A Basic Hand Wrapping Technique for Boxers

Hi All!

Thought we’d post a little how-to on hand wrapping.  The method we propose is a basic, over-the-knuckles-only, hand wrap, intended for use in your day-to-day boxing training.  After you watch our quick video on the subject, scroll down for a bit more discussion, as well as a breakdown on the steps shown in the video.

The Wide World of Hand Wrap How-Tos

Now, when you search on the internet for variations of “how to wrap your hands for boxing,” you’ll come up with almost a million different answers, methodologies, and how-to-guides.  Throw in methods from the MMA crowd and you’ve got a million more.

The reason behind this variety is, of course, because hand wrapping is just as much of an art as it is a science.  As with any art, it’s rife with fans, masters & disciples, sub-genres, and most of all, controversy:

Hand Wraps Draw Boxing’s Eye, and Scrutiny, NYT

Gyms, trainers, and boxing veterans alike all have their own takes on the matter, with many vehemently proclaiming theirs to be “the best.”  And you know what?!  They would be right! (Sort of.)

Just as boxing styles differ, every boxer’s hand is slightly different as well. What works perfectly for one boxer won’t necessarily feel quite right for the next. That’s not to say that hand wrapping is some kind of free-for-all, though. All hand wrap techniques have one important goal in common: Protect the Fighter’s Hand. The specifics of how a method does so vary, but most focus on three key areas:

  1. Wrist
  2. Thumb
  3. Knuckles & Fingers

Our method in the video intends to support those three areas via a simple, easy wrap that we like to use for day-to-day work (pads, bags, maybe some light sparring). We’ll continue to stress the day-to-day part: most McGarry Boxing Club members use slightly tighter/more supportive methods for live bouts and competitions. Similarly, we recommend the same to you: learn a simple base method, figure out what works & what doesn’t work for your hands, and adjust accordingly.  In case you were in the market for a basic method, we’ve got you covered below.

Basic Boxing Hand Wrapping Technique

Again, there are a lot of different hand wrapping techniques.  One of the most common variations involve wrapping individual knuckles (between the fingers):

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 0 a

 

Benefits to this could include greater support for each finger by keeping each individual knuckle separate.  Many of our boxers use wrapping techniques like this for their actual bouts, and perhaps we’ll cover that in a future post. Right now though, we’re going to walk through the simple technique covered in the video, which places the wrap over the knuckles:

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 0 b

 

To get started, grab a standard, 180″ cloth wrap, and follow along!

Step 1: Wrist

There are two ends to most cloth wraps: the velcro end and the leading end.  Leading end usually has a small loop, used as a thumb slip.  Find the slip, put your thumb through it, and pull the wrap under your hand towards your wrist (A):

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 1 ab

From there, pull it up, over, and across your wrist (B).  Wrap your wrist 3 – 4 times, depending on how much support you need (C):

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 1 c

Step 2: Thumb

After the 3rd or 4th wrap around your wrist, pull the wrap up and over the back of your hand towards your thumb (A):

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 2 ab

Then pull the wrap under and back around your thumb (between your thumb and index finger) (B), before passing it under your hand towards your pinky knuckle (C):

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 2 c

Step 3: Knuckles

From the outside of your hand, pull the wrap over and towards your index finger (A):

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 3 a

Then pull the wrap under your knuckles (B), and proceed to wrap them 3 – 4 times (C):

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 3 b

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 3 c

Step 4: Alternate Wrist & Knuckles

You now should have a good base-wrap on your knuckles and wrist. To reinforce total support across your whole hand, we’re now going to alternate between the two. Begin by pulling the wrap down over the top of your hand (A):

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 4 ab

From there, wrap your wrist 2 to 3 times (B). Continue on by pulling the wrap back up over your hand, towards the space between your thumb and index finger (C):

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 4 cd

Pass the wrap underneath your hand (D) and then wrap your knuckles 2 times (E):

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 4 e

If it looks like you’re going to have enough wrap, run through all of Step 4 twice for additional support.

Step 5: Thumb (Again)

Here’s where things start finishing up.  After the last knuckle wrap, pull the wrap over and across the hand, then under your thumb (A):

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 5 a

Pull the wrap up through your thumb and index finger (B), and then back around your thumb and under your hand to just under your pinky knuckle (C):

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 5 bc

Step 6: Wrist (Again)

Home stretch: pull the wrap over and down across the back of your hand, towards your wrist (A):

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 6 ab

Then pull the wrap under your wrist (B) a wrap out all remaining material (C):

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 6 c

Finish up by pulling the material tight and velcroing it shut (D):

Boxing Hand Wrap, Step 6 dAnd that’s about it!  When you make a fist, the wrap should feel firm and tight, but still comfortable.  Anything that might’ve felt uneven at first should adjust through the course of training, but with a bit of practice, you should be able to re-wrap and adjust quickly as necessary.

Parting Thoughts

In the video, we demonstrate with a trainer doing the wrapping for the boxer, which is what you’d want and need  prior to an actual bout.  This method should still be easy enough to do on your own though.

Also, as mentioned (repeatedly), this is a basic hand wrapping method that will serve you well through your day-to-day training as a boxer. After mastering this simple technique, we would still encourage you to learn more about hand wrapping, and to work with a trainer or coach to develop a unique style to best protect your hands. We’d love to hear about if so.  Thanks for reading!

-McGarry’s Boxing Club