If you’ve already gone on countless fitness forums on the web, you’ve probably come across one of the BIGGEST arguments in the fitness industry. What a lot of people are debating about in the weightlifting, powerlifting, and CrossFit category is if certain gears like lifting straps should be used in training.
It has even become a notion by some athletes that those who use lifting straps are “cheating”, thus making others who use them “less of a beast” in the gym. While wrist wraps, another popular fitness gear, have more positive feedback compared to lifting straps, let’s dig deeper as to why both these gears are truly beneficial to weightlifters, powerlifters, and CrossFit athletes (IF used correctly).
What are wrist wraps and lifting straps?
Wrist wraps are self explanatory– they’re made out of elastic material (maybe cotton, leather, nylon, or suede depending on the type) and they’re tightly wrapped around your wrist, usually held in place by Velcro. There is often a thumb loop in each wrap to assist in putting them on, but you can always take your thumb out once they are secured. That’s pretty much it and they do their job from there.
Lifting straps, on the other hand, work with one end wrapped around your wrist and the other around a barbell or dumbbell. Technically, you’re attaching the weight to your hands/wrists. The straps sort of do the lifting as well if you put it that way, hence, lifting straps. Depending on the type, they can also be made out of leather, canvas or nylon.
Why are wrist wraps and lifting straps useful?
Wrist wraps are used more often than lifting straps mainly because they provide your wrist with lots of support when lifting weights. This results to a more stabilized wrist, enhancing the grip for heavier lifts and additional sets as well! Moreover, they are not limited to just weightlifters and powerlifters, but are helpful to those who are into CrossFit or basically any sport that requires wrist support.
Injuries that athletes are prone to such as carpal tunnel and tendonitis are also lessened, plus aiding recovery for those who are suffering from them. Wrist wraps do such an amazing job and that explains why a lot of athletes use them.
Unlike wrist wraps which are used for support, lifting straps are a different story and should only be used for exercises that a weightlifter has issues with. Using straps allows the lifter to focus only on the actual lifting without having to worry if the barbell will slip out of his or her fingers anytime soon.
Lifting straps mainly assist your grip and are made for heavier exercises that involve pulling, such as deadlifts. However, a lifter should not depend on these as it will result to a weaker grip when not worn. Basically, use them only when you need them.
So is it really cheating when you use lifting straps?
No, it is not (but they technically aren’t allowed in powerlifting– often only in strongman competition). Lifters use straps for a number of reasons like having sweaty or small hands, lack of grip strength, or losing grip as the sets progress.
If “being hardcore” without the them means losing grip even before being able to target what you’re training, then being labelled hardcore may not be as important anymore. When you’re capable of a weight you unfortunately cannot hold a grip on especially after a few sets, you can’t go wrong with using lifting straps to be able to complete your goal.
To wrap it up…
Use whatever gear you feel the need to use! People will always have their own perspective on everything because we’re all different, but you know yourself best and you know what’ll help you advance in your fitness journey. It’s better to try them out for yourself so go for it!
If you feel the need for reliable wrist support, we highly recommend you check out Nordic Lifting’s high quality Wrist Wraps. They come in a variety of colors you definitely won’t get bored of! Say goodbye to those aching wrists!
CrossFit athletes, don’t think we forgot about you! Nordic Lifting has Cross Training Wrist Wraps designed to improve your CrossFit performance – guaranteed unmatched wrist support!
Think your grip could use a little help as well? Try Nordic Lifting’s Lifting Straps, they won’t fail you! (Did we mention these come in two pairs? That’s right, give your lifting partner a pair or keep them both to yourself!)
If you’re totally sold on both, we offer a bundle on BOTH wrist wraps and lifting straps at a great price. And if you think that’s the best part, we also offer the wrist wraps and lifting straps in ONE and by one, we mean in one awesome product!
We call them StrapWrapz and they are the ultimate wrist and lifting support for your workout!