An unwritten rule for any boxer is that you need to always protect yourself and your hands. That means regardless of heavy bag training or sparring, you need to wrap your hands. The most important thing is how to wrap your hands, what are the benefits of using hand wraps, and finally what are some good hand wraps and types of wraps.
We will give an overview of these areas and let you know why it is so important to not only use hand wraps but to use them correctly. A boxer should always use them from training all the way to fight night, as they will help protect the hands, knuckles, and joints from sustaining an injury.
A basic hand wrap will secure the knuckles, joints, wrists, and tendons so in a tight fashion to protect them when a clenched fist is thrown at full force. Wraps can range from 108 to 180 inches in most cases and in our case, we prefer the longer wrap.
This helps ensure you can fully secure all parts of the hand and wrist without over tightening or running out of wrap. There will be a thumb loop to start your wrap and then take the wrap across the back of the wrist. Wrap around the knuckles three times and make sure the wrap is roughly just under the first knuckle to create padding for the entire punching surface.
From here, cross back over your wrist and wrap the wrist three times as well. This will help stabilize your wrist and keep the padding over your knuckles secure. Come up and across your palm to loop halfway across the thumb and then go back across your palm to create a diagonal over the hand. Make sure to loop halfway around the thumb again from the other direction and this will secure the thumb from both directions.
Begin to wrap back around your wrist and start to wrap between each finger, starting with the little finger. Once all three fingers are wrapped between the fingers go around your thumb one last time and go around the knuckles three more times.
Finally, cross back over your hand and wrap the wrist three more times. If there is access, then you can make an x pattern on the back of the hand until you have used it all. This is one of the more common ways to wrap the hands, but some do not go in between the fingers when they are wrapping if you want an alternative way to do it. This will effectively help protect the entire hand and wrist during all training types.
The main benefits of wrapping your hands are protection and the ability to punch with full power and not worrying of injuring the hand. The wrap will help keep the hand tight and clenched when punching to avoid any tendon or knuckle injuries. Consider the hand wraps under boxing gloves as you would wearing socks in your shoes. This extra barrier from the wraps keeps your hands safe inside of the gloves.
Another benefit is that hand wraps help keep the knuckles from separating or smashing together when a fighter is punching. They also keep your thumb stable when punching and helps to reduce shock to the hand when a direct impact takes place.
In the larger gloves there may be too much space for movement and a good hand wrap will lessen and tighten that space to stabilize and keep the hands/fingers from sudden movements. Restriction of your joints is important because if your joints are moving when the impact takes place, then you could fracture something in your hand. This is another reason why you always want to have a tight fist when punching, because if not, you could easily sustain an injury.
Make sure you are comfortable after wrapping your hands and do not have areas that are too bulky when putting the glove on. If uneven or wrapped incorrectly it could cause more harm than good when you are in your next training session. Safety is the key when using hand wraps, they should be a help and not a hinderance.
The two most common types of hand wraps are traditional wraps which are made from cotton blends and quick wraps made from polyester blends and have some type of gel padding for the knuckles area. Fast wraps are usually glove like and slip over the hand easily, then you can wrap the wrist and lock them into place with something such as Velcro. They usually have some type of padding in gel form over the knuckles and can be ready to train very fast.
However, most use these for training only and not for sparring sessions or fight nights. One downfall is they may be larger than a traditional hand wrap and cause you to need to stretch your gloves out or have multiple training sessions to obtain the perfect fit.
Traditional cloth wraps are versatile and can be used to protect an area of injury based on the fighter. If you have issues with wrist injuries, then you could wrap and protect that area more than going between the fingers etc. They vary in length and help with joint movement by keeping the sweat under control inside of the glove.
Other non-typical wraps include inner gloves and using tape/gauze wraps. All bring potential pros and cons to the table. I would recommend a quick wrap if you were looking for protection during training with quick preparation and traditional wraps for sparring and fight night.
Hand wraps are of the highest importance when you are training and when you are in the ring. Make sure to wrap the knuckles, wrist, and hands correctly for the best fit and the best protection. This will help sustain from injuries and help protect the other fighter when direct impacts are made. Whether you want to use quick wraps, traditional wraps, or tape wraps, make sure you use something under your gloves.
The best thing is to find out what works best for you and how to correctly wrap your hands before punching. The best part is that hand wraps are not overly expensive and can range anywhere from £3 - £10 ($5-$15) for traditional wraps and go upwards of £18 ($25) for quick wraps. Remember to protect your hands as much as possible when you are in and out of the ring.
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