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Old 01-16-2004, 08:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Knuckle toughening

After seeing Xtreme Martial Arts on the Discovery channel and hearing the little tidbit about their fists and bones being much stronger than the average person's on account of the training, I wanted to ask what kind of exercises to do that would toughen up the knuckles and the wrists, without putting too much stress on tendons and setting myself up for arthritis and all that.
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Old 01-17-2004, 01:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Knuckle pushups. Normal push up position, but instead of flat palms, you have tight fists and put the majority of the weight on your first two knuckles. TO make the tightest fist possible (and protect your hands when you are working out / fighting) concentrate on curling your pinky finger as tightly as possible, the rest of your fingers will follow. Back to the push ups...they would to strengthen your upper body as well as the arms, wrists and hands. They also serve to create callouses on your knuckles (just remember, if there is ANY weight on your ring finger and pinky knuckles, you are doing it WRONG).

Practice on soft ground first (carpet, grass etc) and gradually move to a harder surface. Eventually, you will be able to do them on concrete without any problem or second thought.

How do I know this? I spent 10 years training in martial arts. Perfect practice makes perfect. First focue on quality, then quantity.
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Old 01-17-2004, 04:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yup, knuckle pushups do the trick. After awhile you'll be able to do them on wood floors and impress the girlies.
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Old 01-17-2004, 04:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It wont happen over night dude. The push-ups are a great idea, also concentrate on your technique (of whatever martial arts your doing). Poor technique can cause big problems. I'd also suggest wrapping your hands for support. I find that ive gotta be careful with my hooks especially. All the best.
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Old 01-17-2004, 05:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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punching a lot of shit. I used to box, and hitting a heavy bag really toughened up the knuckes, and if you hit right it does not put much stain anywhere other than bicep type muscles.

The push up's will help too, but it will take longer that way.

I almost never bruide anymore because I have tough skin from fighting when I was younger and boxing up until a year and a half ago.
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Old 01-17-2004, 05:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Heavy bags, just as BigBlue mentioned.

Go to a combat room every day or so, punch the bags for an hour or so. Your knuckles will get sore (mine bled for the first few weeks) but then theyll toughen up.
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Old 01-17-2004, 07:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If your training your hands you should make sure to keep them moisturized. Apply lotion at least twice a day. It will help you build them up instead of simply destroying them.
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Old 01-19-2004, 02:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Knuckle Pushups might harden your knuckles, but they will not make you ignore the pain you get from hitting boards.

Personally i have a small board, wrapped completely with thin rope, i can use it while sitting near my computer using one hand holding it, and one hand hitting. Or hang it on a wall, for full workout ..

This might bleed the first few times, but only untill you grow stronger skin .. and this way you also learn to ignore the pain of hitting.
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Old 01-19-2004, 06:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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wow, i've been doing those muscle push-ups instead of regular forever, just tried it a few times and liked it better
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Old 01-19-2004, 07:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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knuckle pushups do work, but gradually. I've been doing them for over 10 years

I agree completely with the heavy bag hitting... they will toughen up your knuckles alot. Just be sure you are hitting correctly, - only the first 2 knuckles should be hitting (index and middle finger proximal joint, between metacarpals and phalanges, or 'hand-bones' and 'finger-bones' if you'd like)

After heavy bag, you can use something more solid like a makiwara - a leather striking pad.

Myself, I punch the wooden support column at my dojo. There are knuckle prints in it

strengthening your knuckles involves 2 things:

-creating callouses in the skin above the bone
-calcifying the bone itself.

The skin will become smoother and tougher, and the bones will grow in size to be able to take more of a pounding. This is a very gradual process - expect a long time before you see noticable results.

and it ain't pretty. my first 2 knuckles are big and red.
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Last edited by seizei; 01-19-2004 at 07:28 PM..
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Old 01-19-2004, 09:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Is there any risk of damaging the tendons?
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Old 01-20-2004, 11:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Im interested in toughening my knuckles also so as I understand it punching hard objects / knuckle pushups are best sounds pretty logical but quick question since I saw something that confused me a bit...
Quote:
I agree completely with the heavy bag hitting... they will toughen up your knuckles alot. Just be sure you are hitting correctly, - only the first 2 knuckles should be hitting (index and middle finger proximal joint, between metacarpals and phalanges, or 'hand-bones' and 'finger-bones' if you'd like
Ok so assuming my fingers are like this:

IIIII (pinkie, index, middle, right, thumb)
IIIII
IIIII
hand

(assuming I have my hand in a fist)
I should be hitting with the joints between the 2nd and 3rd row of fingers or where they meet correct(the bolded area)?

sorry the diagram is a bit confusing but before I go out and do this I want to make sure im making myself punch with the right spot ^^

Last edited by cait987; 01-20-2004 at 11:05 AM..
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Old 01-20-2004, 12:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The only way to get stronger denser knuckles regularly apply stimulus to them.


