Using a tools such as weight lifting wrist straps have been at the center of controversy in many weight lifting and bodybuilding communities. This is due in part because of the very rational argument that says using straps will slow down your growth in the strength of your grip. However the other side of the argument is that you can pick up a much heavier weight when using straps.
When you buy a pack of wrist straps you will get two long straps roughly an inch and a half wide by 12-22 inches long. They come in several different materials from reinforced cotton, nylon, leather or suede. The most commonly used are the nylon variety which offer both strength and a low cost.
They are commonly used during heavy pulling lifts such as shrugs and deadlifts and can help the lifter carry more weight than they can grip on their own. They act almost like a safety, preventing weight from falling to the floor or on themselves in the event the lifters grip can’t hold on. Of course these training tools are not allowed in competition however many find them very effective in their training regimen.
However if you are finding that the first thing to fail when you are doing a deadlift or a shrug is your grip, then you should try using writs straps. There is no doubt that you will get better results as you will be able to use a heavier weight when doing these movements.
If you are a serious lifter and have thought about trying out a pair of wrist straps we have outlined a few tips on how to properly use them without putting yourself at increased risk for injury.
1. Read the instructions. Each manufacturer should include a set of instructions with photos on how to properly fit them to your hands. Improper fitting wrist straps can lead pains, strains and even broken bones so make sure you have them on properly.
2. Only use them to do pull exercises. This includes shrugs, deadlifts, pull ups, rows or pull downs. This does not include bench press or any push exercise. Just think of the laws of gravity.
3. Do not over lift. Obviously you are trying to lift beyond your limits by using these straps in the first place but make sure you can at least handle the weight for one to two reps without the use of straps. If you attempt to lift a weight that is not possible without straps you are lifting too heavy.
4. Go for quality. Don’t buy the cheapest pair of straps you can find. Make sure they are durable and can hold the load you are planning to lift. The worst thing you could do is go cheap and have them break with the 500 llbs+ dropping on your foot