If you’ve never boxed before, you might be you may be under the impression that you only need boxing gloves to get started. While that may be true in theory it is very common for boxers to either wrap or tape their hands. This is done for a variety of reasons but primarily is used to support the boxer’s hands and wrists. This allows for more control and more force when punching.
Wrapping and taping hands is not necessary while learning how to box. But you may find that you will benefit from the added support it gives you while you are gaining strength in your hands and wrists. But knowing what to do can be confusing. There are a variety of methods that boxers use to wrap their hands. Many have specific ways to wrap them in order to give them the most support. Before you try a free boxing class check our great tips.
In this article we will discuss;
- Why Boxers Wrap Their Hands
- The difference between tape and wraps
- How to wrap hands for boxing
- Do’s and Don’ts of hand wrapping
Why Do Boxers Wrap or Tape Their Hands?
Hand wraps and tape are most commonly used by boxers to support and protect their hands and wrists. By using a hand wrap or taping their hands boxers are often trying to prevent injury and improve their punches. Just like using a sling to support your arm, hand wraps and tape support the boxer’s writs and hands.
Though some boxers have a specific way of wrapping their hands, most will find that any wrapping will be better than nothing. If you are wanting to start wrapping your hands it may be a good idea to ask your coach how first. After you’ve become accustomed to doing it yourself, then you may find you can tweak your wrapping or taping to suit your needs best.
What is a Boxing Hand Wrap?
Boxing hand wraps are long pieces of cloth that are used to protect the hands of boxers. To someone who has never seen them before, they might resemble a tensor bandage. But boxing wraps are not used because of injury. Instead they are used to help prevent injury.
Most boxers will have their own set of wraps that they wear with their gloves. While not in use wraps are often rolled to keep them neat and tidy. Most boxers will have their own preferred brand. Check with your coach first before getting wraps. They likely know a great brand to recommend for beginners.
What is Boxing Hand Tape?
Though most boxers will typically use cloth wraps some might prefer to use tape. Just like wraps tape is used to prevent injury and add support to a joint. Tape used by boxers is simply common sports tape. Wraps are often considered more comfortable than tape. Tape also has a disadvantage of coming loose from the skin when saturated with sweat.
Tape can be used as a sub-in for hand wraps but most boxers prefer the comfort and support offered by cloth wraps.
How to Wrap Hands for Boxing
If you’ve gone out and purchased some boxing wraps, you’re likely now wondering. How do I wrap my hands for boxing? Though most boxers will have a tweak or two for wrapping their own hands there is a generally accepted format.
If you have purchased conventional cloth wraps these directions are a great place to start.
- Find the loop
At one end of your cloth boxing wraps you should find a loop. This loop is for your thumb. Place the loop over your thumb with the end of the wrap facing the back of your hand. Do not start your wrap from the palm of your hand.
- Support your wrist
Once you have your thumb looped it’s now time to start wrapping. Start by wrapping your wrist three times. Spread out your wrapping so it covers your joint but don’t allow it to move too far up your forearm.
- Cover your hand
Now that you have supported your wrist it’s time to cover your knuckles and support your hand. Wrap around the palm of your hand and knuckles three times.
- Cross through your fingers
Add support to your fingers by wrapping through each finger. This separates the knuckles and adds support when you punch.
- Wrap your thumb
Your thumb needs as much support at the rest of your hand. Loop the wrap around your thumb. Come across the palm and reinforce your wrap by wrapping the thumb twice.
- Add more support to knuckles
Before finishing off your wrapping add extra support to your knuckles. Wrap three more times around your knuckles.
- Finish off wrap
Use any extra cloth to support your wrist. Most wraps will have a velcro to allow you to secure your wrap once you have used it all up.
Do’s and Don’ts of Hand Wrapping
Hand wrapping is important. But if it’s not done correctly it may cause more issues than help. There are some crucial do’s and don’t of hand wrapping that you should always keep in mind. Remember that learning how to use hand wraps does take some time. The more you do it, the easier it will become. See our best tips for making your hand wraps work for you.
Wrapping too tightly – wrapping your hands too tightly will quickly become very uncomfortable. An extra tight hand wrap will not increase your support. It may instead restrict your movement and make it more difficult.
Rushing it – take your time with wrapping your hands. There is nothing more frustrating then making a mistake. To ensure consistent tension and support take your time.
Ask for help – don’t be afraid to get help with wrapping your hands. Your boxing coach is well versed in wrapping. They are the perfect resource to help you learn.
Wear it how you like it – don’t be afraid to add your own tweaks. You know what feels right to you. Once you’ve mastered the basics don’t be afraid to wrap the way you prefer.