Boxing gloves are an essential piece of equipment for any boxer. However, new gloves can be stiff and uncomfortable, making it necessary to break them in before using them in a match or training session. Breaking in boxing gloves involves softening the material, adjusting the fit, and ensuring maximum comfort and protection. In this article, we will discuss various methods and techniques to break in boxing gloves effectively.
1. Wearing the Gloves
The first step in breaking in boxing gloves is to wear them regularly. Putting on the gloves and moving your hands and fingers inside them helps to loosen up the material and make it more flexible. Initially, you may find the gloves tight and restrictive, but with time, they will start to mold to the shape of your hand.
It is recommended to wear the gloves for short periods initially, gradually increasing the duration as they become more comfortable. Additionally, you can wear the gloves while performing other activities such as shadowboxing or light bag work to expedite the breaking-in process.
2. Moistening the Gloves
Moistening the gloves can help to soften the material and make them more pliable. One method is to lightly dampen a cloth or sponge and wipe the inside and outside of the gloves. Avoid soaking the gloves as excessive moisture can damage the padding and stitching.
After moistening, wear the gloves and flex your hands and fingers to help shape them. Leave the gloves in a well-ventilated area to air dry. This process can be repeated multiple times until the gloves become more comfortable.
3. Using Glove Softeners
Glove softeners are specially formulated products designed to break in boxing gloves. These products typically come in the form of sprays or gels. Follow the instructions provided with the softener and apply it to the inside and outside of the gloves.
Once the softener is applied, wear the gloves and move your hands and fingers to distribute the product evenly. Leave the gloves to dry in a cool, dry place. Glove softeners can significantly speed up the breaking-in process and make the gloves more supple.
4. Hand Conditioning
Another effective method to break in boxing gloves is hand conditioning. This involves repeatedly striking a heavy bag or a soft target with the gloves on. The impact and friction help to soften the material and shape the gloves to your hand.
Start with light punches and gradually increase the intensity as the gloves become more comfortable. It is essential to maintain proper technique and avoid overexertion to prevent injury.
5. Stretching the Gloves
If your gloves feel tight around the fingers or knuckles, you can stretch them to improve the fit. One method is to insert a ball or a similar object into the glove and leave it overnight. The pressure from the ball will stretch the gloves slightly, providing a more comfortable fit.
Another method is to wear the gloves and use your hands to stretch the material gently. Flex your fingers and make a fist to help expand the gloves. Repeat this process several times until the gloves feel more accommodating.
6. Breaking in with a Partner
Working with a training partner can be beneficial in breaking in boxing gloves. One technique is to have your partner wear the gloves and perform light pad work or mitt drills with you. The repeated impact and movement will help to soften the gloves.
Alternatively, you can lightly tap your gloves against your partner’s gloves or hand wraps to create friction and accelerate the breaking-in process. Remember to communicate and practice proper safety precautions during these exercises.
Breaking in boxing gloves is essential to ensure optimal comfort and protection during training and matches. By wearing the gloves regularly, moistening them, using glove softeners, conditioning your hands, stretching the gloves, and incorporating partner drills, you can effectively break in your gloves and maximize their lifespan. Remember to prioritize safety and gradually increase the intensity of your training as the gloves become more comfortable.