HOW, WHY, AND WHEN TO USE WRIST STRAPS
The moment you walk into a weight room in any gym, you’re guaranteed to see it—a long strap that hangs off weights. If you stay long enough, you’ll see a weight lifter attempt to attach that strap to his or her weights and then proceed to squirm their way into it. Once they’re into the strap, their muscles lock and the weights are easily moved.
So how does this work? Wrist straps are typically comprised of cloth pieces or leather material that wraps around the wrist and the barbell, providing leverage for heavy weights. Professional body builders and dedicated fitness gurus use them nearly every session. However, even strength builders and athletes can use them too.
Before you head out to grab a few straps, consider a few questions. Does wearing wrist straps reduce the effects of weight lifting? Are they really good for someone like you? When shouldn’t you wear them?
SHOULD YOU WEAR WRIST STRAPS?
Weight lifters are a diverse group, but it isn’t uncommon to hear complaints that using wrist straps is the easy way out. While they may have a point, if used correctly and precisely, straps have the power to increase your weight gains by leaps and bounds. During each rep you have to know exactly how to use these straps if you want to gain the greatest benefits.
The top reason you should consider using wrist straps is to prevent fatigue while targeting the muscles you want, all without concern over losing your grip. This coincides with the right link wrong link rule that governs most weight lifting gyms.
Those who aren’t competitive lifters can benefit from wrist straps in way of strength and size gains as previously mentioned.
An easy way to determine if straps are right for you is to ask the following questions.
-Which of my muscles fatigues first?
-What muscle am I targeting in my workouts?
If you’d like to increase a specific muscle group, then straps could very well aid you in your goal.
Balance is crucial in all areas of fitness. Use lifting straps when it is best to do so, not every single time. Only use straps if you notice your grip failing or if it hinders your technique. Using them as finishing option may be all you need to make gains. If you opt to use straps more frequently then start doing specific forearm sessions to increase your grip.
It’s important to realize you can still get stronger without using straps. In the professional arena, many are staunchly against using straps in their squat cleans and snatches, and some worry about broken wrists if they use straps too much.
The bottom line is don’t let people on the internet tell you not to wear straps if you need a bit of support. They can work wonders on your lifting abilities and make you stronger in the long run.