How To Use Boxing Hand Wraps: For Beginners
It’s essential to use boxing hand wraps as a beginner. As a boxer, you need hand wraps that are comfortable, durable, will protect your hands and wrist, and are easy to use. With practice, you can easily wrap your hands with fabric prior to putting on your boxing gloves. There are many different ways and techniques to put on boxing hand wraps.
Depending on the type of hand wrap you choose, you start by placing the loop of the wrap around your thumb to anchor the wrap. Then, tightly wrap the fabric around your wrist, keeping it flat and straight. Continue around the wrist 3-4 times depending on the length of the wrap, ending right below the base of the thumb. Bring the fabric up over the back of your hand, then across your palm, and finally over your knuckles. Wrap around twice, keeping your fingers spread apart to allow some movement. Finally wrap your thumb a few times, anchor to the wrist, and continue wrapping for as long as the fabric, ending around the wrist.
Traditionally, boxing hand wraps are long (sometimes over 18 ft!) pieces of fabric that are tactfully wrapped around a boxer’s hand to protect the knuckles and secure the wrist when packing a punch. Not only do boxing hand wraps add extra padding and security to the entire hand area, but they also mitigate chafing, abrasions, and scarring of the knuckles.
Nowadays, you have the option of wearing traditional hand wraps or opting for several versions of quick wraps that securely hug and protect your hands against the insides of your gloves.
Are Hand Wraps Necessary for Boxing?
It depends--if you have ever seen a pro fighter training bare-knuckle or drilling on a heavy bag with just boxing wraps alone, you might be wondering if this is a technique you can try.
For professional boxers, this training method is meant to toughen up their hands. They have gone through specific drills in order to strike a target without severely damaging their fists.
For those looking to train for fun, or to learn a new skill, hand wraps and boxing gloves are recommended when hitting a punching bag and sparring. The wraps will not only act as a shock absorber for your hands but will also keep your hands from getting bruised and callused.
Do You Need to Wear Boxing Hand Wraps Under Boxing Gloves?
Yes. Even if you have the softest boxing gloves, it’s smart to throw on some traditional boxing hand wraps or slip on some quick wraps. Think of using hand wraps with your gloves just like using socks with your shoes. You wouldn’t think of taking a hike or long run without socks--ouch!
The same ideology goes for hand wraps in boxing. The wraps are the barrier between your hands and your gloves. They protect your knuckles, secure your wrists, and help minimize damage to your hands.
With quick wraps, you don't need to watch videos on how to properly use traditional hand wraps, or spend the extra time fumbling around to wrap your non-dominant hand.
Simply slip the quick wraps on and get training!
Which Boxing Hand Wrap Is Right For Me?
When deciding which hand wraps are best for you, you must consider the following:
|Type of Wrap||Material||Pros||Cons|
Typically made from polyester blends with elastic to give them a form fitting feel without being too tight.
- Moisture wicking
- Machine washable
- Very durable
- Mostly used for training and not active sparring
Traditional Hand Wraps
Made from cotton blends.
- Have been used for decades to protect boxers' hands
- Normally inexpensive
- There is a learning curve when getting your wraps “right”
- You might need to use tape on top of your wraps
Ease of Use
Your hand wraps need to be comfortable as well as easy for you to put on and keep clean. For beginners and advanced boxers alike, quick wraps tend to be the easiest hand wraps to use since they slip on in a few seconds.
Quality hand wraps should last a few years even with frequent use. Using your wraps directly on the bag will wear them down quicker as opposed to solely used inside your gloves. Keep this in mind if you choose to box with hand wraps only.
When it comes to sports equipment, quality usually matches the price tag. This also rings true for hand wraps. In most cases, you can find quick wraps and traditional wraps for under $30, but they can cost hundreds of dollars depending on the material. Make sure you check the material, reviews and durability when deciding how much to spend on new wraps.
How to Put On Hand Wraps
Depending on which type of hand wraps you choose, here are the steps to put on your hand wraps and start boxing!
How to Put on Quick Wraps
Time to put on: 30 seconds max
Price: $10 - $40
Quick wraps have become a favorite among boxers since they are “quick” to put on and offer all of the same benefits as traditional wraps, plus added compression. Putting on quick wraps is as simple as putting on a pair of gloves and then securing them around the wrist.
Made with a polyester and elastic blend, quick wraps give you a tight protective layer for your hands that is still breathable. Most of the time quick wraps are machine washable and can be used for several years even with regular use (link to product).
How to Put on Traditional Hand Wraps
Time to put on: 5 - 8 minutes (Once you have the hang of it!)
Price: $5 - $15
Traditional cotton wraps have been used for decades and are a great option for protecting your hands. Their biggest drawback is that you need to know how to properly wrap your hands so the wraps not only protect your hand but also do not come unraveled when you are training. There are several ways to wrap your hand with traditional wraps and some trainers even pride themselves on their unique way of using them.
In general, the wrap is about 15-18 feet long with a loop on one end and a strip of velcro at the other.
You can see how to wrap your hands with traditional hand wraps here (link to video).
The wraps should feel secure but not like they are cutting off your circulation. It’s good practice to do a couple light punches on a speed bag or heavy bag to ensure you are able to move your hands in the wraps and that they are secure enough to put on your gloves.
How You Can Join FightCamp
Now that you know how easy it is to get started in a boxing routine, learn more about FightCamp here.
Step-By-Step Hand Wrapping (Traditional Boxing Wraps)
How To Use Traditional Wraps with FightCamp
Step-By-Step: How To Put On Boxing Quick Wraps
The COMPLETE Beginner’s Guide to Training Like a Boxer
Boxing Workouts for Beginners with Punching (Heavy) Bag
Five (5) At-Home Boxing Workouts for Beginners (Videos)
What Equipment Do You Need to Start Boxing?
How To Choose The Right Punching Bag For Your Workout
The Author: Tommy Duquette is the Co-Founder and Head of Content at FightCamp. He is a former US Boxing Team member with 136 fights under his belt and qualified for the 2012 Olympic trials as the #2 seed. He has 18 years experience training clients in boxing and fitness. Tommy is also USA Boxing Coach certified.