Any type of boxing jab can cause a torn rotator cuff or ligament in your shoulder. Because throwing a punch uses the muscles in your shoulder, they are vulnerable to injury. No specific jab in boxing results in more injuries than other punches, but poorly executed strikes or insufficient training can contribute to torn rotator cuffs and ligaments.
The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles that help move your shoulder joint. Any of the muscles in your rotator cuff can tear because of acute trauma or chronic overuse. An acute tear usually occurs due to a sudden, powerful movement, such as a boxing jab. A chronic tear develops over time. Your shoulder also has various ligaments that attach the joint and connect different bones and cartilage in the joint. These ligaments can tear because of a boxing jab, which usually results in a separated shoulder.
Although no boxing jab causes more shoulder injuries than others, punching off-balance can contribute to shoulder injuries. A powerful jab that misses its target completely can cause shoulder dislocation and ligament tears. Other tears in the rotator cuff or ligaments can occur if you place a punch poorly or have not stabilized your core. Punching too hard before you learn proper form can lead to injuries, as well.
Some rotator cuff and ligament tears happen with overuse. Strength training is important to prevent these types of injuries in boxing. Specific exercises, such as using resistance bands or free weights, help strengthen your rotator cuff and shoulder ligaments. Lie on your side with a free weight in the hand of your lower bent arm. Raise your arm up toward your abdomen and lower it. This helps strengthen the internal rotation of your shoulder.
Consult with a trainer before you begin a boxing regime. Your trainer can help make sure that your boxing jabs use correct form and your feet are in the correct placement before you punch. This can help reduce injuries. Your trainer also can help you develop a strength-training program to improve your core and arms. If you have pain in your shoulder, consult a physician. Ligament tears and rotator cuff injuries require treatment and possibly surgery.
- PT on the Net: Boxathletics: Foundations for Boxing
- Sports Injury Clinic: Rotator Cuff Injury
- The Ohio State University Medical Center: Shoulder Pain and Problems
- Katalin USA: Rotator Cuff Injuries -- How to keep Punching!
- University of Washington Medicine Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine: Home Exercises for the Weak Shoulder