every kind, and footwork is one of the most fundamental aspects of boxing, with more and more importance the higher in skill you go.
The agility ladder, as its name clearly states, lets you train agility, or, in other words, the ability to start, stop, and change direction rapidly. Doing these short bursts also improves fast-twitch muscle activation.
All the regular drills you can find done by football players and other athletes will benefit us as boxers, but I would advise doing more sport-specific stuff because it has a significantly bigger carryover to what really matters: performance in the ring.
Ladders are also very cheap, light, and portable, and you can use them in the gym, backyard, park, garage, and everywhere with enough space.
Check out options on Amazon in the link below:
7. Marker cones and tape
Another simple tool to aid in the quest for elite footwork is marker cones and tape. The drill options and variations are nearly endless with enough imagination or a quick scan through YouTube.
Both the cones and tape serve as markers on the ground to force you to be precise with your footwork. While you can do all the same things without them, having set boundaries and rules forces you to be aware and on point with your movements. It also makes visualization of movement and punching angles much easier.
The tape especially is an amazing tool to help beginners, who do not yet have the special awareness and imagination. The lines on the ground provide a clear view of the angles of movement. And I don’t even think it’s necessary to mention how affordable and easy-to-use cones or tape are.
Check out options on Amazon in the links below
8. Resistance band tubes
Resistance band tubes with handles simply add tension to your punches. In my opinion, they are a better alternative to hand weights at least for the development of speed and power because they place the resistance horizontally while the eggs pull down vertically due to gravity and thus change the mechanics of the punches.
The big downside of them is that you are stuck with throwing 1-2s, as other types of punches are not easy to do. The band goes around your back, but it’s only you who is holding it, so it will build the habit of keeping your hands up at all times. Another good way to use them is to tie one end to a pole and just focus on the single punches. The resistance band will not become your primary training tool, but it is at least a good way to diversify your shadow boxing.
Check out my article on the pros and cons of boxing with Resistance bands.
9. Full-body resistance trainer
Getting a full-body resistance trainer solves all the problems of regular bands. The full resistance trainer features two sets of bands for your arms and legs attached at waist level. What this does is add resistance to all your movements without changing their mechanics, and it lets you perform all your normal punches, just with added tension. This helps you build power and muscle endurance.
Full-body resistance trainers are also good for MMA fighters or kickboxers because the leg straps add resistance to kicks. You can use this for more than shadowboxing. There are many other exercises made harder by the bands, like push-ups, squats, jumps, and much more.
There are of course some restrictions to what you can do, and the freedom of movement is not exactly the same as without the bands, but I still believe the resistance full body trainer is a brilliant option to use for improving speed, power, and stamina through shadowboxing.
You can read my reviews on each from the links below:
10. Aerobic stepper
Unlike all the rest of the tools here, the aerobic stepper is not something commonly used in boxing gyms but is something you can utilize to improve footwork. With it, you can practice lateral movements, shuffles, and pivots.
Cardio boxing and aerobic fitness use steppers extensively, and boxers can steal some tricks from them. The stepper requires very little space to use, making it a good addition to your living room gym.
Bonus tool: Shadowboxing
We have a habit of adding shadowboxing to our equipment lists. You may find this annoying, but i will never tire of stressing how important shadowboxing is for a boxer. With it you can train every single aspect of your technique and tactics, it’s great for developing focus and visualization.
As you can see, a few of the tools in this article are just ways to enhance shadowboxing. You don’t truly need any of them, after all, the greatest boxers of the 20th century did just fine with a lot less stuff than boxers today have. That said, there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of what the market offers. If something makes training more fun and enjoyable, by all means, use it.
Check out my articles on shadowboxing below:
Boxing is a cheap sport, money-wise. You will need to invest a lot of sweat and effort and endure a ton of hardships to reap the rewards, but as far as equipment goes, you don’t need much. You will need a pair of gloves, some sports clothes and shoes, and a mouthguard. That’s it.
Even building a home boxing gym is affordable for most people, you just need some free space. The garage or backyard can accommodate the all-important heavy bag, a double-end bag, and have enough space for shadowboxing, footwork drills, skipping rope, and everything else you can train alone.
Training from home is not enough to completely substitute regular gym training if you want to spar and compete, but it gives you unrivaled flexibility to train whenever you want.
So if you haven’t started building your home boxing equipment, you are missing out big time and can start with the cheap tools from this article.
If you want more information on boxing equipment I highly recommend you check out more of my most popular articles:
- Amazing Home Gym Boxing Equipment And Ideas
- Types Of Punch Bags For Boxing Training
- Most Useful Boxing Equipment For Home Gym
- Top 12 Best Punching Bags For Apartments Or Small Spaces
- Top 10 Cobra Reflex Bags
- Cobra ‘Reflex’ Bag vs Double End Bag
- Best Century Free Standing Punching Bags | Review
- Century BOB Punch Bag Review | Features And Set Up
- Punching Bag Guide For Beginners | What You Need To Know
- Top 10 Everlast Punch Bags To Improve Your Boxing and Fitness
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