You had a fight with the punching bag and the bag won.
There is one negative side effect to taking a kickboxing class for the first time: having bruised, skinned or cut up knuckles. But after finishing one round, chances are you are already ready to sign up for the next class.
That means it’s important to be better prepared and learn how to protect your knuckles so that it doesn’t look like you are now part of Fight Club.
Gloves And Hand Wraps
The best way to protect the hands is by wearing boxing gloves. Boxing gloves come in different weights (and kinds like bag or sparring gloves), and fully protects the hands. There is also room to also wear hand wraps or knuckle guards.
Hand wraps are designed to secure joints and bones and keep the hand together snug to prevent injury. Hand warps also protect the knuckles from getting cut and chafed during the workout. Keep in mind that hand wraps don’t serve as padding—the gloves do this. Hand wraps should not be used alone, but rather underneath boxing or MMA fingerless gloves.
Boxers also often tape their knuckles first to add that extra layer or protection under their gloves.
The Power Of Punching A Bag
After taking your first class, you probably quickly learned just how badass kickboxing is. For those about to take their first class, expect to throw lots of straight punches, jabs and uppercuts and kicks, as well as other high intensity moves like jumping squats and burpees—all based on the instructor.
Kickboxing is not only a great way to let out aggression, but it also is a full body body that will leave participants feeling pumped and ready to tackle anything the day throws at them. Engaging every muscle group in the body, those who take class shed more than just stress—they also will burn lots of calories. According to Harvard Health Publications, a 155 lbs person can burn about 744 in a hour, or 360 in a 30 minute kickboxing class.
And there are more health benefits to taking kickboxing than just burning calories.
It reduces stress while increases confidence levels because of the release of endorphins that boosts mood. Besides its feel good mood, kickboxing strengthens the body—toning muscles, improving coordination and balance. It also increases energy and is a great way to cross train.
Plus it provides a way for participants to learn how to depend themselves, while also being fun.
There are some studios or gyms that provide gloves for the class, whereas others require the participants to rent, buy, or bring their own. But sometimes not bringing your own and using the complimentary gloves (if they are of poor quality or don’t have ample padding) can be a one-two punch.
This is exactly what I learned after trying my new gym’s KnockOut class. Because I had taken a kickboxing class or two before, I knew that my knuckles would be a little sore or banged up. I considered this to be a little breaking period that wouldn’t be that bad. A sort of callus if you will of the hands to be able to move forward with more classes.
While my gym provides the gloves, they weren’t ones that completely covered the hands and the instructor warned that my knuckles would hurt. These are called MMA gloves (fingerless). A few minutes into the class I began to feel the sting, and by the end I had to air punch the bag to avoid contact.
Pushing through, and giving the class my all, throwing hooks has me hooked and anticipating next week’s class. Even though I walked out feeling like I was about to defeat anything else that is thrown my way, my hands now look like I was in a vicious bar fight.
Let me clarify that I am no whimp, and put my vanity aside to get “my hands dirty” in the gym. But having exposed skin on the knuckles isn’t the most pleasant thing in the world, especially since it burns when washing hands or making a fist. A little ointment and a day or two, and my war wounds will heal. At least it was a lesson to be more prepared about knowing what to expect from a new class and the best equipment to get.
Don’t let this be a set back to moving forward with your kickboxing journey. Just glove up and get your game face on for your next kickboxing class.