When it comes to boxing hand injuries, the old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ is more true than ever. A boxer’s hands are the tools of his or her trade, but they take a lot of punishment and an injury can permanently weaken the structure of the hand. Some fighters who break their hands never recover their former punching power. To help protect their hands, boxers carefully wrap them for training and competition. Needless to say, they take this task very seriously…
With this in mind, we’ve introduced a brand new gauze hand wrap for boxing to our product range. We have had it specially manufactured for us to offer the quality and protection of a brand name gauze wrap (such as Lonsdale Super Gauze or Fighting Sports Power Gauze), but at a much more reasonable price. Our boxing gauze is supplied in rolls of 5cm x 10m and costs 96p inc VAT, or 72p when you buy 50 or more. It features a two-ply weft (the transverse or width-ways threads) for extra strength, and has non-fraying edges.
Gauze is the fundamental material for most competition wraps in professional and semi-professional boxing. Most people in the medical supplies industry would recognize it as a selvedged, white open weave bandage, but in boxing it is usually called gauze. It is used in two main ways:
- Gauze is wrapped all around the wrist and knuckles – quite tightly, and using several metres per hand – to physically compress the hand and hold the bones and joints together.
- Gauze can also be layered up over the knuckles to form a thick pad that protects them from the impact forces of punching. Some people may use an entire roll of gauze to form this pad.
Other material is also sometimes used to make the knuckle padding, for instance a piece of foam or a stack of non-woven or gauze swabs. However, materials other than gauze/bandage and tape may not be legal in competition.
Once the basis of the wrap has been formed from gauze, most of the wrist and the back of the hand is covered in zinc oxide tape (but not the knuckles, which wouldn’t be legal.) The layers of zinc oxide tape stiffen up the wrap and make it very rigid, almost like a cast. This adds extra protection and support, and also increases the amount of force that can be transmitted through the fist into the target.
Depending on the rules of the competition, or the governing body in the country concerned, amateur boxers may have less choice over the materials used for hand wrapping in actual matches. Certain types of wrap may be mandated. However, for long training sessions involving a lot of bag and pad work, (and thus a high volume of punches,) a pro-style gauze and tape wrap might still be a good idea to avoid uneccessary injury and ‘wear and tear.’
See this video on YouTube for detailed instructions on one method of creating a gauze and tape hand wrap.
A final note on buying gauze – you will sometimes see medical-grade white open weave bandage offered as hand wrap. Avoid it like the plague. Medical or first aid WOW tends to be a strip cut from a wider bolt of material and thus has loose edges, which fray and become very messy as you wrap the hand. Not good. Stick to the boxing-specific gauze, which is woven to size and selvedged – i.e. the edges are straight and woven in, so they won’t fray. (Medical grade crepe bandage, on the other hand, is fine for boxing use if you prefer a wrap that has some stretch.)