While people have fought in hand-to-hand combat since before the dawn of history, the origin of boxing as an organized sport may be its acceptance by the ancient Greeks. They believed fist fighting was one of the games played by the gods on Olympus, thus it became part of the Olympic Games since in 688 BC.
Despite being steeped in tradition, boxing is not immune to technological changes that are happening all around us. Fitness trackers and smartwatches are changing the way we train, and now sensors are also changing the way we approach sports.
Essential reading: Compare sports trackers with our interactive tool
Even though the merging of technology and boxing is still in its infancy, a few early contenders attempting to redefine how we approach the sport have emerged.
Everlast and PIQ is designed to be used for shadow boxing, heavy bag work, mitt work and light sparring. The driving force of the system is a nano-computer which houses a set of built-in sensors that track your motions.
The technology was developed after studying motions of thousands of boxers. The accelerometer, gyroscope, and an altimeter inside the device collect more than 190,000 points of data per minute to dish out a plethora of stats.
Information provided includes the speed of your punches, the force of your punch at impact and the retraction time of your hand. You are also assigned a unique value called PIQSCORE which is based on all three of these metrics. Other stats include the total number of punches, calories, boxing time, punches broken down by type, records, progression displayed via charts and much much more.
Along with tracking results, the app also provides actionable information on how to improve in areas where you may be lacking and identifies, what the company calls, your “Winning Factors”. This is a concept developed by PIQ, together with its engineers and the thousand of test-athletes working with their partner brands.
We’ve spent some time with Everlast & PIQ and found that it works as designed, its not cumbersome to wear, and it goes beyond just displaying data by providing much more meaningful analysis. Regardless of whether you are just shadow boxing for exercise or someone with years of experience in the sport, it can be a great addition to your routine.
Hykso’s punch trackers track your hands’ movement 1,000 times per second to detect the number, the type, and the velocity of all your punches. Install the trackers on the top of your wrists, underneath 2 or more wraps of your wrist wraps and you’re good to go!
The Hykso app allows you to view your punch output in real time and measure your daily, weekly, and monthly progression. The App tracks punch count and punch speed. You also get an intensity score, which is a measure of your physical output so you know how combat fit you are. Hykso says its trackers record over 6,000 data points for every single punch, giving you great insight into your technique.
Moov Now is a one of a kind wearable fitness coach that actively monitors your activity and advises you in real time how to get the most from your workout. Similar to many other fitness trackers, Moov tracks your daily activity and sleep — but rather than steps, Moov measures movement within 3D space.
The device pairs with an app to train users on five sports — running, cycling, swimming, cardio boxing, and a seven-minute bodyweight workout. The wearable’s modular design allows the device to be worn where it is most beneficial for each sport it tracks. For example, you can wear it on your ankle or shoe for running, or on your wrist while kickboxing or swimming.
The Cardio Boxing workout supports two Moov Nows, one on each wrist for a more complete workout experience. The sensor will tell the smartphone app if you’re not punching correctly, making sure you get a full workout. Are your feet in the correct position? Are you keeping your hands up and striking as prompted?
All in all, this fitness tracker aims to teach you the concepts of a healthy life. It provides a fun way to work out and will appeal both to the average person trying to become more active, and the hard-core fitness enthusiasts aiming to improve their technique.
An Indiegogo backed project, StrikeTec is a wearable for boxing and MMA fighting that seeks to eliminate guesswork and optimize training. Whether in the ring, the gym, working out with a partner or solo you’ll get real-time feedback via your mobile app on your training session.
To use the wearable, you’ll need to secure the sensor under your wrist wrap or glove velcro. Once paired with the smartphone app, the little gadget automatically measures your strike data, including your speed, power, count, type or combination, as it happens. At the end of your session, you’ll get more stats such as your average speed, average power, most/least popular strike combinations, round by round performance, endurance, fatigue and more.
The device is aimed for those who want to use boxing or martial arts for exercise. It can help you, your family and friends get out of the chair, off the couch and competing against each other with safe, easy to execute, Striking exercises. You’ll also have access to StrikeTec’s growing community of coaches, athletes and fans.
The company intends to ship StrikeTek to its backers in time for the 2017 Holiday Season.
Corner is another new kid on the block. It comes in the form of two small wireless trackers which you need to attach to your hand wraps. Download the accompanying iOS or Android smartphone app and you are set to go.
Every punch, block or combination is displayed in real time on your smartphone, allowing you insight into your performance as you box. You’ll get detailed info on your punch rate, speed and power, it finds trends in the punches and combinations you throw, and at the end of the session Corner will provide you with your fight fatigue score.
The device is only available for pre-order right now. According to the company’s website, delivery is expected before end of 2017.
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