I had a similar issue to this when my gym got this pad that was attached on a steel beam. Two things, make sure you're sitting down on your punches and your core is stabilizing you. Once I upped the volume on situps and also fixed my stance, this worked for me.


Yeah I would say that my core is a weak point, I don’t do many ab exercises just a few sets a week. I’ll ask my coach about sitting on my punches later this week.


Might also be worth doing neck strengthening exercises. That being said though, be careful about how you go about those because they can easily do more harm than good


Can you elaborate on the harms of training your neck?


Doing some exercises the wrong way can potentially put strain on/sprain your neck or in some extreme (albeit very irresponsible) cases break it




My coach actually speculated that this might have been my problem when I first mentioned it to him as well. I have a pretty strong neck from doing pull ups throughout the day. Maybe you could try that if your hesitant to do any direct neck exercises.


Make sure you’re breathing properly


A common mistake is thinking that your "core" is only your abs. I encourage you to find good resources discussing boxing-specific strength and condition, such as @BoxingScience on Instagram. I don't feel like this is normal and you may want to consider taking it lighter on the heavier bags until your full-body strength and stability catches up (by working on it).


So, your getting a headache from hitting the heavy bag? I actually get that alot too..


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Yeah I hope it’s not brain damage or anything. Doesn’t feel right to me, in some weird physics kind of way it’s like I’m punching myself. Since the force from the punch somehow makes it back to my skull. Idk


This is exactly what is going on. Likely because your punch is too stiff and shoulders are rigid and stiff so it's transmitting the force back to your neck and brain.


Do you know any exercises to get rid of the stiffness? I think it’s my neck too


Concentrate on your breathing when you punch, punching through the bag and snapping back your punch. Fist is a ball and arm like a chain, snaps out and in, vibrations should be lost along then chain and shoulders. Maybe do neck and shoulder and arm warm ups, swing them around to loosen up the joints, maybe concentrate on form and speed before power.


Are you snapping your punches or pushing them? If pushing and leaving your punches lingering I assume you take some energy back from the bag. Otherwise talk to a doctor and possibly get a scan, better safe than sorry…


is your head moving with your punches? Are you somehow kind of locking your head to your shoulder movement?


I keep my head stationary and chin relatively down


It means ur dehydrated. There's not enough water surrounding and acting as cushion for ur brain. And yes this does give u brain damage as your brain is being knocked around the inside of your skull.


I agree this will be a factor as well as the punching form already mentioned. Sodium intake may be way too low.


Yep. Op’s thing happened a lot to me when I first started and it was cause of either being dehydrated or I wasn’t getting enough sleep and my head was hurting even more.


Very interesting take! I'm going to play around with this as I suffer from the same thing. I'm usually really good with my water intake but it's worth a try.


Even jogging gives you brain damage, it’s just you can recover from it since it’s usually very small, but it’s recommended to stay away from hitting the heavy bag jogging or anything after a hard spar. Keep hydrated my guys!


I might add that getting a blood pressure check might not be a bad idea, either.


Are you over punching with too much power? Does it happen if you shadow box? Does it happen at half speed on the heavy bag? Are you balanced when punching or do you lose your balance? Without knowing anything else, my guess is some improper in your form.


Yeah I feel like I need to really hit hard on the heavier bags or I can risk jamming my wrist/hand. This only happens on the heavier bags. Shadowboxing and smaller bags are fine, no head pain. From what I’ve read I think I am too tense. My form is good says my coach. I lose my balance when throwing combos sometimes tho.


What you say makes me think you are push punching the heavier bags throwing all your weight into it. You will jam your hands and wrists if you punch heavier things harder, not softer. The least the bag moves, the better. I'd use the heavier bags to improve the snap on my punches, think about an elastic rebound that brings your hand back to your face after every pop.


Bro try shadow boxing in front of the heavy bag. You will be looking and moving around the heavy bag but not touching it. It gives you the point to focus and move around but without contact. See how you do. Try it without touching the bag one round and then with small pushes on the bag and letting it swing a bit (but still not touching it with your punches). Just a little drill for you.


Stretch your neck and traps every day 3 to 4 times and once before hitting the bag , take panadol for a few days till the muscles around your head get loose . And it used to happen to me and im good now so its not a brain damage .


Any stretches/exercises in particular? Do you have a routine you use?




Guys--it's alarming that no one has pointed out the potential seriousness of this. What's the most reliable sign of concussion and brain injury? Headaches! OP, have you been hard-sparring? If so, you might want to take a break from getting hit in the head for at least a month or so and consult a neurologist if you are able. I suffered from some brain damage due to boxing: short-term memory loss, headaches, and a bit of narcolepsy. I was lucky enough to catch it early before I had permanent effects. I noticed at the time that I would get headaches when punching the heavy bag too. I'm better now though.


