All boxers on a compulsory note wrap their hands with hand wraps, in order to protect their fingers, wrists and knuckles. Hands are the first part of the body to encounter contact with the opponent and this means your hand muscles and wrists are put to work immediately. It is important that your fingers and knuckles are in good condition throughout the match.
Boxers of all levels are required to wrap their hands. There are two crucial elements to hand wrapping, one is that you need to wrap, such that it does not become loose and the wrap is solid, secondly it should not be so tight that it shuts down your blood circulation. The most important step to protecting your hands is to select a good hand wrap. Having said that, not all are aware of the hand wrapping techniques; there are various wraps to choose from and other criteria’s to be pondered on. Let us have a look at it in detail.
Most athletes use athletic tape and gauze. It is extremely light but cannot be reused. The other types are the cloth type which can be reused. Selecting the type of hand wrap depends on a personal preference and each boxer’s comfort level. Length, color, width and elasticity should also be taken into consideration. Apparently, the longer the length, the better the wrapping, the better the protection! Color is again a personal preference. When it comes to width, there are wraps that are wide and thin. This also depends on the individual's wrapping comfort on whether they prefer wider wraps or thin ones. Elasticity is preferred to be on a lower level. You do not want too much of it because you want to feel like your hands are in a cast.
You can begin by unwrapping your wrap. Place the section marked ‘This side Down’ on the back of your palm facing skin side. The loop goes into your thumb. Remember to place your hand on a table or a straight level to get a good wrap. Continue by wrapping your wrist tightly. Do this about 3 to 4 times depending on the length of the wrap. Finish by bringing the remaining wrap under your thumb. Then you wrap your knuckles. Remember to stretch your fingers before wrapping else you will find it difficult while punching. End up by bringing the wrap under your thumb again. Then you wrap your thumb. Remember not to do this tightly so as to cut off your blood circulation. Then you go back to wrapping around your wrist, once and then your knuckles and again back to the wrist. You will finally end up with the Velcro end and secure your wrap.
To see if you are comfortable, try making a fist and you should feel at ease and not feel like you are forcing yourself to make a fist. There is also another way to wrap which is to wrap around the fingers. It follows the same method except for an additional wrap around the finger after you finish your thumb. Start with the furthermost finger and each consecutive finger after. The rest of the wrapping is the same as above. A few boxers prefer the first technique whereas a few prefer the finger wrap. Overall the main aim is to completely secure your fingers, wrist and knuckles before any fight to ensure no damage.