Boxing Hand Wraps - All Wrapped Up!
Before we look at the video on wrapping your hands, there is a golden rule that I must make as plain and clear as possible. Never, ever hit a punch bag without appropriate hand protection. Don’t even be tempted to have a little pop as you walk past. The damage that you can do if you don’t have hand wraps or bandaged and protected with gloves is immense.
I’m not talking about nasty little cuts and abrasions here, I’m talking about disintegrated knuckles and shattered metacarpals where the damage is so grave that the hand is permanently disfigured and will never function properly again.
There is a range of options available when it comes to hand protection (I've provided a selection at the end of the article), none of which are going to break the bank, so there’s no excuse for not avoiding pain and problems. Hand protection is covered in the main by the following options:
- Boxing Hand Wraps
- Crepe Bandages
- Gel Under Gloves
Boxing Hand Wraps
In the following five minute video I explain exactly how I have been protecting my hands for more years than I can remember by using boxing hand wraps. Hand wraps are a modern progression of the old fashioned crepe bandage.
Hand wraps consist of very tightly woven fabric and are available in a range of colours and are specialised pieces of kit designed for combat sports such as boxing, Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
Hand wraps include a loop or ‘partial glove’ at one end (to provide the anchor point to wrap the hands) and a Velcro fastener at the other end, allowing a speedy application. Wraps tend to provide a higher level of protection than crepe bandages and would not ordinarily require the addition of sponge layers to improve protection. That is not to say that you couldn't put a crepe bandage on underneath a wrap in order to double up your protection.
Go for the longer version of the wrap, that's 5 yards (4.5 metres).
Check out the video then you can read on to find out about using the crepe alternative and indeed the gel under gloves.
BE ADVISED: If you compete in amateur boxing, and depending upon the country in which you compete, you are only able to use specific brands of wraps during competition, and you certainly cannot use crepe bandages or gel under gloves. Your trainer/coach will be able to advise. Of course in the gym you can use whatever you want 🙂
OK, let's have a look at the other options for hand protection.
If rather than boxing hand wraps you decide on the option of crepe bandages, there are a few things to consider. Bandages are available at pharmacies/drug-stores and are very hard-wearing. You can have any colour, so long as it’s white, and you should avoid purchasing the basic cotton version as there is no elasticity in these and they really can become quite uncomfortable on the hand.
It’s helpful to make a small incision at one end of the bandage to allow the thumb to be threaded through (the equivalent of the loop on the boxing hand wrap); this makes the process of wrapping the hands easier.
I have always found that a bandage of 3" (7.5 cm) width and 5 yds (4.5 metres) in length is perfect. The length is important because the ideal way to wrap the hands is to feed the bandage in between the fingers and some way up the wrist. As described in the video, feeding the bandages through the fingers prevents the bandages riding up the hand when hitting the bag, thus avoiding leaving the knuckle area unprotected.
Gel Under Gloves
Finally are the modern gel-filled under gloves (overleaf). This type of hand protection has become more common in boxing in recent years. They are a more expensive form of hand protection, and although their use has become more common, the hand-wraps remain more widespread in boxing. Under-gloves tend to be marketed as a convenient alternative to bandages or wraps, so there may well be compromises in terms of hand protection.
I would suggest that if you are going to try these types of gloves, ensure that they fit the hand perfectly. If there is any movement of the glove across the hand, then it is highly likely that significant friction-type injuries will be caused to the knuckles. Whilst these injuries are not terribly serious, they can be very annoying and troublesome over time.
I’d also be concerned that the many stitched joins could be a source of weakness where damage could occur. My personal preference remains hand wraps or bandages; gel-filled under-gloves have yet to convince this traditionalist.
On a final note, I will again emphasise the importance of protecting your hands, after all they need to last you for the rest of your life! Gloves alone cannot provide the necessary armour. Repeated blows against a heavy bag (or the even more implacable maize bag) are going put massive stress on your hands and wrists particularly as your power develops.
Take protecting your hands seriously and enjoy bag work without the threat of causing lasting damage to the ‘tools of the trade’.
Below are some options from Amazon that I would choose if selecting from wraps and gel-gloves.
BOXING HAND WRAPS (US):
UNDER GLOVES (US):
CREPE BANDAGES (US):
BOXING HAND WRAPS (UK):
UNDER GLOVES (UK):
CREPE BANDAGES (UK):
If you have any comments or questions then let me know below.
PS - Please note that if you click on one of the above Amazon links and subsequently make a purchase, I make a small commission. Da Law says I gots to tell you this 🙂