Knowing how to wrap your hands properly is essential for anyone who trains mixed martial arts, kickboxing, or Muay Thai.
Wrapping your hands will keep all the tiny bones safe from injury while punching the heavy bag or pads. But when you are just starting out, the learning curve can be steep.
There are a few different ways to wrap your hands, but we will share some tips on the most common way to do it.
#1 Pick The Right Pair Of Hand Wraps
There are two types of hand wraps – Mexican and traditional. The only difference between the two styles is the material they are made from.
Mexican style hand wraps are a mix of semi-elastic cotton and spandex, while the traditional ones are normally cotton weaved.
They all share a similar purpose, so get a pair that suits your taste and budget.
#2 Unravel The Hand Wraps
One end of the hand wrap has a loop, while the other end consists of a Velcro strap. If the pair you bought did not come with either one, return them.
Unstrap the Velcro and carefully unravel the hand wraps. Make sure you do not twist, tangle, or accidentally tie them into knots.
#3 Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
If you are unsure where to begin, ask your teammates or your coaches for help.
Everyone starts from somewhere. Even ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan took time to hone her hand wrapping skills.
“In the beginning, you need to ask your teacher or your teammates to help you. Then, when it feels natural, you can do it any way to make yourself feel comfortable,” she says.
#4 Anchor The Thumb
Place your hand with your palm down, while slotting the loop onto your thumb.
This acts as a fulcrum, keeping your wrap in place throughout the process. Make sure the rest of your wrap is on the outside of your hand.
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#5 Secure Your Wrists
Drag the wrap toward your wrist, palm down, and go around your wrist three to four times. End the last wrap on the side of your thumb.
The aim behind this is to keep your wrist straight when throwing a punch. Giving your wrist good support prevents it from bending.
#6 Move On To The Knuckles
From where your wrap was last placed, slowly move toward your knuckles.
During this step, it is pivotal to spread your fingers out because if they are too close together, your knuckles will feel tight when making a fist.
Spreading your fingers also allows for natural spacing between your digits, ensuring you feel comfortable all the way through training.
#7 Wrap Your Thumb
Continue your wrap toward the base of your thumb – going over, then under, your thumb.
Wrap your thumb as securely as possible without cutting off blood circulation.
Go around the thumb twice for maximum protection. Next, go from the thumb to wrist one time to prevent your thumb from overextending.
#8 Go Back To The Knuckles
Go back to the knuckles diagonally, and continue wrapping until you have approximately 20 inches (50 cm) left. This provides extra cushion at one of the most important parts of your hand.
Alternative: position your wrap in a way where you can wrap every gap between your index finger to the little finger. Make sure you secure this wrap at the wrist.
#9 Return To The Wrists and Strap It In
Last, but not least, go around your wrist one more time until you are out of material.
Secure the Velcro, and then you can wrap your other hand.
#10 Keep Practicing
If you struggle to master the art of hand wrapping early on, just keep practicing. Eventually, you will be able to wrap your hands with your eyes closed.
Malaysian flyweight sensation Gianni Subba is confident this is a skill you can perfect in due time.
“If you always show up [to class] and you’re too scared to wrap your own hands, then you’re never going to learn,” he says.
“Don’t be afraid, there’s no wrong. You will eventually get it once you do it every day. Ask for advice, too. A lot of guys are always willing to help with wrapping hands.”
Perhaps with enough practice, you might be the one helping a newcomer someday.