Boxing Hand Wraps
The importance of boxing hand wraps, its benefits and how to do it.
Boxing hand wraps are an essential piece of protective gear that boxers and many other combat sport athletes use to support and safeguard their hands and wrists during training and matches. Here's why hand wraps are important in boxing:
Wrist and Hand Support: Boxing involves powerful punches that can put immense stress on the wrists and hands. Hand wraps provide crucial support by stabilizing the wrist joint and reducing the risk of hyper extension or other injuries.
Knuckle Protection: The knuckles are vulnerable to bruising, cuts, and fractures when striking an opponent. Hand wraps offer a layer of padding and cushioning over the knuckles, helping to disperse the impact force and minimize the risk of injury.
Compression and Padding: Hand wraps help distribute the force of a punch more evenly across the hand and wrist. This compression effect reduces the chances of sprains, strains, or other soft tissue injuries.
Preventing Friction: During boxing, there's a lot of movement and friction between the gloves and the skin. Hand wraps act as a barrier between the skin and the gloves, preventing irritation, blisters, and skin abrasions.
Improved Fist Formation: Hand wraps provide structure and support to your fist, helping you maintain a proper hand shape while punching. This can enhance your punching technique and reduce the risk of improper hand alignment that could lead to injury.
Longer Training Sessions: With proper hand and wrist support, boxers can train for longer duration without experiencing as much fatigue or discomfort. This contributes to better overall training and skill development.
Reduced Risk of Hand Injuries: Hand injuries are common in boxing due to the high-impact nature of the sport. Hand wraps play a significant role in reducing the risk of fractures, sprains, and other injuries that could sideline a boxer's training and competition.
Compliance with Rules: In many boxing organizations and competitions, hand wraps are mandatory for safety reasons. Without proper hand wraps, a boxer might not be allowed to participate.
Mental Confidence: Wearing hand wraps can provide boxers with a psychological boost, knowing that they have taken steps to protect their hands and wrists. This confidence can translate into improved performance and focus during matches.
Preserving Hand Health: Over time, repeated impacts can lead to long-term hand damage. Hand wraps can help mitigate this risk, allowing boxers to pursue their passion while safeguarding their hand health.
It's important to note that while hand wraps offer numerous benefits, they should be used correctly to ensure maximum protection. Proper wrapping techniques, correct tension, and the use of high-quality hand wraps are all factors that contribute to their effectiveness. Boxers should also consider working with trainers or coaches who can guide them in using hand wraps properly to minimize the risk of injury.
HOW TO HAND WRAP
1. Loop the thumb and wrap BEHIND the hand. You go down the back of the hand so the hand wrap tightens when you make a fist. If you run the wrap down the front of the hand, the handwrap loosens when you make a fist. It’s annoying to have to re-wrap midway through your workout.
2. Two or Three times around the wrist. This provides support for the wrist. If you have short handwraps or big hands, you can do just 2 times. Some fighters like having loose wrists (for angled hooks and uppercuts).
- Wrap between your pinky and ring fingers. - Then over to the side.
- Down to the bottom of your hand. The hand wrap forms an “X” on the back of your hand. - Then back to the top of your thumb again.
- And between the middle and ring fingers.
- The second “X” is formed.
- Back to the top of the thumb and now between index and middle fingers.
- Now the third and final “X” is formed. All fingers properly separated.
- Finish on top of the thumb.
5. Around the thumb. Go once around the thumb then now go down the back of the hand. 6. Lock the thumb. Go behind the thumb, pay attention carefully to the next step. Go down the palm instead of wrapping all the way around the thumb. This further secures the thumb and locks the handwrap into place so it doesn’t get loose while you fight. (Notice how the handwrap changes directions.) 7. Three times around the knuckles. Now go around the knuckles. 8. Extra wraps and finish at the wrist. If you still have extra wraps left over you can do some more “X’s” around the back of your hand. You can also wrap the knuckles some more. Don’t wrap so thick that your hand won’t fit in the gloves. Finish at the wrist. You can secure the Velcro right on the wrist for maximum wrist support. Some boxers like to finish above the wrist so their hand can bend a little more for hooks and uppercuts.
HAND WRAP TIPS
Everything should feel good. The hand is relaxed when you’re not making a fist, and tightens when you close your hand. If your hands hurt after just 30 minutes or your fingers are turning white, it’s probably too tight. There are many ways to wrap your hands. As long as you’re protecting your hands and properly securing the bones together, that’s all that matters.
Tight Wrist vs Loose Wrist. Some fighters love throwing more powerful straights and will concentrate more wrapping right on the wrist. (Some fighters will put one layer of tape around their wrists right before wrapping their hands for a stiff right hand.) Other fighters want less wraps on their wrists to allow more flexibility for hooks and uppercuts.
Professional fighters do wrap their hands a bit differently. They use longer wraps and add extra padding for their knuckles. The need the added protection because of how hard they punch and how long they’ve been boxing for.
Wrapping the hands is every boxer’s daily ritual. It’s the ten minutes where every athlete/student/office worker transforms into a boxer. Do it right to protect your hands for use inside and outside of the ring.