why do knuckles hurt with boxing gloves

why do knuckles hurt with boxing gloves

Why Do Knuckles Hurt with Boxing Gloves?

Boxing is a physically demanding sport that requires strength, skill, and endurance. One common issue that many boxers face is the pain and discomfort in their knuckles, even when wearing protective boxing gloves. In this article, we will explore the various reasons why knuckles hurt with boxing gloves.

Lack of Proper Technique

One of the primary reasons for knuckle pain in boxing is the lack of proper technique. When throwing punches, if a boxer does not align their knuckles correctly with their wrist and forearm, the impact can be absorbed by the knuckles alone, leading to pain and potential injury.

Additionally, failing to maintain a tight fist during punches can cause the knuckles to buckle under the force, resulting in discomfort and soreness. Proper technique, including hand positioning and maintaining a tight fist, is crucial in preventing knuckle pain.

Insufficient Hand Wrapping

Another factor contributing to knuckle pain is insufficient hand wrapping. Hand wraps provide additional support to the knuckles and wrists, reducing the risk of injury. When the wraps are not applied correctly or are too loose, the impact of punches can cause the knuckles to bear the brunt of the force, leading to pain and potential damage.

Proper hand wrapping techniques, including securing the wraps tightly around the knuckles and wrists, can help distribute the force evenly, minimizing discomfort and protecting the knuckles.

why do knuckles hurt with boxing gloves

Improper Glove Fit

The size and fit of boxing gloves play a significant role in knuckle pain. If the gloves are too tight or too loose, they can cause discomfort and increase the risk of injury to the knuckles.

Tight gloves can restrict blood flow to the hands, leading to numbness and pain in the knuckles. On the other hand, loose gloves can cause the hand to move inside the glove during impact, resulting in excessive movement of the knuckles and increased discomfort.

Ensuring the right glove size and fit is essential to prevent knuckle pain. Boxers should try on different gloves to find the one that provides a snug fit without restricting movement or blood circulation.

Repetitive Impact

Boxing involves repetitive punching, which can put significant strain on the knuckles. Over time, the repeated impact can lead to inflammation, swelling, and pain in the knuckles.

It is important for boxers to allow sufficient time for rest and recovery between training sessions to prevent overuse injuries. Proper conditioning and gradually increasing the intensity of training can also help the knuckles adapt to the demands of boxing, reducing the likelihood of pain.

Weak Hand Muscles

Weak hand muscles can contribute to knuckle pain in boxing. If the muscles in the hand and forearm are not adequately developed, they may not be able to absorb and distribute the impact of punches effectively.

Regular hand and forearm strengthening exercises, such as grip training and wrist curls, can help build strength and endurance in the muscles, reducing the strain on the knuckles and minimizing pain.

Pre-existing Injuries

Pre-existing injuries, such as fractures or sprains in the hand or wrist, can make the knuckles more susceptible to pain with boxing gloves. These injuries weaken the affected areas, making them more prone to discomfort and further damage during training or competition.

It is crucial for boxers to properly rehabilitate any pre-existing injuries and seek medical advice before returning to intense boxing activities. Ignoring or aggravating existing injuries can lead to chronic pain and long-term damage to the knuckles.

Poor Glove Padding

The quality and thickness of glove padding can significantly impact knuckle pain. Gloves with inadequate padding may not provide sufficient shock absorption, causing the knuckles to absorb more force during impact.

Investing in high-quality gloves with adequate padding can help minimize the risk of knuckle pain. Well-padded gloves distribute the force of punches more evenly, reducing discomfort and protecting the knuckles from excessive strain.


Knuckle pain with boxing gloves can be attributed to various factors, including improper technique, insufficient hand wrapping, improper glove fit, repetitive impact, weak hand muscles, pre-existing injuries, and poor glove padding. By addressing these factors and taking necessary precautions, boxers can reduce knuckle pain and enjoy a safer and more comfortable boxing experience.

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