What Essential Equipment Do I Need When Starting With Kickboxing?

Ready to kickstart your kickboxing journey? It’s important to have the right gear to maximize your training sessions and ensure your safety. From gloves that provide protection and support, to hand wraps that keep your hands in top form, the essential equipment for kickboxing is key. In this article, we’ll explore the must-have items to help you get started with kickboxing and set yourself up for success. Get ready to gear up and unleash your inner fighter!

Hand Wraps

Hand wraps are an essential piece of equipment for kickboxers. They provide support and protection for your hands and wrists during training or competition. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fighter, hand wraps should always be part of your gear.

Types of Hand Wraps

There are two main types of hand wraps: traditional hand wraps and gel hand wraps. Traditional hand wraps are made of cotton or a blend of cotton and polyester. They are the most common type and provide good support and protection. Gel hand wraps, on the other hand, have gel padding along the knuckles and provide additional cushioning and impact absorption.

Choosing the Right Size

When choosing hand wraps, it’s important to consider the size. Hand wraps come in different lengths, typically ranging from 108 inches to 180 inches. Longer wraps provide more coverage and support, while shorter wraps are easier to put on and may be more comfortable for some individuals. It’s important to find the right balance between coverage and comfort.

How to Wrap Your Hands

Proper hand wrapping is essential to ensure maximum protection and support. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to wrap your hands:

  1. Start by holding one end of the hand wrap in your hand, with the loop placed around your thumb.
  2. Wrap the hand wrap around your wrist three to four times, ensuring it’s tight but not too restrictive.
  3. Move up toward your knuckles, wrapping the wrap diagonally across your palm and back down toward your wrist.
  4. Continue wrapping the wrap around your hand, crossing it over your knuckles and between your fingers.
  5. Once you’ve covered your fingers, wrap the remaining length of the wrap around your wrist again for added support.
  6. Secure the end of the hand wrap with the provided Velcro or by tucking it under the wrap.

Remember, proper hand wrapping not only provides protection but also helps to maintain the alignment of your wrist and prevent injuries.

Boxing Gloves

Boxing gloves are an essential piece of equipment for kickboxing. They protect your hands and provide padding to minimize the impact on your opponent. Choosing the right boxing gloves is crucial to ensure optimal performance and safety during training or competition.

Types of Boxing Gloves

There are different types of boxing gloves available, each designed for specific purposes. Here are some common types:

  1. Training Gloves: These gloves are designed for regular training sessions. They offer good padding and protection for both you and your training partner.
  2. Sparring Gloves: Sparring gloves are specifically designed for controlled practice fights. They have extra padding to minimize the risk of injuries during sparring sessions.
  3. Competition Gloves: These gloves are lighter and offer less padding than training or sparring gloves. They are designed for competition and allow for faster hand speed.

Choosing the Right Size

Boxing gloves come in various sizes, typically measured in ounces (oz). The size you choose depends on your weight and purpose of use. Here are some general guidelines:

  • 8 oz to 10 oz gloves: These are typically used for competitive fights and are suitable for lighter weight classes.
  • 12 oz to 14 oz gloves: These are commonly used for training and sparring, providing a good balance of padding and hand speed.
  • 16 oz gloves: These gloves are commonly used for heavy bag training, offering more padding for increased protection.

When choosing the right size, it’s important to try on different gloves and consider the fit and comfort. You should also consult with your instructor or coach for their recommendations based on your specific needs.

Padding and Weight

The padding in boxing gloves plays a crucial role in protecting your hands and your opponent. It helps absorb the impact and reduces the risk of injuries. When considering the padding, it’s important to strike a balance between protection and hand speed.

The weight of the gloves also affects the level of protection and hand speed. Generally, heavier gloves offer more padding and protection, while lighter gloves provide increased hand speed. The weight of the gloves will depend on your preference and purpose of use.

Closure System

Boxing gloves come with different closure systems, including Velcro straps and lace-up closures. Velcro straps offer convenience and ease of use, allowing you to quickly put on and take off the gloves. Lace-up closures, on the other hand, provide a secure and snug fit, but require assistance to lace up properly.

