Traditional Wraps Vs. Gel Wraps
There are a ton of decisions to be made when starting out in boxing, what gym should you choose? What gloves? What boots? This article will make it a little easier for you to decide on the best way to protect your hands.
Boxing places more strain on your hands than any other sport, so it is paramount to keep your hands in good condition for optimum training and performance.
Why wrap at all?
Professionals, amateurs and novices alike all use wraps. Why? Because they are absolutely vital to protecting your hands and enabling you to throw punches without fear of injury.
If you've ever hit a heavy bag without any wraps on and thrown some shots with some power, you will feel the tiny metacarpal bones in your hands move... that isn't good. Sustained damage, or one unlucky connection and you can damage these small bones.
Hit hard and long enough and you will likely notice small abrasions and cuts on your knuckles too, not something you want to endure when it is so easily avoidable.
Traditional wraps are cheap and easy to get, most boxing gyms will have some for sale.
Traditional wraps are superior in terms of the level of compression and support that they provide. The stabilizing effect means that there is less potential for the force of your punch to be lost through the wrist. The thumb, knuckles, wrist and small bones of the hand all get some degree of protection and stabilization.
Boxing gloves can quickly fill with sweat in an intense session training session. Traditional cotton wraps soak a good proportion of the moisture away. This meaning that there is less chance of the glove slipping slightly upon impact and this helps to transfer more force into the target.
They can be fiddly for beginners and take quite a while to put on and remove. They also provide less cushioning on the knuckles relative to gel wraps.
Gel wraps are effective at dissipating the impact force of a punch via built-in gel, which in turn protects the knuckles and small bones of the hand.
They are also very convenient to use and don't take any time at all to put on and remove. This is advantageous if you are working intense circuits and need to remove your gloves frequently.
Gel wraps are not as effective at compressing the fist, this means there is more risk of energy displacement along the wrist and are less effective at protecting the small bones of the hand.
The neoprene construction is less effective at wicking away sweat than cotton wraps, which isn’t a huge deal, but could be important if you sweat more than most in training.
Gel wraps are more expensive due to the more advanced design and materials.
So Which Ones Should You Choose?
If you want 'the real deal' and to transfer the absolute maximum amount of power into your target, go with traditional wraps.
If you want a pair of convenient wraps that you can take on and off quickly, then go for gel wraps.
Our choice? Get both. As a novice, it’s important to try different things and explore what feels right for you.
Learning to wrap up properly takes a little bit of getting used to, so gel wraps can be great until you fully master wrapping your hands for optimum protection.
You can also wear both under larger gloves for those extra hard sessions on the heavy bag for absolute maximum protection.