Strength and boxing go hand in hand. When a boxer is in the ring, the main objective is to knock the opponent out. Athletes must be strong enough to put the required amount of force behind each blow. There are many things boxers can do to build this kind of strength. Let’s take a deeper look at why do boxers wear weighted gloves.

Boxers wear weighted gloves to develop speed, strength, stamina, and endurance. The added weight may only be a half-pound to a pound per hand, but after throwing hundreds of punches it starts to add up making for a noticeable increase in strength and stamina.

Read on to find more about weighted boxing gloves, why boxers wear them and how to determine the weight you should be using.

Benefits of Wearing Weighted Boxing Gloves

Develops Speed: The added weight in the gloves will help develop a fighter’s punching speed. This is because the added weight causes resistance behind each punch, and over time this resistance becomes the standard.

Develops Strength: Weighted gloves also develop strength because it takes more effort to punch with them. Over time, the muscles in a boxer’s arm will grow stronger and they’ll be able to hit harder.

Develops Stamina: In addition to developing strength, weighted gloves also increase stamina because of their weight. It takes more energy for a fighter to wear them and throw punches so this translates into an increased endurance level.

Develops Coordination: The weight in the gloves also helps develop coordination. The added resistance forces a fighter to learn how to control their punches and make sure they don’t swing too hard or jab with unnecessary force.

Develops Accuracy: Finally, weighted boxing gloves will increase accuracy because it’s more difficult for them to punch as quickly. This translates into having an increased awareness and focus on hitting the correct target.

How Heavy are Boxing Gloves? 

Boxing gloves come in a variety of weights. Boxers most commonly use gloves that fall in the 12 – 14 oz range but they can be as light as 8 oz and as heavy as 20 oz. 

The weight you choose will depend on your goals. Heavier gloves are best for building up strength while lighter gloves allow you to move faster so you get more hits in.  You also won’t tire out as easily with lighter gloves. 

You can also choose glove weight based on the size of your hands. Gloves come in small, medium, and large sizes. For instance, a 12-ounce glove may come in various sizes. They will all be the same weight, but the inside will be contoured to fit different hand sizes. 

Which Boxing Glove Weight Should I Get?

Many factors will determine what type of boxing glove weight is right for you. Here are some things you will want to consider. 

1. Setting

The weight you choose will depend on what you are using the gloves for. Examples include the following: 

  • Professional Boxing: Professional boxers tend to use gloves that are 8 to 10 oz when in the ring. The lighter weight helps them get more hits in and they don’t tire them out easily. A heavier weight may cause them to become fatigued allowing their opponent to overtake them.
  • Sparring: Athletes who are sparring will want to use gloves that are a bit heavier as it will help them build strength and stamina, but they won’t want to go with a glove that’s so heavy as to tire them out. 12 to 16 oz gloves are ideal in this situation as they will improve performance and still allow for output. Go with 16 oz gloves if you are looking to build up your ‘punch muscles’ i.e. your shoulders, lats, and core.
  • Training: If you are training with the sole purpose of building strength and muscle, go with the heaviest gloves you can stand. This may vary from person to person but weights up to 18 and even 20 oz are available. However, some prefer lighter gloves if they plan on punching the bag. This is because lighter-weight gloves have less padding allowing the arm to extend fully while punching. 

2. Body Weight

Your body weight will also factor into the glove weight you choose. If you are of average height and weight, go with glove weights that fall somewhere in the middle. If you are small and light, opt for a lighter glove weight. If you are heavy, choose a heavier glove weight. 

160 lbs. is a good dividing line when it comes to choosing a glove that’s right for you. If you are under 160 lbs., 12 – 14 oz. gloves should be good. If you are over 160 lbs., go with gloves in the 14 – 16 oz range. 

It goes without saying that you may use lighter or heavier weight gloves in accordance with your needs. 

Here is a more accurate breakdown of the glove weight you may choose based on weight: 

  • Under 100 lbs.: 6 – 8 oz 
  • 100 – 125 lbs.: 10 oz
  • 125 – 150 lbs.: 12 oz
  • 150- 175 lbs.: 14 oz
  • 175 lbs. or more: 16 oz or more

3. Padding

Heavier gloves have more padding than their lighter-weight components. The more padding in the glove, the more it will protect yourself and your opponent. Therefore, heavier gloves are preferred in sparring while lighter gloves are preferred in the ring.

It’s also important to note where the padding is located on the glove. More padding in the front will provide more protection for yourself and your opponent while more padding in the back will weigh your gloves so your punches make more of an impact. 

Some people prefer the padding in the back of the glove because the lack of cushioning in the front helps to calcify the knuckles. Calcification involves calcium building up in the knuckles, so they become harder and more resistant to pressure and pain.  

4. Personal Strength

If you are starting out as a boxer, you may find that you are unable to do much boxing with heavier weight gloves. If this is the case, you may want to start with lighter-weight gloves and work your way up as you go. 

There are even gloves that are as light as 6 to 10 oz made for children who are just beginning their boxing journeys

Do You Hit Harder with Heavier Gloves?

The short answer to this question is no. Heavier gloves provide more cushioning and more protection for your opponent so they will not produce a harder hit. They will ensure the safety of your partner and reduce the likelihood of your hand becoming injured. 

However, if the padding is weighted towards the back of the glove, it will put more impact behind your blow to make for a harder hit. 

While heavier gloves will not produce harder blows, they will help you build strength, so you can hit harder overall. To put optimal strength behind your blows, work on improving your technique, not finding heavier gloves. The right drills and workouts will help you achieve your goals. Here’s an excellent video that explains the fundamentals to punch harder.

Final Thoughts

Boxers wear weighted gloves to build speed, strength, stamina, coordination, and accuracy. Several factors will determine the weight of the gloves you choose. Factors such as your body weight and hand size will play a role in your choice. It’s also important to consider what you are using the gloves for, whether it be sparring or fighting. Which boxing glove will you be integrating into your workout routine?