I’ve been practicing kickboxing for about three years now and have made rapid progress by incorporating a consistent home training regime. I’ve converted my garage into a mini-dojo and thought it would be useful to share my thoughts on some of the best kickboxing equipment for training at home.
For those in a rush, here’s my recommended list (links to Amazon):
|RDX Heavy Punch Bag Kit|
|Boxing Reflex Ball from TEKXYZ|
|BAS UFC Body Action System|
Brief overview of kickboxing
The history of full contact kickboxing goes back nearly three thousand years.
Originating in Thailand, hence the familiar name “Muay Thai,” kickboxing has a rich history, strong tradition and deep respect among martial arts practitioners. While the sport is just now gaining popularity worldwide, at home, Thai boxers are treated with the same adoration and celebrity status as NBA stars in America and soccer heroes in Brazil.
Outside of Thailand, the Dutch have long carried the kickboxing tradition throughout Europe. Let’s start with Rob Kaman. A nine-time world champ, “Mr. Low Kick” best exemplifies the Dutch school of kickboxing. His pro-career lasted over two decades and he won a lot of fights on the international circuit with blistering low kicks and power in his hands. Kaman opened the door for other fighters from the Netherlands to pilgrimage to Thailand and hone their skills.
Check out Rob Kaman below. Just amazing!
One of these fighters was the legendary “El Guapo,” Bas Rutten. This future UFC champion would help blend the traditions and techniques of kickboxing with the emerging sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). More on “the Bald One” later!
The main techniques of Muay Thai are comprised of the “Style of Eight Points.” The Eight Points are the places your body is used to inflict damage on your opponent: the fists, the elbows, the knees, and the feet.
All of these points of contact can be trained home in order to make you the fittest fighter in your neighborhood. That guy next door will be jealous of your new physique and skills when he sees that you have turned your oil-stained garage or unfinished basement into a veritable MMA laboratory.
What are Some Advantages of Training at Home?
A trip to train in Bangkok not in your immediate future? Well, you can still get your licks in at home, without having to deal with Thailand’s heat or getting roundhouse kicked by a rickshaw driver!
There are many convenient, low cost and highly effective ways to get your reps in without having to leave your garage – because all men train in the garage, right? I do. When I embarked on my MMA journey, I cleared out a space where my oil-stained rags and vintage Outlaw Biker magazines had been and set up my new equipment right there.
My gear is already getting more use than those old biker mags ever did…
The old axiom states that you need to put in ten thousand hours to become an expert on something, no matter what it is. That sort of time commitment is impossible if you are going to put in all of those hours at the gym, away from home and family.
I don’t have to tell you, this is a busy world. The convenience of training on your own time (and also saving a few dimes) can’t be overstated. Classes can be scheduled at inconvenient times and there might not be adequate facilities within a reasonable distance. I have to work out at home because my local dojo has been taken over by Kobra Kai 🙂
Even if you have no intention of ever lacing up the four ounce gloves and climbing into a locked steel cage to fight (and really, who among us does?), home training can help you build self-confidence, core strength, and ensure that you maintain healthy cardiovascular conditioning.
After just a few weeks of my kickboxing workout, my cardio capacity rocketed.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Home Workouts?
Training on own is easier than you might think; all you need is motivation and the right set-up. However, your equipment does need to cater for the individual who is training by themselves.
Worry not, future badass, I’m in your corner. I spent a considerable amount of time researching the best equipment to kit out my garage. I’ve outlined my thoughts below.
Regardless of where you train, you are going to need to hone some specific skills if you are to be successful in this sport.
The First Skill: Stamina
Skipping rope is a staple of the training montages in all the best boxing movies. How much time have you wasted watching Sly Stallone and Michael B. Jordan jump that ragged woven line? More than you’d like to admit… Now get on it yourself!
According to research conducted by the Compendium of Physical Studies, ”jumping rope for ten minutes can burn as many calories as jogging at an eight-minute-per-mile pace.”
Jogging requires roads and miles, a jump rope in the garage or home dojo requires nothing, so it is no surprise that many fitness experts say that no better exercise can be had.
Furthermore, a jump rope is a low-cost investment and is a perfect introduction to MMA fitness routines for anybody worried about a more time-intensive commitment. Anybody from MMA fighters to Cross-Fit devotees to kickboxing newbies can use a jump rope to get into shape. I’ve been jumping rope seriously for several months now and am doing “double unders” like a master.
I’ve used cheap skipping ropes in the past and found they often hindered my progress. Several broke in a short period and others didn’t turn particularly well.
