If you've ever been to a gym, you’ve probably seen someone using lifting straps, a popular accessory that can help you take your lifting to the next level. But what are they, and how can they help you?
What Are Lifting Straps?
Lifting straps, also known as wrist straps, are pieces of cloth or leather that make a loop around your wrist and wrap around the barbell. They are typically between 1-1.5" thick and come in various types such as canvas or nylon. High-quality lifting straps are often made of leather, which is significantly thicker than other varieties.
When you use lifting straps, the barbell is attached to your wrist instead of gripping it with your hand. This can help you lift heavier weights without worrying about grip strength or dropping the barbells.
When Should You Use Lifting Straps?
Lifting straps are best used for pull exercises like deadlifts, rows, or lat pulls. They should be avoided for any exercise 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, such as snatches, clean and jerks, or squats.
It's important to note that beginners may not need lifting straps as they may not be lifting enough to benefit from them. It's best to wait for a few months and work on developing grip strength before considering buying lifting straps.
How Do You Use Lifting Straps?
Lifting straps are relatively easy to use, and with a little practice, you'll be using them like a pro. Here are some easy steps to follow:
- 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.
Are Lifting Straps Right for You?
Lifting straps can be a great addition to your gym accessories, especially if you're struggling with your grip strength. They can help you lift heavier weights and avoid injuries due to grip failure.
However, it's important to remember that lifting straps should be used with caution and only for the appropriate exercises. Additionally, they shouldn't be used as a crutch for weak grip strength, as developing grip strength is essential for long-term progress.
In conclusion, lifting straps can be an effective training accessory for intermediate lifters. They can help you lift heavier weights without worrying about grip strength or dropping the barbells. However, beginners should focus on developing grip strength before considering buying lifting straps.
It's important to use lifting straps with caution and only for the appropriate exercises. Safety always comes first, and it's essential to follow proper technique and form when lifting weights. With a little practice and the right technique, you can take your lifting to the next level with the help of lifting straps.