The Complete Guide to Boxing / Kickboxing Hand Wraps

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The Complete Guide to Hand Wraps

for Boxing, Kickboxing, and Martial Arts

by Revgear

printed by Koch Martial Arts & Fitness Supply (Revgear brand seller)

Whether you choose to hit the heavy bag, focus mitts, a speed bag or spar with an opponent you will need to know how to find the right hand wraps.

This HOW TO GUIDE will answer many of the most frequently asked questions including four different ways to wrap your hands!

Why do I need hand wraps?

Simply put:  to protect your hands.  Hand wraps help protect the bones and tendons in your hands.  In addition, they will help support your wrist and thumb.

To help prevent injuries, always wrap your hands before using any type of boxing glove or bag gloves.  Make sure you have hand wraps handy when you are trying on boxing gloves or bag gloves that you are thinking about purchasing.  They are important component in the fit of the gloves you choose.

Try to AVOID buying your hand wraps at a sporting goods store.  They tend to be the wrong size and they won't last too long.  Spending a little more on higher quality will pay off here.

What types of hand wraps are available?

There are many types of hand wraps available now.  This didn't used to be so a few years back.

Hand wraps can be broken down by size, style, and function (disposable or reusable).

Hand wrap size:  The most common sizes you will see are 120" and 180".  When you have smaller hand wraps you shoulder consider buying shorter wraps.  If your hand wraps are too long they will be cumbersome and you will have to make extra revolutions around your hand.  This will hamper the fit of your glove.

Hand wrap style:  It is common to find traditional cotton herringbone wraps, elasticized wraps, and gauze bandage hand wraps.

The traditional cotton herringbone hand wraps have been around a long time.  They do not stretch.  Traditional cotton hand wraps are reusable and should be washed after each use if possible.

Elastic style hand wraps are a technological advancement that arose in recent years.  They are a blended combination of the traditional hadn wrap combined with a gauze type bandage hand wrap used by the professionals.

The elastic hand wraps have also been called "Mexican style" because they are a modern day version of a gauze bandage hand wrap that was often made in Mexico.  Elastic hand wraps have some stretch to them and tend to be more comfortable.  As a result they have become more popular in recent years.  They also tend to be more expensive.  This wrap is also washable and reusable.

Gauze bandage hand wraps - This hand wrap is often used by professionals with a combination of sports tape.  They are not used frequently at health clubs and martial arts schools because they are disposable and therefore not the most practical.  It is also recommended that if you use them, you have someone who can help you put them on and tape them up properly so you get the most protection.

The style of hand wraps chosen by most people is a matter of personal preference.  Some people like the tighter fit that a traditional hand wrap provides.  However, others prefer the comfort of an elastic hand wrap.

Both types are available in multiple colors:  red, black, blue, yellow, green are now commonly found.

Are hand wraps all I need?

Sometimes yes and sometimes no.  Many people like to use extra protection besides their hand wraps.  Sometimes they add cotton padding along the knuckle line and then wrap their hands over that.

These days it is common to see padded under wraps that you can use in conjunction with your hand wraps.  Also, these days it is common to see cardio wrap versions that are designed to give you some protection instead of a hand wrap.  This is not advised but it isn't a bad idea to use a cardio type wrap AND full hand wrap.  There are some deluxe cardio wraps thta have extra padding built in to the wrap as well.

Remember the basics:  you will still need to make a fist, don't wrap too tight, and they still have to fit under your gloves.

How do I wrap my hands properly?

Learning how to wrap your hands does not take long but will require a little practice to get it just right.  Remember that when you wrap your hands you want good wrist support and knuckle protection - proper tightness is important.  Your wraps should be tight enough to stay put but do NOT wrap them so tight that they cut off circulation - you should be able to wiggle your fingers and thumb comfortably.  Remember that you still need to be able to make a proper fist inside your glove.

There are different methods of wrapping hands and below you will see a few of them illustrated.

METHOD #1 By Eugene.  Basic and easy.


Picture shows directions starting at the top left corner going from left to right (sorry for the small pictures but this is as large as eBay guides lets us show).  Feel free to contact us for larger pictures.

