We all have our own reasons for hitting the gym, running through our exercise regime and doing the hard work of lifting some weights where we live.
Some want to look good in a bathing suit, while others want to be stronger, some are training for their favorite sports, others want to bulk up or lose weight, there are those who are working through an injury plus countless other motivating factors.
Regardless the personal reason for weight training, power lifting or bodybuilding, the bottom line is we all want our time in the gym to be as effective and efficient as possible. None of us want to do the hard work and not reap the rewards moving us toward our ultimate goal.
So whether you are cranking out dead lifts, squats or shrugs do you really have time or energy for limitations hindering you enjoying your desired outcome?
We all know a chain is only as strong as its weakest link and with lifting, often the weakest link is a persons hand grip strength.
How often have you wanted to add an extra plate to the bar or push out one more rep but you simply cannot be sure the bar will not slip from your hands?
Even worse, have you ever lost your grip and dropped the bar either causing an injury or potentially causing one?
Beyond this… much of lifting and weight training is won in the mental arena. No matter how strong your muscles are, you have to believe you can do the lift or complete x number of reps. Right?
Confidence and self assurance are critical. So if you are unsure about your grip strength you are not going to perform at your peak performance.
So how does one combat this limitation of grip strength? For sure you can use grip strengtheners and specifically target the muscles in your hand. However many find their larger muscle groups will grow faster then their hands which leaves the same issue.
A simple, effective and very inexpensive solution I have found is weightlifting straps. These are simple straps that you wear around your wrist that are wrapped around the bar which take significant amount of the stress and weight off your hands and transfer it to your wrists allowing you to focus on your target muscle group without fear or concern of your grip slipping.
Lifting straps come mainly in cotton, nylon and leather. They have a loop sewn on one end for you to put your wrists through with the other end to be wrapped around the bar. You will also find padded wrist wraps which have a piece of neoprene sewn inside the loop that pads your wrists so when the weight of the bar transfers to your wrist when lifted the padding helps the strap not to dig into your wrists. This padding allows you to focus your energy and concentration on the lift.
Do lifting straps really work in my city?
That is a great question. Personally I have been using lifting wrist straps for years and love them. I only use them when needed. So for example if I’m doing dead lifts, I will do my warm up sets and as many of the heavier sets without the wraps so that I am using and strengthening my hands as well. But once I get to the grunt them out sets or reps where I am really trying to push out a few more and I can tell my hands are holding me back I will put on the straps.
It really is amazing how instantly I am able to lift those heavier weights with much more ease. Typically, I am able to do at least 1 to 2 more sets when I’m using the straps AND often with even more added on that I know I would not have been able to hold onto without them.
To further answer the question if wrist straps work I did some research by looking at a ton of amazon reviews (what better place to look than to actual lifters who have dished out money to help with their training). I was blown away with how many people raved about setting new personal PRs… others who were able to immediately lift an extra 30-40 pounds, while others able to blast out many more reps.
If you are unsure go check out some amazon reviews and see for yourself.
Another question I often hear is, what exercises should I use weightlifting straps for?
Basically, lifting straps are used on exercises when you are working against gravity or where the weight/resistance is pulling away from you. For examples dead lifts, pull-ups, chin-ups, last pull downs or shrugs.
Some other benefits of using weight lifting wrist straps are to help you work around an injury that hinders you from holding onto the bar. They provide an element of safety to your exercises where losing your grip could cause injury.
Another common question I am asked if how to properly use lifting straps? Of course there are all sorts of great YouTube videos showing how to use them I thought I would quickly outline the steps here as well.
Start by threading the loose end of the straps (without the loop) in through the open loops on the other end to form circles. Now slide your one hand in through the circle you just created and let the end of the strap hang down in front of your hand. Give the end of the loose end a good tug so the loop on the strap tightens around your wrist. Now do the same procedure with the other strap on your other wrist. The next step is to wrap the ends of the lifting straps around the barbell you want to lift.
Now start wrapping the loose end of the strap under the bar from the back around to the front, and then continue to wrap the strap over the top and then back under until the end is fully wrapped around the bar. This step is important to get right. If you wrap the strap around the bar going over top of the bar and not underneath the bar then the straps will not give you any assistance in your lift.
Now do the same as above with your second strap. When both straps are wrapped around the bar put your hands on top of the wrapped straps and hang onto the bar to hold them in place. Now roll the bar towards you which will cause the lifting straps to cinch up tight on your wrists.
When you lift the weight, be sure to not put too much pressure on your wrists by letting them hold all the weight.
Whether you are into power lifting, bodybuilding, crossfire, MMA, strength training or even body weight exercises like pull ups check out a set of straps and see if they can help you conquer your current fitness plateau.
We ARE the Number One source for information about weight lifting wrist straps right now online…