A hand wrap is a piece of cloth cut into a strip that is worn by boxers under their boxing gloves. You may have seen many boxers and wondered what it was for. The main purpose of a hand wrap is to protect the boxer’s hands from injury while punching an opponent. Clever, right? Boxing, being a contact sport, can be quite painful. A wrap helps the you absorb the impact of a punch from the opponent. A well-fitted hand wrap must secure the knuckles, wrist, and thumb of a boxer aligning the bones.
In the world of boxing, it is an important accessory because it helps protect from severe injuries. Injuries sustained may include bruising the joints, twisting the thumb, fractures to the bones on the hand, and many other types. A hand wrap also compresses the hand enabling the boxer to throw punches that have a greater force. It causes a little numbness to the hand which limits the amount of pain a boxer will feel due to the force of impact being relayed to the entire hand and not just one area.
Boxing without wrapping your hands is therefore not a wise idea. It will not take that much time to ensure the wrap is done correctly for maximum protection. There is no need to risk injury especially if you intend to keep boxing for a long time. An injury to your hand can be very limiting not only to your favorite sport, but it can interfere with your day to day activities too.
The Best Way to Wrap Your Hand
Before purchasing a hand wrap, consider the size of your hand. They come in different lengths and you don’t want to purchase one that is either too long or too short. You also have to keep in mind the type of glove you are using. Some have a very thick lining which may make your wrapped hand very uncomfortable. Wraps used for training can be re-used. You don’t have to purchase a new one every time you train.
The more traditional wraps are not elastic, but there are some Mexican-style wraps that have a little elasticity in them. The review on then is they add more comfort and are preferred by most boxers.
1. Place the Loop Over the Thumb
Decide which hand to start with and hold it up with the thumb facing down. The back of your hand should be facing you. Ensure your hand is straight and your fingers are spread apart. Let the loop end of the wrap slip through your thumb and let the cloth travel across the back of your hand to rest at the wrist. This is important to ensure the cloth remains secure as you train.
2. Next Comes Your Wrist!
Take the cloth around your wrist from the backside to the front of your wrist and then the back again. Wrap it tight on your wrist three times, but not too tight to interfere with blood circulation on your hand. For certain punching styles like the uppercut, you can decide to wrap the cloth twice.
3. Followed by the Hand!
After securing your wrist, let the end of the cloth hand from the back of your palm then pull it to the front of your hand. Follow this by taking it over the area between your index finger and thumb over the back of your palm. Repeat again by wrapping the front of your palm and in between the two fingers. Repeat this three times too. Make sure the cloth is wrapped tightly but not too tight. Here you focus more on securing your hand.
4. In Comes the Pinky and Ring Fingers!
The end of the wrap should be hanging once more at the back of your hand. Pull it to the front of your palm to the point where your wrist meets the base of your thumb. From there pull it across the back of your hand through the space between your pinky and ring fingers. Take it across the front of your palm and over your index knuckle, over the back of your hand to rest on the wrist once more. When you look at the back of the palm, the cloth would have formed an X.
5. Secure the Middle Finger Next!
Take the end of the cloth now resting on your wrist and wrap it across the palm of your hand to the base of your thumb. Follow this by pulling it over the back of your hand down the space between the ring and middle fingers. Pull it across the front of your palm, round the index knuckle and once more to the back of your palm resting on the back of your wrist. By observing the back of your hand, you would have formed another X.
6. Time for the Thumb!
Pull the cloth from the back of your wrist, over your palm to the area below the thumb. Wrap it around your thumb once in order to cover the middle part with a joint. Flip your hand so that the front of the palm is facing up and pull the wrap over the front to the back at the base of your pinky. Pull it over the back of your palm to the base of your thumb. Spread your thumb and pull the cloth over the front of your palm to the base of the pinky.
7. Don’t Forget the Knuckle!
From the base of the pinky, wrap the cloth around the back of the knuckles then over the front of your palm at the base of your fingers. Do this three times tightening the cloth but not too tight.
8. Finish Up
At this point, if you selected the right size of the cloth, all that is left if to secure the Velcro. But, if you still have some cloth left, you can add some more X’s at the back of your palm and when done, use the Velcro to secure the wrap on your wrist.
To ensure the wrap is well done, clench a fist and feel whether it tightens of not. If it’s tight on clenching, then you have done it the right way. If not, it’s time to untie and do it all again! Your hand should feel comfortable when wrapped correctly.
When you decide that boxing is going to be your sport of choice, then you better learn fast how to wrap your hand the right way! You do not want to start throwing punches with a badly wrapped hand. You will definitely injure yourself. It takes only a few minutes of your time from start to finish so do not worry about wasting precious time.
A hand wrap is meant to ensure your bones and joints are perfectly aligned for maximum protection. After wrapping, especially when you are learning, observe your hand. If you feel any pain unrelated to boxing or notice color change on your fingers, the wrap is on too tight. This means blood circulation is being impeded and you have to undo the wrap immediately. Let your hand relax for a moment then try again until you get the hang of it.
There are many different wrapping styles. You can research and try them out too. This article provides a basic technique that works. Select the right size wrap as the excess wrap will hinder you from making good fists. Note that professional boxers may prefer to wrap their hands differently.