Before you throw on some gloves and start hitting a punching bag, protect your hands with wraps in six easy steps. “There are hundreds of ways of doing it,” says Jason Markland, a coach at the East Coast’s first UFC Gym in New York City, “but I’ll show you the perfect way you can do it by yourself, or you can have someone do it for you.”
Step 1: Flatten one hand and loop the end of the wrap over the thumb, and wrap your wrist three times. (“Not too tight, you don’t want to cut off the circulation,” Markland says.)
Step 2: Run the wrap over your palm and in between the thumb and index finger, then cover your knuckles four times.
Step 3: Weave the wrap (over your hand from outside the thumb) through your fingers starting with the space between the pinky and ring finger. Wrap once around your wrist after going through the fingers each time. (Note: “I prefer going through all the fingers so they’re nice and snug, especially when you’re a beginner” Markland says, though he explains you also have the option of doing two fingers instead of three.)
Step 4: After the last wrist wrap, take the wrap over your palm and through your thumb and index finger. Cover the knuckles twice.
Step 5: Create an X over your hand with the remaining parts of the wrap — first going under your hand and up over and through the index finger and thumb, then under the hand and over, moving from the outside of the thumb.
Step 6: Finish by wrapping the wrist and securing it. (Note: “Use [the end of the wrap] only for your wrist, never on your knuckles,” Markland says.) Repeat on the other hand, and step in the Octagon — or at least throw on your gloves.