If you’ve been in martial arts or any kind of sport (other than chess), you’ve probably heard all about the importance of warming up properly. Even swimmers warm up beforehand, even though you’d think there’s nothing to hurt yourself on in water. And then some new research comes up that states that warming up does nothing but tire you out and there’s no use doing it. So which version is correct?
If you take your sports seriously, you’re probably asking yourself questions all the time about how you can improve what you’re doing. Read all about warming up here.
The real kick in the stomach is when you warm up properly every time but still get long-term damage. There’s nothing more frustrating than quitting something you put your heart and soul into for years. You want to do everything to stay safe. Let’s take a look at a few reasons what you should wrap your hands for - but before that at why.
You’ll probably be surprised to learn making a fist and hitting someone wasn’t what Nature designed you for. Humans are less equipped for tooth-and-claw fights than other mammals that are actually designed to destroy. They are supposed to use their highly evolved brains for stopping fights, or, if the worst comes to worst, using numbers to fight ofа predators.
When an opponent can’t be reasoned with, people normally usually make a fist and try to knock someone out or at least cause enough damage to keep the opponent away, but our hands are so much better suited to lifting beer glasses and playing the piano than to getting hit.
Bones in the fists and wrists and elbows are actually quite fragile, especially the small ones, and, if not treated properly, with time they will break, wear out, and cause joints to suffer. This is why you should protect them at all costs.
Stops the small bones from breaking
Wrapping your hands can help you keep the small bones safe. Seems like no big deal, but it all adds up. In the long run, your ability to punch will be limited, and guess what that means?
Let the wrists do what they do best
A sprained wrist will not only mean losing a fight, but it will also set you back quite some time. Injuries, besides the pain, can be disastrous in competitive sports. They also have the potential to destroy your work life if you work behind a PC, and cost you an arm and a leg (hopefully not literally).
Don’t sacrifice your fingers
Breaking fingers is excruciatingly painful. It is also remarkably unpleasant because you use your hands every day, so you will be reminded of your unfortunate decision not to wrap up every minute for the next couple of weeks.
Don’t lose your enthusiasm
New fighters sometimes come in unsupervised and ignore this rule. They may simply not know it is there. One way or another, for some reason, the less they know about combat sports, the surer they are that heavy punching does the job.
It doesn’t, but bad technique combined with little protection and intense pummeling will very likely cause an injury. The chances are, it is at this point they will walk away in frustration, and who knows? Maybe they were really good.
You can also punch bare-fisted. The first thing that happens is that the skin on your knuckles tears, which is when people normally start bleeding and contemplate using protective equipment.
It also makes you look tough, so you can keep going through the pain, leaving bloody prints on the boxing bag as proof that you are the next big thing to happen to this city. This will mean more than massively slowing down your progress and risking getting an infection. Would you like to train using a bag with someone’s blood on it? Probably not. Think high-five, not HIV-five.
Choose the right type
There are so many types of wraps to choose from that all have their advantages. Some of them are harder to learn but very efficient, others will not protect you as well (gel wraps are built for speed, not protection). Some wraps provide more length than others, and some just aren’t right for you. It takes time to find out what works for you, so move steadily and keep safe.
Wrap them right
How you wrap your hands also matters. Find someone who knows what they’re doing and ask them to show you how it’s done. Wraps help distribute the impact evenly and allow your tendons and ligaments to stay where they should. Wrap them up tight, but not until you lose feeling in your arms.
Food for thought: Bet you didn’t know putting on your wraps for shadow boxing made any sense, but it does. As you should wear these pretty much everywhere you can (except for bed), learning to train with wraps during shadow-boxing will allow you to get used to the weight and speed. This is colossally more useful than you might think.
In the end
We hope we have convinced you that safety comes first. It really does make sense to pay attention to seemingly little things that make a big difference.
The overwhelming majority of fighters use wraps for anything serious, and it would make a great habit to start using them early on. They will also normally cost you only around a fiver and last quite some time.
Keep your skin, tendons, ligaments, bones, wrists, and career safe, and, like al Capone said, even though he meant something else, never leave home without protection.