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A Guide to the Best Muay Thai Boxing Handwraps

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Wraping hands

Photo credit ExpertBoxing.com

A good pair of Muay Thai hand wraps will ensure that your knuckles and wrists are protected when you punch. While you might take your hands for granted when they are healthy, one small injury to the hand is all it takes to set you back months in your training. This is why it is important that you know how to wrap your hands properly before training.

My Favorite Muay Thai Hands Wraps

Fairtex hand wrapsIf you are looking to purchase a new pair of hand wraps I suggest you have a look at Fairtex Elastic Cotton Hand wraps.

I have used a few pairs of these handwraps for the last few years and they feel great when you put them on.

Fairtex Elastic Cotton Handwraps (See Reviews on Amazon)

 

How do you put on hand wraps?

Before I talk about the different types of hand wraps that are available, it is important to know how to wrap your hands.

In my experience there are two effective ways to put on hand wraps. The first way of wrapping hands is the traditional boxing method. Boxers will usually wrap their hands with extra support around the wrist to ensure that it is one solid fist.

The second way of wrapping hands is the traditional Muay Thai method that many Thais use. This way involves making a pre-made cushion around the knuckle of the wraps, and then wrapping the hand wraps around this cushion. While this way takes more time and requires you to pre-roll your hand wraps, it provides excellent support around the knuckles and is (in my opinion) the best way of wrapping your hands.

Instead of writing down step by step of how to put on your hand wraps, here are videos that demonstrate each way of wrapping your hands. Keep in mind that every fighter has their own variation of wrapping hands, so don’t get caught up with the exact number of loops etc. The length of your wrap will often determine how to wrap your hands.

Method #1 – The Boxing Method

You will notice that Johnny focuses on keeping the wrist, knuckes, and thumb secured in this hand wrap. This is one of the easiest ways to wrap your hand, but it is also very effective. This is the method that I use to wrap my hand because it is simply and effective.

Method #2 – The Muay Thai Method

The key to the Muay Thai way of wrapping hands is the initial padding that you create for your knuckles. When you create that padding, it provides you with an extra layer of protection when you are hitting the heavy bag or pads.

One of the reasons for the extra protection around the knuckles is because many Muay Thai fighters use small sized gloves (8-10oz gloves) to hit the heavy bag. Using small gloves to hit a hard heavy bags doesn’t provide a lot of protection in the knuckles. The extra padding at the start of this method helps keep the knuckles firmly secure and protects them from damage.

If you can learn to wrap your hands with this method, it feels the best when you do it right. With your knuckle and wrist properly secured, you won’t ever have any problems with your hands after training.

How do I know I am Wrapping My Hands Correctly?

If you put your hand wraps on correctly everything should feel snug and you won’t have any wraps coming loose. If you punch the heavy bag with only your hand wraps on, you shouldn’t feel your wrist buckle under the punch. It is important that everything is snug, but not too tight or you will lose circulation in your hands.

Common Mistakes

  • Putting the wraps on too tightly – If you put on your wraps too tightly, you will notice your hand turning blue after a while. If your hand starts to change color it is a sign that your blood circulation is being cut off. Take the wraps off and reapply them so that you have circulation in your hands.
  • Not Wrapping Tight Enough – If you do a loose wrap of your hands you will notice that the wraps will fall apart when you are training. If you have a hard time keeping your wraps on your hands you probably need to tighten up the wraps.
  • Rolling the wraps with the wrong side down – Every wrap has a correct side up and side down that you need to start on. If the wrap doesn’t label which side is up or down, you might need to roll it once so you can tell by the loop which way it goes. If you start the wrap on the wrong side down you will notice the velcro is upside down at the end.
  • Not making a fist (at certain times) during the wrapping process – If you watch the first boxing wrap video above you will notice the boxer making a fist when he loops the wraps through his fingers. This fist helps move the material snugly in place and ensures that you have a good fit.
  • Failing to properly support your wrist – If you don’t give your wrist enough loops with your wraps you might not have the adequate support when you punch. If your wrist is not tight you may sprain your wrist if you hit a hard heavy bag.
  • Forgetting to wrap around the thumb – It is important that you wrap around your thumb so that it keeps it in place.

How many Pairs of Hand Wraps Should You Own?

The minimum number of hand wraps that you should have is at least 2 pairs, preferably 4 pairs if you have the money. The reason why you want to have a few sets of wraps is because you should always use a fresh pair of hand wraps whenever you train. Don’t reuse old hand wraps that stink because that will transfer the bad smell (sometimes mold) into your gloves.

Using fresh hand wraps for every training session will ensure that your gloves stay smelling clean and don’t have a spoiled smell after a few months of use. In addition to keeping your hands smelling fresh, it will prevent the spread of any bacteria you get from the gym.

If you don’t want to wash your hand wraps after every use, make sure you hang them out to air dry. This will prevent them from growing mold and will ensure that they last longer.

Wash Your Handwraps Separately!

Beware of handwraps that bleed dye. If your purchase darker color hand wraps, make sure you wash them with the same colors or on their own. Some hand wraps will bleed and can stain the rest of your clothes

Choosing the Right Hand Wraps for Training

When it comes to purchasing Muay Thai hand wraps there are two types that you will find on the market: non-elastic cotton and elastic cotton. The latter of the two options will provide flex when you put them on, which ensures that you have a good tight fit when you put them on.

The benefit of the non-stretch wraps, is they keep their form for much longer and don’t end up being stretched out after a lot of use. This means that you won’t have to replace them as often, however, this comes at a price of comfort and fit (two things that are very important in choosing your handwraps).

