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How To Punch Without Breaking Your Hand

Make a fist

There are lots of ways to make a fist, and when it comes to punching, a surprising number of them are wrong.

Start by curling the tips of your fingers into your palm, then wrapping your thumb around the first knuckle of your ring finger (and sometimes onto your other fingers, depending on the length of your thumb). It’s important that you don’t wrap your fingers around your thumb. That’s a very efficient way to break or even dislocate your thumb, which is incredibly painful.

When your fist impacts a hard target, the forces are not gentle on your delicate hand bones. In fact, the large gloves boxers wear are more to protect the puncher’s hands than the punchee’s head and body. To protect yourself, make your fist tight enough that it won’t give when it hits the target—but not so tight that your arm shakes and you cut off blood flow to your hand.

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(Above: MMA fighter Vitor Belfort generates power from his legs during a punch and so should you.)

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Is it OK to throw things when angry?

The release of tension that brings us to acts of aggression when we’re mad is thought to be stress-relieving. Yelling, screaming, slamming doors, throwing things—these are all considered to have the same venting effect.

Throw the punch

Now it’s time to send some fingers flying. The first thing to remember is that the punch should go straight forward, rather than out to the side. The idea is to send your fist out and bring it right back to its original position, with as little extraneous motion as possible.

If you flare your arm out, like in the movies, your target will have plenty of time to avoid or block the strike—and you’re going to leave yourself wide open to getting a punch in your own face.

The full punch motion stems from turning your hips. Imagine swinging a baseball bat with just your arms and no hip swivel: It’s not very powerful. The same idea applies to hitting with just your fist.

When you start the punch, pivot your back foot on its ball and push your body forward. You don’t want to exaggerate the motion and throw yourself off balance, but you want to feel your lower body pushing your arm forward. As you push off your foot, turn your hips and extend your arm straight toward the target. Don’t flare your elbow or try to loop around in a big hook punch.

Also, don’t overextend into the punch. You want to feel in control and balanced at all times during the process. If you over-commit and fall forward, you’ll put yourself in a vulnerable position.

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(Above: MMA fighter Luke Rockhold keeps his other hand up when he throws a punch so no one strikes his face. You should, too.)

The Laws of Physics Dont Lie: Remember Mass X Velocity!

Bruce Lee’s freakish explosive power can actually be validated by understanding the basics of kinetic energy. Essentially, mass (m) times (v) velocity equals impact power. If you double the mass of the object (i.e., body weight) and leave the velocity (speed of the punch) constant, you will double the impact power. But, if you leave the mass of the object (i.e., body weight) constant and double the velocity (speed of the punch) you will quadruple the punching power. See my Combat Speed Training DVD Series to learn more about improving your punching speed.

4) Hand Grip Exercises

Another simple and common exercise to strengthen your hands is to use a device called the hand grip (see the top 5 best hand grips here). It allows you to continuously squeeze and apply pressure to a lever type device, which provides additional resistance. Some other benefits include:

  • Strengthens the muscles in your forearms
  • Increase your hand endurance
  • Improves dexterity (skill in performing tasks with the hands)
  • Simple to do this exercise whenever and wherever
  • Improves your ability to do everyday tasks such as carrying things, typing, writing etc.

How To Punch Without Breaking Your Hand Details

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How long does a broken hand hurt for?

Broken hand recovery time will be different for every injury and every patient. With proper treatment, broken fingers will typically heal within a few weeks and broken hands within one to two months, although it may take several months to make a complete recovery from a severely broken hand.

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Punching Accurately is Critical in a Real Fighting Situation

The final component of learning how to punch is avoid hitting hard body surfaces, especially the opponent’s skull. You’ll need to possess target orientation skills. Target orientation means having a workable knowledge of the various anatomical targets presented in a fight. Remember, knowing how to punch your opponent is just as important as knowing exactly where to hit him.

Believe it or not, but many self defense hand injuries are a result of striking the opponent’s skull! The human skull is extremely hard and resilient. It’s likened to an armor helmet that protects the human brain from impact. I personally know several fighters who broke their hands when their fists connected with an opponent’s forehead or skull. Therefore, when learning how to punch you are to avoid making contact with your opponent’s skull (frontal bone). The only viable punching targets are the opponent’s nose, chin, temple, and jaw. See my Pressure Points DVD if you would like to learn more about how to punch vital head targets in a street fight.

Learning how to punch also means you will have to study and observe each and every punch in your arsenal and making ceratin they can handle the rigors of power punching. Through proper analytical observation you can quickly identify the strengths and weaknesses of each blow in your fighting arsenal. The best way to accomplish this is to methodically test each punch on a resistant target such as a heavy bag.

Warnings

  • If you aren’t engaging in a combat sport, never punch someone unless you’re being attacked and can’t get away. The goal of learning self-defense is to protect yourself, not start an unnecessary fight.

