Strong and conditioned knuckles are useful for most martial arts and physical contact sports such as boxing and wrestling. By strengthening your knuckles, you actually toughen up the skin and the fibrous coating around your bones. This means you feel less pain in punches and should prevent any dangerous breaks and injuries.
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Things you need
- Heavy punch bag
- Makiwara board
Invest in a heavy punch bag and regularly use it in boxing or striking sessions. Ensure you always punch with the knuckles of your index and middle fingers -- these are the two knuckles you should strike with in any punch; hitting with your outside knuckles only encourages injury and a poor technique. Punch bare-knuckled to condition and strengthen your knuckles faster.
Visit a sandy beach if one is nearby; punching into the sand is a great way to strengthen and condition your knuckles. Simply kneel on both knees and lean over a patch of sand in front of you. Punch simultaneously with both hands into the sand and move to another section if you loosen and tear up the sand too much.
Buy and use a Makiwara board for punches and strikes. Makiwara is the Japanese word for striking post and can be found in many dojos across the country. The board is tall and wooden with a patch of rice straw around the top to form a striking area, but modern Makiwara boards can also be made with padding or foam. Specialist martial arts suppliers do stock the product, but ensure you buy a Makiwara board as tall as your shoulders; this means you can punch the board at a safe height.
Do some knuckle push ups to strengthen your knuckles even further. Lie down on your front on a solid, hard floor with your legs together and you hands closed in a fist shape. Tuck your thumb over the index finger. Push you knuckles into the floor in a parallel line with your body, not parallel to your shoulders. It should look like you're climbing an invisible ladder. Achieve a push up by lifting your body off the floor and lowering it back down again. Repeat this process several times to strengthen your knuckles, fingers, hands and wrists at the same.
Repeat these training and conditioning exercises as often as possible to continue strengthening your knuckles. You should lighten the training or stop altogether if your knuckles begin to bleed or hurt; resume training once they fully heal.
Tips and warnings
- Practice good technique when doing any knuckle push ups. In particular; your body should be level and straight and your back should not be raised.
- Using a punch bag on a regular basis also helps balance your core and improve your punching technique and power.
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