MMA gloves are quite different to boxing gloves. If you’re taking part in a competitive boxing event, you most likely won’t be able to wear MMA gloves – competitions tend to have strict requirements when it comes to equipment.
However, what about when it comes to bag training and sparring? If there are no rules in place, there’s nothing to stop you wearing MMA gloves. However, it’s worth noting that MMA gloves may not always be suitable for certain types of training.
The difference between MMA gloves and boxing gloves
MMA gloves have around 4 to 6 ounces of padding. Sparring MMA gloves will have a little extra padding – usually around 7 ounces – but are still light compared to boxing gloves. MMA gloves are fingerless and have open palms, allowing for easier grappling. There’s generally little padding on the wrists for freer movement.
Boxing gloves have a lot more padding – usually between 10 and 18 ounces. The entire fingers and palm are covered and there’s more padding on the wrists. This restricts movement but allows punches to be thrown out with more power without damaging the hands or gloves.
The risks of using MMA gloves as boxing gloves
The lower protection offered by MMA gloves makes them less suitable for continuously punching with power. There’s a greater risk that you could damage your hands when sparring with a partner or when using a heavy bag.
MMA gloves are also more likely to split when using them on a heavy bag. The added padding offered by boxing gloves makes them more suitable for heavy bag exercises.
When is it OK to use MMA gloves as boxing gloves?
If you’re not training for power, then you may find that MMA gloves do have their benefits. MMA gloves are lighter and less bulky – which makes them better for practicing accuracy, speed and endurance. The lack of padding can also help to strengthen the knuckles and wrists.
MMA gloves may also be good for training on light punch bags. Such punch bags are not designed for practicing with power and are softer, so it’s unlikely you’ll hit them with enough force to damage your gloves.
Wearing hand wraps could be beneficial when using MMA gloves for boxing exercises. This will help to protect the hands from injury if you do decide to practice your power.
For the most part, use boxing gloves
If you’re training to be a boxer, then it makes sense to use boxing gloves. They’re designed specifically for the sport and will offer the protection and power generation that you need. Traditional boxing does not involve grappling – so there’s no reason to benefit from the fingerless lighter design of MMA gloves.
If you’re training on a heavy bag, boxing gloves could also be a wiser choice than MMA gloves. When training for power on a heavy bag, boxing gloves will help to protect your hands from injury and the gloves are less likely to split.