Why and How To Wrap Your Hands For Boxing Properly?
Boxing is no longer a game for the pros.
You can start the training sessions today and build your way up the ladder to the heights of legends (like Mohammed Ali).
My uncle is a living proof of this possibility. He has been attending training for a while, and I can bet he’s getting better at it with every session.
I always accompany him to the practice area.
And right from the first day, I’ve seen him do some ritual before getting into the field. That is, he always does some hand wraps before slipping in his gloves.
“Why the hell does he have to wrap his hands?”
“Aren’t the gloves just enough for him?”
I’ve always asked myself these questions…Sadly, I’ve not gotten a chance to get the answer from the horse’s mouth (my uncle is always busy).
But my curiosity drove me to use all the sources at my disposal to discover why and how the boxers wrap their hands before hitting the arena.
I finally got the answer, and I’m about to share it with you in a few moments.
First, we answer the why question…
WHY Do You Need To Wrap Your Hands For Boxing?
The answer is straightforward- to protect your hands and wrists from possible injuries.
This is simply because your hands are your weapon in the ring and if they get broken, they can’t help you defend yourself.
Let’s get into the specific reasons why you need to perform this ritual before getting into the gym for training or into the ring for a real fight.
Total security while training
Your hands are extremely delicate. That being said, a hardcore sport like boxing can easily injure them as you face your opponent or hit the punching bag repeatedly at the training.
If you put on the hand wraps, they’ll prevent the small bones in your hands from breaking.
Besides, they’ll prevent the skin on your knuckles from tearing apart and protect your wrists from spraining as you deliver solid punches.
Note: The spraining effect usually impacts the beginner fighters hitting the heavy punch bags for the first time.
Reduce pain while punching
As a fighter, you’ve to depend on the health of your hands to be able to fight well. Remember that this sport requires a good amount of toughness. And if you fail to wrap your hands (and do it well0, you’ll experience pain with every punch you throw.
So my advice is, make sure you wrap your hand properly before training or entering the arena to check out any pain that might affect your performance.
Additional Tips For Wrapping Your Hands For Boxing
- You have a variety of wraps to choose from on the market. For the best results, avoid the wraps that come with a width below 2 inches (I’ve seen my uncle reject these countless times at the stores).
- If you’ve broken hands, fingers, or sprained wrinkles, wrapping your hand before training/fighting might not be of much help. In that case, you’d want to take some time of the game to allow your hands to heal properly.
And then we find out how they do it…
How To Wrap Your Hands For Boxing: Step By Step Guide
You already know the reasons behind wrapping your hands for a boxing match or session.
But how exactly do you do that?
A good wrap should meet two goals:
1. Protect your hands fully while giving you a sense of security, knowing that you can deliver heavy, solid punches without hurting your fists
2. A good hand wrap should also be able to secure your fists in such a way that you can throw full force punches without feeling it in the bones and joints of your hands.
With that in mind, let me walk you through a detailed step by step guide on how to go a good hand wrap job:
Step One: Buy the right Wrap
I’ve already mentioned that wraps come in different varieties. Thus, it is important that you pick one that matches the size of your hands as well as the type of boxing you wish to do.
So what’s the perfect wrap for you?
- The length of a good wrap should vary between 120 inches (for smaller hands) and 170 (for bigger hands).
- On asking my uncle why prefers the cotton wraps, he said that they work best for regular training. I also discovered that they come in different sizes to meet the needs of young and adult trainees. Above all, they’re secured with a Velcro at the end for proper adhering.
- I also discovered that Mexican wraps are good for training…they come woven in elastic fibers to enable them to mold to your hands easily. They’re not as durable as cotton though.
Check our more information about different hand wraps here: [http://boxing.isport.com/boxing-guides/introduction-to-boxing-handwraps]
Step Two: Learn Proper Wrapping techniques
Now that you have the right wraps beside you, what’s next?
You need to learn a few techniques on how to do the job:
- Before you attempt to do any wrapping, you need to learn the right amount of tension to apply. Simply, they should be taut enough to offer you stability for your hand and wrist. If you make them too tight, you might cut off circulation to your hands.
Several practices will help you know the right amount of tension to apply to your wraps
- Ensure you don’t form any lumps or wrinkles with your wraps. These can be quite uncomfortable as you try to focus on the game. Moreover, they prevent the warp from offering adequate prevention to your hands’ fine bones as well as stabilizing your wrists.
