Hand and Wrist Pain From Boxing Training and Martial Arts
Standard boxing protective equipment
Spend any amount of time in a serious boxing gym and you’ll probably run into a few professional fighters. They come in all shapes and sizes, but the one thing they all have in common is: they each know how to separate fighting and training. When they fight, they go all out. Whatever it takes to win is what they expect from themselves and their opponents.
But during training, they are there to prepare themselves for the big night. There is no need to show how tough they are by engaging in reckless practices.
Every workout, the first thing a professional does is wrap his hands (or have them wrapped for him). Without this handwrap, he is naked and vulnerable. With it, on the other hand, he has fists of steel.
You can not work out effectively unless your hands are wrapped. In the short term, your workout can’t be as intense when you have bare hands, and in the long term, you will suffer repetitive-stress injuries which make your career stall before it even gets a chance to get started.
Hand wraps do a lot more than just prevent you from breaking a bone in your hand. Used properly, they prevent the wrist pain that often accompanies hooks and other looping punches.
Good form during training is essential
Training is just that: practice for the real deal. There is no need to go berserk during a training session. In fact, it would be counterproductive.
Never let your machismo get the better of your common sense. When your form degenerates, you risk injury, especially during sparring and on the heavy bag. If your hands are hurting, something is wrong with your form. You have to reevaluate your training and change whatever needs fixing.
Pace yourself: you can’t learn it all at once
Boxing training is rough on the hands and wrists. There is no way around it. Everyone knows the dangers inherent in high-impact sports activities, but few people understand that it is not the immediate, acute injuries that are the most common, but the long-term, repetitive-stress injuries.
If your hands are well-protected and your training sessions are conducted with good form, but you fail to pace yourself over the long-term, you risk serious injury.
Don’t let hand and wrist pain sneak up on you: make sure your training sessions start at a reasonable pace, then only increase the intensity and duration when you are sure that your joints are capable of withstanding the additional workload.