In the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), hand wrapping is more than just a preparatory step; it’s an essential practice for safety and effectiveness in the ring. This article, “how to wrap hand wraps mma” delves into the art and science of hand wrapping, a crucial skill for any MMA fighter. Whether you’re a seasoned fighter or a beginner, mastering hand wrapping is key to protecting your most valuable assets – your hands. This guide will walk you through the step-by-step process, offering tips and techniques to ensure your hands are well-protected, comfortable, and ready for any challenge in the cage. Hand wrapping is not just about cushioning; it’s about stability, injury prevention, and enhancing your fighting technique. Let’s explore how you can wrap your hands to maximize protection and performance in the demanding world of MMA.
Table of Contents
How to Wrap Your Hands for MMA: Starting with Your Thumb and Wrist
Step 1: Preparing the Wrap
Start by identifying the ‘up’ and ‘down’ labels on your wrap, if present. The ‘up’ side should face outwards, while the ‘down’ side touches your skin, ensuring the Velcro faces down for securing later. If there are no labels, unroll the wrap and adjust so that the Velcro faces downwards. Roll up the entire length tightly.
Step 2: Positioning Your Fingers
Keep your fingers spread wide to avoid wrapping too tightly and cutting off circulation. The only time you should clench your fist is when transitioning the wrap from your fingers to your wrist.
Step 3: Securing the Thumb
Most wraps come with a thumb strap. Hook it over your thumb, then wrap over the back of your hand towards your wrist. If there’s no loop, twist the end around your thumb and proceed similarly.
Step 4: Wrapping the Wrist and Forearm
Wrap around your wrist and slightly up the forearm, maintaining a straight alignment of your hand, wrist, and forearm. Ensure it’s snug but not too tight.
Step 5: Wrapping the Palm
After a couple of rounds around your wrist, bring the wrap up to the heel of your palm. Cross it over the back of your hand from the pinky side.
Step 6: Thumb and Palm Coverage
Wrap around the back of your thumb, then across the palm and between your index finger and thumb. Bring it back across the hand to the pinky side.
Wrapping Knuckles and Fingers
Step 1: Encircling the Knuckles
With fingers wide, loop the wrap around your knuckles, crossing the back of your hand and between your thumb and index finger.
Step 2: Additional Knuckle Pass
Repeat the knuckle loop, ensuring it snugly covers your index knuckle.
Step 3: Between Fingers
Cross from your index knuckle over the hand to the wrist on the pinky side. Pass it between the pinky and ring fingers, then across to the thumb side.
Step 4: Securing the Wrap
As you pass the band across your palm, close into a fist. This helps maintain tightness during training or a fight.
Step 5: Further Finger Wrapping
Open your hand, then wrap between the ring and middle fingers. Close into a fist as you loop around your wrist.
Step 6: Final Finger Wrapping
Spread your fingers and bring the band across, passing it between the middle and index fingers from the palm side. Close your fist as you bring it over the hand.
Securing the Wrap
Step 1: Final Knuckle Passes
Spread your fingers for the final loops around your knuckles, ensuring a snug but comfortable fit.
Step 2: Wrapping Towards the Velcro
Continue wrapping from the knuckles to the wrist, finishing when you reach the Velcro end.
Step 3: Sealing the Wrap
Secure the Velcro tightly around your wrist, ensuring it’s snug but not restrictive.
Step 4: Comfort and Security Check
Before entering the ring, test the wraps by making fists and moving your fingers. The wraps should support your wrists effectively, being tight but not painful or circulation-restrictive. Adjust if necessary for the perfect balance between tightness and comfort.
Typical Hand Wrapping Mistakes
Proper hand wrapping should leave your hands feeling secure and well-protected during impact. However, incorrect wrapping techniques can cause more harm than good. Here are signs that your hand wrapping might be incorrect:
Signs of Improper Hand Wrapping:
- Numbness or Discoloration in Hands: If your hands feel too tight, turn blue, or become numb, it indicates that the wraps are too tight, which can lead to loss of feeling or even dizziness. Should you experience these symptoms, immediately unwrap and redo the wrapping.
- Wraps Unraveling During Use: If your wraps are coming undone during a session or a bout, it’s likely that they’re either not wrapped tightly enough or there’s an error in the wrapping technique. Pause to rewrap your hands more securely.
- Wrist Pain During Punches: Experiencing pain in your wrist while hitting a bag indicates insufficient wrist support. This could lead to sprains or more severe wrist injuries.
- Skin Irritation from Wraps: Using low-quality wraps made from coarse materials can irritate your skin, leading to itching or blisters. Invest in high-quality wraps, preferably those recommended by professionals in your gym, to avoid such issues.
