July 18, 2024 10:30 am

How, Why, and When to Use Wrist Straps

These days, if you go into any weight room, you’re almost certain to see it: a long, generally black strap hanging from a lifter’s arm as they move between sets. To secure the strap to the barbell, the lifter does a brief wriggling dance, like to a bull rider getting ready for their eight-second ride. The lifter’s muscles strain and the weights move as if they are still when the strap is tight.

Read More: Wrist wraps

What is happening? Wrist straps, to put it simply, are strips of leather or fabric that are woven together to loop over your wrist and the bar, making it simpler to hold onto a hefty weight. Wrist straps are popular among bodybuilders and casual gym attendees, but powerlifters and other strong athletes can also greatly benefit from using them.

However, that statement falls well short of encapsulating the massive debates that occur online around straps. For what purposes are they useful? What are they not useful for? Do they make you a less beast than you were before, or do they make you a beast in the first place? What you should know is as follows.

Why Do You Wear Wrist Straps?

It was originally written by Jason Ferruggia, “No straps, no traps.” Four truer words have never been said. Truer remarks may have been said occasionally, but never by someone with the kind of traps Jason had to support them.

Straps are “cheating,” according to many Internet tough guys, and you should never use them. In a way, they are correct; straps are prohibited in powerlifting, however, for the record, they are sometimes used in strongman competitions. Even while I always advocate for specialization in powerlifting training, straps may aid in the development of strength and size during prep that will directly benefit your primary lifts if they are used sparingly and correctly.

Without a doubt, noncompetitive lifters will assist you in gaining strength and size, which will ultimately lead to even more improvements in these areas.

utilizing straps allows you to tire the target muscle without worrying about your grasp breaking first, which may be the biggest advantage of utilizing them. This directly aligns with the “right link/wrong link” principle, which ought to guide nearly all of your weight room activities.

You are unaware of that rule? You ought to. My graduate school professor, Fred DiMenna, who holds a Ph.D. in oxygen uptake kinetics and was formerly a professional bodybuilder, introduced it to me. He assisted in making sure I understood how crucial this quick exam is while choosing an activity.

These are only two easy questions:

Which muscle is the exercise’s target?

Which muscle ages the fastest?

It’s a bad exercise if there are differences in the answers to each question. Fred used to say that workouts had to be challenging for the right reasons, not just because they were difficult.

Therefore, don’t be ashamed to wear straps if your goal is to increase the size and strength of a certain muscle area and doing so will help you do it!

The goal of all these exercises is not to specifically train a particular lift, but rather to increase the size and strength of the muscles in the upper back, traps, and hamstrings. Consequently, there’s no excuse for not using straps, particularly if you find it difficult to hold onto the bar long enough to exhaust the targeted muscle area.

How to Fasten Your Bracelets

It might be difficult to put on your wrist straps and secure them on the bar. The length of the strap and the location of the loop’s sewing will determine the wrapping technique.

While everyone has a preferred technique, mine is as follows: It is simplest for me to wrap one hand precisely where I want it, then slip the second hand into place after wrapping the first hand a little bit closer to the first (so I can use it to aid with the wrapping process).

Wrapping It Up

A bit more explanation is needed for that final point on the hook straps, regarding both technique and people’s perceptions of you. Your grip does matter in the technique of many lifts, even if I mentioned previously that it’s the proper link/wrong link. Your hands assist set your lats and protect your back during Romanian deadlifts and other exercises. Squeezing the bar firmly during pull-ups increases the strength in your arms and back.

Does this imply that you shouldn’t ever do these movements with straps? Not always. Alternatively, simply remember these guidelines:

Don’t use straps for everything, all the time. Use straps to complete your task after working without them until your grasp starts to falter or your technique is restricted.

If you work with straps frequently, invest some time to strengthening and maintaining your forearm muscles.

You don’t need to strap up in order to reach a particular weight. If that’s how you roll, then feel free to let your grip determine how much you lift. Without straps, you can still get more powerful!

Many individuals are against using straps for Olympic lifts like cleans, snatches, squat cleans, and others due to the risk of wrist injuries and overconfidence in lifters. It’s more crucial to understand how to fail safely than whether or not to strap while learning these lifts.

Don’t worry about the haters. It’s not something to be ashamed of if you’re working hard and developing your muscles. Tell them to get a grip, please!