I don’t spar. I used to do football like 6 years ago and took a lot of hard hits, never diagnosed as concussed tho.


Ever get a bad headache after getting hit in the head?


Yeah, it has happened before but mainly brain fog. But this was like 6 years ago. No symptoms of anything since.


Well, if you get a bad headache because of getting hit in the head, that's enough to say it's a concussion. I had a more severe concussion when I was 18 (not boxing-related), then boxed on-and-off for years before I finally started getting the headaches and memory loss at age 29. Neurologist thought my prior injury probably played a role. The bottom line is, we're all different and this brain injury stuff is not an exact science. So these other guys in here might be more on the right track for your case: hydrate, don't be so stiff, etc. Anyway, be careful out there.


That first sentence is not true often enough to be reliable. Anyone can get headaches from sub-concussive hits and from whiplash without concussion.


Did you spar or get a head knock? My head hurt yesterday when I punched the bags cos I did hard sparring a few days ago and my neck has not fully recovered from the impact. But yeah I need to strengthen my neck too


Yea having a headache or getting hit in the head and not taking a break can cause thus but considering OP was asking about form I would assume he doesn't spar but it could always be tension in the head


You just need to practice ur breathing and not be tensed during the session,keep working on this and your head will stop paining.


I always breathe out when punching. Any other cues for breathing? I think my main issue is being very tense when punching harder bc I feel like I need to generate more force


Exactly why im telling you to keep on practicing cause you will get into the flow and your body will be one with your punches,Dont Give Up!.


Maybe you're not breathing in enough? It happened to me that when I didn't breathe in enough, I'd get a bit dizzy.


This is not normal in any way shape or form. Maybe if hitting a heavy bag after sparring and you are slightly concussed this might happen. But normally "No" You should be very concerned by this and seek info elsewhere besides here. Are you sparring regularly?


did you try hitting said bag with a mouthguard on? it fixed it for me


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Not crazy. Ur putting ur body into the punch so all that force is coming back at you into your neck and head. In a real match ur not gonna throw very many of those kinds of punches anyway. Wanna focus on speed all the time. Getting the punch to land with as much speed as possible without sacrificing too much power. Learn to snap the punch with ur body instead of pushing your body into it. Took me like 4 or 5 years of training to really understand that concept. Watch the greats hit the bag. Listen to your coach on what ur goals should be when your doing bag work.


Yeah when I try to snap the punches with my body that’s when I feel the head pain. Pushing ironically feels better since it’s less force. Only happens on the really heavy bags or the water bag.


Use a lighter bag. When I say push the punch I mean throwing a power shot with ur arm out stretched and elbow locked straight with full force, that power will travel through ur arm and up your shoulders into your head. It will almost feel like ur getting hit because u kind of are, your rattling ur head. When I say snap I mean forget power for awhile and just throw it as quick as you can and bring ur hand back to defensive position ASAP and move your head. Can even forget the bag for awhile and use your shadow as an opponent and throw ur shot as fast as you can at ur shadow and move your head and remember speed kills. Kinda hard to describe these things in words. Not trying to offend and say u don't know what ur doing or anything just this really did work for me.


I nevee got a headache but had something similar happen once or twice when I first got my heavy bag, when I would warm up. I noticed it was because I was wearing my gloves looser, once I tightened them it went away.


I used to feel this as well. Try to go lighter, you shouldn't tense up when punching or doing anything expect blocking. After some time you will not feel this anymore.


Can you perhaps suffer from a mild concussion, whiplash or neck tensions? Have you been sparring? I experienced similar symptoms after sparring too hard with with a gym-mate.


This shouldn’t really be happening in the first place but you can also try wearing mouthpiece when you workout and especially when hitting heavy bag. It is a good practice to just get used to punching with the mouth guard and it will also help you to stabilize your jaw and head while punching


I get that when I’m dehydrated


Had the same problem after experiencing multiple concussions last summer for a number of months. If you have a previous injury that is unhealed all types of intense vibrations like this and holding Thai pads can hinder your recovery. If you’re not injured, it is likely you are feeling this impact because your punches are not snapping and releasing into the bag and are instead traveling up to your head. The snap at the end of the punch makes all the difference as to the force will transfer to the heavy bag instead of coming back up your arm if you release the punch properly. Hope this helps it is incredibly frustrating to have an immovable object leave your head hurting, but if it is related to a head injury, best thing to do is rest.


