“Ouch!” That’s what your opponent is supposed to say. Sometimes that opponent is a punching bag. Sometimes it’s a person.
“Ouch” is never something you want your body to say when you’re training. Except, that’s exactly what happens in the world of combat sports, even when you’re not sparring and are using them to get a little exercise.
A research paper in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found while boxers were hurt during competition (no surprises there) they also suffered significant injuries during training. These were mostly to areas like the shoulders and wrists, which became aggravated during practice sessions.
The take-home message? Punch something enough times and you will hurt, even if you’re doing it as a fun way to exercise. That doesn’t mean you should pay your physiotherapist upfront when you buy a punching bag. It just means your old school equipment will probably hit back.
Understanding the hurt locker
Fight training might be a war against the other guy, but it’s also a battle against your body. This is especially true if you’re boxing as a form of exercise thanks to the stress you place on your joints through the impact of your fists or legs hitting pads.
While it might make you feel like Rocky to pummel vintage equipment, the potential for harm hikes up as your training gear gets older. Specifically, the injury rates to the wrist and elbow are more likely if you do a sport like a cardio-based kickboxing, found a paper in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
Small potatoes? No, you’ll need those joints to do your day job, whether you’re pushing a keyboard or a screwdriver. What’s more, a single injury like this and you won’t be able to keep training, no matter how much you love it.
The culprits for this kind of hurt are the use of training tools like the heavy bag that loves little more than to sprain a wrist or ankle when coupled with a lack of proper punching or kicking technique. Repetitively hitting something without much natural give doesn’t help either.
Fortunately, you don’t have to hit fluffy pillows to keep training this way, you just may want to consider upgrading your approach and equipment.
A body built better
Experienced martial artists know all these injury risks, but only one of them has done something to address these problems –Bas Rutten.
He’s a certified MMA legend who created the Body Action System. It’s a series of combat pads that offer hundreds of combinations of adjustments for height, width, angles and pad rotation. This means, regardless of your height or body shape, you can tailor this product to suit your posture, so you never get injured during your training. And as you develop, the system can be adjusted to adapt with your progress.
This system’s head height can go as high as 6’5 or as low as 4 foot high. You will never have to negatively adjust your posture again. It also comes with a set of workout instructions that teach you how to use perfect technique. Even if you mishit the odd punch or kick, Bas’s system offers enough give and flexibility to prevent a repetitive impact injury.
This means that those injuries to the wrists, elbows, and shoulders that so many combat sports athletes suffer are all but erased. If you want to train consistently, doing the type of combat training you love then this is the only system that’ll protect you from injuries.
It’s the only way you can exercise consistently so you’re always talking regular steps to make improvements. Use it to train like a pro so you can get to you fighting weight.
Photo credit: Timothy Eberly on Unsplash