The 10 Best Hand Wraps
This wiki has been updated 11 times since it was first published in July of 2020. Striking sports like MMA and boxing are dangerous enough without having to worry about hand injuries. Hand wraps are an essential training tool, providing support and impact absorption for the many small bones and ligaments in the hand and wrist. Our selections cover a range of lengths and styles, and they will work for a variety of disciplines, including Krav Maga and Muay Thai. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 07, 2020:
Hand wraps descend from some of the oldest sporting equipment in human history: boxers in ancient Greek Olympics wrapped their hands with strips of oxhide soaked in olive oil. Modern hand wraps were traditionally made entirely of cotton, but most fighters these days favor Mexican-style wraps, which add a stretchy material like spandex or elastane.
Our hands are composed of 27 bones, linked by a complex system of tendons and ligaments. These small joints are vulnerable to injury and displacement under severe repetitive impacts like those required in boxing and other striking sports. Hand wraps help avoid these injuries in two ways. First, they provide external structure for bones and joints, increasing stability and preventing excess movement. Second, they cushion impacts and distribute force across the hand.
Buyers face a choice between conventional wraps, which are long strips of fabric, and gel-padded options like the Hawk Padded Inner Gloves. Gel gloves are faster to put on and can work well for workouts and group classes, but for serious training, hand wraps provide more support and much more customizability in fit. Standard hand wraps are 180 inches long and 2 inches wide. Some brands offer alternative sizes, and athletes with small hands may appreciate short cuts like the Meister Junior.
Wrapping techniques vary by discipline and style. In sports like MMA, hand wraps are the only protection for the hands, while boxers need to fit their wraps under boxing gloves. Many fighters will develop their own preferences for fabric thickness and stretch. Classic options like the Pro Impact Mexican Style or Everlast Professional are a good starting point, and the Sanabul Elastic Professional are a reliable budget option. Regardless of sport, wraps are only as good as their wrapper — make sure to learn good technique for adequate protection and support.
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