Remember, the goal of wrapping your hands for MMA is to provide support and protection without compromising circulation or comfort. Pay attention to these signs to ensure your hand wrapping is effective and safe.
Why You Should Use Hand Wraps
For practitioners of martial arts like Muay Thai, boxing, and kickboxing, hand wrapping is an essential safety measure. Ancient martial artists like kung-fu masters and Shaolin monks might have toughened their hands by striking hard objects, but such extreme methods are not practical or safe for modern-day needs, especially when you need your hands for everyday activities.
Here’s why hand wraps are crucial:
Despite its name, a boxer’s fracture isn’t limited to boxers; it’s common in any martial art involving hand strikes. Hand wraps help keep the small bones in your hands (metacarpals) secure to prevent dislocations or fractures. They also maintain alignment in your wrist and hand during punches, reducing the risk of wrist injuries.
Consider this: trained boxers can exert up to 1300 pounds of force in a punch, equivalent to a sledgehammer blow. Wrapping your hands provides necessary protection against such force, reducing injury risks and allowing for more training and less recovery time.
Enhanced Impact Cushioning
Hand wraps add a protective layer around your hands, cushioning your knuckles against the harsh impact of punches. Regular practice on a punching bag or participation in professional bouts subjects your hands to repeated blunt force trauma, which can be mitigated by hand wraps. They also help maintain the proper positioning of your fingers and thumb, preventing injuries.
Improved Striking Power
Hand wraps compress the bones in your hand, enabling you to make a tighter fist. This compression not only lessens the pain experienced during a punch but also allows you to hit with more force. The consistent pressure from the wraps during a fight ensures you can continue delivering powerful strikes.
In essence, hand wraps don’t just shield your hands from injuries; they empower you to strike with greater force while keeping your hands secure. This makes them an indispensable part of your martial arts gear. The next time you wrap your hands, remember it’s not just a routine but a crucial step towards safer and more effective training or fighting.
Mastering the art of hand wrapping is a fundamental skill for any MMA practitioner. It’s not just a preparatory measure; it’s a crucial aspect of your training and fighting regimen. Proper hand wrapping ensures your hands are protected, supported, and ready for the intense demands of MMA. From stabilizing the small bones in your hands to enhancing your punching power, the benefits of correctly wrapped hands are immense. This guide aimed to provide you with the knowledge and technique to wrap your hands effectively, enhancing both safety and performance. Remember, the time and care you invest in wrapping your hands reflect your commitment to your craft. Whether you’re training or stepping into the cage for a bout, well-wrapped hands are your first line of defense. So, wrap wisely, train hard, and fight with confidence, knowing your most valuable tools are well-protected.
What type of hand wraps are best for MMA?
The best hand wraps for MMA are typically made of a cotton-blend material, offering a balance between flexibility and support. They should be slightly elastic to conform to the hand’s shape, allowing for a secure yet comfortable wrap. This material type provides the needed support for the wrists and knuckles while maintaining enough flexibility for various movements in MMA.
How long should my MMA hand wraps be?
MMA hand wraps should generally be between 120 to 180 inches in length. The length you choose depends on your hand size and the level of support and coverage you need. Longer wraps offer more protection as they allow for more layers around the wrist, palm, and knuckles, making them suitable for heavy training and sparring sessions.
Can I reuse hand wraps, or should they be disposable?
Hand wraps for MMA are designed to be reusable. They are durable and can withstand multiple uses and washes. After each training session, it’s important to wash them to maintain hygiene and to preserve their elasticity and support. Proper care extends their lifespan, making them a cost-effective option compared to disposable wraps.
Is there a specific technique for wrapping hands for MMA?
Yes, there is a specific technique for wrapping hands in MMA. This typically involves wrapping around the wrist several times for stability, then moving to the palm and knuckles for protection. The wrap should also go between the fingers to secure the padding and maintain dexterity. The technique is designed to provide a balance of support, protection, and flexibility.
How tight should my hand wraps be for MMA?
Hand wraps for MMA should be wrapped snugly but not overly tight. The goal is to stabilize the joints and protect the knuckles without restricting blood flow or causing discomfort. They should feel secure and supportive without pinching or causing numbness. Properly wrapped hands will feel comfortable yet firm, allowing for flexibility and movement during training or bouts.
I’m Heorhii Rysak, a go-to sports enthusiast and blogger. My fascination with sports began in my childhood with karate, setting the foundation for my love of physical fitness. Over the years, I’ve delved into various disciplines, including martial arts and CrossFit, and developed a passion for tennis. I bring a wealth of practical experience to my blog, where I share equipment reviews, workout plans, and fitness advice. My goal is simple: to inspire and assist you in your journey toward better health and performance.