Just starting out in boxing or MMA? You’re probably wondering whether or not you need to use hand wraps.
After all, you’ve seen other fighters strap themselves up with wraps but you’re already suited and booted with gloves … so what’s the deal with hand wraps?
It’s a common question among beginner fighters. The simple answer is - you absolutely need hand wraps to go along with your gloves.
In this article, I explore precisely why.
Whether you’re dealing a punch bag a hammer blow or grappling with an opponent, throwing punches hurts. You’ve donned your gloves but, man, throwing punches stillstings.
Combat sport is made up of striking moves and blocking moves. Striking moves generate more force than your hands are designed to withstand while blocking moves receive more force than your hands are able to withstand. There are 27 little tiny bones in each of your hand, and each one is super vulnerable to pain and damage whenever you start training.
I mean look, you’ve punched someone in a fight before, and you know it hurts. Ouch. Their face might come off worse, but your hand smarts. It’s even the same when you deck a punchbag.
Each time you throw a punch, you’re throwing some serious weight around. The force absorbed upon impact can be incredible. Because your prime weapon in boxing is your hands, it should come as no surprise that hand wraps are highly recommended.
Then there’s MMA, where back fists and hammer fists are often classed as legal. Legal - and painful.
Consider the number of times you block punches, too. When you parry a striking blow with your hand, your hand is taking on a lot of impact. It’s going to hurt, and it can easily cause injury. In Muay Thai, for example, fighters often face up to their adversaries with their hands deflecting any blows that rain down on them. Your hands are vulnerable, and this is why you need to wear hand wraps.
Carpal fractures - which are a break of the bone in the hand - are the most common and most troublesome fractures for boxers.
Basically, gloves by themselves don’t offer enough protection.
Sure, even MMA gloves weigh 4 ounces, and sure gloves are meant to protect your hands while you jab and hook your opponent. But 4 ounces isn’t actually that much protection.
In boxing, the gloves have a lot more padding. But because your hands are your main weapon, they still don’t offer enough protection by themselves.
So even though you wear gloves, injuries and pain can still occur if you don’t wear hand wraps too.
Hand wraps, when combined with gloves, allow you to throw punches and win fights with more protection. The best ones do more than that. These hand wraps from Beast Gear, for example, also reduce hand fatigue and give you the confidence needed to throw punches. Boom.
You now know why you need wraps. But what’s the science behind it all? What do they do exactly?
Gloves + hand wraps = maximum protection. Here is exactly how hand wraps protect you:
My advice is that you should wear hand wraps every time you fight, spar or train.
Essentially, whenever you wear a pair of gloves, wear hand wraps, too. This will give you maximum protection.
It doesn’t matter if you’re fighting or just training, whenever you step into the gym and start boxing, you should be putting your hand wraps on.
In fact, some gyms won’t even let you train without ‘em. That’s how important they are.
If you’re an MMA fighter, you should wear them at all times, too. In fact, it’s probably even more important that MMA fighters protect themselves with hand wraps because MMA gloves have even less padding, and they weigh just 4 ounces.
One of the issues you might find as an MMA fighter wearing wraps is that the wrap covers the palm, which can in turn make it difficult to grapple. As such, what you want to do is find a wrap that doesn’t cover too much of the palm.
When searching for hand wraps, you’ll find that there are a few different types available.
Some wraps come with a certain stretch/elasticity about them that allows them to fit your hand tighter. In essence, the mould into the shape of your hand. These types of hand wraps can be more of a personal choice, however, as it doesn’t matter that much which type of wrap you go for.
Another option is the Inner Glove wrap. This is suited to fighters who need fast protection. When you’re short on time, they work well but the protection they offer isn’t on the same level as a traditional hand wrap. This is mostly because they don’t cover the whole hand and don’t bind the fingers and joints together so tightly.
A rule of thumb to follow is to use traditional hand wraps as much as you can, while having an Inner Glove as a backup option. You’ll find that many boxers own both types and will switch between the two.
For a guide on how to wrap your hands using traditional wraps - click here.
All in all, it’s pretty clear that hand wraps are damn important. Whether you’re training or fighting, and whether you’re a boxer or an MMA fighter, you need to double up with gloves and wraps.
It’s important that you wrap your hands properly too. Learn more about how to wear your hand wraps here so that you reduce your risk of injury as much as possible.
And with that, train smart, be a beast - and go throw those punches.