The closure system you choose will depend on your preference and the level of support and security you need.

Material and Durability

Boxing gloves are typically made from synthetic materials, such as synthetic leather or vinyl, or genuine leather. Synthetic gloves are generally more affordable and easier to maintain, while leather gloves offer better durability and comfort.

It’s important to choose gloves made from high-quality materials to ensure their longevity and performance over time. Consider your budget, frequency of use, and care instructions when selecting the material for your gloves.

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When participating in kickboxing, protecting your teeth and jaw is essential. A mouthguard acts as a cushion to absorb and distribute the impact of a strike, reducing the risk of dental injuries. It’s an important piece of equipment that should never be overlooked.

Importance of a Mouthguard

The primary function of a mouthguard is to prevent injuries to your teeth and jaw. It acts as a barrier between your teeth and the impact, minimizing the risk of fractures, dislocations, and other dental injuries. Additionally, a mouthguard can help reduce the risk of concussions by providing cushioning to absorb the force of a blow.

Types of Mouthguards

There are three main types of mouthguards: stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite mouthguards, and custom-made mouthguards.

  1. Stock Mouthguards: These mouthguards come pre-formed and ready to use. They are inexpensive but offer limited protection and may not provide a snug fit.
  2. Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards: These mouthguards are made from a thermoplastic material that softens when heated. You can shape them to your teeth and gums by boiling them and then biting into them. They offer better protection and a more customized fit compared to stock mouthguards.
  3. Custom-Made Mouthguards: These mouthguards are made by dental professionals. They provide the best fit and protection, as they are custom-made based on molds of your teeth and jaw. However, they are more expensive than stock or boil-and-bite mouthguards.

Choosing the Right Fit

Regardless of the type of mouthguard you choose, getting the right fit is crucial. A well-fitted mouthguard should cover your teeth and gums and feel comfortable in your mouth. The mouthguard should be snug, but not too tight, to ensure it stays in place during intense training or competition.

If you’re unsure about the fit of your mouthguard, you can consult with a dental professional or your coach for guidance and recommendations.

Shin Guards

Shin guards are an essential protective gear for kickboxing. They cover and safeguard your shins from potential injuries during training or sparring sessions. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced kickboxer, wearing shin guards is highly recommended to minimize the risk of painful shin bone bruises and other shin-related injuries.

Benefits of Shin Guards

Shin guards offer several benefits for kickboxers. Here are a few reasons why wearing shin guards is important:

  1. Protection: Shin guards provide a layer of protection for your shin bones, reducing the risk of painful injuries caused by accidental kicks or strikes during training.
  2. Impact Absorption: The padding on shin guards helps absorb and distribute the force of a strike, minimizing the impact on your shins and reducing the risk of bruises or fractures.
  3. Confidence Boost: Knowing that your shins are protected can boost your confidence during training or sparring sessions, allowing you to focus on your techniques and improve your skills without the fear of painful injuries.

Choosing the Right Size and Fit

When choosing shin guards, it’s important to consider the size and fit. Shin guards come in various sizes, ranging from small to extra-large. The right size will depend on the circumference of your calf and the length of your shin.

To find the right size, measure the circumference of your calf at its widest point and refer to the manufacturer’s size chart. Additionally, consider the length of the shin guard to ensure proper coverage from your ankle to just below your knee.

The shin guards should fit snugly and securely, without restricting your movement or cutting off circulation. Adjustable straps or closure systems can help customize the fit for optimal comfort and support.

Material and Padding

Shin guards are typically made from synthetic materials, such as synthetic leather or neoprene, or a combination of both. These materials offer durability and flexibility, allowing for ease of movement during training.

The padding on shin guards can vary in thickness and density. Thicker padding provides better protection but may add bulk and restrict movement. On the other hand, thinner padding offers increased mobility but may offer less impact absorption. Consider your training goals and intensity when choosing the appropriate padding for your shin guards.

