You may be wondering why you would need hand wraps when you’ve already got a pair of boxing gloves on. We know it sounds like an overkill - and it shouldn't. Our boxing expert Ajitkumar Futane deep dives into the need & importance of boxing wraps.
As a boxing athlete, you can’t afford to train or compete without a set of high quality boxing gloves, why? - because in boxing, your hands are subject to strong & repeated impacts with punching bags. As you continue to train, the level of your skill and technique will improve. With better technique comes higher punching power. Everything sounds alright till this point.
What’s the catch? - Stronger the punches, greater the risk!
To put it simply - the stronger the punches become, greater is the risk of injuring the hands. This risk can be mitigated to a certain extent by mastering the technique of punching properly, including clenching your fists firmly on impact, but for optimum safety, you need extra protection.
Why do your hands need added protection?
Hands are a complex, sophisticated and highly efficient result of millions of years of evolution. They are made up of 27 bones, 27 joints, 34 muscles, over 100 ligaments and tendons, they are small and provide for a wide range of motion, allowing us to perform a variety of fine movements and activities.
Hands need protection from impact damage, beyond boxing gloves. Most beginners are under the impression that hand wraps are for extra cushion or protection for their knuckles, which isn’t true - that’s what boxing gloves are for. What are the wraps for?
Why should you use boxing hand wraps?
Hand wraps are there to secure all your moveable bones and loose joints.
You don’t want your joints to be moving independently and freely when your hand strikes your opponent or the heavy punching bag. Hands can suffer a serious fracture if joints are moving in their own direction. The hand wrap fastens all the joints together, making the shock well distributed across the entire hand and saving it from impact damage.
In addition to this—boxing hand wraps protect the skin from tearing and reduce the risk of strains.
Boxing hand wraps can also prevent your gloves from smelling foul. The wraps themselves though, need regular washing & cleaning
Types & Size of Hand Wraps
There are several different styles of hand wraps that are designed to cover all aspects of training or fighting. Hand wraps are typically sized 15-18 feet (4.5 metres) - varying according to the style and material.
Traditional Hand Wraps
The most commonly used hand wraps, traditional hand wraps offer great versatility and come in a range of lengths. These hand wraps are perfect for the novice boxers. The material is rigid with very little elasticity and a hoop at one end allows you to wrap on your thumb and then loop it around your wrist and fingers.
Elasticated Mexican Style
Mexican style wraps look pretty much the same as traditional hand wraps, with the main difference being them using combination of spandex and semi-elastic cotton to offer some extra elasticity. This material allows for a tighter wrap, offering excellent support with a more flexibility. An additional benefit of using Mexican Style Hand Wraps is that they don’t come loose as traditional wraps can.
Tape/Gauze Hand Wraps
Professional boxers usually use gauze wraps. These take a longer time to put on and are good for single use. The tape and gauze material allows for a tailored fit to the boxer's hand and offers superior protection along with a stiff punch.Once the fight is over, these wraps are cut off using a pair of scissors, ending up in a dustbin (or a collectible auction) soon after.
Quick Or Fast Wraps
Quick or fast wraps come as an alternative to tape and gauze hand wraps. They're used often by professional boxers for practice as these quick wraps try to mimic the more traditional tape and gauze, without the tedious and time-consuming job of putting them on.
These wraps are quite bulky and once you use them in your gloves, the gloves will stretch. Once that happens, you will most likely not be able to use the more traditional standard styles again with these stretched gloves.
How to tie a boxing hand wrap?
Hand wrapping isn’t a one-size-fits-all skill, but it is vital to your safety while punching a heavy bag. We suggest arriving at a boxing class 15 minutes early to get help from your boxing instructor. Once you become a wrapping pro, you can even wrap your hands at home or on your way to the gym to save time. There are multiple ways to wrap a boxing hand wrap. We’ve got you covered in this quick video featuring the Cultsport Signature Boxing Hand Wraps.
How tight should your boxing wrap be?
You should wrap your hands tight enough to feel snug, but not so tight that you cut off circulation. Your wraps shouldn’t be slipping on your hands, and you should still be able to move your fingers enough to make a fist. Try to wrap your hands a little tighter around your wrists to create more stability where it is needed most.
Now that you know how important boxing hand wraps are, make sure you have them on in your next boxing session. If you don't have a pair yet, we've got your covered here.