Today, you can almost always find it in every weight room: a lifter walking about between sets with a long, often weightlifting straps dangling from the end of their arm. Like a bull rider getting ready for their 8-second trip, the lifter performs a little wiggling dance to secure the strap to the barbell as they set up. The lifter’s muscles stiffen when the belt is tight, and the weights move erratically.
What is happening? Wrist straps make it simpler to hold onto a significant weight and are sewed strips of leather or fabric that wrap over your wrist and the bar. Wrist straps are frequently utilized by bodybuilders and regular gym visitors.
However, that description hardly scratches the surface of the massive internet debates around straps. Why are they useful? What are they not useful for? Are you less of a beast if you wear them? What you should know is as follows.
Why Would You Wear Straps?
Previously, Jason Ferruggia stated, “No straps, no traps.” Never have four words been more accurate. Perhaps there have been a few occasions when more actual words have been said, but never by someone with Jason’s arsenal of traps to support them.
Many strong individuals on the internet will yell and cry that using straps is “cheating” and that you should never do so. They do have a point in that straps aren’t permitted in powerlifting; however, for what it’s worth, they are frequently allowed in a strongman competition. While I always advocate for powerlifting training to be specific, straps can be used during prep to help you build strength and size that will directly translate to your main lifts if used carefully and selectively.
There is no question that non-competitive lifters will assist you in gaining strength and size, which will then result in, you guessed it, greater strength and size increases.
The most significant advantage of straps is the ability to exhaust the target muscle without thinking about your grasp initially. The “right link/wrong link” guideline, which should apply to almost anything you do in the weight room, is directly in line with this.
It might be challenging to put on your wrist straps and secure them on the bar. Depending on how long the belt is and where the loop is sewn, there are many ways to wrap it.
Everyone has a preferred technique, but here is mine: It’s most straightforward for me to wrap one hand precisely where I want it, then wrap the other hand close by (so I can use it when covering), and finally slip the second hand into place.
Wrapping It Up
The last statement regarding the hook straps must be clarified a bit further, both in terms of technique and how other people see you. Despite what I said earlier about the correct link and the wrong link, your grip does have a significant impact on the technique of a few lifts. Your hand’s aid in setting your lats and safeguarding your back during Romanian deadlifts. Squeezing the bar firmly when performing pull-ups can help you develop greater strength in your arms and back.
Does this imply that you should never do these movements with straps? No, not always. Instead, remember these guidelines:
- Don’t use straps for everything all the time. Work without straps up to the point when your grasp falters or your technique is constrained, and then use them to complete the project.
- If you frequently deal with straps, concentrate on strengthening and maintaining your forearms.
- Do not believe you must use a seatbelt to reach a specific weight. If that’s your thing, allowing your grip to determine how much weight you lift is acceptable. Without straps, you can still become stronger!
Because of the risk of broken wrists and overconfident lifters, many individuals are anti-strap regarding cleans, snatches, squat cleans, and other Olympic exercises. Understanding how to fail safely is crucial if you want to master these lifts.