Recently I’ve been working with a trainer and we have done a lot of boxing type workouts. Jump roping, punching and kicking are the main things we work with. I’ve noticed though that while punching and after we are done that my pinky fingers and knuckles in that area are sore. Well I decided to google it (of course) and find out why that was happening and what I can do to prevent it!
The most common injury when you do this type of workout is known as “boxer’s fracture.” This is a fracture of the long bone that runs across the top of your hand (metacarpal) and/or the knuckle of your little finger and sometimes the ring finger too. Other common injuries include the fracture of the wrist and/or the elbow.
The reason why these types of injuries happen is because most people do not pay close enough attention to how they line up their hand when they punch. Turning your hand so that the little knuckle (and sometimes the knuckle of the ring finger too) strikes first is the most common cause of boxer’s fracture., which is exactly what I have been doing. Another problem is that people do not align their entire wrist correctly when doing the basic front straight punch. If you bend your wrist during contact, injury to your wrist can occur. Another way to cause injury is if you allow your elbows to flare outward during a straight punch, doing this will cause your wrist to turn and you will end up hitting with your pinky finger and knuckle.
When you are doing a boxing type workout you want to put a lot of force into it. But when you are putting force out to your opponent or your workout partner you also have to absorb as much force as you deliver. This force that you absorb can cause injury if you do not disperse it through your entire body. The easiest way to prevent injury is to align your hand, wrist and arm properly so that the force you are going to absorb is transmitted up your entire arm and into your body as a whole and not just into your hand and wrist. Now lets learn how to punch in the correct way!
The striking surface: The point of impact should be as if it was coming from either the second or third spaces between your fingers, in-between the index or first finger and the long finger knuckles OR between the long finger knuckle and the ring finger knuckle. Realistically you will strike your knuckle first and not the spaces between the knuckles, but if you focus on either of these points then your hand is aligned properly. The difference between the two points is that the first one (between the index and long fingers) is for a straight on punch, whereas the second one (between the long and ring finger) is for what is called a 3/4 twist punch.
Your wrist should be perfectly straight to align the bones to transmit force up and through. Wrist injuries can result from your wrist bending upon impact. This is one reason people tape their wrists. Boxers often tape their hands and wrists into the proper position so that the force is automatically aligned to go down their wrist and into their arm.
Your elbow should be kept close to the body so that the direction of the punch is parallel to the movement of the centerline of the body. Correct alignment of the hand makes sure that any force that is rebounded from an impact is transmitted up your entire arm and your body as a whole absorbs the force not just the striking portion of the hand. Keeping the elbow in close to the body is just as important, for otherwise the force will stop at your elbow. You may not break your elbow, but you will injure the ligaments holding the bones in place and that will hurt for a very long time!
As you can see from the picture above he is leading with this first couple of knuckle with now twist in his arm, wrist or hand. This will prevent injury because the hit is landing on the correct area and the force is being absorbed through the wrist, arm and body.
So when you are doing a boxing type workout with a trainer or even in our Body Combat class make sure that you are aligning your hand, wrist and arm correctly to prevent injury. Now that I know this I’m going to make sure to pay attention to how I punch so that I do not cause damage to my knuckles, wrists and elbows! I encourage everyone to try and work with someone who does this kind of workout because you get a great whole body workout during it and if you’re in a bad mood it helps you get some aggression out! Have a great weekend everyone!