  1. Spread your fingers will palm facing down.  Place thumb through the loop...
  2. Wrap around wrist 3 times.  Proper tightness is important.  Wraps should be tight enough to stay firmly in place, but not cut off your circulation.
  3. Wrap the thumb.
  4. Wrapping the thumb continued...
  5. Bring wrap around the thumb.
  6. After you wrap the thumb, wrap around the wrist.
  7. Wrap the thumb again.
  8. Wrap the thumb again and back around the wrist.  Repeat for a total of 3 times around the thumb.
  9. Each time you wrap the thumb, also wrap around the wrist.
  10. After the thumb is secure, you need to wrap the knuckles...
  11. Wrap the knuckles...
  12. Keep your fingers spread apart.
  13. Bring the wraps across palm, then around the knuckles.
  14. Wrap around the knuckles 3 times.
  15. Bring back around the wrist.
  16. After looping around your wrist, you are now going to thread the wraps between your fingers.
  17. Bring the wrap between the middle and ring finger.
  18. Bring wrap back over the top of the thumb.  Now, wrap around the knuckles again.
  19. Bring back around your wrist and secure Velcro attachment.
  20. Secure the Velcro attachment.

METHOD #2 by Jason.  Wrap between your fingers.

  1. Spread your fingers with palm facing down.  Place thumb through the loop of the hand wrap.
  2. Wrap around your wrist 2 or 3 times, depending on the size of your hand.
  3. Wrap around wrist continued...
  4. Wrap around wrist continued - shown wrapped 3 times.
  5. Bring the wrap over the top of the thumb.
  6. Wrap over the top of the thumb continued...
  7. Wrap the thumb.
  8. Wrap around the thumb continued...
  9. Wrap around the wrist.
  10. Wrap around the thumb again.  It is good to wrap the thumb 3 times.
  11. Wrap around the wrist again.
  12. Bring the wrap down across the palm.
  13. Wrap around the knuckles.  Continue wrapping around the knuckles 2 or 3 times.
  14. Bring the wraps back around the wrist.
  15. After coming around the wrist, bring over the top of the thumb.  This will form a FIGURE 8 pattern.
  16. Wrap between the index and middle fingers.
  17. Back around the top of thumb.
  18. Between the middle and ring fingers.  Bring the wrap back over the top of the thumb.
  19. Between the ring and pinky fingers.
  20. Back over the top of the thumb.
  21. Now wrap around the knuckles again.
  22. Wrap the knuckles continued...
  23. Wrap the knuckles continued...Wrap the knuckles twice.  If you have extra material left, wrap the knuckles a third time.
  24. Bringing the wraps up and around the wrist.
  25. Bringing around the wrist.
  26. Continued around the wrist and secure the Velcro.

METHOD #3 By Paul.  Same as previous method, except in a different order.

  1. Palm facing down, spread fingers apart.  Loop hand wrap over thumb.
  2. Wrap around wrist.
  3. Wrap around wrist again.
  4. After wrapping the wrist, now proceed to wrap around the knuckles.
  5. Wrap around the knuckles continued...
  6. Wrap around palm.
  7. Wrap around the knuckles 2 times.
  8. Back around the wrist.
  9. Around the wrist continued...
  10. Back around the knuckles, making a figure 8 pattern.
  11. Around the knuckles continued...
  12. Back around the wrist.
  13. Around the wrist continued...
  14. Bring the wraps between the fingers.
  15. Back over the thumb.
  16. Between the ring and middle fingers.
  17. Between the index and middle fingers.
  18. Over the top of the thumb again.
  19. Bring back under palm and around knuckles.
  20. Around the knuckles continued...
  21. Around the knuckles continued...
  22. Bring back around the wrist.
  23. Wrap the thumb.
  24. Bring wrap completely around the thumb.  Wrap around wrist and repeat.
  25. After wrapping the thumb twice, bring back around wrist.
  26. Wrap around knuckles again.
  27. Around knuckles continued...
  28. Around knuckles continued...
  29. Bring back around wrist and secure Velcro.

METHOD #4 By Jimmy.  Ribbon method.  Provide extra protection for the knuckles.

