Muay Thai Hand Wraps – 5 Steps & 5 Best Tips

Muay Thai hand wraps

Muay Thai Hand Wraps

There is an easy way to tell the difference between newbies and regular gym goers. Look at their hands, if they’re not wrapped that person is either new or just passing through. Obviously hand wraps offer protection. But more importantly they look cool. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about Muay Thai hand wraps.

The Logic Behind Hand Wraps

Here is an interesting thing that most people don’t know. Boxing gloves don’t protect you. They are designed to protect whoever is getting punched. Hand wraps on the other hand (see what I did there) protect you from spraining or breaking your hand when punching a hard and solid object.

A long time ago in an uncivilized and smelly place called Victorian England. Gentleman would beat the snot out of each other in no-holds barred fights. All experienced fighters would never punch an opponent in the head.

Why?

The skull is too solid of a bone. As soon as you punch it with full force you’d break your hand. Fighters were relegated to depending on body shots and throws. Around the same time, the Thais had already figured out a solution (actually hundreds of years before).

You need to keep your fist as tight as possible. This prevents injuries.

That’s what the hand wraps do. They keep your fist tight and prevent any of the small bones from moving about when you strike something. They also prevent you from tearing the skin off your knuckles when you use looping punches like hooks.

How to Wrap your Hands

There are so many guides on the internet of how exactly to wrap your hands. We’re going to give you a quick overview just in case you aren’t familiar. Here’s a short video that explains it:

  1. Step 1: Place the hand wrap loop around your thumb. This is the anchor point and it makes sure that everything stays where it’s supposed to.
  2. Step 2: Wrap it around your wrist.
  3. Step 3: Wrap it around your knuckle. Alternate from wrapping around normally to creating an X on the back of your hand.
  4. Step 4: Wrap it in between your fingers starting with the pinky and ring finger. Take it back down to your wrist and fill the other two spaces in the exact same manner. Cover the knuckles a few more times.
  5. Step 5: As you reach its end, wrap it once or twice around your wrist and connect the lace points.

There are other ways to wrap your hands, but the only thing that matters is that you have adequate protection and that the wraps don’t free themselves during training.

Your Choses of Wrap: Cotton or Elastic

To keep this short you should choose Elastic (blend)… yes it’s a bit anticlimactic but just do as we say.

Traditional wraps are made out of cotton. They offer good protection and get the job done. Your wrist is kept especially stiff. I used cotton wraps for many years and I’ve never suffered from a sprained wrist.

But we live in the 21st century.

I’ve found that using pure cotton wraps can make it difficult to wear boxing gloves. Fitting my hands into Twins, Top King or even Title gloves can be cumbersome. It’s always a fight. The cotton adds to much volume to your fist.

Cotton wraps also tend to get loose during training. Somewhere down the line the tension is reduced and they start slipping. Plus they feel a little too stiff.

The solution is elastic wraps. They stretch quite a bit. This helps you create the right amount of tension for your fist. They won’t be so tight that they’re uncomfortable, yet they’ll be tight enough to protect you.

TIP: USE A BLEND OF ELASTIC AND COTTON (Pure elastic is useless)

You also have the choice of gel wraps, which have some sort of absorbent gel inside of them. I haven’t used these but consider this… how many times do you want to reinvent the wheel? The stretchy hand wraps will do everything you need. Beyond that people are pretty much just trying to find a way to make money of you. If you’re still up for trying them go ahead. So long they do their job, all is well.

Where the length is considered that really depends on the size of your hand. But most of us will be fine with 180 inch hand wraps.

What Brands Make Good Hand Wraps?

Twins… Twins make the best everything in Muay Thai. In fact if you don’t like Twins we can never be friends…

Okay, I might be exaggerating a tiny bit.

If the brand meets all of the requirements we’ve set out then they’re pretty good. Don’t break your head about what brand is best (Twins), most of them work towards the same standard (except Twins). You’re going to spend a good $15 on a decent pair of hand wraps, at least on Amazon. I’ve used cheaper stuff, they work but don’t last as long.

It’s a good idea to have at least three pairs of wraps and be ready to buy yourself new ones every three years or so. In total it’s not a huge investment considering all the medical bills it will save you.

Hand Wraps For Competition

Just a quick note on competition. On a pro level and in a number of amateur events you won’t use normal hand wraps. Someone will actually wrap your hands with material similar to medical wrap, which is used for serious injuries.

These leave your hands super stiff and have to be removed by cutting them away. Just another reason why pros can perform so hard on fight night.

Wrapping your hands for Muay Thai is important. Neglect it at your own peril. Not only are you safer with them, but you can punch harder.

The awesome thing I forgot to mention is that hand wraps now come in a variety of colors like pink, azure and peach. If you’re looking to express yourself, why not do it through your hand wraps.

Robert Sterling
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Teaching, Friendly, Young, Passion. Always wanna go up & down. Hey, you gotta live, do you?  

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