I'm not generally a fit person, but I started riding a bike to work two years ago when a colleague of mine sold me an slightly used one really cheap. Now in winter I can't (safely) do that so I bought myself a boxing bag to at least have a way of training inside (and because I thought it would be a good way to "externalize daily frustration").

Now my problem is (winter approaching) that even while wearing padded boxing gloves, I get bleeding knuckles within 15 minutes of training. And since it takes over a week for them to heal, I can't see how I could train regularly without having to wear bandages on my hands permanently (which looks stupid and attract unwanted attention).

I sometimes saw real boxers on TV wearing bandages before they put their gloves on. Are those meant to prevent bleeding, or just prevent that the blood gets in the gloves?

  • Do the gloves fit properly? Are you wearing wraps as well? Are these abrasions? Do you bleed easily normally? ;) Nov 22, 2011 at 13:42
  • I'm not wearing wraps. It seems this is my problem. Nov 22, 2011 at 18:18
  • Wraps and better gloves. I use 12oz gloves for the heavy bag. Nov 5, 2012 at 13:26

2 Answers 2


The "bandages" that "real boxers" wear (whether on TV or not) are called handwraps, and are worn underneath the glove to add stability to the bones of the hand and wrist, as well as to prevent chafing with the inside of the glove. (They are not for soaking up blood inside the gloves, though I guess they do that job too.)

I would add three things to your punching bag workouts:

  1. Handwraps, properly wrapped. You'll have to get someone to show you.
  2. Boxing instruction, since you might be doing something egregiously wrong that we can't diagnose over the internet. A little training goes a long way when it comes to preventing self-injury.
  3. A shorter time period. 15 minutes of bag work for someone new to it is a lot. You need to give your body time to build up to that amount of work--tougher skin, denser bones. Otherwise you might tear up your untrained hands or sprain a weak wrist.

I agree with Dave about hand wraps, workout time, etc… but I feel you should be able to hit the bag a bit without prior instruction. For your bleeding knuckles, instead of hand wraps - which require a bit of expertise - you can use boxing wraps, they are easier to use and provide good protection.

Some other tips:

  • Knuckle push ups.
  • Use a timer (either iPhone or Gymboss) to pace yourself - 2 or 3 minute rounds with a 45 sec or 1 minute rest.
  • Look at YouTube for some basic heavy bag workouts - hitting is nice, hitting with reason is better.
  • If it hurts, stop! Don't continue with anything that is starting to cause undo pain or injuries.
  • Include jump rope: one round of heavy bag followed by a round of jump rope. This will give your hands a break and provide great aerobics.
  • Don't give up…
  • Knuckle pushups are a good idea, but on the other hand, if they are already hurt (and/or bleeding), then they probably won't help much... And if you need to stop, you can at least do some "shadow boxing" (punch the air). Could help you prolong the workout and it's similar enough.
    – VPeric
    Nov 23, 2011 at 22:05

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