Boxing and kickboxing have become some of the hottest new things in fitness this year.
Although maybe it’s not fair to say they’re new. Exercise programs inspired by striking-based combat sports like boxercise and cardio kickboxing are perennial favorites in the fitness world. And for good reason. Boxing and kickboxing are an excellent form of cardio and strength and conditioning training. They also happen to be amazing for stress relief — and a lot of fun.
So maybe it’s more accurate to say that boxing and kickboxing are even more popular than usual right now. The fitness industry runs on trends. High intensity workouts packed with punches and kicks were one of the bigs ones in 2022. And all signs point to that trend continuing in 2023.
If you own a gym or fitness studio and you want to get in on this trend — and continue to attract long-term clients when the current wave fades a little, because boxing and kickboxing never go out of style — here’s a list of the essential martial arts gear you’ll need to start:
You can put together an effective and engaging fitness boxing or kickboxing class with nothing more than bodyweight exercises and shadowboxing combinations. But you will attract and retrain more clients if you give them something to punch and/or kick.
Incorporating equipment that’s been specifically designed to be hit in your classes can make your classes look more appealing to prospective students — and give your regulars even more bang for their buck. And there are options to suit almost any gym space and any clientele.
There are three different types of this equipment that are well-suited to fitness training:
Hanging Heavy Bags: Heavy bag training can improve a student’s technique, allow them to build power, and helps them develop better balance, coordination and cardio. They can be used in classes, small group training, and personal training sessions. Depending on your setup, they can also become part of your functional training equipment offerings. A bag or two in a corner are a great option for any gymgoer who wants to do a little extra training on their own.
Because of its iconic status in both sports and pop culture, the hanging bag also has a unique appeal to prospective clients. Having access to one and learning how to hit it properly can go a long way toward helping new students feel strong, powerful ,and capable. And maybe even feel like a “real” fighter.
Free-Standing Heavy Bags: If you can’t hang bags in your space — or if you’re looking for a slighter easier setup and takedown process — free-standing heavy bags are also an option. They might not look quite as classic as the hanging bag, but they’re every bit as useful for fitness training purposes. They’re also good for technique, power, cardio, balance, and coordination. They can be used in classes, personal training sessions, and everything in between. And they’re relatively easy to move around, which makes them especially useful for small and multi-purpose gym spaces.
Focus Pads or Mitts: If you don’t have a space that you can dedicate to bigger and more permanent equipment like heavy bags, there is a smaller and more portable option. Focus pad or focus mitt training is also great for developing strength, cardio, power, hand-eye coordination, and agility in fitness classes. They have a slightly different learning curve than heavy bags, because you have to teach your students how to hold them for each other as well as how to hit them properly. But they come with added benefits, too. Holding pads will also improve your students’ hand-eye coordination and agility. And it’s a great muscular endurance workout.
If your gym or space is focused on fitness and exercise as opposed to fight training, it’s wise to invest in a large selection of gym gloves for communal use. People who are specifically training in boxing or kickboxing for competition — or even for recreation — will likely want to invest in their own pairs. Some fitness buffs will probably end up buying their own, too. But people who are interested in classes, especially drop-in classes, likely won’t want to bother. Having gloves they can borrow on a class-by-class basis will make your classes more accessible and appealing to new students. Which is useful for boosting and maintaining attendance.
You can also use boxing gloves as a value-added bonus. Including a pair with a class package or membership is a great way to attract new students and help them feel invested in their new activity.
Handwraps aren’t just for fighters. They’re for anyone who is striking any surface with any amount of force in their training. If you’re going to include target training in your boxing and kickboxing fitness classes, you should encourage your students to wear them. You can even offer them for sale at your front desk.
When properly worn, handwraps protect the tissue and small bones in your hand from the impact of your punches. They also absorb excess sweat that builds up in your gloves. Which makes your workouts both safer and a little less gross.
A cohesive color scheme and design for all of your new gear can give your prospective students a good first impression and help to foster team spirit.
AWMA can help you get the look you need for your new classes in the year with customization options for everything from custom heavy bags to custom boxing gloves to custom gear labels and more. Get us your logo and color schemes and get your own products crafted by the hands who make PROFORCE!