Your lovely little vinyl gloves and cotton inners are just what the surgeon needs to reach their goal of a Winnebago and early retirement!
Boot camps are FANTASTIC to get you moving and making muscle (I hope your aim to is to get strong, not skinny… right?). BUT, like any sport, if they are doing boxing as part of the circuit there is some very basic injury prevention guidelines that should be adhered to. Here’s my boot camp and boxing fitness checklist for you:
1. Do they use vinyl gloves and cotton inners? If so, run for the hills.
If you are hitting hard enough then you will end of with boxer’s fracture.
If you have been using vinyl gloves and cotton inners for a while without injury it is not luck. You simply aren’t boxing, or hitting hard. You might as well be fluffing up a feather pillow case with your knuckles. Boxercise = cardio. Cardio ages you and makes you a fat/ skinny. If you are hitting hard enough in these little gloves you should dislocate your knuckles at the very least, and/ or fracture one or more metacarpals.
I have been involved in a bare fisted altercation (once) when a heroin addict tried to break into our car in the middle of the night. The result was the offender trying to hit my Matty over the head with a brick paver (the paver lost), my pyjama pants busting their elastic and falling down in the ensuing mallei and me fracturing 3 knuckles and dislocating two. See I just didn’t have time to wrap or get my 16 ounce leather gloves on.
I also used to be a hand model once…. um no. I didn’t get those gorgeous large man knuckles from working in a cupcake parlour. I have boxed religiously for 4 hours a week for the last 12 years. No amount of conditioning will stop an unwrapped, ungloved hand from smashing into a pulp. Look at the size of your knuckle. Have a look at the size of your skull. What is going to win?
2. Does your boot camp offer loan cotton inners or wraps? There is no disease control in communal cotton inners. If you box, you sweat. If you hit the bag hard you cause micro tearing and bleeding to the knuckles. Inners and wraps must be washed at over 90 degrees Celsius to kill off the nasties like golden staff and Hepatitis strains. Not to mention the blood transference and possible AIDS implications. The inners and wraps cannot possibly be getting washed at high enough heat. If they were they would simply shrivel up and melt in the wash. So! Purchase cotton inners if you must (please refer to point one about how you are headed for surgery….). Disposable plastic gloves are a good short term solution. But of course WRAPS APPLIED CORRECTLY are the best. Wraps and inners are like underwear….. not really for sharing.
3. WRAPS. WRAPS are inexpensive, and when chosen correctly and applied correctly are a boxer’s best friend. WARNING. Simply wrapping your wrist and knuckles round and round and round is not correct application. In fact it will cause carpal constriction and long term nerve damage (i.e.: the CRAW). That surgery is not pleasant either.
A good wrap should have a lycra compontent so it has give and can be applied firmly without bunching up. It must be long enough to wrap four times down the wrist and back up, to do seven (7) figure of eights around the knuckles (doubling up on your hitters, the index finger and middle finger) and give you one or two anchor wraps across the knuckle at the end. This means a minimum length of 180cm for an average man.
Quick wraps are the devils work. I won’t even waste my breath on them.
4. TECHNIQUE. To box correctly you must have full extension of shoulder across the jaw, and the wrist must remain straight and turn inwards to activate the tricep and be at the strongest possible position at the point of impact. You must retract the arm as quickly as you throw it. If you do not you will dissipate force (i.e.: power), and you leave you hand hanging out for someone to rip off. Plus, it is lazy to have slow retraction. Lazy equals less fast twitch muscle. Fast twitch muscle equals lean, strong muscle. Noice. Slow retraction also causes the bag to swing around like a raging bulls testicles. This does not indicate a powerful punch. It indicates that you are leaning on the bag, have a slow punch and incorrect technique. There is nothing slow twitch about boxing. If you like slow twitch do a marathon.
5. Focus mitt workouts are only as good as the person holding the focus mitts. And if you are wasting time changing gloves and focus mitts, well… you are just wasting time. Time is money. You are wasting money. Focus mitts also cause nerve damage because the hand should not be held in a rigid flat line when catching a punch. The hand should be curved to catch the punch (like soft hands in cricket). It’s nice to hit something (or somebody), but only if it is done correctly. And safely.
Chose you instructors carefully! Instructors with previous fight experience are rare these days, but if they have a couple of brain cells left and are really good at teaching, it is even rarer.
How much would you outlay a year if you played soccor? Hockey? Don’t even get me started on the expense of cycling. $89 for gloves and wraps is a pretty sweet deal for a workout that has been ranked the second best workout in history, second only to motocross sport and cross country skiing.
Can’t get to Northside Brisbane MMA classes and bootcamps at www.sweatdepot.com.au?