ow to Wrap your hands for Boxing or MMA is a question most coaches are asked frequently. And because of the time it requires to show someone and then them to practice, it can be something that gets overlooked. Creating a good wrap for boxing, MMA or Muay Thai is an essential skill for the combat sports practitioner – but also one that takes a little time to learn and often is overlooked by beginners who look at the task as complicated and not necessary until they are more advanced. Don’t make that mistake… It’s absolutely necessary!
How to wrap your hands for boxing or for any combat sport is a subject that so many people struggle with early in their martial arts journey but where do you go for help and what’s the best method?
Firstly let’s look at the reasons why you wrap your hands.
In body parts terms your hands are a delicate tool. Any sport such as Boxing, MMA or any of the kick boxing forms such as Muay Thai that involve striking and regularly use equipment such as heavy bags or pads, can easily cause injury to the hands or wrists of the people involved if precautions are not taken.
Hand wraps serve to protect the small bones in the hand from bruising and even breaking, keep the skin on the knuckles from tearing and help prevent you from spraining your wrists when delivering a punch. The latter problem frequently impacts inexperienced fighters who are hitting the heavy bag often with a poor technical understanding. Many fighters who are inexperienced hitting a bag that could weigh up to 100 pounds will swing their arms and hit the bag without realizing they are already storing up potential injuries later or even immediately! I’ve personally seen fighters come in with injuries they have had for many years now taking, what might be seen by the beginner, as almost ridiculously involved protective precautions for their hands. Yet in many cases late career injuries could most certainly be avoided by taking measures earlier.
Gloves are obviously also essential but many people don’t understand that much of the protection you require for your hands comes as much from the handwrap as it does from the gloves. No matter how much you paid for your gloves!
Best Hand Wraps to Buy
Quality boxing hand wraps usually offer a quality cotton of either 120”, 180” or in some case 200.” Some offer a degree of stretch in the wrap and some do not. But the slightly stretchy style is now increasingly popular.
The length depends on the usage. For MMA the shorter wrap may well be favored with a smaller knuckle pad but beware of striking heavy bags with small wraps and gloves. Many MMA fighters will strike a heavy bag very lightly using their MMA gloves, retaining their power shots for full wraps and 12oz or bigger bag or boxing gloves.
A standard wrap in modern terms is the 4.5m or 180” wrap.
Methods of wrapping for Boxing and Combat Sports
There are many methods to wrap your hands which are equally relevant but the key components are the knuckle pad and wrist wrap. Some coaches are keen on a thumb wrap and some are not.
The videos we provide below show some of the world’s top coaches and fighters sharing their methodology. Try a few and see which suits you. However as long as you get competent with a good method and a little luck, your hands should manage to avoid most the common injuries sustained by fighters and martial artists while training!