Tips For Preventing Boxing Injuries
Anyone who steps into a boxing ring with someone else has to accept the potential danger. Two people standing toe to toe and throwing punches at each other is not the same as participating in an aerobics class or going for a jog in the park. That said, boxing injuries aren’t inevitable. Most occur because people don’t take the time to learn some basic techniques. Or they step into the ring against a vastly superior opponent. Or they simply disregard the need for proper safety equipment. Below we’re going to take a look at some boxing tips that will enable you to avoid injuries in the ring.
10 Boxing Tips To Stay Safe In the Ring
Most boxing injuries are the result of inexperience, hubris or inadequate equipment. These facts are borne out by the relatively small number of injuries professional boxers incur. Unlike in football you never hear of properly trained boxers tearing their ACL or dislocating their shoulder. You do, however, hear about amateurs breaking their hand, straining various ligaments or cutting their face on the opponent’s gloves. Here are 10 tips that will help you avoid unnecessary injuries in the ring.
1. Always Wear Protective Headgear
Even elite professional boxers have the common sense to wear headgear when in training. In addition, headgear is mandatory for Olympic and other levels of amateur competition. If the people in the upper echelons of the sport are wearing protective headgear there should be nothing – not even the most stubborn pride – preventing you from wearing it too. At all times. Absolutely no buts.
2. Wear A Mouthpiece
Boxing is a sport. It’s not survival. Nor is it 1960s era ice hockey. No one should be expected to cough up teeth while playing their favorite sport anymore, so mouthguards are mandatory any time you’re in the ring. Again, even Mike Tyson in his prime wore a mouthpiece. So if mouthguards were good enough for him they’re good enough for you.
3. Get Some Good Boxing Shoes
Boxing shoes are not the luxury they’re sometimes made out to be. They’re a necessity if you are to avoid slipping, twisting your ankles and losing the spring in your step. Boxing shoes are made of lightweight, breathable materials so they won’t slow you down and won’t get bogged down with sweat.
4. Wrap Your Hands
Wrapping your hands is vital if you are to prevent serious injury. Wrapping your hands before entering the ring or even addressing punching bags allows your hand to act as a single unit. This stability greatly reduces the chance of suffering a “boxer’s fracture”, where the metacarpal bones connecting the hand to the wrist break as a result of sudden impact. It’s an extremely painful injury and in truth, it almost never happens to pros. Because they know the value of wrapping their hands.
5. Get Some Good Boxing Gloves
No matter your age or skill level there’s a pair of boxing gloves for you out there. Everything from kids boxing gloves to adult boxing gloves intended for the most seasoned professionals. Hand injuries to a boxer are like knee injuries to an NFL running back. That is, they’re the kind of injury one doesn’t often fully recover from. Making sure your hands are properly wrapped and then properly covered in high-quality gloves will ensure your first sparring session isn’t your last.
Boxing may not seem like a lot of work to the untrained eye. But when you are in the ring you are either constantly moving or you are constantly getting hit. If you doubt that moving constantly for 3 minutes at a time (the length of a round) is difficult, get up and try. Bounce on your toes, move left and right, bob and weave (and don’t forget to also throw plenty of punches). Don’t stop though. Because if you stop you’re going to get hit. If you make it through 3 minutes of this, wait a minute then do it again. Then wait a minute and do it again. Then wait a minute and… well, you get the idea.
7. Get Plenty Of Sleep
A weary boxer is one who doesn’t react as quickly as the opponent. A tired boxer is one who can’t move constantly for 3 minutes at a time and winds up getting hit. A lot. A tired boxer is one whose legs are going to give out. A weary boxer is one whose punches have no speed or weight. Rest not only allows you to perform up to your potential, it also allows you to avoid injury and to heal quickly after a sparring session.
8. Get To Know Petroleum Jelly
If you’ve ever watched a boxing match on TV you may have wondered what the trainer is doing to the boxer’s face between rounds. They seem to be rubbing something on the face but it’s hard to tell what it is. What it is is petroleum jelly. And it’s applied liberally so that the opponent’s blows will slide off the face. Without it even glancing blows could cause serious damage. With it the risk of injury is greatly reduced.
Strains and sprains happen when muscles get tight and inflexible. Stretching both before and after a sparring session, bout or even a session with the punching bags, can help prevent strains, sprains and torn ligaments. You’ll also have more pop to your punches and likely be more accurate as well.
10. Ice Is Your Friend
After a workout or sparring session it can pay handsome dividends to ice down your muscles. This will decrease inflammation, reduce soreness and stiffness and help facilitate the healing process. Icing yourself down after a vigorous boxing session can help you stave off future injuries as well.
Staying safe in the ring is mostly a matter of being well conditioned, properly geared up and making sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew as far as opponents go. Take the above boxing tips to heart and enjoy your time in the ring.