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I am practicing "American Boxing" I believe it's called. I have a very well-respected and experienced coach who has a seasoned amateur and professional record, and who has trained some successful boxers, and I am under 1:1 instruction by him.

One thing we've been working a lot lately is my lead hook, which currently is quite rough. From my coach's perspective, I need to put my elbow up higher, really snap my hip, and he's been instructing me to exaggerate the elbow height even, to get into the habit of it.

However, I have a problem that is less-visible to my coach, and that is that when I've been performing my lead hook, much of the time, it causes a lot of acute hand pain and it is the only punch where this occurs in my boxing regimen. The best way to describe it is that it feels like when I am throwing the punch that my fist is either not fully clenched/supported, or that somehow the strike angle of the punch is catching my thumb or a part of my hand that it probably shouldn't be. This creates shooting pains through my hand as if for example one may feel if they were to only clench their fist half way, and with sloppy form sorta slap a heavy bag (or a human, frankly) with an area of the hand other than the striking knuckles.

The thing that's weird is that this never happens with the jab or right hand for me, this issue vaguely occurs on some uppercuts as well...

To be frank, this is the first time where I'm experiencing a quite high force being placed on my hands in these positions (my coach is thrusting the practice mitts into my hand quite hard), and part of me feels that some of this I just have to push through until my hands "toughen up" a bit (ligaments, tendons, etc get used to the force applied), but I also just wanted to ask if there were any specific tips to mitigate these described issues inside the glove? I have obviously tried actively focusing my mind on clenching my fist harder as I throw the lead hook, and another thing I've tried which actually did help quite a bit was to throw the punch as high as possible, exaggerating as my coach stated... I think that the lower throw was somehow affecting the strike angle and potentially contributing to the issue.

I have not tried separate gloves, but I suspect this isn't really "the gloves fault" regardless, I currently use Hayabusa T3 and haven't had any other issues with them.

NOTE: I am not looking for any medical advice, this question pertains to the technique and form of the punches in order to make then effective and help avoid future injury, rather than asking for treatment (there is no current injury anyway).

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  • Are you using hand wraps? I suspect it is related to hand angle - but properly wrapped hands should make it harder to hit with anything but the lead knuckles (and stop bending in the wrist). Note that hand injury is very common in boxing (and has ended many talented fighters career) - ensure you tell your coach it hurts (gloves and wraps can hide minor positional problems that are very difficult for people on the internet to diagnose - even from a video). Also question whether you want to permanently change the make up of your hand to be able to hit harder with one particular punch
    – Collett89
    Commented Jan 11 at 8:11
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    Yes, wearing hand wraps, and yes they have worked wonderfully with other strikes. I think you are right that it's the strike angle, as I shadow-boxed in front of a mirror and the lead hook that felt natural to me was basically "crooked" in a way that didn't look good if that makes sense. I have to force myself to build the habit of throwing it higher and at a angle that is paralell to the ground plane more.
    – the_endian
    Commented Jan 13 at 3:36
  • Do you happen to have any cysts in your hands, wrists, or forearms? Commented Jan 24 at 7:36
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    A few questions. 1.) Do you throw the hook with your fist horizontal or vertical? 2.) Does your coach want you to step in with your lead foot or pivot on your lead foot? 3.) Does the pain originate from particular knuckles or is it the whole hand? 4.) Does the pain travel up your arm, and if so, where? This sounds like a positioning/body mechanics thing to me (as @Collett89 suggests), though I could be wrong. Commented Jun 12 at 19:11

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