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Top / Blog / Can you hit a bag without gloves? – Detailed ex...
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Can you hit a bag without gloves? – Detailed explanation

Can you hit a bag without gloves? – Detailed explanation

Problems with hitting a bag without gloves

Hitting a bag without gloves presents challenges and is generally not recommended. There are two main problems with hitting a heavy bag without gloves. First, if you apply too much force in your punches, the skin around your knuckles will break. As you can imagine, this will hurt and prevent you from hitting for a long period of time.

The second problem is the lack of wrist support . This means that if you hit hard without proper technique, you can damage your wrists.

There are ways to hit the bag without gloves and there are some advantages to not having the excessive padding of boxing gloves from a technical perspective. However, in general, hitting without gloves or bandages is not recommended.

How to hit the bag without gloves?

As we mentioned above, there are some advantages to not wearing gloves when hitting the bag. But it's important to do it safely and in moderation. As a boxer, your hands are your working tools. They need to be preserved and protected if you want to have longevity in the sport.

The key is to use hand wraps . This solves the problem of broken skin, since the bandages will cover your knuckles. They will also provide some support for your wrists, but you will still feel the impact if you hit incorrectly.

When hitting the bag with wraps, it is important to remember that it is an exercise for technique , not strength. I'm not saying just hit the bag, but don't hit as hard as you would with gloves. Remember to keep your wrist straight and practice your combinations. Keep everything aligned from your shoulder, forearm and wrist.

Focusing on connection instead of strength helps with this exercise. It's about how the punch lands, not how hard it is. Think about precision and accuracy during this exercise. You can be much more precise than you normally would be with heavy bag gloves. This almost helps simulate the feeling of fighting with 10 ounce gloves.

This will help strengthen the connective tissue and bones in your hands, but won't destroy the skin around your knuckles, so you'll be able to train longer.

Advantages of hitting the heavy bag without gloves

The main advantage is that hitting without gloves forces you to use the correct technique . You may think, why is there so much emphasis on how to hit? If you can hit hard with gloves, what's the problem?

The problem with hitting without technique is that it fills you with bad habits. It can leave you off balance, open to counterattacks, or even increase your risk of injury. From a technical perspective, you must hit with proper technique.

The second fundamental advantage of hitting without gloves is accuracy . Your fists are much smaller than boxing gloves and will therefore promote precision. Hitting without gloves or with bandages will allow you to better visualize your punches and how you want them to land. Remember, much of the front surface of boxing gloves is nothing more than padding.

You don't want to hit the edges of the glove. You want to land with the center of the glove where your fist is. If you are very precise, you can hit with specific parts of your knuckles even through a boxing glove. Fighters who use this technique often use Cleto Reyes gloves, which promote precision and are known to be used by heavy punchers.

Some people argue that hitting the bag without gloves also helps condition your fists , but in my opinion, it's not worth it for boxing. Maybe there's an argument for MMA with their 4-ounce gloves, but in boxing, where the gloves are so big and full of padding, it doesn't make sense.

Disadvantages of hitting the heavy bag without gloves

If you hit the heavy bag without gloves, the main risk is damaging your wrists . With hand wraps and sack gloves, although wrist support is limited, it still exists. When hitting the bag without gloves, you can seriously injure yourself if you are not careful.

The second biggest problem is that the skin around your knuckles will split open. Having tried this myself, I can tell you firsthand that it is painful and makes training difficult for the next few days. Eventually, you'll develop calluses if you continue, but at first it just makes your workout harder.

Why should you generally wear gloves when hitting the bag?

While hitting with just bandages is a good warm-up, it is a technique exercise and should not be used for conditioning . Conditioning and repetition will be the majority of your practice and you should use gloves for that.

Generally, there are two schools of thought on what gloves to use when hitting the bag. Many old school trainers will recommend bag gloves as they promote precision and proper technique, similar to using just hand wraps.

However, others will argue that the extra padding and protection of modern bag gloves gives boxers the confidence and support to work the bag and exert as much force as possible for as long as possible.

I think they both serve a purpose depending on what you are doing in the gym. If you are a complete beginner and want to learn boxing, I would recommend using bag gloves as they encourage proper technique and are generally better for learning the fundamentals. However, if you already have boxing experience and are looking for the best training, then opt for conventional gloves.

Both options are safer than hitting the bag without gloves. Using either of these gloves will give you better use of the heavy bag than using your bare knuckles or even hand wraps.


In conclusion, you can hit a bag with bare knuckles, but it doesn't make much sense. Using hand wraps is a much more logical and practical way to reap the benefits of bare knuckle hitting while preventing many of the problems that come with it.

For boxers, I don't think bare knuckle training is an important element of the sport. The size of the gloves and the Marquis of Queensbury's rules mean it's not even that relevant. I think MMA fighters and bare knuckle fighters benefit a lot more from this as they need the experience when fighting without much wrist support and the hand conditioning of striking without gloves or wraps.


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