Kickboxing Shorts

Kickboxing shorts are an essential piece of clothing for kickboxers. They are designed to provide both functionality and comfort, allowing for unrestricted movement during training or competition. Wearing the right kickboxing shorts is important to ensure optimal performance and comfort.

Functional and Comfortable Design

Kickboxing shorts are designed specifically for the sport. They are typically made from lightweight and breathable materials that wick away moisture, keeping you cool and dry during intense training sessions. The loose fit of kickboxing shorts allows for a wide range of motion, ensuring you can perform kicks, knees, and other techniques without restriction.

The waistband of kickboxing shorts is usually elasticized or features a drawstring closure, providing a secure fit. Some shorts may also have additional features such as side splits for increased flexibility or a pocket for storing small items like mouthguards or keys.

Right Size and Fit

Choosing the right size and fit for kickboxing shorts is important for both comfort and aesthetics. Shorts that are too tight may restrict your movement and cause discomfort, while shorts that are too loose may get in the way during training.

To find the right size, consult the manufacturer’s sizing chart and consider your waist and hip measurements. Keep in mind that different brands may have slightly different sizing guidelines, so it’s always a good idea to check the specific measurements for each pair of shorts you’re interested in.

Care and Maintenance

To keep your kickboxing shorts in good condition, it’s important to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Most kickboxing shorts can be machine washed, but it’s recommended to use a gentle cycle and cold water to prevent any damage or shrinking. Hang the shorts to air dry, as machine drying can cause shrinkage or damage the fabric.

Regularly inspect your kickboxing shorts for any signs of wear and tear, such as loose threads or fading colors. If you notice any damage, it’s best to repair or replace the shorts to ensure your safety and performance during training or competition.


Headgear is an essential piece of protective equipment for kickboxing, especially during sparring sessions. It provides protection for your head, face, and ears, reducing the risk of injuries caused by strikes or accidental collisions. When choosing headgear, it’s important to consider the right size, fit, and additional features for maximum protection and comfort.

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Protection for Sparring

Sparring can be intense, so it’s important to protect your head and face from potential injuries. Headgear provides cushioning and padding to absorb the impact of strikes and reduce the risk of cuts, bruises, or concussions. It also protects your ears from getting cauliflower ear, a common condition among combat athletes.

Choosing the Right Size and Fit

Proper fit is crucial when it comes to headgear. Ill-fitting headgear not only compromises the level of protection but can also be distracting and uncomfortable during training or sparring.

To determine the right size, measure the circumference of your head just above your eyebrows. Use the manufacturer’s sizing chart as a reference to find the appropriate size. Most headgear models are adjustable, allowing you to customize the fit with straps or buckles. Make sure the headgear sits securely on your head without sliding or obstructing your vision.

Additional Features

Some headgear models may offer additional features for added protection and convenience. These can include:

  1. Cheek protection: Headgear with cheek protection provides extra cushioning for your cheekbones, reducing the risk of cuts or fractures.
  2. Chin protection: Chin cups or bars provide additional protection for your chin, reducing the risk of direct strikes to the jaw.
  3. Adjustable straps: Headgear with adjustable straps allows you to customize the fit for optimal comfort and security.
  4. Open-face design: Open-face headgear provides protection for the top and back of your head while leaving your face exposed for better visibility and breathability.

Consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing headgear with additional features.

Groin Guard

A groin guard, also known as a cup, is an essential piece of protective equipment for both male and female kickboxers. It provides protection and support for the groin area, reducing the risk of injuries caused by accidental kicks or strikes during training or competition.

Protection and Support

The primary function of a groin guard is to protect the sensitive groin area from painful injuries. Accidental impacts or strikes to the groin can cause extreme discomfort and even serious injury. Wearing a groin guard provides a layer of protection by absorbing and deflecting the impact, reducing the risk of unnecessary pain and potential long-term damage.

In addition to protection, a well-fitted groin guard offers support to the groin muscles. It helps hold the muscles and surrounding tissues in place, reducing the risk of strain or injury during intense movements or strikes.

