In this picture: enter image description here

Bruce Lee's knuckles are very big.

How to make big knuckles?

Which exercises do I need to do and how many times to achieve this?

Note: knuckles push-ups doesn't help to make bigger knuckles. I don't know: I do badly knuckles push-ups or something else.

  • 1
    "knuckles push-ups doesn't help to make bigger knuckles" - but by putting the bones under load/stress, knuckle push ups triggers a strengthening response in the body - they're a great way to reduce the chances of your hand breaking when you hit something hard.
    – Tony D
    Commented Jun 9, 2019 at 1:39
  • Hi Dimitri Petrov, In the pictures, those look like calluses, which result from a lot of punching of rough objects, which, as others have stated, isn't good for long-term health and happiness. I'm sure Bruce had strong hands too, as mentioned in this question: martialarts.stackexchange.com/questions/375/… Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 15:30
  • Does this answer your question? King of Iron Palm Training Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 9:30

3 Answers 3


I suggest you do not actually want big knuckles. The enlargement of the knuckles may be osteoarthritis, a painful, degenerative condition where your hands will stiffen over time. Although it may serve as an external indicator that you have trained martial arts, once you have it, you would ask how to get rid of it. This is similar to grapplers trying to give themselves cauliflower ear; they want to look like their idols by intentionally damaging the body.

Once you do this kind of damage to your body, it may be irreversible. You can exercise your joints to retain range of motion and reduce pain, improve diet or take supplements (efficacy questioned), and see your doctor; but there are no guarantees your body can repair the damage. The WebMD link above outlines treatment options.

Intelligent training avoids unnecessary injuries.


The knuckles become bigger or thicker because of multiple abrasion and injury to the bone and tissue surrounding the bone. To have bigger knuckles, you need to train to the point that the bone breaks. But what's the point to doing that?

You can also have thicker knuckles, by abrading the skin covering the knuckles over and over again.

Bigger knuckles should be a byproduct of training and not the ultimate goal.

  1. Use the makiwara. It is a Japanese striking post where you strike it repeatedly, injuring and bruising the knuckles until a thicker & rougher layer of skin forms. https://iainabernethy.co.uk/article/makiwara-training-time-honoured-way-develop-fight-ending-power

  2. Do the gorilla walk. Make like a gorilla, put your body weight on your front 2 knuckles and just walk forward. Do enough laps that your knuckles are all sweaty then continue anyway. It is a guaranteed way to abrade the skin. Give it a week to heal and repeat

I myself have bigger knuckles than I was born with due to the exercises 1 and 2. So far there are no degenerative conditions in my knuckles after 20 years.


Hand conditioning on punching bag made with old iron car parts. In a documentary I viewed a few days ago bruce Lee had used iron car parts because using normal punching bags he destroyed them.

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