Tips on throwing better straight punches

Clearly, I don’t understand how to throw a proper straight punch. My hand wraps (thank god for hand wraps) saved my lower knuckles from being ripped apart. My middle knuckles, however, felt the wrath of the tombstone.

“Here’s what consistently happens to my knuckles with straight punches…” I told my instructor after class as I showed him my raw knuckles. “What gives?”

Two things, he explained:
1. You aren’t squaring up your knuckles when you punch. When you make a fist, the segments of your fingers between your bottom and middle knuckle should be square or rather flat. My middle knuckles tend to lift up a little.

Notice how my fingers are tilted upwards. They should be flat like...
Notice how my fingers are tilted upwards. They should be flat like…
this.
this.

2. When I punch, I’m also swiping my hand against the pad. Not only do I lose power, but it also beats up my hands. I’ll just have to be more conscious of how I punch…

M suggested I start doing knuckle push-ups. It’ll toughen up my hands and make my fist square up a little more naturally. I’ve heard this before, but I never started. Guess this is as good a time as any…

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