Weightlifting wrist straps are a handy tool for strength trainings. It’s hard to tell since when wrist straps have been used in weightlifting and fitness, but we suppose that they have always been there. Wrist straps grant you a firmer grip and allow you to focus on the exercise technique rather than on holding the weight in your hands. Also, they protect your palm skin from damages and blisters.
Use wrist straps for the exercises where they are truly needed.
If your aim is to improve your strength and gain more back and posterior thigh muscles wrist straps sure will help you with that. You can greatly enhance the quality of related exercises (deadlift, Romanian deadlift, shrugs, snatch, pullup) by adding more weight or a few extra reps than with your natural grip solely.
Avoid wrist straps for wrong exercises.
Keep in mind that using wrist straps is restricted at weightlifting and powerlifting competitions. However, it doesn’t mean that athletes should not use them in their training. Amateurs should train without wrist straps as long as it becomes uncomfortable. Remember that wrist straps usage is reasonable when an athlete becomes unable to hold the weight in his hands. Wrist straps are not supposed to aid in the bench press or other exercises.
Wrist straps can be made of cotton, nylon or leather.
Cotton is the most common material for weightlifting straps. It’s great for absorbing sweat. But the more comfortable and soft cotton wrist strap is, the more it stretches when the weight is lifted.
Nylon gives you the smooth sensation on your wrist but at the same time, it is rather uncomfortable for your hands and lacks sweat absorption. Nylon is not stretchable.
Genuine leather is one of the rarest materials for weightlifting straps. The feeling it provides is completely different from the fabrics listed above. It is bad at absorbing sweat. But it maintains its shape under the weights and this is a really tough thing about leather.
Choosing wrist straps you should pay attention to the following:
- They must be well stitched;
- Cotton and nylon wrist straps are harsher and less stretchy unlike leather ones;
- Leather wrist straps feel more convenient for your hands, they are easier to perform clean in (many weightlifters think that no straps are needed for this exercise though);
- There are wrist straps with soft padding, clasps, Velcro, and even gloves that have built-in straps or hooks. They have a bigger price but don’t expect them to improve your functionality much. Besides gloves with hooks are not suitable for all kinds of barbells and may negatively affect your exercise technique.
Three main wrist straps types:
Lasso – the jack of all trades, there are plenty of those in every gym. They are universally suitable both for pulls and pullups. Great for rookies that need solid fixation.
Single-loop – like the lasso can be used in all kinds of workouts. It’s the most simple and versatile type. It should be noted that these wrist straps provide the worst grip and that’s why they are a better solution for weightlifting as they instantly release the grip after the failed attempt.
Figure 8 – solid and trustworthy. Figure 8 straps are the best for heavy pulls. However their drawback is the lack of ability to quickly release, and that’s why using them for speed-strength weightlifting exercises is not recommended. These are made from the densest materials to endure the peak loads.
As the market offers us a fair amount of wrist straps types, searching for the one that will be perfect for you may become a difficult task. The best way to choose wrist straps is to try them in your workouts!