If you’re considering boxing, as a hobby or even a career, you probably already know that before putting on boxing gloves, and before even thinking of entering the ring – boxers always wrap their hands in a thin band. This is a crucial step, boxers do it in order to protect their tendons and muscles, but also add some additional support to the movements of the wrist. If you’re wondering how to put on boxing hand wraps, read on!
Also Read: Why these handswraps are truly the best!
Why Wrap Your Hands?
Let’s go into a bit more detail on why wrapping your hands is so crucial. Basically, the very idea behind this step is protecting your most import weapon – your hands. Hands are made of little bones that can easily fracture from repeating punches. By wrapping them, you ensure your hands will get all the support they will need in the wrists, fingers and knuckles.
Unlike popular belief, the purpose of the hand-wrap is not adding additional cushion for the impact, that’s what boxing gloves are for. Handwraps serve to secure in place the loose joints and your movable bones by fastening them together, and this way assuring that the shock will be distributed across the entire hand. By letting your joints move when punching, you risk getting a fracture when your joints start collapsing over each other and break.
Of course, breaking your hand is the worst case scenario, but you don’t want to risk getting any injuries by skipping the simple hand-wrapping step. You want to make sure you can live your everyday life (typing, holding a pen, eating) pain free.
How to Wrap Your Hands for Boxing
Wrapping your hands properly is really easy once you practice it enough. At the beginning you might have some problems wrapping your hands perfectly, especially when it comes to wrapping your second hand using the one that is already wrapped, but with a little bit of practice, you’ll become a master in no time.
Here are the simple steps you need to follow:
1 – Start by stretching your hand out
This means – spread your fingers as wide as you can and flex all your hand muscles.
2 – Put your thumb through the hole at the end of the wrap
This is the end that is opposite to the one with the Velcro, some wrapps have it labeled.
3 – Wrap your wrist
Wrap your wrist 3-4 times and finish with the wrap placed at the inside of your wrist. Remember that the wrap should be flat and overlap itself with each turn.
4 – Wrap your hand
Draw the wrap over the back of your hand, over the area above your thumb, and wrap the hand ending to the other side. Repeat this for 3 times, and like the previous step, end at the inside of your hand (near the thumb).
5 – Wrap your thumb
Start wrapping your wrist and end near the thumb, wrap the thumb starting from it’s bottom and ending at the top. Finish this step by wrapping your wrist one more time.
6 – Wrap your fingers
Wind the wrap from the inside of your wrist over the top of the hand and between each of the fingers. Finish, again, at the inside of your wrists.
7 – Wrap your hand one more time
Follow all the steps and wrap your hand again. Finish this step with one last wrap around your wrist.
8 – Secure the wrap in place with Velcro
9 – Wrap your other hand
Factors to Consider When Choosing Hand Wraps
Of course, simply wrapping a random length of band will not do the job, there is a proper way to wrap your hands in order to protect them. Here’s how to wrap your hands before training:
Choose the right type of wrap
There are so many different types of wraps out there, this simply means that they are not all the same, so you’ll have to find the one that works best for you, your size of hands and the boxing you’re intending to do.
- Cotton wraps – best for frequent trainings. They come in two different lengths (junior and adult) and with a velcro at the end.
- Mexican wraps – similar to cotton ones, but woven with elastic fibers. This means they will mold to your hand easily, but will not be as durable as the cotton ones.
- Gel wraps – convenient to slip on (they are not wrapped around the hand, but slipped on like fingerless gloves), but will not provide as much support as the cotton / Mexican ones. Also, they’re a bit more expensive than the cotton and the Mexican wraps.
- Competition wraps – are not reusable, which makes them not convenient for regular training. In order to use those you will need a partner/coach to help you put them on, using a different technique. They are composed of gauze and tape.
Consider the length, elasticity and width of the wrap
- Length: Longer hand wraps provide more protection. The longer wraps are great for those with larger hands or those planning to spar, while shorter wraps are best for those with smaller hands or those planning a non-contact workout.
- Elasticity: This is more of personal preference, for instance – if you prefer wraps that stretch a little to conform to the hand, go with the Mexican style ones.
- Width: Most hand wraps are around 2 inches in width. There is no right or wrong width, it comes down to which width you feel more comfortable with.
Wrap your hands using the right tension
Basically, your hand wraps should be loose in order to provide stability, but shouldn’t be wrapped too tight either, because this can mean loss of circulation in the hands. It takes practise to master the best tension.
Keep the wrap wrinkle-free
Wrinkles are uncomfortable and can prevent the wrap from adequately protecting the bones in your hands.
While wrapping – always keep your wrists straight
To avoid injury and get maximum protection, always keep your wrists straight when wrapping them.
It will take some time and practice, yes, but please don’t give up – wrapping your hands is a crucial step if you want to maintain your hands healthy and avoid injury. After some time you’ll learn how to wrap them perfectly and fast, and you will also get to learn which type of wrap fits you best.