Hi, I'm Dr. Molly with Your Goals Physical Therapy, boxing is so much fun. It used to be that you could only hit heavy bags or hit pads, if you went to a boxing gym, like a place that only did boxing. But now it's becoming increasingly more popular to have boxing kind of sprinkled into the workouts, or have your trainer be able to box with you. Which I think is fabulous. But it has brought in a lot of people asking me why their knees hurt when they're pivoting. Everybody that comes to me with this problem, has been shocked their knees hurt. Naturally when you think of boxing, you think of it as being an upper body activity. Even though they tell you to stay on this way, you are moving your whole body. You really only think about injuries of boxing being an upper body, specifically more shoulder and wrist. Right? Well, it isn't that uncommon to have knee pain when you're pivoting.
And so in this video, I want to go over what can be causing the knee pain and then how you can get rid of that knee pain. That way we can all calm our minds down and not blame our poor knees on just being weak because that's what a lot of people do. They try boxing because they know that their legs are weak and they’ve always had knee problems or knee pain. And this is just one more thing that gets added onto their bad knees. Well, it's not your knees. Okay. So let's talk about a few reasons that your knees would have extra stress while you're boxing.
The first thing they try to teach you is how to stand; they want you to stand with your feet, a little separated and a little bit odd and diagonal, and then the back leg, should be up on your toe, lastly you should be kind of squatted down. And just this position for many people is more thigh muscle use then they get on a daily basis. So depending on how long you're in doing your punches, just being in this position might be causing a little strain on your knees. The other thing is the fact that you're putting all your weight on one leg and maybe not keeping it distributed evenly; which is very common. Because you think that if you're up on this toe, you shouldn't have any weight on it. But it depends on what you're doing on whether or not you want to put weight on the front or the back leg. But anyway, it just depends on how long you're just stuck like this is normally one cause for people to have some knee pain. Another thing that can be a cause is when you get tired and you stand up.
And now you're throwing punches with your legs in a very straight position, that twisting motion can be adding extra stress to your knees. So those two positions could be stressful, you can be irritating your knee. So again, it is better for you to be in this position. But especially when you're new, it's very hard to stay in this position and think about the punches you're supposed to throw. It's a lot to think about. If your knees bother you just pay attention to where you are and see if this may be the problem for you.
The other thing is your ankles. So when you're pivoting again, you're on the ball of the back foot. So what happens if you just saw my knee do it, right? So if you roll your ankle in, if you tend to be on just your big toe, then your knees coming in and that angle on your knee causes a lot of stress on the inside of that knee. For some people though, they actually prefer to be on the outside of their ankle. They feel like they have more stability, which again, if you see what happened to my knee, now it's bowing out and that can put a lot of stress on the outside of your knee.
Lastly, the other culprit for knee pain can be your hip. So if one hip is not strong enough, when you're on one leg and your hip drops out when side or, or drops to the other way that if you see my knee, depending on what happens with my hip, my knee also changes position. Depending on what's happening at your hip, you could be adding extra stress, especially if you think about all of that happening in a dynamic motion, while you're going to be turning and pivoting and bringing that hip forward.
If your ankle is here and you're driving it forward to see how much that can cause some stress and it doesn't have to be as dramatic as I'm making it in this video, just those little irritations over time can be what's adding stress to your knee.
So now all the doom and gloom is over. Let's talk about how we fix this.
The 1st thing I would try is making sure you have really good footwear because as I showed you, if you don't have the proper ankle support that immediately can cause a lot of strain on your knee, plus it allows you to have a little bit more bounce in your step while you're working out. So whatever shoe support you need to make your foot feel better and to feel more stable. That's what you should go with.
2. After your workout, there is no shame in icing for 10 minutes. In fact, I would consider it a sense of pride that you worked out so hard that you have to ice afterwards. Just 10 minutes can take away so much of the fluid and inflammation that's caused just from working out, but you might notice that your knees don't bother you as much.
3. I would try stretching. I know it's just boxing and it's upper body and why should you have to stretch your legs? But if you're having knee pain, then I would try stretching your legs. Stretch the front of your legs, the back of your legs, stretch your hip muscles, just get a good overall stretch afterwards. You might be surprised at how much that will reduce the after effects in the soreness the next day.
4. Let's say you tried stretching, but you need something with a little bit more umph; Massages are absolutely fabulous. I would highly suggest these sports massage because they're going to get a little deeper and maybe do some stretches for you that will get you a little bit more of an aggressive stretch than what you can do to yourself or would do to yourself.
5. The next thing is, if you've tried a bunch of those and you just can't pinpoint what it is that's happening and it's just making it to where going to work out, isn't as fun as it should be. Then call a movement professional like myself, because that's all I do all day. All I do is look at how people are moving, find out what the root cause of why things are going off. And then we address that specific issue. We come up with specialized plans that only address what it is that your goal is. You want to get back to pivoting without pain. That's all we definitely work on.
6. Then a last suggestion, let's say, you're just looking for more tips on how to make your knees stop hurting while you're working out. I have a free ebook where I put all my best tips. I get asked a lot of questions, very frequently, so I put those tips in this ebook. If you'd like, I can certainly send that over. There's just a quick form that goes with that and then I can mail that over for you. I hope these tips, 1 explains what's going on with your knee and 2 gives you some things that you can start doing right now to help your knee from hurting. The next time you go boxing!
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Dr. Molly McDonald