If you are a newbie in the arena, chances are you may have been told to learn the proper Muay Thai hand wrap technique on your own. Muay Thai uses boxing techniques thus, making hand wraps a fundamental element in its combat and training gear. While there are various brands and types of hand wraps available in the market nowadays, not many new trainees in this discipline know precisely the reason why hand wrapping is a critical element in Muay Thai.
Double Hand Protection
While many fighters focus on their kicks, elbows and knees, the art of boxing in Muay Thai should never be underestimated. From basic punching to hammer or back fists, the hands, particularly the knuckles and the wrists, are hard at work to strike as well as to defend yourself from aggression when in a fight or from impact when training.
Basically, all of the 27 small bones of your hand plus the wrist often have to endure shock from impact in every training, sparring session, or fight. Aside from protecting you from the adverse results of these hazardous contact, proper wrapping will also spell protection for your opponent as some strikes can hit the hand wrong. When thinking of protecting your hands from eventual catastrophe and make your Muay Thai experience hassle-free, the following techniques must be done.
1. It all starts with the right type of hand wrap. There are basically two types of hand wraps used in Muay Thai, traditional boxing, and other combat sports today– elastic cotton and non-elastic woven cotton. Elastic cotton like this one from Fairtex provides customized protection, comfort, and ease when learning hand wrapping techniques for the first time. Aside from the starter thumb-loop and hook-and-loop closure system for a more secured fit, it can also be stretched to fit your hand perfectly.
Advanced and professional fighters, however, prefer the non-elastic cotton variety, like the one below from the TITLE brand. While the elastic type provides just the right flex when wrapped on your hands and wrist, the non-elastic one delivers a more consistent and longer-lasting form when in use. It simply doesn’t easily stretch out even when used rigorously.
2. Remember:contact points. When wrapping your hands for Muay Thai training or for a fight, remember the 4 areas that require utmost protection– wrist, knuckles, thumb, and in between fingers. These areas are widely used for aggression and defense making them prone to injury and nerve damage. Keeping them cushioned from direct impact prevents eventual damage in the long run.
3. Take note of basic hand wrapping. While each trainee or fighter has a unique way of doing their Muay Thai hand wrap technique, the basics are more or less the same. Simply:
- Unroll your choice of hand wrap and find the thumb-loop end. Put it around your thumb’s base and pull the wrap all across the back of the hand. Make sure to do a “clinch” when starting off to ensure a more secure-fit when forming a fist.
- Wrap it high around the knuckles three times. Make sure that the punching surface is well padded, then cross it over the back of your hand to wrap around the wrist for another three times.
- Go up all the way across the palm while looping the wrap halfway up your thumb, then go across the palm, over your back of the hand, and loop around the thumb from another direction. This way, your thumb is secured from both directions.
- Wrap it back around the wrist and with the thumb as anchor, start wrapping up each finger starting from the little pinky and ring finger.
- Remember to keep your thumb fully extended by wrapping from its base. Remember to keep the wrap between each knuckle to have proper, natural spacing, to maintain the proper cushion, while preventing smashing them up during a miss-hit.
- With all 3 spaces between fingers and knuckles all wrapped up, use your thumb as an anchor and then, come up around your knuckle’s exterior to wrap them together three times to hold them in place.
- Cross over the back of the hand then, wrap it around your wrist three times.
- Got more wrap? Cross it back and forth your hand to create an X pattern.
4. Focus on your knuckles. The extra padded area around the knuckles is what makes the Muay Thai hand wrap technique more forceful and effective. This not only creates more impact in the event of aggression but also provides extra protection when hitting a heavy bag or pads. Keep in mind that most gloves used in Muay Thai are small in size which can deliver adverse impact to the knuckles without that extra padded secure-comfort.
Learn as you move along. Hand wrapping on your own takes time to practice. To get the hang of it, practice Muay Thai hand wrapping technique via this step-by-step VIDEO.
Overall, good Muay Thai hand wrap techniques prevent you from both injuries and damage as well as that of your opponent in the event of a sparring session or an actual fight. Accidents can happen thus, it is crucial to minimize the risks involved in any way you can. Your hand wrapping technique must always focus on two things– to protect and secure, while delivering a more forceful punch each time. Keep your confidence on high by learning this technique now!