No matter what type of martial arts you practice, it is important to wear handwraps to protect your wrists and hands. The human hand and wrist consist of 27 small bones; handwraps maintain proper alignment and provide support to maintain the structural integrity of the hand and wrist. At AWMA, we offer premium handwraps to help you keep your hands safe. Whether you practice boxing, Muay Thai, any other striking art, or MMA, it is important to shop for the right gear to ensure your safety and success.
When to Wear Handwraps
You should wear handwraps whenever you are throwing punches at pads, bags, or a partner/opponent, and particularly when you are using the full force of your punch.
At boxing fights, officials will check to see if you are properly wearing handwraps and you will not be allowed to fight without them. You should consider wearing handwraps when practicing solo, such as when shadowboxing, because it will assist in getting you accustomed to the feel of your hands being wrapped. Handwraps give you the confidence to strike with full force—a must-have when preparing for bouts.
Choosing Your Style
Handwraps typically come in three different styles: tape and gauze, cloth, and elastic slide-ons. Within each of these categories, there are variations in fabric and length to ensure the proper fit. The most common lengths are 120-inch and 180-inch varieties, but you can also find sizes in between for your specific needs and preferences. The longer the cloth, the more protection you have. Smaller lengths are ideal for small hands and solo training while longer lengths are better for bouts and sparring. Try several different types of handwraps to see which ones provide the comfort, feel, and protection you seek.
- Tape and gauze: Favored by professional fighters, it's widely considered to be the lightest and most protective way to wrap your hands. With this wrap, gauze is wrapped around your hands and taped into place with your choice of different tape options. This method often takes some time to master and proponents of this wrap often have assistance when wrapping up.
- Cloth: Available in a variety of fabrics ranging from cotton to bamboo, these wraps are reusable and washable for long-term use. At AWMA, we offer ProForce® wraps made of 100-percent cotton with a herringbone weave that holds up punch after punch. For the softest wraps around, check out our ProForce bamboo handwraps that contain natural antibacterial elements to preserve freshness and deliver an unparalleled level of breathability. Cloth wraps are available in a variety of colors and lengths so these are a suitable way to show off your style while protecting your hands.
- Elastic slide-ons: Elastic handwraps offer more stretch than cloth and gauze handwraps, allowing for greater movement when performing techniques. They are also easy to put on an take off—a fast and simple alternative to wrapping your hands. ProForce elastic handwraps cover your palm, knuckles, and wrist for protection in bouts and sparring. Just like cloth wraps, elastic varieties are washable and durable, but tend to have shorter lifespans.
The majority of cloth and elastic wraps are secured with Velcro, making them easy to use and enabling you to wrap your hands by yourself. Hook and loop fastenings increase the lifespan of your wraps and don't get caught up in fabrics or collect lint from cloth, which occurs with some Velcro fastenings.
Wrapping the Right Way
Finding the best handwrap means more than just choosing your preferred style. You also need to know the right way to wrap up your hands to offer maximum support and protection so you can hit with confidence. Wrapping hands is not a complicated skill to learn, but it does take practice. Wraps should be tight enough to offer support but not so tight that they cut off circulation. With a properly wrapped wrist and hand, you should be able to comfortably wiggle your fingers and thumb and still make a closed fist inside your glove. Check with your trainer or instructor for the best handwrapping procedure.
Proper Care of Handwraps
Since tape and gauze handwraps are not reusable, you don't need to worry about caring for them after a bout. For reusable cloth and elastic types, you'll want to wash them after each use, particularly after long bouts or sparring sessions. You can wash them separately or in a mesh bag, like our ProForce® Hand Wrap Wash Bag, with the rest of your laundry loads. Make sure to wash colored wraps separately or with like colors to avoid bleeding colors, and dry each wrap completely before storing it away in a handwrap roller or your gym bag.