All you need to know about…
From why you put them on, to a step by step beginners guide & video on the simplest and easiest way to put on boxing wraps and more….
FIRST OFF… WHY WRAP?
Your hands are made of many small bones that can easily become damaged, so as your most valued asset in the ring, it is vital you protect them. Wraps provide much needed support to the wrists, fingers and knuckles, safeguarding from the wear and tear of repeated punching and protecting your tendons and muscles.
A common misconception is that you wrap for additional cushioning, while this may be a welcome side effect, cushioning is what your gloves are for – the real purpose of wraps is to hold your joints in place. By holding your joints in place, they prevent excessive movement of your loose joints caused at impact. This reduces localised shock and bone movement when your joints clash and collapse over one another, enabling a healthier spread of impact and ultimately reducing the risk of fractures and injury.
Of course, breaking bones in your hand is very much the worst-case scenario, but over time injuries from repetitive punching can occur.
“Protect yourself all times” starts with the hands.
It is the natural learning curve of boxing that as a beginner, you will at times, punch incorrectly. This is normal and it is only through practice you will achieve the required technique; however poor technique poses a greater risk of injury, especially without the right protection. Incorrect form coupled with insufficient protection can play havoc with your joints and long term bone health. So before you get the punch right, you need to take time to learn how to wrap properly. You would have no doubt heard the famous boxing quote, “Protect yourself at all times”, well this starts with your hands. A few aches, pains and “niggles” in your wrists to begin with are perfectly normal, but these should be minimal and short lived with the right protection.
WHAT TYPES OF WRAPS?
There are three main types of wraps: bandage wrap, gel wrap and competition wraps.
COMPETITION WRAPS. Let’s get this one out of the way first. These are what you see professional fighters wearing in competitive fights. They are made of gauze and tape which is put on by your coach and are cut off at the end of the bout, so non-reusable. These are not a good option for training.
GEL WRAPS. These slip on your hands like fingerless gloves and are convenient to put on. They offer less support than traditional wraps and tend to cost quite a bit more.
BANDAGE WRAPS. This is by far the most popular wrap and what we recommend you use. This long bandage comes with a thumb loop at one end and velcro at the other. These are great for training as they offer great support, cost effective and can be washed regularly.
CHOOSING YOUR BANDAGE WRAPS
The traditional wraps come either non-elastic canvas or cotton, or elasticated, known as Mexican wraps. Here are the key differences:
Cotton or canvas wraps: These have great durability for frequent training, but do not fit as snug to your skin and are less forgiving of poor wrapping technique, so can easily cut off blood flow if you wrap incorrectly. Because of their durability, they are the best option for people who train a lot as they can be washed again and again.
Mexican wraps: These bandages have elastic fibres woven in, which means they are more forgiving of imperfect wrapping technique and fit best against your skin. The downfall of these ones is they are not as durable as the canvas wraps. Because of their softness and fit, they make a great choice for beginners.
Wraps come in different lengths, from 2.5 metres to 4.5 metres. You should always try to go 4 metres minimum. If you can’t get 4 metres, use two pairs of short wraps. The longer the wrap, the more you are supported.
HOW TO PUT ON BOXING WRAPS
TAKING CARE OF YOUR WRAPS
- Think of your wraps like your socks – they will need regular washing.
- Always wash separately to start with – the colours do tend to run to begin with.
- They WILL come out of the wash all tangled up. So be prepared for some de-tangling action.
- The velcro will attach itself to any fabric it can in the wash, including itself. To reduce this, you can stick the two sides of the velcro together before washing.