How to Wrap Your Hands for Boxing – A Quick Guide
Boxing is a very famous sport followed by people all around the world. Apart from that, it is considered to be one of the best workouts due to its high calorie burning characteristic. If you are training for boxing, kickboxing or it is a part of your workout routine, then you know how important it is to wrap your hands properly in order to avoid discomfort and injury of any kind. Heavy and fast punching will exert pressure on your wrists, fingers, elbows and even shoulders. You also need to protect your hand ligaments and tissues from continuous pressure. They also protect your gloves from your sweat. Below are some of the most important questions answered with regards to wrapping your hands prior to boxing. These will provide you proper guidance.
How to Choose Your Boxing Wraps?
Boxing wraps are available in a large variety but before you buy your wraps you must consider the characteristics that are important. You should also keep in mind the type of boxing workout you are into. If you are training for sports then you will not only be punching heavy bags and speed bags but also sparring with your training partner. You should also consider the size of your hand in order to avoid excessive or insufficient wrapping. You can choose from the below mentioned wraps depending on your preference.
Tape & Gauze Wraps
These are the traditional wraps which are mostly used by trained as well as under-training boxers for boxing and MMA. They are usually used only once per training or fighting session. You will need another person to wrap these properly on your hands and it can be quite time consuming as well. Although these wraps are considered to be most effective and comfortable when it comes to protection, they are not really suitable for those who do boxing as a regular part of their workout. It is not advised to reuse them and it takes a lot of time to wrap them around your hands.
Cloth Wraps & Mexican Wraps
These are the most common and affordable wraps. They are available in a variety of colors and are easy to use as well. You can easily find one with the length that suits you. They offer fair protection to your knuckles, fingers and wrists. Mexican wraps are similar to cloth wraps with the difference that they are made from fabric that is elastic. This allows them to stretch and fit your hands better than normal cloth wraps.
Fast wraps take less time to get on than cloth or Mexican wraps. They offer high protection from injury but you have to stretch your gloves to get a proper fit. This implies that your gloves will not fit with other wraps once you stretch them.
These fingerless gloves which are being offered by a number of brands offer little protection from injuries. Some of them have been filled with gel for increased protection. You can wear them under your boxing gloves easily but they do not offer any real support. They are highly unsuitable for you if you are a professional boxer or undergoing boxing training. However, if you are into light boxing workouts, these gloves may suit your purpose.
Why Need Right Wraps & Technique?
Did you know that there are more than twenty bones of various shapes and sizes in your hands? Moreover, you need to have strong and powerful hands for performing your daily chores as they are probably one of the busiest body parts we have. It becomes even more important to take care of them if you are into a sport like boxing; they are not just your hands they are your weapons. We all know that every action has an opposite and equal reaction, so when you punch that heavy bag or anything for that matter, the same force is exerted back on your hand joints .Now consider what happens when you do that on a continuous basis, your hands are not just hitting hard but they are also receiving these hits. If they are not protected adequately, they can easily get injured and in some cases these injuries may be lifelong.
In order to protect your joints and tissues, adequate cushioning along with good quality gloves is necessary. Choose the right wraps for yourself from the options given above and use the most suitable technique to wrap them depending on your usage and purpose. You will come across many wrapping techniques on the web but the best one would always be which suits you the best; and you would discover this with experimentation and experience. The important thing to remember is that you are trying to protect your wrist and your knuckles. Also keep in mind that the different muscles/tendons and joints of your hands will support each other if the wrap has been properly used. Too many wraps around the wrist or the thumb will lower your maneuverability while insufficient padding will increase the risk of injury. You should aim for the right wrapping tension and a neat wrap, free from wrinkles.
What is the right wrapping tension
The right tension or tightness of the wrap would be the one that does not compromise free movement of different hand joints or tendons while providing protection. If it is too tight it will restrict blood flow and may result in injury or improper training. On the other hand, if it is too loose, it will end up hindering your movement and also cause discomfort. With practice, you will find the right tension. Remember that when wrapped, a straight hand should feel easy and not tense, whereas when you make a punch it should tighten up. Your fingers should not turn white or blue and your hand should not hurt.
How to keep it Wrinkle Free?
Keep the wrapping smooth and neat. Wrinkles in the wraps will make punching difficult. Also, when you deliver a punch and your wrap is irregular, you can end up with a broken skin or small cuts. It can lead to discomfort, injury and poor performance. So keep the wrap straight while wrapping; wrap and re-wrap till you get it right.
Keep your hand straight while wrapping
If you keep your wrists bent while wrapping, you will end up with inadequate wrapping tension and your wrists will be prone to injury. Keep your hands straight and tight while wrapping.
Where to Start? - From Back of the Hand
Before you start wrapping, flex your hands to stretch your muscles and spread your fingers. Wear the loop of the wrap around your thumb and start wrapping from the back of the hand. If you start wrapping from the front, the loop will go loose the moment you rotate your hand. This is why you should always start from the back of the hand.
Wrapping Your Wrist
Tighten the wrap and start wrapping around your wrist while keeping it absolutely straight. Wrap around it three times ending the last wrap inside your palm. You can check the wrapping tension by closing and opening your fist. Three wraps around the wrist at this time should be enough; however, you can go for four wraps if you need extra protection. Anything more than that will compromise your movement.
Wrap Your Hand
When you are done wrapping around your wrist, without letting go of the tension in the cloth continue to wrap towards your knuckles. Two tight wraps around the knuckles would be sufficient. Don’t forget to spread out your fingers while performing this step so that they do not feel glued to each other when you make a fist.
Wrap Your Fingers
Without loosening your grip on the wrap, continue wrapping towards the area below your thumb. This diagonal wrap acts as a support for the knuckles and the wrist. Wrap it over and under the thumb. This is where you should be extra careful about wrapping tension and not tighten the wrap so much that it cuts off the blood circulation. You can choose to wrap your thumb once or twice. Anchor the thumb to the wrist by wrapping around the wrist one more time. Strengthen the anchoring process by returning to your knuckles and wrapping them diagonally. For providing extra protection to your knuckles, continue wrapping till you have approximately two feet of material left. Pull it tight and return the wrap to your wrist. Wrap all the remaining material around your wrist and stick the Velcro in place.
How to End it Well
Spread your fingers to check the comfort. See that the wrist does not move a lot and also throw a few punches. Your hand should feel relaxed but when you make a fist it should tighten up. If all seems well, continue wrapping the other hand and if it does not then unwrap and re-wrap.
Check our video for better understanding: