I punch rock and wood slowly everyday; is it good for conditioning knuckles? What do you recommend for conditioning knuckles? I am doing knuckle push ups on concrete, too.

  • now ıam using rice filled bag for condition is it safe ? here a picture of it oi67.tinypic.com/1582ybk.jpg Jan 28, 2018 at 13:17
  • Ok now stop before you get arthritis. Cause no matter how much you try to condition it, your knuckles will still break upon contact with somebody's forehead...
    – user11733
    Aug 21, 2022 at 11:21

3 Answers 3


In case you haven't seen it, here is a related question.

While you can punch rock and wood to condition your knuckles, you should do it with moderation. There is no quick way to condition your knuckles - it must be done progressively over time. It is really important to avoid injury not just of your knuckles but your carpals (wrist), metacarpals (hand) and phalanges (fingers).

Typically with conditioning exercises the idea is to slightly injure the affected area before allowing it to heal, then repeating the process hundreds or thousands of times. That healing process is very important - you might get better results if you only condition your knuckles once or twice a week rather than every day (eventually knuckle press ups on concrete will cease to have any measurable effect on your knuckles so you should be able to still do those every day).

Of course measuring progress is going to be difficult. You could use board breaking as a measure, or discomfort (or lack of it) when doing knuckle press ups on hard surfaces. In any case there is no standard or established way to measure it. Deformity or callusing of the knuckles should not be used as a measure or indication (ideally you want to harden the bones, deformity can indicate breaks and calluses are simply a toughening of the dermis layers).

  • you right ı search some youtube videos about that and look related question you posted ıam already doing shotokan karate is this equipment good ? youtube.com/watch?v=bY8HxlfvHG0&t=187s or ı need to make a makiwara ? and this youtube.com/watch?v=pprPl6LHZvs ı already do that exercise in this video youtube.com/watch?v=f-cqO5V9FTA and my final question is are you reccommend to use dit da jow ? ı heard this is so important for conditioning and healing what did you think about that ? wow ı almost forget that car tires is it good for condition too ? Jan 14, 2018 at 17:04
  • @LarryColad I'd definitely suggest a mounted makiwara there's a few different types you can buy. A hand-held conditioning block is not going to last long before you outgrow it. Rocks in sand are okay (the sand provides a bit of give) but I'd suggest you build up to that. Of course everyone wants instant results but you can't have that, build up your conditioning carefully and slowly.
    – slugster
    Jan 15, 2018 at 18:31
  • I really don't think this makes a good "accepted answer". See Andrew Jay's answer regarding the controversial notion of "hardening the bones". You may actually be weakening your bones, and the damage is permanent. Oct 3, 2022 at 2:58

I second coinbird's motion: don't do this.

There is a theory called Wolff's Law, which is a medical concept first studied by a German surgeon Julius Wolff back in the 1800's, and he found that microfractures of a bone develop under extreme conditioning, and the body responds by shoring up the fractures with calcium. The body, ever efficient as it is, finds that the most reliable source of calcium is from the bone itself - usually, from an uninjured area, and, coincidentally, behind the fracture.

His observations are correct, but further study of this phenomenon has created several counter theories, and so this subject is debated. One of the counter arguments to inducing Wolff's Law is that when robbing the bone of calcium, that part of the bone becomes extremely brittle. So in a normal bone, you have a mature and evenly distributed amount of calcium. In inducing Wolff's, the front of the bone is very hard, but the area behind it is brittle, and is subject to forces other than that which triggered Wolff's to begin with.

A corollary to Wolff's Law is Davis' Law. Davis is similar, but doesn't apply to bones: Davis applies to soft tissue. Davis' Law was discovered by another surgeon, an American named Henry Davis - also back in the 1800's. He found that soft tissue heals according to the stress it is placed under, in order to protect itself from that stress. In short: calluses are developed in response to that stress. The issue here is that calluses can develop painful spots in areas other than the callus itself. That can affect nerves, which can be hyper-sensitive to the pain; it can also cut off the nerve to the nervous system, causing the opposite - no pain at all.

In both phenomenon, osseous and soft tissue will revert to normal once the stress heals. In Wolff's case, healing bone will not be uniform, and can create uneven surface on the bone, which can cause pain in the skin and tendons that run along it. And in the case of Davis, scarring can result. In other words, healing is imperfect - and sometimes that imperfection is permanent.

My suggestion to you and anyone who wants to do bone conditioning: use a punching bag.

If you have money, you can buy the full text of some of these articles:

Who's afraid of the big bad Wolff ($)

The Claim: After Being Broken, Bones Can Become Even Stronger (Google Book partial)

Medical and Surgical Reporter, Volume 8 (Google Book partial)

Lectures on Orthopaedic Surgery

Mechanical properties of the human achilles tendon ($)

Diseases and Deformities of the Foot (Google Book partial)

Does bone design intend to minimize fatigue failures? A case for the affirmative (abstract only)

A 2003 update of bone physiology and Wolff's Law for clinicians (abstract only)

Wolff’s Law

The Laws Of Fitness: Davis’ Law

Curious legal issue surrounding Davis' law:

What is Davis’s Law?

Here's some more advice on advisability of such training:

Some Handy Advice

Wanna see what happens to this kind of extreme training?

training 1

Training 2

Training 3

Training 4 (this is from makiwara!)

Training 5


No, that's absolutely not good for you. Your hands take enough damage in sparring and fighting. DO NOT PUNCH WOOD AND ROCKS!

Hit the bag with gloves (and wraps if it's a power hitting day). Hit the mitts. Your knuckles will be fine.

Professional fighter here. I've never heard of anyone worry about knuckle conditioning.

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