There is so many variations in wrapping hands! But is there a more effective technique? Fighting Fit Physio thinks so!
The HAND wrap for MMA
A lot of fighters have their trainer from the gym strap there hands prior to a fight. As we are seeing across the sport the level of fighters skills is highly variable as is there trainer/coach. Many coach’s are ex fighters, many just love the sport and help others to reach their goal. Each of them have different ways, there heart is in the right place but is their wrapping technique the best you could get?
Fighting is my special interest, and physiotherapy being my career and qualification I have taken a keen interest and watching the variation in hand wrapping techniques from Stitch in the UFC to a novice coach at an amateur show and everything in between. I have noticed a Muay Thai and boxing wraps used, then bastardised to varying degrees for an attempt at an MMA wrap. I’ve seen under wrap, over wrap, minimal wraps and just a slap and tickle job that gets signed off to say they don’t have anything dodgy hiding within.
But isn’t the aim of wraps to protect the hands of the fighter wearing them? Protecting the hands is just as important as finding anything untoward in the wrap. The hands of the fighter at all levels of MMA are important. Your hands are needed in all aspects of life, not just fighting. I think an emphasis needs to be on the quality of the hands wrapped, if it doesn’t pass the test, your back for a second shot or given to someone who is compitent. The reason UFC use stitch is his wraps are standardized, safe and in the best interest of the fighter and the UFC brand. An injured fighter is a costly employee. I like Stitches wraps, but I think they could be done better. As for some of the ones I’ve seen at shows, they may be ‘safe’ by not holding anything dangerous, but they are unsafe to the hand of the fighter!
I have been working with a number of local fighters, pro and amature to test a few different styles. What I have come up with is a very effective wrap that is solid on the hand and highly functional. The open palm is key to grappling effectiveness and efficiency. Effectiveness, being the ability to hold key points such as the wrist, head, bicep, tricep, ankle and feet of your opponent as well as lock in your own grips (gable, over hand etc). Efficiency comes in the wraps ability to with stand the high loads placed on the hand, wrist and forearm during all aspects of the fight and at the same time not reducing or restricting the fighters performance due to them being to tight, bulky or constraining on all the structures within the hand.
The wrap must also be in an optimal anatomical position to with stand the forces put through them during the contact of a punch with a 4oz glove. A few degrees out and the forces placed on the small joints within the wrist are huge, this leads to an array of injuries you want to avoid.
So I have produced a unique blend of special techniques to wrap a hand. They are solid, don’t move around, support a functional hand and wrist, reduce the risk of injury and most importantly improve or allow you optimal performance. This technique over the past two years is yet to result in a hand or wrist injury!
Next time you see me at a show, ask me and I’ll happily show you the difference.
Jai Bradney repping the Fighting Fit Physio wraps!