Do you keep your chin tucked and your neck flexed? Your head might be bouncing after every punch, which is a great way to give yourself a headache.


I don't know if this is THAT helpful but you're probably tight in the traps and neck. Sometimes my upper back and neck will pull on my head. Stretching, hydrating and doing support exercises are the work. But also you might just wanna get a mantra going to help yourself relax and keep the shoulders down.


Dehydration. Make sure to drink loads if water throughout the day, before and during training.


This definitely happens when I’m dehydrated. Even if it’s just shadowboxing. Drink plenty of water


You might be holding your breath when you hit the bag. You have to exhale on your punches. If you hold your breath the pressure can certainly give you a headache, make you feel lightheaded, or rattle your brain. So exhale. Find your sound, and exhale on every punch. And tighten your core.


Used to happen to me all the time. I also had 2 previous pretty major concussions in my life so tentative. I’m also all fast twitch and like to create a lot of torque -,aka power puncher. Not sure how u got rid of it could very well be the hydration, tight neck bad throwing mechanic - but I generally just avoid the Heavy or sparring if I “ feel that way “ that day. Move to footwork and tight shadowing instead on those days.


Did you just get used to it? I have had a history of undiagnosed concussions from hard hits in football 6 years ago. Maybe that is what is causing it, I may have a weak chin due to the hits. Realistically, I don’t want to continue boxing if I am indeed causing further brain damage with every punch. Hoping it is just a stiff neck or something.


Wish I had a definitive answer but the short of it is both Yes and No. Meaning i can kinda tell days in which brains seems to be easily rattle -even from light patter stuff, and other days i feel totally solid unloading my biggest shots for hour or even taking a clean left hook on the jaw from a guy 80lbs heavier. If i feel its a "rattle brain" type day i avoid all the hard stuff and just stretch and shadow type stuff. ​ I am always trying to tighten up my body mechanics while staying lose so maybe something there has bettered it but id say overall it(bad days) comes less and less frequency


Long story short, you’re probably exerting yourself too hard. The same thing happened to me a few years back, went to a doctor to get checked out, was told that I most likely got exertional headaches after exercising. Basically When you exercise, or exert yourself physically, the muscles of the head, neck, and scalp need more blood to circulate. This causes the blood vessels to dilate, which can lead to a condition called exertional headaches. https://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/triggers-exercise https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21959-exertion-headaches (Do note you should probably go to a doctor, just in case)


Not sure if you fall into this camp but some people lead with their head. Meaning when they throw a pinch they create torque by first flinging their head. It's subtle, but not uncommon. Enough of that can for sure cause head pain. Also, if you have tight trapezius then they won't absorb shock quite so well and can cause the same issues.


It happens to me only if I don't warm up my neck


cut back on the caffiene, and also make sure your breathing properly


Possibly your hands mate, I used to experience pain until I bought some gel gloves and then put wraps on top, similar to how some people add sponge to the wrapping process. I used a brand called beast gear from Amazon but it might be UK only


Happened to me too for a while, hurt in the back of the head kinda low, started doing more neck exercises before hitting the bag. Not only warm up like yes and no but more like neck bridges until I feel a burn. Never had that problem again.


This usually happens when your stance is imperfect. You really wanna be “sitting down” on your punches and a strong core doesn’t hurt


Happens to me too—the bags at my gym are super hard. I always notice it on the first few hard punches, almost like a reverberation to the brain, but once I loosen up I’m good. Try to stay loose and if that doesn’t work hit the bag with less force.


work on form and kinetic chain. can't believe how few people are saying this.


Drink more water. You lose a lot of sweat when you hit the bag, its a full body workout when doing it with proper technique. Do this to go along with what others are saying. I know, I know, you drink plenty of water right now. Drink more


Remember to stay hydrated always !


When I used to hit heavy bag it was my wrists that hurt quite a bit. I think it’s good to get blood pressure checked just in case


stiff neck. Stretch your neck and back before hitting. You're not getting brain damage from this. You'll be fine. People using scare tactics in here


Its always be like that when u throw volumetric punches. I noticed if the delay is too long the punch is more powerful , but ur head getting damage too


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find yourself a strength coach and work with deadlifts and lat and tricep work , hitting the heavy bag is causing your head to hurt because you are use to hitting it and your nervous system is trying to get use to it so my advice is start off hitting the bag with moderate power and work like crazy on your strength with strength training i promise you when you go back to the bag after 3 to 4 months of strength training you will whop that bag ....and if not then you are a pussy


Might just be weak genetics.


Need to build overall strength