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Do You Have to Wrap Your Wrists to Hit a Punching Bag

author image Steve Silverman
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.
Do You Have to Wrap Your Wrists to Hit a Punching Bag
Wrapping your hands is essential prior to hitting the heavy bag. Photo Credit: Maxim Zarya/iStock/Getty Images

Hitting punching bags is an essential part of training when you are getting ready to box or engage in a mixed martial arts bout. It's not usual practice to throw on gloves without wraps and train on a heavy bag. Every time you get in the ring to box or go to the gym to train, you have to wrap your hands to protect them.

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Security While Training

The hands are delicate and the sport of boxing can easily injure them whether training on the heavy bag or boxing against an opponent. Hand wraps protect the small bones in the hand from breaking, keep the skin on the knuckles from tearing and help prevent you from spraining your wrists when delivering a solid punch. The latter problem frequently impacts inexperienced fighters who are hitting the heavy bag for the first time. Many fighters who have not hit a bag that can weight between 75 and 100 pounds will swing their arms and hit the bag with their fists. Experienced fighters know they must use their legs, hips, core muscles and upper body when throwing hard punches.


There are a variety of wraps to choose from, but for the best results don't buy wraps that are less than two inches in width. The length of the wrap will vary from 120 inches for someone with a small hand; to 170 inches for boxers with bigger hands. Start off by placing the loop at the end of the wrap over your thumb. Then you go around the wrist several times to support that delicate area and turn the wrap individually around the fingers. Do this with both hands.

Hand Injuries

Boxers cannot be cavalier about putting on the wraps or go in for a quick session on the bag and think that they can get away without wrapping them. Fighters who suffer broken fingers, broken hands or sprained wrists must take time off to let the injuries heal. This impacts a fighter's ability to learn and improve.

Pain While Punching

Fighters depend on the health of their hands to engage in their sport. While fighting -- boxing and mixed martial arts -- requires a huge amount of toughness and desire, pain while punching means that you must stop and get it checked out. You may have a small broken bone and if that injury does not heal properly, you may never be able to throw a punch with full power again. Wrap your hands properly before every training and boxing session and make sure you check out any hand injury.

Training Goals

If you are working light aerobic boxing on the bag, then hand wraps really may not be necessary so long as you have on gloves of some kind. Some people prefer to train in MMA style gloves that don't always accommodate hand wraps underneath. The majority of hardcore boxers and fighters will always wrap their hands, but if the intent is far less "serious" in the training and the impact minimal, it's possible to just use gloves without wraps.

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