Types of Groin Guards

There are different types of groin guards available, each offering a different level of protection and comfort. Here are some common types:

  1. Traditional Groin Guard: This type of groin guard consists of a hard, durable cup that fits securely over the groin area. It provides solid protection but may lack flexibility and comfort.
  2. Compression Shorts with Built-in Groin Guard: These shorts feature a built-in cup holder or pocket. They provide both compression and protection, offering a comfortable and secure fit.
  3. Female Groin Guard: Female-specific groin guards are designed to fit the anatomy and contours of the female body. They provide adequate protection and support.

Choosing the Right One

When choosing a groin guard, it’s important to consider the right size, fit, and level of protection. The groin guard should fit securely but not too tight, ensuring it stays in place during intense movements. It should also be comfortable and allow for a wide range of motion.

It’s recommended to try on different options to find the one that suits your preference and provides the right level of protection. Consult with your instructor or coach for their recommendations based on your specific needs.

Jump Rope

Jump rope training is an excellent way to improve your footwork, coordination, and cardiovascular endurance in kickboxing. Adding a jump rope to your training routine can provide numerous benefits, making it an essential piece of equipment for kickboxers.

Benefits of Jump Rope Training

Jump rope training offers a wide range of benefits for kickboxers. Here are some key advantages:

  1. Cardiovascular Endurance: Jumping rope is a highly effective aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate up and improves cardiovascular fitness. It enhances your endurance, allowing you to perform at a higher intensity for longer durations during training or competition.
  2. Footwork and Coordination: Jumping rope requires precise timing and coordination, helping to improve your footwork and agility in kickboxing. It enhances your balance, rhythm, and overall coordination, making you more efficient in your kicks, punches, and defensive techniques.
  3. Full-Body Workout: Jumping rope engages various muscle groups, including your legs, core, and arms. It provides a full-body workout, helping to strengthen and tone your muscles while burning calories.
  4. Portability and Convenience: Jump ropes are compact and portable, making them a convenient training tool. You can easily incorporate jump rope exercises into your warm-up, cooldown, or interval training sessions, both indoors and outdoors.

Choosing the Right Length

To ensure effective and safe jump rope training, it’s important to choose the right length of rope. The length of the rope should be appropriate for your height and skill level.

To determine the right length, stand in the center of the rope with one foot and pull the handles up toward your armpits. The handles should reach the level of your armpits or slightly lower. If the handles are too high, you may trip over the rope. If they are too low, the rope may drag or hit the ground.

Keep in mind that different jump rope manufacturers may have slightly different recommendations, so it’s best to check the specific guidelines for each rope you’re considering.

Material and Durability

Jump ropes are typically made from different materials, including PVC, nylon, or leather. PVC jump ropes are lightweight and durable, making them suitable for beginners or outdoor training. Nylon jump ropes are more durable and long-lasting, while leather jump ropes offer better speed and control.

Consider your training goals, preferences, and the surface you’ll be jumping on when choosing the material for your jump rope. Regularly inspect the rope for any signs of wear or damage, and replace it if necessary to ensure safe and effective jump rope training.

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Punching Bag

A punching bag is an essential piece of equipment for kickboxers of all skill levels. It allows you to practice and perfect your striking techniques, improve power and accuracy, and enhance your overall strength and conditioning. When choosing a punching bag, it’s important to consider the right size, weight, and material for your specific training needs.

Types of Punching Bags

There are different types of punching bags available, each with its own purpose and benefits. Here are some common types:

  1. Heavy Bag: Heavy bags are typically cylindrical in shape and are suspended from the ceiling or a stand. They are designed for power training, allowing you to practice powerful strikes and combinations. Heavy bags come in various weights, ranging from 60 lbs to over 100 lbs, and are suitable for developing strength and endurance.
  2. Speed Bag: Speed bags are smaller and rounder in shape, designed to improve your hand speed, timing, and reflexes. They are attached to a swivel platform and require quick and precise movements. Speed bags are ideal for developing hand-eye coordination and rhythm.
  3. Double-End Bag: Double-end bags are typically smaller and pear-shaped, attached to the floor and ceiling or anchored to elastic cords. They are used for practicing accuracy, timing, and defensive techniques. Double-end bags provide realistic movement and simulate the unpredictable nature of a moving opponent.

