Boxing has exploded in popularity among women across the country in the past 10 years, with many seeing it as the ideal way to get fit and have a great time doing it.

Boxing clubs are sociable places where you’ll meet loads of people – many of them just like you – and once you’ve given it a go, you’ll be hooked.

Anyone can box – you choose the way that you train, the level of contact and the intensity you train at. Your club can help you set realistic goals that will give you an amazing sense of achievement.

Choose how to train

You don’t have to compete – most clubs run fitness classes that combine circuit training with boxing techniques, and many gyms and leisure centres have non-contact boxing classes.

If you do want to spar or compete, your club’s coach will match you with an opponent of a similar weight, age and level of experience.

Boxing gyms are set up to take people from beginners to advanced stage, so don’t think you will be the only one there who has never boxed before. And don’t worry about what the other people in your class are thinking – they’ll be far too busy worrying about what they’re doing to judge anyone else!

What kit do I need?

If you’re starting out, all you need is a pair of trainers, a good sports bra and comfortable training clothes. Buying your own bag gloves is recommended – most clubs will lend you a pair on your first visit. Bag gloves are inexpensive and available from most sports shops.

For competition, you will need boxing boots, a club vest and boxing shorts. Protective hand bandages are also essential.

Hair should be tied back or in a bandana, head scarf or hair net. In competition it is essential that the boxer with long hair plaits it and wears a bandana or hairnet, hair grips are not allowed for safety reasons.

When sparring and competing, boxers must wear a mouth guard at all times, as well as protective hand bandages and force absorbent headgear. Female boxers are also recommended to wear breast protectors and must wear a crotch protector.

For general tips about kit, check out the kit reviews on the Sportsister website.

Women’s Winter Box Cup

In December 2018, the UK’s first female-only boxing tournament of its type – the England Boxing Women’s Winter Box Cup – was staged at the George H Carnall Centre in Urmston, Manchester.

It’s popularity and success – more than 160 boxers competed – highlighted the thirst for women’s boxing across England and other a host of other nations, and the event has now become a regular fixture in the boxing calendar.

Getting started

England Boxing has over 990 registered clubs and most of them cater for people who want to get fit without competing. Check out our club finder or contact us at if you want to have a chat about how you can get started.