I decided to invest in a decent jump rope and chose the FitSkuad’s rope with its efficient ball-bearing system and six inch, extra-long handles! These features, specifically crafted for this workout gear, help you keep a high momentum and reach extreme speeds, which if you practice daily, can reach over three hundred jumps per minute. This radical speed is aided by the high-tech cable, which unlike other jump ropes, is very thin and cuts through the air as fast as a Manny Pacquiao left hook!
I paid about $20 but you can check out the price on Amazon here.
The Second Skill: Power
The most convenient and battle-tested way to give yourself “a puncher’s chance” in any fight is by putting in work on the heavy bag.
This is probably the most serious piece of equipment you are going to buy, so I spent time making sure I chose wisely. You don’t want to be hitting a side of frozen beef in the butcher shop like that has-been Rocky Balboa; you want to work out like that young champ Adonis Creed.
This power packed bundle from RDX is exactly what I needed to put dynamite in my hands. Everything from the bag, to the chains, the gloves, to the equipment for setting the whole rig up, is of the highest quality.
The construction ensures that this equipment will endure the rigors of even the toughest gyms and most dangerous of dojos.
Moments after the fast set-up was completed, I was laying into it with low kicks and left hooks and loved the solid feel of the bag.
The RDX Heavy Punch Bag Kit includes everything you need to practice your technique, test your stamina, and increase your power and strength. When full, the bag weighs between twenty five and twenty eight kilograms, which provides an ideal amount of both sway and resistance, and stands a practical five feet tall. This allows me to practice my punches and low kicks.
After just a few weeks of hitting the heavy bag, I am no longer afraid of Kobra Kai!
I paid about $65 but you can check out the price on Amazon here.
The Third Skill: Accuracy
What good is all that power you have worked so hard to develop if you can’t hit the broad side of a barn?
The Boxing Reflex Ball from TEKXYZ is a novel, simple, and unique training device that will having you punching the wings off a fly (or a flyweight!) in no time. There are two balls for fighters of varying skill levels and you attach them to a comfortable, adjustable head band.
I loved how sensible, practical and portable this product was. Hitting the ball repeatedly and in rhythm was incredibly satisfying and didn’t take as long to master as I had anticipated.
While this may look funny or awkward at first, this portable bit of gear is nevertheless perfect for honing your reaction time, increasing your hand-eye coordination, sharpening your agility, and adding velocity to your punching speed.
The smart people at TEKXYZ intentionally designed the Boxing Reflex Ball to be much more manageable, durable, and softer than a typical tennis ball. This means you can use this training aid glove-free, so even novices can enjoy a brisk, fun workout without the potential embarrassment and injury of punching yourself in the face.
This technique is actually used by Vasyl Lomachenko as you can see below:
Since beginning this workout, I have only punched myself in the face once. It was the fault of working out with my friend Jim Beam, but when my wife asked about it, I said I was attacked by Kobra Kai!
I paid about $13 but you can check the price on Amazon here.
I also purchased some target pads to practice at home to increase my accuracy.
I chose the practice pads from TargetMaster. Designed for multi-angle strikes, these four study pads are nineteen inches long and fully adjustable. Mounted on reinforced springs and mounted on a secure, stable plastic base which you fill with water or sand, this equipment is both incredibly well made and quite inexpensive.
I paid about $200 but you can check the price on Amazon here. A great value for such quality!
I am Currently Saving $$$ for the Following Item:
Bas Rutten is a legend, and who doesn’t want to work out like a legend?
Former UFC champion, former King of Pancrase, television host, and style icon for bald guys everywhere, Bas Rutten has stepped into the equipment manufacturing business with the same skill and ferocity with which he stepped into the cage.
The BAS UFC Body Action System is the closest thing you’ll ever find to a real sparring partner without having to pay a guy room and board.
This adjustable, freestanding system enables you to become the master of all eight points of striking and drill your hooks, uppercuts, knees and kicks.
No matter what weight class you are in, the Body Action System (BAS) is designed for warriors of all sizes. It features adjustable shoulder width, can be set up at different angles, and the height can be raised from four feet to a towering six and a half feet.
For further convenience, this is a freestanding system; you don’t have to go through the hassle of a complicated setup and there is no hanging it from an overhead beam, doorframe, or sand-weighted base.
This will be the ultimate accessory to my home kickboxing/MMA gym and, one day I’ll be “kicking ass like Bas”.
See the man in action below (complete with his own commentary):
I love training at home and feel my kickboxing abilities have greatly improved largely the result of the equipment I’ve purchased. I wish you the same success.