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Which Gloves to Use on a Heavy Bag

by
author image Susan Peterson
Susan Peterson is the author of five books, including "Western Herbs for Martial Artists and Contact Athletes" and "Clare: A Novel." She holds a Ph.D. in text theory from the University of Texas at Arlington and is an avid cook and gardener.
Which Gloves to Use on a Heavy Bag
Some people use standard boxing gloves to punch a heavy bag. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

The purpose of bag gloves is to protect the hands during hard workouts on a heavy bag. A variety of bag gloves are available. Each protect the hand in a different way. They range from simple covers that protect against scuffs to specially engineered gloves that support the structure of the hand and wrist.

Gym Bag Gloves

Simple gym bag gloves look like leather or vinyl mittens. Gym bag gloves have elastic at the wrist and leather covering the thumb and hand. Some have light padding. Others contain light weights to build arm strength. Most, however, are nothing more than a leather cover for the hand. They can help keep you from scuffing your hand if you throw a glancing punch, but they offer no support. Century's Vinyl Bag Gloves and Everlast Gym Bag Gloves are two examples of this style of bag glove.

Gel Wraps

Gel wraps offer a little more cushion than gym bag gloves. Typically, they have open thumb and fingers and sometimes an open palm. The area over the knuckles contains a gel insert. This insert helps absorb force. It offers an extra margin of safety in case your body produces more power than your fist can handle. It also protects against scuffs. Gel wraps can be used for light workouts on the heavy bag and inside boxing gloves. Evergel 120 speed wraps and UFC Gel Wraps are two different brands of this type of glove.

Wrap Bag Gloves

Wrap bag gloves offer even more protection. They are typically made of leather or leather-like vinyl. They have finger-specific padding that extends to just below the fingernails. This dense padding can take more impact than gel. The tight fit supports the hand, and the wrist wrap supports the wrist. Some wrap bag gloves also have a cushioned grip bar across the palm to help stabilize the fist. Century, Harbinger, UFC and Everlast all make wrist wrap gloves.

Boxing-Style Bag Gloves

Boxing-style bag gloves look quite a bit like boxing gloves. They have a fully enclosed, curved chamber for the hand and a thickly padded thumb. The padding is considerably thicker than other bag gloves. They are also heavier, more closely approximating the weight of boxing gloves. Bag gloves, rather than sparring or competition gloves, are most suitable for use on a heavy bag. The former type of glove is specifically made to withstand frequent impact from the sturdy surface of the bag. Using competition or sparring gloves can cause the gloves to split during heavy bag training. The American Council on Exercise recommends Mexican hand wraps for use with boxing-style gloves.

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