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  • If you’re practicing your punching with a heavy bag, speed bag, hand pads, or sparring match, always wear hand wraps. If you don’t, you’re more likely to break your wrist or injure your hand.[22]

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How to Wrap Your Hands

You will need a pair of handwraps. A good length is 180″, but small hands can do with just 120″. The semi-elastic, also known as “Mexican wraps” are my favorite for their comfort and performance. You should avoid any thick inelastic handwraps or handwrap gloves, these do not offer the same level of support. (The gel handwraps do not tighten your fist when you close your hands.)

OK, LET’S BEGIN!

1. Loop the thumb and wrap BEHIND the hand

You go down the back of the hand so the handwrap t

You go down the back of the hand so the handwrap tightens when you make a fist.

If you run the wrap down the front of the hand, th

If you run the wrap down the front of the hand, the handwrap loosens when you make a fist.  It’s annoying to have to re-wrap midway through your workout.

2. Three times around the wrist

This provides support for the wrist. If you have s

This provides support for the wrist. If you have short handwraps or big hands, you can do just 2 times. Some fighters like having loose wrists (for angled hooks and uppercuts).

3. Three times around the hand

You’re wrapping around the palm of your hand

You’re wrapping around the palm of your hand. Don’t worry so much about covering the knuckles.

Bring it down to the back of your thumb.

Bring it down to the back of your thumb.

4. Three X’s through the fingers

Now you begin to create X’s on the back of your hand as the handwrap goes between your fingers and crosses the back of your hand. This part pulls your knuckles together for support but keeps your knuckles separated so they don’t collapse or break over each other.

Wrap between your pinky and ring fingers.

Wrap between your pinky and ring fingers.


Now over to the side.

Now down to the bottom of your hand. The handwrap

Now down to the bottom of your hand. The handwrap forms an “X” on the back of your hand.


Now back to the top of your thumb again.

Now between the middle and ring fingers.

Now between the middle and ring fingers.

The second “X” is formed.

The second “X” is formed.


Back to the top of the thumb and now between index and middle fingers.

Now the third and final “X” is formed.

Now the third and final “X” is formed. All fingers properly separated.


Finish on top of the thumb.

5. Around the thumb

Go once around the thumb.

Go once around the thumb.

Now go down the back of the hand.

Now go down the back of the hand.

6. Lock the thumb

Go behind the thumb…pay attention carefully

Go behind the thumb…pay attention carefully to the next step.

Go down the palm instead of wrapping all the way a

Go down the palm instead of wrapping all the way around the thumb. This further secures the thumb and locks the handwrap into place so it doesn’t get loose while you fight. (Notice how the handwrap changes directions.) 

8. Extra wraps and finish at the wrist

If you still have extra wraps left over you can do

If you still have extra wraps left over you can do some more “X’s” around the back of your hand.

You can also wrap the knuckles some more. Don&#821

You can also wrap the knuckles some more. Don’t wrap so thick that your hand won’t fit in the gloves.

Finish at the wrist. You can secure the velcro rig

Finish at the wrist. You can secure the velcro right on the wrist for maximum wrist support. Some boxers like to finish above the wrist so their hand can bend a little more for hooks and uppercuts.

Congratulations! A perfect handwrap. Isn’t she beautiful? Go ahead, admire your work, make a fist.

A perfect handwrap
 will tighten your fist when y

A perfect handwrap will tighten your fist when you close your hand.

Why You Shouldnt Punch Walls For Hand Strength

So when you started reading this post, you probably wanted to start punching some walls. I mean, if it makes my hands harder right? Now that we know punching walls doesn’t make your hands stronger, let’s talk about why you shouldn’t do it anyways.

Of course, there is the most common injury of breaking your hand. This could be the case if you are punching a very sturdy wall at full force. However, most people realize this is a bad idea, and will instead hit the wall more softly, hoping to build up resistance and force over time.

While this process of slowly adding force may not cause your hands to break, it can cause other injuries. The most common hand injury for fighters, aside from breaks and fractures, is a tear in the sagittal band of the knuckle.

This person’s hand has a sagittal band tear,
This person’s hand has a sagittal band tear, noted by the knuckle moving to the side.

This is an injury commonly, known as “boxer’s knuckle”, due to its occurrence among boxers. It can be recognized by the knuckle moving to the side when the hand is closed, and straightening out when the hand is open.

Not much force is needed for the impact of a punch to tear the sagittal band. Many fighters even experience this type of tear through their gloves.

2) Wall Punching

This is another ancient martial arts technique used by the Shaolin Monks of China. It strengthens all the tiny bone fragments within your fist.

  1. You need to find a solid flat wall about the same height as yourself.
  2. Hang a large stack of newspapers in front of the wall (so it’s at least 1-2 inches thick when pressed down).
  3. Begin punching the wall gently and continuously with one hand, from about 10 inches away. You can increase the distance and power bit by bit when you see improvement. Never punch the wall with too much force (only use about 1/3rd of your entire power).
  4. Switch hands and repeat. When the newspapers get worn out, change them around.

Though the Shaolin Monks usually perform this 2 hours at a time non-stop, I don’t expect you to match that (unless you really want to of course). Start off with 5 minutes, allow your hands to meal, then increase to 10 minutes and so on.

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