  1. Palms facing down, spread fingers apart.  Loop over thumb.
  2. Wrap around wrist.
  3. Wrap around wrist again.
  4. Start to wrap around knuckles.
  5. Bring wrap under the palm.
  6. Around the knuckles.
  7. Lay the wraps back and forth over the knuckles, making a ribbon pattern.
  8. Build a layer of 3-4 ribbons, depending on the size of your hand.
  9. Bring back under the palm and around knuckles, securing the ribbons.
  10. After completely securing the ribbon, bring back up and around the wrist.
  11. Around the wrist.
  12. Wrap between the fingers.
  13. Bring back over the top of the thumb.
  14. Between the ring and middle fingers.
  15. Over the thumb, then between the middle and index fingers.
  16. Back over the top of the thumb.
  17. You are going to wrap the knuckles again.
  18. Under the palm.
  19. Over the knuckles.
  20. Around the knuckles continued...
  21. Around the knuckles continued...
  22. Back around the wrist.
  23. Around the wrist.
  24. Start to wrap the thumb.
  25. Wrap the thumb continued...
  26. Wrap the thumb continued...
  27. Around the wrist.
  28. Wrap the thumb again.
  29. Wrap the thumb again continued...
  30. Around the wrist.
  31. Secure the Velcro.
  32. This image shows the palm of the hand.

METHOD #5 By Eugene.  Ribbon method.  Different order.

  1. Spread fingers apart, palm down.  Insert thumb through loop and wrap around wrist 2 times.
  2. Wrap around wrist again.  This is the second time.
  3. Wrap around the thumb.
  4. After wrapping around thme, bring back around the wrist.
  5. Wrap the thumb again.
  6. Wrapping the thumb continued...
  7. Wrapping the thumb continued...
  8. After wrapping the thumb, bring back around the wrist.
  9. Now wrap the knuckles.
  10. Beginning to wrap the knuckles.
  11. Wrap around the knuckles
  12. Wrap around the knuckles continued...
  13. Starting the ribbon pattern.
  14. Ribbon pattern, lay wraps back and forth across knuckles.
  15. Continue laying the ribbon pattern...
  16. Continue ribbon pattern - 3 or 4 times.
  17. Bring wraps around palm, securing the ribbon in place.
  18. Around palm and knuckles continued.
  19. Bring back around wrist - make a figure 8 pattern.
  20. Figure 8 pattern continued.
  21. Wrap between the fingers.
  22. Wrap between the fingers continued...
  23. Wrap between the fingers continued...
  24. Wrap between the fingers continued...
  25. After wrapping between the fingers, bring wraps back over the top of thumb, wrap around the knuckles again.
  26. Wrap the knuckles continued...
  27. Bring back around the wrist.
  28. Secure the Velcro strap.
  29. Make a fist.  It should be snug, but not so tight that it cuts off your circulation.

How do I take care of my hand wraps?

Make sure you buy multiple pairs of hand wraps because they should be washed after each use.  Since it can be time consuming if you only own one pair, it is recommended you have a few pairs in your equipment bag.

Ideally your hand wraps should be washed after each use.  Also, they should be rolled up after each use.  When you roll up, start rolling at the end or where the Velcro enclosure is.  This essentially means you roll them up backwards but this will enable you to easily put them on the next time you go to use them.  If you roll them up correctly your finger loop should be hanging loosely at the end and you can just tuck it in before putting the wraps in your gym bag.

Hand wraps can be a pain to maintain for three main reasons:

  1. They like to wrap around your laundry in the washing machine like a boa constrictor.
  2. The colors can run and ruin your other clothes.
  3. It can be difficult to roll them back up for your next use.

Because of wonders of modern day technology these problems are easily solved.  First go out by yourself two things:  a hand wrap wash bag and a hand wrap roller.

The hand wrap wash bag is a mesh bag that is designed to keep all of your wraps together and away for your other clothes.  It looks like a bag that you wash delicates with, however it is bigger.  Once your wraps are in the wash bag, you can drop it in any washing machine AND dryer.  The bag will keep your wraps from tangling with your clothes.

AVOID washing your colored hand wraps with any white clothes.  It is probably fine to drop you wash bag in your dark laundry however RED has a tendency to run.  Many people have turned their white loads pink by accidentally dropping in their red hand wraps.

After you have washed your wraps, simply roll them up using your hand wrap roller.  This will allow you to easily prep them for your next use.

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