Why Wrap Your Hands?
The greatest fighters in the ring, from Mirko Cro Cop to Muhammed Ali, all took great care to preserve their hands. Without a proper hand wrap, a fighter will undoubtedly break his or her hand eventually. The brutality of fighting sports is what we fans find so appealing about it and in order for fighters to continue to push their bodies through the brutal regiment of training and fighting they must always make sure to use a proper hand wrap otherwise their hands would break and crumble under the force of their own punches.
Professional fighters will have their hands wrapped by a professional; whether that be their trainer or one of their cornermen. But even casual boxing practitioners must always be sure to take precautions in order to protect their hands.
Even with these precautions injuries still, can and do occur. Floyd Mayweather Jr. must now submit himself to various forms of therapy in order to preserve his very battered hands. With a career as long and as successful as his, even Floyd, who is known for his seemingly superhuman defense skills, was not able to make it out of the boxing world without some irreversible damage to his hands.
I myself have nearly broken a thumb by hitting the pads at my local gym and that was with my hands wrapped! So it really doesn’t matter if you are enduring a brutal 12 round fight in the ring or just hammering away on a heavy bag in a boxercise class the importance of proper hand wrap use simply cannot be overstated.
Styles of Wraps
There are many different brands of hand wraps. Whether they are associated with a Boxing, MMA or Muay Thai affiliated company isn’t all that important. A quality hand wrap will work just as well for all three sports.
Wraps typically come in either canvas or cotton material and some of the more popular styles feature elastic infused with the material which allows the wrap to stretch a little and better form to the shape of the hand. Cheaper wraps will not have this elastic quality and, although these wraps are far better than nothing, they may start to slightly cut circulation off to the hand as they can easily be tied too tight.
I’ll leave it to you to decide which brand best suits you, and don’t be afraid to try several different brands – they’re pretty inexpensive despite being such a crucial tool for us fighters.
Spending the money on good high-quality gloves and wraps upfront may very well save you some cash on medical bills down the road. You will undoubtedly find yourself itching to get after it at the gym and you may consider skipping wrapping your hands for once – DON’T DO IT. It only takes two minutes to properly wrap your hands, the risk of a hand injury simply isn’t worth it. Especially if you plan on ever competing in one of the various fighting sports.
Even with proper medical care, a hand injury may linger and cause complications even well after is has “healed” due to the repeated damage a fighter must inflict on his or her hands in these sports.
Hand Wrapping Technique
Every coach or trainer, more or less, has their own way of wrapping hands. But in this article, we will show a very basic, tried and true method of wrapping hands. So let’s get to it. Let’s walk through how to wrap your hands step-by-step.
1.Fold the end of the wrap over a few times in 3-4 inch increments. This will work as a thin pad which will lay across the knuckles for protection.
2.Place the “pad” of folded wrap over the top of your knuckles, then wrap once around your palm and knuckles so that the “pad” stays in place.
3.With your palm facing away, wrap from the palm on the side of your thumb down around the wrist on the opposite side.
4.Complete one wrap around the wrist and then bring the wrap back from your wrist on your thumb-side to your palm on the side opposite of your thumb (it should look like an X)
5.Wrap again across the palm with the wrap coming out on the side of your thumb
6.Make one more wrap down and around the wrist forming the X shape only this time, instead of returning to the palm, weave the wrap in between your pinky and ring finger.
7.With the wrap coming out from your palm on the side of your thumb, wrap once again around the wrist and then weave between your ring finger and middle finger. (It’s not a bad idea to squeeze your hand into a fist between every weave through the fingers so that you can be sure the wrap isn’t too tight.)
With any excess feel free to continue to make the “X” shape wrap around the palm and wrist for extra stabilization.
To close off the wrap either stuff the excess wrap into your palm or if your wrap has velcro at the end you can just seal it around the wrist like a bracelet.
Knowing how to properly wrap your hands is an absolutely crucial skill for anyone looking to engage in either Boxing, Muay Thai or MMA. Whether you plan on becoming an accomplished fighter by slugging it out in the ring or whether you simply wish to get in shape by putting in the rounds on the pads and heavy bag, wrapping your hands is a step that must never be skipped.
Stretching, light cardio warmups and hand wraps are among the greatest precautions a fighter can take in order to prevent injury. Without a proper hand wrap, an injury is inevitable after all the human hand is not designed to take the kind of punishment that these sports require of it.
Not only are these injuries often lengthy in terms of time required to properly heal (meaning less time in the gym which of course we all hate) but they are also so incredibly easily avoidable.
You’ll feel like an idiot when you crack those hand-bones because you decided to go all ‘Mike Tyson” on a heavy bag without putting your wraps on. Don’t be dumb folks, spend the ten bucks and buy yourself some proper hand wraps.