Let me explain using what I learned in one of my anatomy manuals:

Bone tissue is self repairing and can alter its properties during this process. Exercise and daily stimulus help increase bone mass. Since your knuckles arent exactly easy to "exercise", stimulating them using compression (example: hitting heavy bag, knuckle push-ups, etc.) will encourage them to get stronger. Be careful not to cause too much trauma to them because there is a condition called Myositis ossificans in which bone deposits are laid down in response to repeated trauma to an area. This condition is often associated with martial artist's knuckles. This can be a painful condition and can restrict movement in the area in which the condition happens.

Last edited by Plan9Senior; 01-20-2004 at 12:54 PM..
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Old 01-21-2004, 01:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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here is a picture of what part of your fist to hit with. It is very important to hit with these 2 knuckles at the EXACT SAME TIME. The first time you hit something hard with 1 knuckle first, you'll know why.

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Old 01-21-2004, 02:01 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Journeyman
Is there any risk of damaging the tendons?
If you hit some hard object very hard, before you are ready to do so, you can do alot of damage to yourself, but it will be bone and skin damage. The tendons attaching the muscle to extend you fingers (open your hand) are protected by the joint when you make a proper fist.

You should NOT be hitting things until you 'can't take the pain anymore'... it is a gradual toughening to build density in the 2 knuckles.

Look above to Plan9's last post for the risks of going at this sort of thing too fast.
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Last edited by seizei; 01-21-2004 at 02:05 AM..
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Old 01-21-2004, 11:53 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I punched a moving car once trying to break out the guys window (don't ask) and, since it was moving, I hit where the metal frame connecting to the window instead. Oh, and I hit it with my ring finger and pinkie finger knuckle on my right hand. Needless to say, I broke the knuckle off my bone and cracked a bone in my hand (boxers break) and was in a full enclosed hand cast for over a month (main hand too which restricted my alone time sessions...but that is another story). It was horribly painful. Moral of the story are two things. First off, don't punch moving cars (or even cars that aren't moving for that matter). Secondly, if you DO happen to hit something make sure to take note on Seizei's diagrammed picture on how to hit something .

Last edited by Plan9Senior; 01-21-2004 at 11:57 AM..
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Old 01-22-2004, 12:09 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Plan9
(main hand too which restricted my alone time sessions...but that is another story
isn't the main hand for moving the mouse though?
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Old 01-22-2004, 02:39 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by seizei
isn't the main hand for moving the mouse though?
I couldnt even work the mouse during that time, you have no idea how badly it sucked. I took a long break from the computer during that time
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Old 01-22-2004, 02:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
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There are burlap bags with grandualr beans or metal filings that you can punch to toughen knuckles as well. We use those first, then a makiwara. Heavy Bags usually lead young students to rip all of the skin off their knuckles and bleed all over the bag.

Also you can practice hitting pine boards without breaking force. That conditions your knuckles but has enough give to not do too much damage to untrained knuckles while working focus.
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Old 01-27-2004, 10:12 AM   #20 (permalink)
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google iron palm training and you'll get your answers.

or any martial arts store will have books on iron palm.
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Old 01-27-2004, 11:44 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
isn't the main hand for moving the mouse though?
tsk tsk.

Left hand mouse...

Soon you will be ambidextrous...
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Old 02-01-2004, 08:02 PM   #22 (permalink)
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i got in the habit of repeated rap'ing my knuckles against thick metalic things that don't make much noise.. (it became an odd nearvous habit, which i tankfuly stopped)

we also used broom handles and pipes on our shins.. first rolling them up and down then later tapping.
 
Old 02-01-2004, 08:35 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I'll add the knuckle push-ups to my routine and check back in a couple of weeks with progress. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 02-03-2004, 04:05 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by BigBlueWrecking
punching a lot of shit. I used to box, and hitting a heavy bag really toughened up the knuckes, and if you hit right it does not put much stain anywhere other than bicep type muscles.

The push up's will help too, but it will take longer that way.

I almost never bruide anymore because I have tough skin from fighting when I was younger and boxing up until a year and a half ago.
Haha, I do that. I have a thing for punching random shit for no reason. I also do the knuckle pushups and mug my punching bag every night.

Your hands won't be pretty, but it'll hurt like a mother fucker if you ever pop someone in the mouth.
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