Have you ever noticed how people do a small dance motion with a brief pause before they lift something heavy? If you look carefully, you’ll see some straps dangling around the person’s wrist.
As their grip around the barbell tightens, they also make sure to curl and adjust the straps around the barbell to secure their hold.
All of a sudden, the massive weight is no big deal, and they can lift it just like that. So, what do lift straps have to offer that you should be interested in?
What Are Lifting Straps ?
Lifting straps are also called wrist straps. They can be quite confusing to a newbie, not to mention how one may wear them incorrectly.
The build can range from heavy-duty nylon to cotton, and also leather. Advanced gym-goers love durable straps made from neoprene padding (they also prevent discomfort). A lifting strap is multipurpose, but the most common use is in deadlifts or other heavy-duty lifting exercises. These straps will provide you with an improved grip to make those heavier reps.
Beginners to advance lifters can find much use of the lasso lifting strap. A few exercises where this can be used are:
- Barbell rows
Difference Kinds of Lifting Straps
While training, you need to be able to distinguish between the various types of lifting straps available.
You could choose between the lasso lifting straps, lifting grips, figure 8 lifting straps, and Olympic lifting straps. Every one of these were designed to serve a specific purpose and have individual benefits.
What’s the Difference Between Lifting Straps and Wrist Wraps?
You might think that wrist wraps work just like lifting straps because their names sound similar, but that’s not exactly right. Wrist wraps are made thicker and offer better support to wrist joints, providing stability to perform press and push movements.
The wrist can experience an overbearing amount of tension during specific press and push movement, which may result in injury. The majority of us would appreciate the additional support, so wrist wraps are very handy.
Importance of Using Lifting Straps
Let’s talk about the benefits of using lifting straps. The biggest advantage of lifting straps if that they give you the opportunity to exhaust chosen muscle(s) without losing grip. So, use wrist straps where you feel like you’re pushing yourself and losing grip.
In addition to that, lifting straps can be useful tools in improving strength and growing muscle size in the traps, upper back, hamstrings. You can do exercises like dumbbell or barbell row, deadlifts, shrugs, or rack pulls easier.
Securing Lifting Straps
If you know where lifting straps go, you shouldn’t face much difficulty putting them on. Here are three simple steps in order to do it properly:
- Make a circle of one kind by feeding an end of the long strap right through the opening of the loop.
- With your palms up, open your hands and slide them through the loop, onto the wrist.
- Make sure either end of the strap is in alignment with your thumbs’ direction.
How to Use Lifting Straps
After securing the lifting straps, you are ready to do some deadlifts! To get a grip on the barbell, the barbell should be sandwiched between the straps on each hand. Wrap the strap from the outside in only once to make your hands lay on top of them. Get a regular double overhand grip.
Tip: Your dominant hand can be of great help to get the other hand establish a grip with the strap. Ensure there’s no unnecessary space between your hand, the barbell, and the strap. Tighten your grip so the strap can’t make the bar push forward and off your leg.
When to Use these Straps
Do keep in mind that a deadlift counts as grip exercise because it’s pretty much a whole body exercise. Only resort to wrist straps if you’re limited by grips and you’ve exhausted any other gripping option like hook grip.
Variations of a deadlift, for instance, heavy rack pulls or sets super high volume may limit grip, and that’s when lifting straps can be handy to secure grips on the bar.
Straps are also a much safer addition to the routine and will be a saving grace if you’ve recently suffered or are recovering from an injury.
However, don’t become too reliant on lifting straps to the point that they become a crutch. Only use them while performing the highest or heaviest rep sets.
Let’s look at an example: After completing a grueling eight sets of three deadlifts without straps, you notice your grip has been exhausted.
However, your routine isn’t done yet – more work needs to be done. This is perfect time to bring in those straps. You move to highs pulls four sets of two and you can now work without losing grip.
Additional Things to Keep in Mind
You should make sure to cinch the strap in order to keep your hand and wrist tightly attached to the barbell. There’s a really common mistake that people do, is that they leave the straps loose. This does nothing to provide the grip and support you were looking for. Not only is this useless, but it can also hurt your wrist/hand.
With time and use, you will see feel the pros of isolating the muscles during pulling exercise with the straps. A few changes you may notice would be reduced stress on areas like the biceps and forearms. Also, her is another post to know how to wrap a knee.
If you’ve already been using lifting straps or plan on using them, there’s no denying that they offer some amazing benefits. Much like with anything else, tweak their use and don’t be completely dependent on them for all the heavy lifting.
They’ve been created to help you tackle the toughest of the tough. If you want to get stronger and bigger, lifting straps will be the perfect tool.