When deciding to take up boxing, whether it be for training only or beginning your journey as a fighter. You will need to consider the good and the bad. Boxing comes with many benefits for your health, body and mindset. On the flip side boxing can also be dangerous.
Boxing is a contact sport. With its sole purpose of inflicting damage by punching an opponent with your gloves within the rules of boxing. There is alway a certain level of danger a person takes on when they decide to box. Focussing on training and proper boxing techniques both for attacks as well as defense. Would help the individual minimize risk.
Even if you plan on not stepping into a ring and primarily focus on boxing exercises. There are still possibilities of injury if you’re not training properly.
Hitting heavy bags, speed bags and dummies. Although they do not hit back, over time can cause damage or injury to your hands. The best way to minimize these dangers, is by always following proper safety procedures and using the right equipment.
For starters, you should always have proper fitting boxing gloves, and your hands should be wrapped before any type of bag work.
Is Boxing Bad For Your Hands
If not properly taken care of, your hands can be injured while boxing or can experience long term effects of improper use. There are personal experiences from boxers in that I’ve found in forums who have hand or wrist pains with the main cause of these injuries is by not using hand wraps or gloves.
“…used to wallop the bag with no gloves back in the day and I have definitely noticed some pain in my knuckles and especially my right wrist…”Reddit User
When training or in a fight. Typically you will be hitting and moving in a relatively fasted pace. Because of this, a common injury is boxer’s knuckle which is due to mishits that are absorbed by your knuckle.
Boxing requires a lot of work from your hands and having them hit objects of resistance. Your knuckles, metacarpal bones and wrists are all effected by the dangers of boxing. As many advocate, always be sure to have your hand properly wrapped, and with a properly fitted boxing gloves.
There is a time and a place for not using your hand wraps and boxing gloves. As a general rule, you should use the wraps and gloves every time you plan on doing bag work to minimize the possibility of injury.
However, it is not uncommon for some boxers to hit a heavy bag bareknuckle from time to time. The main reason being is to harden the knuckles and skin at the front of their fist. When doing this, it is recommended to not use 100% force. Rather an easy and controlled pace.
Common Injuries In Boxing
Majority of injuries that involve boxing comes from fights more so than while training. For obvious reasons boxing can be dangerous when you are in a fight and fail to protect yourself properly. Continuous blows to the body and head can lead to severe injury and sometimes death.
From a training stand point, injuries can be less frequent and only involve sprains and occasional pain from your body being over worked. Broken bones or head injuries are more unlikely as your workout should be well planned and predictable.
If you’re a beginner, you may want to visit a boxing gym first and have a professional walk you through proper ways to train and to help you workout safely.
However, unfortunately all the safety precautions you may take will still not exempt you from being prone to injury. Below are some common injuries you can face while fighting or training.
Cuts and Bruises
Forms of lacerations and swelling will happen when fighting in a boxing match. Sparring with a partner while wearing safety gear like boxing head guard can help prevent cuts and bruises.
But due to the nature of the sport, if you plan on taking part in some type of one on one combat. Your expectations should be that a level of injury can and will occur.
Injuries like this tend to happen around the head, typically the brows of your eyes. With constant hits to the bonier parts of the head the skin against the bone is compressed and ruptured, according to the World Boxing Association website.
Concussions and Brain Damage
“Chronic traumatic brain injury (CTBI) associated with boxing occurs in approximately 20% of professional boxers.”National Library of Medicine
In boxing, the fighters main targets are the body and heads of their opponents. The head being the ideal landing spot for their punches because they have the highest chance of incapacitating the other fighter.
Taking repeated blows to the head is what can make boxing dangerous. Many boxers over the years have developed and shown the long term effects of boxing related to the combat sport. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, memory loss, other neurological disorders.
Some studies have also begun for the theory that boxing long term can even lead to brains shrinkage, according to www.medicinenet.com.
Although no direct link was found, many believed that Muhammad Ali who suffered from Parkinsons Disease in his later years. Was a result from the years of boxing that he was involved in.
Are There Long Term Effects Of Boxing
Depending on how much you train and if you choose to spar or fight in a ring. Any long term effects on your body can vary.
For someone who casually goes to the gym to hit a heavy bag and get a work out in. Would have less of a chance of feeling any serious effects. A large reason in when boxing becomes dangerous is when the fighter is not using the proper equipment and not working on a proper form for boxing.
Boxers who have repeatedly trained without hand wraps or even boxing gloves tend to develop pain in their hands later on in life. And in some extreme cases are unable to us them at a 100% capacity.
Using hand wraps is not just to cushion the blow of your punches for your hand. The wraps help keep your hand, your wrists and everything in between aligned and tightly kept together.
Yes, the sport of boxing can seem very dangerous. Although there will always be a certain level of risk. You can help yourself by training hard and practicing the right techniques.
If you’re strictly training in boxing as a workout. Wear the proper equipment, and when hitting the bags, practice on technique. Don’t get lazy and have bad form that can hurt you over time.