In the movie The Fighter, Micky is seen drilling into a bucket of rice with his fist. I have seen speeding ball exercise, rope jumping, running, but this is the first time and only time I have seen a boxer training like this.

Do boxers in real life train like this?

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    I have seen this mostly in Kung-Fu movies. – Rahul May 20 at 8:08
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    @Rahul, but most Kung fu movies are over the top. People fly around in complete disregard of gravity and etc. – Yu Zhang May 20 at 9:05
  • This is common in boxing. If you think about it, a sandbag is similar, just it has a cover so knuckles don't hit the sand(/rice) directly. – smci May 24 at 19:56

Apparently it is used by boxers as it is though to improve their wrist and forearm strength - which is important for landing heavier punches while reducing risk of self-injury.

From https://www.gloveworx.com/blog/strengthen-wrists-for-boxing/ :

Rice Bucket

The rice bucket exercise is a commonly used practice with athletes trying to develop strong wrists. If you're wondering how to strengthen wrists for boxing, this unconventional approach can make a huge difference.

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    As a side note a lot of rock climbers do this as well. It helps with general hand and wrist strength, especially in a way that is antagonistic to the exercises an athlete may typically do (helps prevent long term injury) – wearebob May 20 at 18:37
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Palm documents the Kung Fu version well. – Sean Perry May 20 at 22:43
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    Steve Carlton, a famous Major League pitcher from the late 60s to the mid 80s, was known for this as well. – chepner May 21 at 0:25
  • It also (or so I've heard) builds calluses on the knuckles, so that punching something doesn't hurt your fist as much – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft May 21 at 22:18
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    @wearebob rock climbers should also be flexing/flicking the fingers open as hard as they flexed them closed while grabbing the rice after grabbing. The small difference focuses more on increasing finger extensor strength for holding onto small/poorly-angled surfaces (e.g. pinching or crimping) rather than just toughening up the skin and bones of the hand (more useful for closed-fist striking). – TylerH May 22 at 18:07

Sort of, Kung Fu and various martial arts practitioners punch sand which has no give. "Iron Palm" or conditioning the hands, canvas bags filled with gravel to be struck over and over again. Punching rice is no different than punching a punching bag. Conditioning your knuckles for greater hardness. Others do it or gaining grip strength by grinding it in their hands. It's called "Rice Digging"

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