While Iron Palm Training can be very effective, powerful, and safe if done correctly, there are some things that should be avoided in order to ensure long-term success. These include:
Progressing too fast: Most training programs have to progress slowly, and with good reason: the training is very demanding and puts a lot of stress on the hands. There is a reason that most people start with a bag full of beans and slowly increase the number of repetitions they do over a period of months. And then after six months to a year, they may choose to upgrade to a back filled with rocks. But some people are impatient and want to progress too quickly; they want to start with an advanced bag filled with steel shot and start with hundreds of reps per day. That is a recipe for injury.
Neglecting the healing and recovery part: Hitting the bags and breaking bricks is only one part of iron palm. There is another part that is focused on healing which involves massage, rest, possibly the use of dit da jow (liniment) and qigong. Without this “yin” component to balance out the “yang” of hard training, you may not fully recover between training sessions and end up getting injured.
Using too much force: Most conditioning programs involve dropping the hand onto the bag and letting it fall just with the force of gravity rather than actively using force to hit the bag. Depending on your training, ignoring this concept may cause injury as you are striking with too much force, possibly before your body is ready to handle it. There are also Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) reasons why excess for should not be used.
Disfiguring the hands: When done correctly, conditioning should not change the appearance of your hands. Proper use of massage and liniment and correct training techniques can minimize any disfigurement. Hitting objects that are too hard, especially before you are ready, or performing other training techniques like thrusting the hands into buckets full of heated rocks can cause disfigurement and should be avoided. Centuries ago, some fist training methods would result in enlarged knuckles due to calluses from repeatedly punching hard objects. In today’s world this is probably not desirable, especially if you have a corporate job where people would be suspicious of rough-looking hands with giant knuckles.
Remember that when done correctly, palm development doesn’t result in injury to the hands, loss of sensitivity, loss of mobility, or change in appearance of the hands.