Have you ever twisted an ankle, jammed a finger or pulled a muscle? It could ruin your day. Most of us have experienced some type of minor physical ailment that has hindered us from going about our normal daily routine. Regularly simple tasks like brushing your teeth, walking-up stairs or putting on a shirt become a battle, plagued with pain and frustration.
Unfortunately, the only time we really appreciate being injury free is when we’re injured. Otherwise, the numerous tasks our bodies perform behind the scenes with every, single movement are taken for granted.
As a boxer, you can’t afford to take things for granted, especially as it relates to your hands. Like a teacher’s textbook, an artist’s paintbrush or tap dancer’s shoes, your hands are indispensable tools of the trade. Injuring a hand means being sidelined and losing valuable progress.
I know from first-hand experience how debilitating a hand injury can be. I participated in the sport for many years, and over time, if you’re serious about it, working out and competing becomes routine. It becomes ingrained in who you are. A hand injury can be an exasperating situation. Injuries occur. It’s a part of life. But if you can reduce the chances, doesn’t it make sense to take preventative steps?
Protective Measures With hand wraps
So what’s the first step to ensure that your hands are the most protected each and every time you hit the gym? The answer is hand wraps. Hand wraps support the wrist, thumb and knuckles, and help keep the 27 bones of the hand and wrist aligned and compressed to prevent injury.
There are many different types of hand wraps, and the style you choose depends on personal preference. They are available in a variety of materials, including traditional, Mexican-style, gel, gauze/tape, as well as lengths, such as 120”, 170”, 180”, 200” and even 210”.
Types of boxing hand wraps
Traditional hand wraps are usually thicker and made of herringbone weave cotton. Mexican-style hand wraps (the most popular style of hand wrap) are made of a slightly elastic material that molds to the curves of the fist. Gel hand wraps include a layer of shock absorbing gel over the knuckle area, encased in neoprene, and some include an additional hand wrap portion to further secure the gel in place and support the rest of the hand. Gauze is made of cotton/nylon blend material and is paired with trainer’s tape for added support. Gauze/tape is usually used for competition. More details on available options can be found here, and basic instructions on how to wrap your hands can be found here.
Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or striving to win your next bout, remember to protect your hands and don’t take them for granted.
About the author
Albert is a retired boxer and long time Ringside team member. He was a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team (Atlanta, GA) and former member of USA Boxing’s Board of Directors. Albert is a three time USA Boxing National Champion, as well as the 1992 National P.A.L. Champion. He also medaled in the 1993 World Championships, 1994 Goodwill Games and 1995 Pan-American Games. Albert continues to share his extensive boxing knowledge by coaching, blogging and assisting with tournament administration at events supported by Ringside.