Buying Boxing Punch Pads – What You Need to Know!

by Fran on April 22, 2010

About Boxing Punch Pads

When a boxer uses the heavy bag, or shadow boxes, they are in control.  The boxer decides when punches are going to be thrown, the boxer decides how and when to move and the boxer can ‘take the foot off the gas’ when tired.  When using the punch pads though, all of these elements are controlled by the person wearing the pads i.e. the coach.  This means that the boxer’s work rate can be controlled and that the boxer has to continually think and adjust in order to respond to the instructions given.  This increases stress and makes the activity much more beneficial.

Punch pads are worn on the hands, come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and when used properly are the closest a boxer can get to contest conditions.  When starting out with the pads, it is enough to hold them up and request that the boxer whacks away with straight punches.  Given time though, you can really vary the type and quantity of shots thrown.  Phased attack sequences, combination punches utilising body and head strikes and high load anaerobic work all combine to make the punch pads a really top piece of gym equipment.

Aside from boxers, punch pads are used by all kinds of people.  They are very often employed in the fitness regimes of many sports and are also very popular in the personal fitness arena by personal fitness coaches.  Whilst benefits can be gained by keeping it simple, shouting at the boxer a lot and demanding lots of straight punches, it is actually well worth understanding the skills of boxing and trying engender the technical principles of straight shots, hook shots, uppercuts and footwork into the student; the boxing stance is the best place to start!  By considering the technical aspects of the art of boxing when using punch pads, the fitness benefits in terms of cardio and muscle tone are much improved.

Buying Boxing Punch Pads – What to Consider

When buying a pair of boxing punch pads, I tend to favour a smaller pair.  I find that I need to ‘cup’ my hands inside the pad in order to make me feel that the pad is secure and isn’t going to fly off my hand at the first hint of an incoming shot!  Some pads have an extended length that offers some protection to the wrist area.  I have always found though that the larger type of pad available is more difficult to wear and is by and large a more arduous and potentially painful endeavour for the coach than selecting the more compact design.

The best boxing punch pads I find are those that have a ‘curved’ face (the curve going from top to bottom, as shown on the left).  This curvature enables the coach to ‘catch’ the incoming shot better, and also assists with the need to keep the pads firmly on the hands.  Flat-face pads tend to be much more difficult to control, especially when working with a big puncher.  An incoming shot can often be deflected without any rhyme or reason.  On a number of occasions I’ve caught a straight right hand in my face by way of the pad, not because the boxer was inaccurate and not because I had the pad held incorrectly.  As I said, no rhyme or reason!

Sessions on the punch pads add much more dynamism to a workout.  All boxers love to work pads.  There is a real ‘feel good’ element as the boxer can really blossom and work with a range of great shots thrown at a dizzying array of angles.  In short, it is little wonder that the use of punch pads has progressed beyond the world of boxing to be embraced by a much wider range of people who partake in basic fitness activities or specialised professional sporting endeavours.

A Final Word

I have been considering the potential for creating a punch pad tutorial package.  This tutorial would be focused on the coach i.e. the person holding the punch pads.  I would prepare a video-based training regime (supported by a targeted publication) that would explain a whole range of skills in terms of taking someone on a session of punch pads.  It may be that you are a personal trainer and would like to enhance the experience of your client.  Maybe you are new to boxing (or other sport) coaching and would like some advice.  If this sounds of interest, please let me know by leaving a comment on the article.

By the way, the links on this page are affiliate links. This means that if you click on the link and subsequently make a purchase, then I get paid commission of 5%. You need to be aware of this. Also, the links on this page represent what I would buy, if I were buying. I have not tried the specific piece of equipment identified and as such cannot directly recommend it. However, if I were buying from the web, these are the selections I would make.

For more insight into boxing equipment and activities, check out the boxing fitness page.



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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Fran August 25, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Thanks Gaz, great bit of useful feedback.


Colman May 11, 2014 at 8:53 pm

What about some core drills thanks


Colman May 11, 2014 at 8:52 pm

What would you do if you give session for 1 your ?


Colman May 11, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Pad work
For southpaw


Mannon J November 9, 2012 at 9:49 am

Please do so Fran!


Craig September 23, 2012 at 6:14 am

I am just finishing boxing and hoping to move over to coaching a pad work tutorial would benifit me greatly!


Rob April 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Hi Fran,
Firstly just like to say how helpful your website is.
Question, when some trainers hold the pads from an orthadox stance, they hold the right pad up for both the jab and the jab/ cross, others always use opposite pads, left pad for jab, right for cross. What do you consider are the advantages / disadvantage of both methods? Which method do you believe most accurately simulates actual fighting?



Fran April 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Hello Rob

Thanks for the question. As a rule I go with the one-two landing on the same pad. Against a real life opponent their head is only, well, head-sized. Having the boxer land the one two on the same pad just feels more realistic to me. There is an exception. When working with a novice it can help to throw to alternate pads as I’ve found that this can help them build the rotation needed when throwing straights. When throwing single shots I often vary it, for example jabbing to both the left and right pads. This just mixes it up a little. I need to put together a short article on this Rob, you’re the latest in a long line of inquisitive souls with regards punch pads.

Hope this helps Rob


Val March 5, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Please find the time, Fran. I am (I can say – we all are) waiting for your pad tutorial first time you mentioned about it – year ago I suppose. It will be huge help especially for people who are working with friend or two, outside of the regular gym, without the coach.



Alex February 11, 2012 at 4:23 am

Thanks Fran, I also think punch pad coaching tutorial would be a great help for me.




Fran February 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Great to hear from you again Alex, I hope that you are well.

A punch pad tutorial is something I’d love to do, and I have some very well formed ideas on it. Now to find the time…


Osiel Lucero August 12, 2011 at 8:54 am

Hey Fran,
I have been trying to work with focus mitts, but no success yet. It would be of tremendous help if you made a tutorial or go over the basics. Anything constructive would be appreciated.


Fran August 12, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Thanks Osiel

I have plans for something quite major on this, but in the shorter term I’ll see if there’s a short vid I can put together to capture some main points.


pedrodelaviesca August 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Punch pad tutorial!! PLEASE


Fran August 7, 2011 at 6:14 pm

I do have plans for this Pedro, quite when I’ll get it completed I’m not sure. It’s good to know that members would like to see a pad tutorial though.


liptak July 2, 2011 at 6:06 am

Punch pad tutorial package? Great idea, I can’t wait!


burim August 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Great Idea. I would like to see an instructional video about the Punch Pads from you Fran…


Fran August 10, 2010 at 2:31 pm


You read my mind! I’ve put a lot of thought into the punch pads idea. Leave it with me and thanks for the contribution mate.



Gary April 23, 2010 at 7:21 am

That sounds like a great idea. I see lots of trainers/coaches playing patta cake with punch pads, and I am sure this can’t help the boxer’s technique.


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