Choosing the Right Size and Weight

When choosing a heavy bag, it’s important to consider the right size and weight. The size of the bag should be appropriate for your training space and the specific techniques you’ll be practicing. Smaller bags are suitable for precision strikes, while larger bags allow for full-power punches and kicks.

The weight of the bag depends on your skill level, body weight, and training goals. Heavier bags provide more resistance, allowing you to develop strength and power. Lighter bags require more speed and accuracy, focusing on technique and conditioning.

It’s recommended to consult with your instructor or coach for their recommendations based on your specific needs and skill level.

Material and Durability

Punching bags are typically made from synthetic materials, such as canvas, vinyl, or synthetic leather. They are durable and resistant to tears and punctures. Some high-end bags are made from genuine leather, offering better durability and quality.

Consider the frequency and intensity of your training when choosing the material for your punching bag. High-intensity training or heavy use may require a more durable material to ensure the bag’s longevity.

Regularly inspect the bag for any signs of wear, such as loose stitching or excessive sagging. Proper care and maintenance, such as regular cleaning and avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures, can help prolong the life of your punching bag.

Focus Mitts

Focus mitts, also known as punch mitts or focus pads, are an essential training tool for kickboxers. They are used for practicing precision, speed, and accuracy in striking techniques. Incorporating focus mitt training into your routine can improve your coordination, timing, and overall striking abilities.

Benefits of Focus Mitt Training

Focus mitt training offers several benefits for kickboxers. Here are some key advantages:

  1. Enhanced Technique: Focus mitts allow you to practice and refine your striking techniques with precision. They provide a realistic target for punches, kicks, elbows, and knees, helping you develop clean and effective movements.
  2. Increased Speed and Accuracy: The fast-paced nature of focus mitt training helps improve your hand-eye coordination, speed, and accuracy. It enhances your reflexes and timing, ensuring you can hit your target with precision.
  3. Cardiovascular Endurance: Focus mitt training is often performed in high-intensity intervals, making it an excellent cardiovascular workout. It elevates your heart rate, boosts your endurance, and improves your overall fitness level.
  4. Improved Defensive Skills: Focus mitts allow you to practice defensive techniques such as blocks, slips, and counters. They provide real-time feedback and help you develop the necessary skills to evade and counter strikes effectively.

Choosing the Right Pair

When choosing focus mitts, it’s important to consider the right pair that suits your training needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Size and Shape: Focus mitts come in different sizes and shapes, ranging from flat pads to curved or contoured mitts. Flat pads provide a larger striking area, while curved mitts offer a more realistic target feel and allow for better absorption and redirection of strikes.
  2. Padding and Shock Absorption: The padding on focus mitts should be thick enough to absorb the impact of strikes, reducing the risk of injuries. Look for mitts with high-density foam or gel padding for optimal shock absorption.
  3. Grip and Comfort: The surface of the focus mitts should provide a secure grip for the holder. Look for mitts with adjustable wrist straps or palm bars to ensure a snug and comfortable fit.
  4. Durability: Focus mitts should be made from durable materials that can withstand repeated strikes. Look for mitts with reinforced stitching and high-quality synthetic or genuine leather construction for long-lasting performance.

It’s recommended to try on different pairs of focus mitts and test them out with your training partner to find the pair that suits your needs and feels comfortable and secure.


Starting with kickboxing requires essential equipment to ensure your safety, performance, and overall enjoyment. Hand wraps, boxing gloves, mouthguards, shin guards, kickboxing shorts, headgear, groin guards, jump ropes, punching bags, and focus mitts are all crucial pieces of equipment that every kickboxer should consider.

Take the time to choose the right equipment that suits your needs and preferences. Consider factors such as size, fit, material, durability, and additional features when making your selections. Consult with your instructor or coach for their recommendations and guidance based on your specific goals and requirements.

Remember, investing in high-quality equipment and maintaining it properly will not only protect you from potential injuries but also enhance your performance and progression in the exciting sport of kickboxing. Happy training!