When should you start using lifting straps in the gym? Why are they helpful and how do they work? Find out more about this popular training accessory.
I’m sure you all know someone who has brought their lifting to the next level, and shows off by wearing a couple of lifting straps as they hang out in the gym.
Hold the strap just above where it attaches to the bar and pull up on the strap with enough force to make it tight. By doing this, you increase the tension in the lifting strap, which will cause you to be able to lift a greater amount of weight.
The extent to which these techniques work is still being researched. But the general consensus is that it can help improve your lifts. It's not clear if it's just a fad or a more lasting solution, but for now, many people are happy to have found something that works for them.
What is the purpose of the lifting strap?
Wrist straps or lifting straps are one of the most popular weightlifting accessories. Plenty of people make them a must have so they can continue lifting without fear of hurting their wrists.
One of the advantages of using lifting straps is that they make it easier to lift heavier weights. They also guarantee you won’t drop the barbells or dumbbells, which could lead to a serious injury
Wrist straps can be used by many different people from bodybuilders to recreational athletes. They are usually used for exercises such as a deadlift and back lift and can have a number of added benefits including avoiding injury from grip failure.
What are lifting straps?
You may have seen pieces of cloth or leather that make a loop around your wrist then wrap around the bar. They can be 1” or shorter, but are usually between 1-1.5" thick and come in various types too, such as canvas or nylon. Quality lifting straps are often made of leather, which is significantly thicker than the other varieties.
When you use a lifting strap, the barbell is attached to your wrist instead of gripping it with your hand. This will make it easier for you to lift heavy objects since there won't be any pressure on your hands anymore. The pressure will also go directly to your forearm
Weightlifting gloves allow you to handle heavier weights than you could without them. Despite not building grip strength, they will take some strain off your grip and so give you an extra edge when lifting all that weight.
It’s important that you know how to use lifting straps before using them, and practice a few times on the barbell to get familiar with the motion of tightening it.
How do I use lifting straps?
Lifting straps are relatively simple to use and often a great help to those struggling with their strength. Make sure you follow these easy steps for the correct way of using lifting straps:
Place the straight end through the looped end
Put your hand through the circle formed by the lifting strap.
Position the loose end of the strap between your pointer finger and your thumb.
Wrap the loose end of the strap ONCE around the barbell or dumbbell.
Be sure to wrap UNDER the bar, and then loop it back towards yourself.
Use your free hand to tighten the strap.
Twist the strap and bar in order to remove all the slack from the wrist strap.
Do the same on the other hand, and prepare to lift.
Should I buy a pair of Lifting Straps?
The lifting straps are perfect for those who want to stay focused on the pulling phase of a lift and don't want to risk their grip failing.
As you progress through your workout, some muscles may become fatigued before others. For example, if you're engaging in heavy pulling exercises such as deadlifts or chin-ups, your forearm muscles may tire first and impair your grip.
As you get tired, your grip may start to falter and cause injury. This is where lifting straps come in - they enable you to train even with a waning grip, thus avoiding injury
If you're looking for that extra push that'll get you further and the strength to maintain it, a pair of lifting straps will help.
When should I use my lifting straps?
Lifting straps are best used on the pull exercises like deadlifts, rows or lat pulls. They should be avoided for anything where there will be weight above you, such as overhead press or bench press, and any lifts where you may need to drop the weight. These include snatches, clean and jerks, and squats.
Compared to lifting straps, regular lifting hooks are a lot easier to use. So save your straps for when you really need them and don’t waste them if you don’t!
While many beginners might think they need to use lifting straps, it is usually unlikely that you will be lifting enough to benefit from using them for now. It is best to wait 3 months and work on developing your grip strength before considering buying straps.
Intermediate lifters can use straps on most pull exercises, but safety always comes first. Power Grips can be used safely on both push and pull moves & variations.
With this information to your disposal and some premium lifting straps, you can work towards your weightlifting goals