Boxing is a rough sport. It’s extremely demanding on the body and very often, will leave you with more than just a scrape or a scratch. While most injuries take place in the ring, a large number of injuries occur at the gym while training as well.
In short, if you’re in this sport, you’re bound to sustain injuries at some point in time. But prevention goes a long way. Here are some tips that will reduce your chances of injury during the fights as well as while training.
- Protect your head
For a boxer, the opponent’s head is often the prime target. Most knockouts are caused due to blows to the head. It is often seen that many boxers suffer from long-term ailments due to head injuries. The great Muhammad Ali was one of them. The boxing champion had reportedly taken 29,000 blows to the head over the span of his career.
Head injuries are critical and can lead to concussions, short-term memory loss, and other neurological problems. Therefore, extra effort must be taken to protect your head as much as possible. In fact, wearing your protective head gear should become a second nature, and you should never — and we mean, never — fight, or even train without one.
- Invest in a good pair of gloves
Boxing gloves for boxers are what soccer boots are for soccer players. They are a part of your personality and your main tools for your trade. But even more importantly, gloves, along with wraps (more on that later) are your best bet to save your wrist, fingers, and knuckles from injury.
Hand injuries for boxers can often be so dire that it’s difficult to recover completely from them. A high-quality set of gloves will safeguard your hand. There are plenty of good professional boxing gloves available, but make sure to see the range of boxing gloves before picking one.
- Don’t ignore hand wraps
Another very important safety measure to prevent hand injuries is using boxing wraps. This increases the stability of your punches and prevents your fingers, knuckles, and wrists from moving or bending awkwardly on impact. Proper hand wrapping can help you avoid the dreaded “boxer’s fracture” — an extremely painful injury to the wrist, which happens due to impact.
- Keep a jar of petroleum jelly handy
Petroleum jelly is a boxer’s best friend. While watching a boxing match you must have noticed the trainers applying petroleum jelly on the face of the boxer in between rounds. The sole reason for applying petroleum jelly is to ensure that the opponent’s punches slide off your face without causing serious harm, thus, reducing the risk of facial injury.
- Never skip stretching
Stretching exercises lengthen your ligaments and muscles, which results in increasing your range of movement. As boxers are susceptible to muscle injuries, stretching exercises make you less vulnerable to muscle strains and sprains. You should focus on stretching exercises for your hamstring, shoulders, and quadriceps. Warm-up exercises are equally important and should never be skipped before sparring.
- Master proper punching techniques
Every boxer knows that their hands are not just the most precious assets but also at most risk of injury. In order to reduce the possibilities of damaging your wrists and fingers, it is important to learn how to punch correctly. Poor punching techniques won’t just cost you a win, but also cause significant trauma to your hand and wrist.
The right measures to prevent injury plays a heavy role in prolonging not just your boxing career but also your life. Wear the right gear and follow these protective tips to keep injuries at bay. Train well and fight hard!