Muay Thai is a rigorous sport in which the entire body of the fighter is involved. The fighters’ hands play one of the leading roles in this martial art. Because of their high level of involvement, hands are the most vulnerable to injury. This potentially leads to severe injuries.
Muay Thai hand wraps were introduced to protect and endure the hands of fighters during gameplay. Hand wraps completely encircle the fighter’s palm, fingers, and wrist, with extra padding on the knuckles.
This guide aims to provide knowledge about different types, techniques, and maintenance related to hand wraps.
Materials Needed for Hand Wraps
Traditionally, hand wraps for Muay Thai and any boxing sport are made of cotton or elastic. Fabric comfort, breathability, and stretchability are the key factors to keep in mind while choosing a hand wrap.
A critical factor to remember while buying a hand wrap is “length,” which is usually between 3 and 6 meters. Remember the golden rule: “more the length, the better the protection.” Although short lengths provide a better fit, it depends on your comfort level.
Materials used in hand wraps are solely the players’ choice. But which material is better for hand wraps, cotton or elastic?
Cotton hand wraps are traditionally used at your convenience, but they do not offer much stretch yet are durable.
Elastic bandages, also called “Mexican Style” hand wraps. They provide more stretch and breathability, providing more comfort for the fighter.
So, choosing a hand wrap solely depends on personal preferences and can vary from person to person. A beginner should choose the hand wraps that suit him the best, but it is preferred to select the traditional cotton hand wraps, as they provide more protection and extra padding on the wrists and knuckles.
Hand Wrap Techniques
Wrapping your hands for Muay Thai is relatively easy but requires proper technique. Here is how you can wrap.
Rest one arc at your thumb and wind the wrap around your hand.
Wind 4 to 5 times around your gliding joint (wrist) to provide more protection to your fragile joint.
Wind around your thumb and wrist 2 to 3 times.
Then wrap three times around your knuckle joints.
Wrap around your fingers. Make sure you curl it around your wrist after every turn around your fingers and between them.
Wrap around the wrist adequately for proper and extra protection and support.
The essential tip for proper wrapping of Muay Thai Hand Wraps is to keep giving a wrap around your wrist every time you wrap around your palm or fingers. It will provide extra protection to both hands and the wrist.
There are a few common mistakes to avoid while wrapping your hands:
- Not finding the correct balance of wrap tightening
- Spinning the wrap the wrong way
- Not maintaining the paw and failing to provide an anchor for the wrist with adequate wraps.
Maintenance of Muay Thai Hand Wraps
The best way to maintain your Muay Thai hand wraps is to wash them properly with proper drying. Cleaning hand wraps is needed as they have absorbed the sweat and bacteria of the hands, and if not washed properly, they can cause severe skin issues .
You can wash these hand wraps quite similarly as other clothes are washed. And you can also opt between machine washing and laundry hand washing. For Machine washing, tie your hand wrap with some support or make a knot. For hand washing, just rinse your wraps in the sink or shower with lukewarm water. You can also use soap, but it is your personal preference. If you use the soap, rinse the wraps thoroughly until the whole wrap gets rid of the soap.
Never dry your stiff wraps with a dryer, as it will melt the fabric of the hand wraps. Try hanging the hand wraps in direct sunlight or on the curtain rod and try flipping them timely so that every side of it is dried.
If you wash your hand wraps on time and dry them delicately and adequately, your hand wraps can last for extended periods. Ideally, you should change your hand wraps every 3 to 5 months, but it depends solely on your hand wraps’ condition.
Hand Wraps play a significant role in the sport, and using them can save you from many injuries and hazards. This guide explained their importance, types, techniques, and maintenance briefly. So, keep trying and practicing the best and proper hand-wrapping methods, and remember that Muay Thai is just about using your body as a weapon and these hand wraps perform the function of a shield.
1. Do hand wraps help you punch harder?
No hand wrap does not help you or provide you with the extra power to punch or hit harder. Instead, it makes your grip stronger and protects your hands from injuries.
2. Should beginners use hand wraps?
Beginners should use hand wraps to prevent many injuries and fractures.
3. How tight should the hand wrap be?
It depends on your preference; you have to find the correct balance for the tightness of your hand wrap.