Step-by-step Guide: How to Wrap your Hands for Boxing, Kickboxing or Muay Thai
When we start a combat sport like boxing or kickboxing, we can be so eager to buy our first pair of fancy boxing gloves, sometimes we can forget that we also need to buy hand wraps too.
Wrapping your hands for boxing, kickboxing or Muay Thai before applying boxing gloves is a very necessary step to support the tendons and muscles as well as to provide additional support to the movements of the wrist too.
It also is very important that hand wraps are worn in both training and in amateur and professional competitions. The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) rules for hand wraps in competition states:
Bandages are permitted for the protection of hands. These must be 2 inch wide soft bandage and 1 inch zinc oxide plaster. The tape must not be applied over the knuckles.
Boxing hand wraps are simply thin strips of cloth with a small square or rectangle of velcro at the end so that the material can adhere to itself.
Take a look through our step-by-step guide below on how to wrap your hands:
Step 1: Find the thumb wrap at the end of the material.
This should look like a loop at the end of the boxing wrap. The loop should be placed on your thumb with the material wrapping over the top of your hand.
Step 2: Cross over the back of your hand and wrap your wrist three times. Make sure that the wrap is secure, but not too tight to make it uncomfortable for you.
Step 3: Wrap over your knuckles three times
Again, make sure that when you are wrapping over your hand, the material of the wrap ‘clinches up’ to make it secure on your hand, but not too tight that it hurts or cuts off any blood supply.
Step 4: Pull the wrap across your palm and loop under the thumb. Use your thumb as an ‘anchor’ and wrap the material between each finger, starting at your pinky finger. In this step, make sure to keep your thumb fully extended the whole time.This will ensure that if you mis-hit from the side, your knuckles will not smash together, giving them sufficient padding and cushion the space between your knuckles.
Step 5: loop the wrap around your thumb twice and pull straight down firmly on the palm side of your hand. By doing this you will have secured your thumb from both directions.
Step 6: Wrap around your knuckles three times.
Step 7: With any leftover material, simply wrap over the rest of your hand in an ‘X’ shape.
Step 8: Finish up with the remaining of the boxing hand wraps by wrapping around your wrist and securing with the velcro.
Step 9 : Ready yourself for a fight.
For more information, check out our handy video guide below for a detailed step-by-step guide.
Are boxing and kickboxing hand wraps the same?
In short, yes. This is because you are still forming the same natural fist and the gloves used in both boxing and kickboxing are almost identical with the same fit.
Read our article ‘Boxing gloves or kickboxing gloves: which is better?’ here.
However, there are various styles of hand wraps that can be used.
- Traditional cotton hand wraps: These are the traditional hand wraps, which you would expect most people to use in a boxing gym. They are very cost effective, offering great protection to the hand and wrist. However, the only downfall with them is they can take a while to learn how to wrap your hands quickly.
- Inner gloves: Inner gloves are smaller finger-less style of gloves that are easy to put on. They are good if you want a quick option, that don’t require any tutorial to use.
- Elasticated Mexican style wraps: The Mexican style of hand wraps are very similar to the traditional cotton wraps, only they are made from a more elasticated material.
- Gauze and Tape: You may of only seen the gauze and tape on T.V while they’re filming the professionals backstage before a fight. This type of hand protection is generally only used by professional fighters as it requires another person to do which takes time. They are made from a gauze bandage roll incorporated with adhesive tape.
It is always important to wrap your hands correctly before boxing or kickboxing training, as a wrist injury could cause weeks, or even months of aggravating pain which will really set back your training.
We hope this article has been valuable to you because in a boxing class, a coach doesn’t always teach how to wrap your hands. If you are still finding it tricky, ask your coach, as we are sure he/she will be more accommodating to help.