Why Do You Need To Wear Hand Wraps For Boxing, MMA, Muay Thai, And Other Combat Sports?
Many trainers advise their trainees to make use of wraps under the gloves. However, you may not have clear reasons as to why this advice should hold water. Boxers, MMA gamers, or Muay Thai players, therefore, risk going into the game without hand wraps.
How Your Hands Could Get Damaged
In any form of combat, hands are the first recipients of hard impacts. This may be through striking especially when a boxer tries to harm the opponent with his or her arm. Many times, it happens through punching especially where sports rules allow back fists and hammer fists.
The other way through which hands are impacted is blocking. Of course, as a fighter, you want to defend yourself and ensure you can caution against every other blow that lands on you. Whether they are elbows or kicks, knees or punches. Some of these blows can be extremely powerful and you can only reduce the impact through blocking.
When punching with your hands, there are more chances that any section of your hand could be hit hard. It could be the back of your hand, the palm, or even in some cases the sides. Take the case of Muay Thai for example, the palm faces the opponent making that section of the hand more vulnerable to harm.
Human hands have well up to 27 small bones. All the bones receive direct impact with every blow that lands on your hands. Adding a well-fitting hand wrap pulls the bones together, supports them, and reduces the chances of bone fractures in case of hard impacts.
With padded gloves alone on your hands, you can only think of a protected opponent. However, if you add a layer of hand wraps, then you make your hands much safer from the blows that an opponent unlashes. You, therefore, have two-way protection that gets you and the opponent covered.
Existing Hand Wraps, Which Is Best?
Hands wraps are majorly categorized into training and professional hand wraps. Professional hand wraps are made of several layers of thin gauze and tape. They are usually applied to boxers by their trainer or a cornerman.
It is common to see them during fights. However, high-level boxers use them any time during their training.
On the other hand, training hand wraps which generally fall into two categories – stretch and non-stretch – are usually used for training occasions.
Stretch training hand wraps are many times referred to as “Mexican” hand wraps because they are much tighter and close-fitting to the hand. Non-stretch hand wraps are a bit flexible, made of a slightly thicker material, and do not fit too tight to the hand.
The choice between the two types is basically at the discretion of the user. However, both are quite safe.
Apart from the fit, the length of hand wraps is another factor to consider in your choice of hand wraps. Because fighters are looking for full-hand proof protection against punches, it is preferred that you look for longer. Generally, there are two sizes – 180” which is anywhere between 4.5 to 5 meters, and 120” which is around 3 meters.
Apart from length, the gauge of the material of the wrap is another consideration when choosing the right wrap for both training and fight. Thinner wraps are preferred as they offer improved hand fits.
Besides, some fighters opt for inner gloves during a rush training session. Well as much as inner gloves may offer similar protection, they are not as safe as hand wraps. And, if you find an inner glove that properly fits your hand when combined with hand wraps, the choice is yours as this is more likely to offer improved protection.
So, Why Wear Hand Wraps?
When you prepare for a fight, you also prepare for the blows. Because every training or fight is unique and you may not predict the angles from which the blows are more likely to come, protecting your thumbs, fingers, wrists, knuckles and even the whole hand should be a priority before any fight begins. Let’s look at some of the reasons why you need to have hand wraps on.
Security While Training
Hand wraps protect the skin from tearing, support the small bones in the hands, and protect wrists from straining during a fight.
Inexperienced fighters who want to hit heavy bags especially for the first time are therefore safe from the likely impacts.
Avoid Hand Injuries
Fighters need full hand protection to avoid any form of hand injuries whether during training or a real fight.
By according your hand full protection, you avoid the risk of staying away from training or fights due to broken hands, broken fingers, or even sprained wrists.
Avoid The Pain While Punching
Whether it is boxing, MMA, Muay Thai, or any other combat sports, you need the hands to succeed. Any feeling of pain while punching is a sign that the hands will not be able to sustain the sort and you may need to stop and find out the cause of pain.
However, hand injuries may be more normal for boxers, index and middle knuckle pain can be more disturbing. Whether they occur during training or at a real fight.
Getting a good hand wrap gives your hands good protection and helps you to avoid injuries and any form of pain in the process.
Hand wraps, therefore, bring more rewards to boxers or players in MMA or other sports. Some of the other benefits you get include:
- Keeping the wrist straight
- Adding more padding layer on the back of your hand, softening vibrations caused by knuckle strikes, and lowering shocks caused by direct impact
- Prevents knuckles from smashing together
- Reduces sudden thumb motion
- Prevent the fingers from slipping into the palm due to sudden pushes
When Should I Wear Hand Wraps?
As we already mentioned, hand wraps are great protection against hand injury or even pain during training or a real fight. If you want to punch the bags like a pro or block the blows like an arsenal, hand wraps should be a good company all the time. Therefore, wear them for all your training and fighting occasions to avoid injury and even potential surgery.