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john917v 12-04-2008 09:14 PM

Hardening knuckles
Hi. I have recently found myself in some not-so-great situations. I don't look for trouble, but am ready to defend myself if needed. How do you harden your knuckles? There is this huge steel pipe that I have punched with a decent amount of force. The tenderness seems to last less after each time I let it heal, then punch again. How else can I harden them, to avoid injuring my hand(s) in a fight? Thanks.
BTW, I can't always wear gloves, so that's not an option.

Ross86 12-04-2008 09:37 PM

My 10 cents: You will cause more problems & have more trouble "hardening" your knuckles than it's worth.

If you "harden" your knuckles, do they become any harder? Or are you just killing sensation in your hands? Looks like you'd end up with arthritis. Strengthening your hands seems like a more viable option. Less chance of a broken bone, bruising, etc. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Kane 12-05-2008 04:47 AM

Traditional methods of strengthening the fist is to punch a board with rope wound around it.

Doing pushups on your fists, rather than palms also help.

You want to apply a force to the knuckle, but you don't want to break it or pulverize the skin, nerves and cartilage.

They will harden. Applying force and repetitive stress to the bone will cause the bone to change structure (over a long period of time, not just one round against a board lol) and you'll end up getting much denser bones. Basically they turn into solid bone, rather than hollow.

Like Ross said, be careful you don't end up with boxer's knuckle, a broken hand, arthritis or bone chips lol. And strengthening your hand (grip strength) will also help. The tighter you can squeeze your hand into a fist, the harder you can punch without breaking it.

mad matt 12-05-2008 05:06 AM

I find a knuckle duster breaks their bones quite well and you dont feel a thing.:firedevil:

ChinPieceDave667 12-05-2008 08:11 AM

Ross is right in that if you keep doing what you are doing you will start numb yourself to pain in that area which is what Muay Thai boxers do with shins.

Back in the day we had Makiwara boards, what Kane was talking about.
Also if you strengthen you hands and grip you will be able to clench a fist tighter which in some cases will aid in preventing bone movement when hitting, but you have to make sure that you close your fist tight and not leave it loose like a boxer. (all of which has been said.)

Also you could have the tightest and most dense fist ever but you are going to break your wrist if you don't know proper alignment for punching.

john917v 12-06-2008 11:16 AM

I see. Interesting. Thanks, guys. I'll try the rope-wrapped board technique, and maybe start doing the grip-strength machine at mlg.

J-Rock 12-06-2008 02:03 PM

Why not just learn muay thai??

hrdgain81 12-08-2008 02:28 PM

Another method that I've used with great success is to do knuckle push up on sandpaper, 80 grit gets the job done. What this does is create tiny lacerations on the skin, and since your holding your body weight up with your knuckles, the blood does not rush to the area to heal it as quickly. This then creates a callus over your knuckles. This is very similar to Makiwara training.

It can become unsightly (in some peoples opinions) but it may help you.

Cradler 12-08-2008 05:17 PM

I know nothing of fighting, but it seems to me like hardening your knuckles is not so much the issue as learning how to throw an exceptionally good punch. If you have to throw fewer punches, they'll be injured less frequently, or so I'd think. I could be wrong, though.

Kane 12-08-2008 05:47 PM

The trick is how do you learn to punch exceptionally...without hitting anything?

You could argue that you could just shadow box or something or use gloves, but guaranteed the first hit you land against bone will hurt like a motherf**ker. :D

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