A heavy bag, also known as a punching bag, is an essential training tool for building arm strength and speed. However, if you were to repeatedly punch a heavy bag without gloves, you could end up with bruised knuckles, and that’s if you’re lucky! So, what size gloves should you get for smacking a heavy bag?
You can find boxing glove sizes ranging from 8 to 20 ounces. Lighter gloves are suitable for practicing punches on a heavy bag, whereas heavier gloves are used almost exclusively for sparring and fighting.
In this guide, I’ll describe the different boxing glove sizes, which size is suitable for training with a heavy bag, and how to measure your hands for a pair of boxing gloves.
Boxing Glove Sizes
The size of a pair of boxing gloves is viewed by its weight. The weight of the glove is determined by how much padding it comes with.
Boxing gloves typically come in 7 sizes—8 ounces., 10 ounces, 12 ounces, 14 ounces, 16 ounces, 18 ounces, and 20 ounces The weight rating is given to each glove, so a pair would weigh between 20 and 36 ounces
Why Are There Different Glove Sizes?
Each glove size serves a particular purpose. The weight of the glove affects punching speed and strength, so you would usually use different gloves for fighting, sparring, and training.
Let’s take a look at the different glove weight classes in more detail.
This glove weight is used in the ring in actual bouts. Its lightness in weight allows fighters to deliver swift, powerful punches. While the weight of the gloves can tire a fighter out over time, having only 1 pound of padding in both hands lets fighters attack their opponents with high-volume flurries.
Both 8- and 10-ounce gloves are the standard for professional boxing matches. Like 8-ounce gloves, this glove weight class doesn’t weigh down the fighter’s arms too much, allowing them to deliver powerful attacks in high volume. However, some fighters also use 10-ounce gloves for sparring and strength-building exercises.
12-ounce to gloves
The additional padding in 12-ounce gloves compared to its 8- and 10-ounce counterparts provides additional protection on the wearer’s hands. This is ideal for training since it allows boxers to strike harder during training while reducing the risk of injury. In addition, heavier gloves weigh down on the boxer’s hands, which helps them build up both arm strength and speed.
You’ll usually find junior boxers wearing 14-ounce gloves in supervised fights, though it depends on what the organizer’s decision. Outside of the right, 14-ounce gloves can help build arm strength and speed while protecting the hands from injury.
The 16-ounce gloves are what most gyms consider to be the standard sparring glove. It may tire a fighter out more quickly than wearing lighter gloves, but it also helps build endurance and protects both parties from inflicting career-ending damage (in most cases) to each other.
18-ounce and 20-ounce gloves
These are normally the heaviest boxing glove sizes you can get. Again, they can be used for sparring. If you can manage wearing more than 2 pounds of padding on both hands, you can significantly improve striking strength and speed.
What Size Gloves for Heavy Bag?
Heavy bags or punching bag sizes typically range between 2-1/2 and 6 feet in length and have a diameter of between 12 and 14 inches. They weigh anywhere from 40 to 100 pounds, but you can find much heavier models with higher densities. As such, repeatedly striking a heavy bag isn’t just exhausting, but it can also inflict heavy damage to your wrists, knuckles, and fingers.
So, between the 7 glove sizes mentioned above, which should you use on heavy bags?
The recommended sizes for heavy bag training are 10- and 12-ounce gloves. They provide significantly more protection as opposed to 8-ounce gloves, but they’re light enough so that you can deliver powerful punches in bunches without tiring out as quickly.
With all that said, you can go up a glove size class if you want to improve speed and strength. Heavier gloves provide heavier resistance to both your hands and the heavy bag, so sporting larger gloves can be beneficial for specific training exercises.
How to Size Boxing Gloves
As indicated above, boxing gloves come in a wide variety of sizes, with each size class serving a distinct purpose. So, how do you determine which glove size to get?
The following chart provides a general overview of what glove sizes are appropriate for different boxer weights.
|Weight||Recommended for General Use||Recommended for Sparring|
|110 to 140 lbs.||10 to 12 oz.||14 to 16 oz.|
|140 to 165 lbs.||10 to 12 oz.||14 to 16 oz.|
|165 to 190 lbs.||10 to 14 oz.||14 to 16 oz.|
|190 to 215 lbs.||12 to 14 oz.||16 oz.|
|215 to 240 lbs.||12 to 16 oz.||16 oz.|
|240 to 270 lbs.||14 to 16 oz.||16 to 18 oz.|
|270 lbs. and heavier||16 to 18 oz.||18 oz.|
In addition to the glove’s weight class, you should also be aware of the physical size of the gloves. If you can’t strap the gloves around the circumference of your wrist, they might reposition or fall off during training, potentially leading to discomfort and injury.
|Glove Weight||Hand Circumference|
|8 oz.||5.5 to 6.5 in.|
|10 oz.||6.5 to 7.5 in.|
|12 oz.||7.5 to 8.5 in.|
|14 oz.||8.5 to 9.5 in.|
|16 oz. and heavier||9.5 in. and wider|
Do You Need Gloves for a Heavy Bag?
You can strike a heavy bag once or twice with your bare hands and not feel a thing. However, if you want to practice delivering a flurry of powerful strikes on a 100-plus-pound object filled with sand, grains, or rags, then you might end up worse for wear after a few seconds.
Boxing gloves don’t just protect your opponent or a training object from injury; they also protect your hands. Train for long enough without a pair of gloves, and you might have to pay your ER a visit.