tips: a proper fist
In the movie Batman Forever, the character Two Faced explains the procedure to the Riddler on making a fist to throw a punch. Although this was a humorous scene in the movie, the sad fact is that many people actually believe by balling up your hand and swinging, you have made an effective and proper fist.
Many sprained and broken hands or wrists have been caused by trying to use an improperly made fist.
These injuries may be caused from improper wrist control, finger and/or thumb placement, as well as which knuckles of the hand hit first.
A fist needs to be strong and steady. To make it so, wrist angle is important. When making a fist, look at your forearm and hand horizontally. They should line up to where it looks like a level could be placed along the back of the arm and hand. Keeping this position requires practice and repeated checking.
When the wrist is allowed to bend forward or backward, excessive pressure is placed upon the bones and nerves and injury can occur. The injury can appear immediately in ways of a sprain or break. They can also show up later on in training resembling Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Repeated improperly placed blows can cause misalignment of the many small bones in the wrist causing swelling and pinching of the nerves that run through the wrist to the hand.
Once you have the idea of the proper position of the wrist, it is time to look at your fist itself. Fingers should curl in as tightly as possible. The hand should curl around these fingers so the fingernails touch the meaty part of the palm.
The thumb should wrap itself over and around the second section of the fingers. It should NOT be stuck under the fingers nor should it be over the end of the hand and sticking up. Because of nails, women are often prone to do this with their thumbs. If lucky, a torn off nail will be the least of injuries when throwing a punch this way.
Once you have balled up your fist, curled the fingers and hand so the nails touch the palm, then wrapped your thumb over the middle sections of your fingers, check your wrist angle once again. The knuckles should be the forward part of the fist. Not the first bend in the fingers themselves.
When you are sure you have a properly made fist, try it out on a punching bag or even a big sack of dog food. Throw several punches, exhaling as you do, and then check your knuckles. Only the ones that go with the index and middle fingers should be red. If all of your knuckles are red, your wrist placement is off center. Adjust it to the left or right as needed and once again check your wrist for levelness.
A truly effective punch will require power and speed but the proper placement and technique in the fist is vital too. If you practice making a fist and throwing the punch, speed and power will build over time and because you were careful in learning how to make a fist, it will be built without injury or pain to you.