- When doing the wrapping, keep your hands as much straight as possible. If you bend them while wrapping, you won’t perfectly stabilize them. And that puts them at a higher risk of getting injuries.
Step Three: Time To wind The Wrap Around Your Hands
Before you begin, stretch your hand out to the fullest.
I repeat, stretch your hand to the fullest- with the fingers as wide apart as possible and flex all the muscles.
I got this secret from my uncle (a future mentor- just in case I decide to take up boxing classes).
The reason behind this: because the wrap’s intentions is to support your hands while in motion, you must expose it to all the movements you’ll need to use in boxing.
Next, examine your wrap…can you spot a hole located at the opposite from the Velcro?
Good, let’s call this the “thumb hole.” Place your thumb through it.
While doing this, ensure the underside of your wrap stands against our hand.
Winding the wrap upside down will give you challenges as you try to fasten it. Because most wraps come with a tag or printed area, you won’t have issues deciding which side to face down.
Step Four: Wrapping Your Wrist Properly
Wind your wrap around the back of the wrist for around 3-4 times (this will depend on the size of your hands as well as the level of stability you wish to achieve).
End the wrap on the inside of your wrist.
Ensure the warp is flat and directly overlaps itself with every turn you make.
If you wish to reduce or increase the length of the wrap at the end of the wrap, consider adjusting the number of wraps to suit your preferences.
Step Five: Wrap Your Hand Properly
Now pull your wrap around the back of your hand- just over the area above the thumb- and across the palm to the other side.
Be sure to wrap around the same place for up to 3 times; the wrap should end on the inside of the hand (near the thumb).
Step Six: Wrap Your Thumb Properly
To ensure your thumb is also well secured by the wrap, you need to wrap it properly as well.
Start the wrapping at your wrist one time and then finish with a warp near your thumb. Do the wrap from the bottom of the thumb toward the top, and back to the bottom.
Finally, wrap around your wrist one more time.
Step Seven: Wrapping The Fingers Properly
You want to secure your fingers at the base as much as you can. To do this, start on the inside of the wrist and over the top of your hand- between the ring and pinky finger.
Wind the wrap back from the inside of your wrist, over the top of your hand between middle finger and ring finger.
Do it again from the inside of the wrist and over the top of your hand between the index and middle fingers.
Ensure you finish on the inside of your wrist.
Step Eight: Now Wrap Your Hand Again
Wrap your wrist first. The pass the wrap diagonally across the palm, right above your thumb. Repeat this until the length of your wrap becomes used up, and finish with a final wrap around the wrist.
Step Nine: Secure Your Wrap
Doing the wrapping for your hands is a time-consuming task, especially if you’re a beginner…I can recount how my uncle used to struggle with his wraps until he could do it in less than minutes.
The last thing you want your wraps to do is to disarrange when you’re in the middle of the training or boxing. You just can’t imagine starting from step one again.
That’s why your wrap comes with a Velcro to help you secure the wrap up into place.
Step Ten: Repeat The Same Process For The Other Hand
You might think that you’ll need help wrapping your other- non-dominant- hand. But the truth is, you’ll just need several practices, and you’ll start wrapping both hands on your own.
Note: After securing your hands, flex your hands and throw several punches to see if the wraps feel comfortable. If you find them too tight or loose, you’d want to redo them.
In case you want help with the wrapping process, don’t hesitate to ask your coach or partner.
Don’t make these mistakes when wrapping your hands for boxing:
- Buying wraps with no elasticity- these will not give your hands of the ultimate comfort you need during the training or sparring sessions.
- Not spreading your hands when winding the wrap- keeping your fingers closed and applying a wrap firmly may affect circulation and prevent you from achieving maximum support from your warp. Keep your fingers fully stretched out through the exercise
- Creating wrinkles on the warps- again, this will cut off the circulation when your fingers are inside the gloves and make you feel uncomfortable
- Bending the wrist during the wrapping process- I doubt if your wrist will enjoy much protection from the wraps if you fail to keep them straight.
Why you need to wrap your hands for boxing or how to do to should not be a mystery anymore after reading this post. When done correctly, a hand wrap can go a long way in preventing your hands from potential injuries like broken fingers, broken knuckles, wrist sprains, etc., related to the sport.
However, you need to know how to properly wrap your hands in order to enjoy the above benefits. Follow my step-by-step guide on how the pros do it and your hands will be safe and comfortable through this exciting, dynamic and fun sport.