If you haven’t noticed, boxers and MMA fighters always have their hands wrapped before a bout.
Why You Should Use Hand Wraps
If you practice martial arts like Muay Thai, boxing, and kickboxing, you should consider wrapping your hands if you haven’t already.
Old kung-fu masters and Shaolin monks used to toughen their hands by punching trees and rocks. But such extreme conditioning is unsuitable if you intend to use your hands for tasks like writing or even holding objects.
With that in mind, here are several reasons why you need to use hand wraps:
Hand Wraps Reduce the Risk of Injury
Unlike its name, boxer’s fracture is not exclusive to boxers only. In fact, it is particularly common in martial arts where hand strikes are often used. Hand wraps, MMA or boxing style, help hold the tiny bones in your hands (i.e. metacarpals) in place to prevent dislocation or fractures. Secondly, they also keep your wrist and hand aligned when you punch, preventing wrist injuries.
Trained boxers are capable of exerting up to 1300 pounds of force, which is equivalent to a sledgehammer blow. Now, imagine that much force being exerted onto your unprotected hand.
Constant conditioning may have given you fists of steel. But wrist wraps can significantly cut down on injuries sustained. This means more time spent training and less time spent recovering from an injury.
Hand wraps form a protective layer around your hands, which cushions your knuckles from the impact of a punch.
If you are hitting the bag on a regular basis or competing in bouts professionally, the constant blunt impact trauma on your hands can be brutal. If you’ve ever been in a back brawl or a bar fight, you’d know that keeping your thumb in place can be a massive pain.
Wearing hand wraps allows you to keep your fingers in place, which prevents any unwanted injuries when you are hitting a bag or another man’s face.
Hand Wraps Let You Hit Harder
The science behind it all explains that hand wraps compress the bones in your hand, which allows you to form a tighter fist. By compressing the bones in your hand, you actually feel less pain. In turn, this allows you to strike your opponent harder.
A common saying among boxers is that hitting your opponent harder allows you to feel less pain, hence the need for hand wraps.
Throughout a bout, hand wraps exert a consistent pressure on the bones in your hand, which ensures that you can keep striking with maximum force. This highlights why wrist wraps are actually so important.
Besides protecting your hand from injuries, they allow you to strike with greater force. They also keep your hands safe. Think about that the next time you complain about having to wrap your hands.
How to Put on MMA Wrist Wraps
Now that you’ve been given an understanding on why MMA hand wraps are important, we look at some of the methods on how to wrap your hands.
This is the classic method of hand wrapping used by practitioners of the sweet science of boxing. This style of hand wrapping is one of the simplest yet most effective methods.
It focuses on providing support to your knuckles, fingers and wrists for extra protection when you’re hitting the pads or a punching bag.
Muay Thai Style
The Muay Thai style of hand wrapping is used by Muay Thai enthusiasts and kickboxers. It focuses on giving the knuckles and wrists extra protection. This is because Thai fighters generally use lighter, thinner gloves for extra speed and power.
Hence, Muay Thai hand wrapping techniques often focus on giving the knuckles as much protection as possible. When done right, this method of wrapping your hands allows you to hit the bag with absolute confidence with zero negative effects.
This style of hand wrapping is often used by Muay Thai fighters in Thailand.
Typical Hand Wrapping Mistakes
When properly wrapped, your hands should feel snug and well-protected from blows. However, you may end up doing more damage than you’re protecting yourself from if done incorrectly. Here are some common signs that you’ve wrapped your hand wrong:
Your Hands Turn Blue or Go Numb
While keeping your hands snug is important, wrapping your hands too tightly can result in numbness or even loss of feeling in your hand. Another side-effect of this is lightheadedness and dizziness.
If you feel any of the aforementioned symptoms, remove your bindings and rewrap your hands again.
Your Wraps Keep Falling Apart
Are your wraps falling apart after several blows or halfway through a bout? You’ve likely made a mistake somewhere or your wraps are not tight enough. Take a break and rewrap your hands carefully.
Your Wrist Hurts When You Punch
Pain in your wrist when you’re hitting a bag is a sure sign that you’ve wrapped your hands wrong. Insufficient support in your wrist can result in you spraining or even twisting it.
Abrasions on Your Hand
Buying low-quality wraps made from rough-spun cloth can chafe your skin and cause itchiness or blistering. When shopping for a good pair of wraps, make sure you take the time to buy a pair used by the pros at your gym.
Wrapping your hands allows you to protect them as well as your wrists from picking up injuries. With a bit of practice, you’ll know how to put on hand wraps like a pro in no time.