Price vs Quality

Whenever you are buying anything online you can either go for the really cheap products that are made with low quality materials or you can choose better quality products. I prefer to go with higher quality products over cheap ones, however, your budget will probably determine how much you are willing to spend on wraps.

A good pair of wraps should last you a few years of training if you take care of them and don’t stretch them out too much. Keep in mind if you are training twice a day for 6 times a week, you will probably go through a few more hand wraps than someone training 3 times a week in Thailand. The volume of training will affect the condition of the hand wraps.

Best Muay Thai Hand Wraps

Now the we have looked at how to wrap your hands and some of the different types of hand wraps that are available, we can look at the top 3 Muay Thai brands that sell handwraps.


Top King Hand Wraps (***Recommended)

Top King handwrapsOverview

Top King and Fairtex are at the top when it comes to Muay Thai hand wraps. If you are looking for wraps good elastic wraps that stretch to your hand, Top King provides an excellent choice.

In fact, when I first trained in Thailand I was told by one of the trainers that I should change my non-stretch cotton wraps to Top King wraps. He said that the Top King wraps were hands down the best ones on the market.

Since that day I have always been fond of the Top King hand wraps. These wraps fit nicely to your hands and have enough length to ensure that you don’t run out of wrap. These are essentially the same handwraps as the Fairtex elastic cotton stretch.

Features

  • Elastic cotton wraps that stretch to your hand – provides a very tight fit that ensures your fist his held strongly in place
  • Good length of wrap – I always have a little bit of extra wrap that I can use to do a few extra loops
  • Reasonable price

My Verdict

Buy it.

Top King is another brand that makes excellent hand wraps that are elastic cotton stretch. If you like Fairtex handwraps, you will also like the Top King ones as well.

Click here to see Top King Hand Wraps on Amazon


Twins Cotton Wraps (Not Recommended)

Twins handwrapsOverview

Another popular Muay Thai wrap that you will find on the market is the Twins wraps. While these wraps are made to last, they don’t offer the same comfort and fit that they other elastic cotton wraps provide.

These wraps feel very stiff and don’t flex at all when you pull them tight. As a result, the wraps often come loose when you use them during training. I have had a few pairs of Twin wraps and I didn’t like the fit of any of them that I used.

However, I should point out that some people prefer the non-stretch cotton wraps because of the durability that they provide.

Features

  • These cotton wraps last a long time – If you want wraps that last longer these are your best bet
  • The wraps keep their shape – Because they don’t use stretch material they don’t lose their form after time

My Verdict

Don’t Buy it.

The only product that I don’t like made from Twins Special is their hand wraps. Without the elastic cotton they do not feel great when you put them on. The only benefit to the non stretch cotton is that it lasts longer and holds its shape. This is not a reason to buy it.

Click here to see Twins Hand Wraps on Amazon


 

Fairtex Elastic Cotton Handwraps (View on Amazon)

Fairtex hand wrapsOverview

Fairtex is the leading Muay Thai brand because they offer quality products that are made to last. If you have ever used a Fairtex product you are probably aware of the quality and fine detail that goes into their equipment.

One thing you should look for in a good pair of hand wraps is the elastic cotton, which allows the wraps to stretch. These Fairtex handwraps feel great when you put them on and conform nicely to the shape of the hand.

With a wide selection of colors to choose from, there is no shortage of options that are available.

Features

  • Good Stretch material used in the wraps
  • Nice snug fit when you put the wraps on correctly

My Verdict 

Buy it.

If you need a new pair of hand wraps I suggest you give Fairtex a shot. I have used these handwraps the most over the years because they provide good stretch and fit nicely.

Click here to See Reviews of Fairtex Cotton Handwraps on Amazon


Pro IMPACT Boxing Handwraps (Highest Rated on Amazon)

pro impactsOverview

If you want a cheaper handwrap that still provides a cotton elastic stretch the Pro IMPACT boxing handwraps are a good option. These are Mexican style handwraps that provide a lot of length to ensure that your hands can get adequate protection and support when they are wrapped.

These are one of the highest rated handwraps on Amazon.com because they offer great value for the price.

If you don’t have access to Fairtex or Top King wraps then you can’t go wrong with a pair of these wraps.

Features

  • 180″ length provides enough length for every hand size and wrap style.
  • Highest rated wraps on Amazon
  • Cheap Price compared to other wraps
  • Elastic Cotton Fit

My Verdict

Buy it.

For the price you really can’t go wrong with these hand wraps. You should buy a few pairs so that you have a couple back up wraps for training. At under $10, you really can’t lose with these wraps.

Click here to See Latest Reviews on Amazon


 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to using hand wraps, you are only as good as your wrapping skills. You can have the best hand wraps on the market, but if you don’t know how to properly wrap your hands they won’t provide the necessary protection and coverage that you need.

It doesn’t matter how you wrap your hands, what is important is that you have your wrists and knuckles properly secured. When you make a fist it should also feel very secure and stable.

If you don’t know how to wrap your hands correctly, take the time to rewatch those videos links I posted above. Slow down the videos and watch them frame by frame so that you can mimic the exact way that they wrap their hands. Once you repeat this process a few times, you will be able to wrap your hands without every having to think about it.

As far as the actual hand wraps are concerned, most people prefer using hand wraps that are made with elastic cotton so that they can form nicely to your hands when you put them on. This is a personal choice, so if you are used to the regular non-stretch cotton wraps that isn’t a big deal either.

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About Author

In 2011, Stephen decided to move to Thailand in search of 'real' Muay Thai. After training MMA for 5 years, he wanted to focus solely on his standup striking. After gaining a few years of experience in the ring, he decided to start Muay Thai Pros with his brother Ben, to share their experiences from the land of Muay Thai. You can follow Stephen on Instagram or read about his Muay Thai journey HERE.

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