Hand injuries are far too common in kickboxing. Although a lot of that is due to poor form while striking, much of it is caused by improperly wrapped hands. If you want the best experience either while training or during a professional bout, you must learn how to wrap your hands. To help you out, we’ve created a quick, practical guide to teach you how to wrap hands for kickboxing to keep you safe and protected at all times.
Step 1: Choose the Right Wrap
You should know by now that there are several wraps available on the market today. Mexican-style wraps contour better to your hands, but they may wear down sooner. Cotton wraps have Velcro for better security. They’re also durable, so they should last you long down the road. Consider which wrap works best for your needs and go from there.
Step 2: Find the Loop and Begin
Hand wraps come with a thumb loop on one end. Put your thumb through that hole, being sure that your fingers are spread enough so that things aren’t too tight. From here, you’re going to wrap around your wrist 2-3 times.
Here are a few notes about this step:
- When you place your thumb in the thumb hole, it’s important that the orientation is correct. Some wraps have a “This Side Down” tag on them to aid you. Others don’t. For those that don’t, just be sure that the wrap goes to the back of your hand and not your palm. Going to your palm can make the loop slip off.
- As you wrap around your wrist, keep it snug, but not tight enough that circulation is cut off.
- How far you go down your wrist depends on how much support you feel your wrist needs. Some with poor, weak, or injured wrist need more coverage while others don’t.
Step 3: Start Around Your Hand
From your wrist, you’re going to bring the wrap across the back of your hand and then go around to your palm. You should wrap it 2-3 times.
- Your wrist should always be straight. A flexed wrist during the wrapping process is dangerous. It can hold you back from making a straight strike, and it can lead to injury.
- Keep your fingers spread slightly apart during this step as well, but not too far apart that the wrap is loose.
- Wrap comfortably and snug enough that it doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall off.
Step 4: Head to the Fingers
Once you turn your hand over, you’re going to wrap diagonally across your palm. After, you can then begin to wrap your fingers and add some more coverage to your knuckles. You’ll loop the wrap across the back of your hand, run it between your pinkie finger, and then go to the next finger. After, go back across your palm, wrap around your wrist, and wrap under your thumb.
Follow this pattern with the remaining fingers. Move from your ring finger to your middle finger, and from your middle finger to your index, and then around your thumb just one time. Be sure to always go back around your wrist in between wrapping the knuckles.
Step 5: Secure Your Thumb & Knuckles
With your fingers secure, you need to complete the wrap around your knuckles and thumb. You’ve already wrapped once around and under your thumb. Now, you want to go behind the thumb and across the palm. This ensures the thumb is secure. As for your knuckles, pull the wrap up and go around them 2-3 times.
Step 6: Get Rid of Excess Wrap
Depending on the size of the wrap and the size of your hands, you may have excess wrap left behind. If you do, you can continue wrapping around your palm and wrist. Wrap in an “x” pattern until you run out. Once you’re done, just fasten the closure to secure it in place.
- Remember to check your wraps. Midway through practice, after about 20 minutes or so, check on your wraps. You want to be sure your fingers aren’t turning colors or there isn’t any indication that things aren’t too tight or too loose.
- Keep your hand wraps clean. More than likely, you’re going to sweat plenty with hand wraps on. It’s important to take care of them so they last long and don’t build up any harmful bacteria. Thoroughly wash them on a regular basis. Even better, keep multiple pairs.
- Understand that wraps are different for competition. When it comes to professional matches, wraps have their own regulations that differ from the gym. You should always check with the competition guidelines and ask your trainer for help with the matter as those wraps utilize one roll of gauze rather than what you’d use in practice.