Wednesday, June 15, 2016

It's a Wrap! Three Reasons and Three Tips for Buying Hand Wraps

Do you wrap your hands when practicing martial arts? If you don't now, but want to, what wraps should you buy? In this post I will offer three reasons for hand wrapping, plus three tips for buying hand wraps. I will also suggest a set of wraps I recently bought, and hopefully save you some research time.

I wear hand wraps to for several reasons.

1. Protect Your Wrists. When worn properly, they help provide better wrist alignment. This means you are less likely to strike a bag or focus mitt with a bent wrist, which could result in injuring the wrist.

2. Sweat. Wraps absorb sweat. When sharing focus mitts during training, this is of benefit to you and your training partners, and keeps the gear a little less damp.

3. Sizing. I have found most boxing gear, when properly selected, is sized for hands that are wearing wraps.

If you agree that wraps are a good idea, what should you buy? Look for these three features.

1. "Mexican" Wraps. I recommend so-called "Mexican" wraps. When I first heard this term, I trained in Texas. I believe the term "Mexican" simply refers to longer wraps, in the 180 inch range. I like wearing wraps this long because they give you more options for wrapping, and they can provide more wrist support. The Wallsa wraps below are 180 inch wraps.

2. Secure Velcro Straps. Buy wraps with a secure velcro strap. My oldest pair of wraps feature a 3/4 inch wide, several-inch-long velco strap. They work, but not as well as these new Wallsa wraps. See the next photo for the strap detail. The velcro here is immense and will keep the wraps in place.

3. Secure thumb hooks. Select wraps with secure thumb hooks. These go around your thumb when first wrapping your hands. My oldest set of wraps look like the thumb hook is about to fall off, because it's a thin piece of cloth. These Wallsa wraps appear much more durable.

By now you can see that I've recommended the Wallsa wraps. They are sold in a pack of three at  I wore them last night during an intense sparring class and they worked very well.

If you need guidance on how to wrap your wrists, I thought this video was useful. It turns out there is a mix of good and bad advice on hand wrapping posted on YouTube, but I thought this specific video gave useful guidance.

What suggestions can you provide on wraps or hand wrapping?

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