When you are undergoing heavy training, lifting straps are your best friend. Lifting straps are useful when you want to scale up and go heavy but your grip is not firm enough. They are commonly used by bodybuilders, casual gym-goers, powerlifters, and athletes for exercises such as weighted pull-ups or deadlifts.
Lifting straps are lengths of either cotton, nylon, or leather that loop around your wrist and bars. Generally, lifting wraps are approximately 1” to 1 ½” wide and 12” to 18” long. They ensure you put your focus on pulling the weight instead of constantly worrying about the grip. Especially important because weak grip can mess up your form!
You can use lifting straps for a number of exercises suchas barbell rows, deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, and rack pulls. Furthermore, you can also use them for weighted chin-ups and pull-ups. If you have a weak grip then they enable you to go that bit further and smash your lift.
So what materials do lifting straps come in?
Cotton is the most common material in the lifting straps market. One characteristic that makes cotton a good material is its ability to absorb sweat better than nylon and leather. Furthermore, they are comfortable to wear as they can stretch when there is pressure from lifting.
Cotton’s ability to absorb sweat is beneficial to all gym-goers out there. When you are so focused on your exercise and you’ve been working out for hours, they can quickly get moist and smelly!
Compared to cotton, nylon can dig in and chafe when there is pressure from lifting or when exercising. It cannot absorb sweat like cotton. However, it is still a common material as they are generally stronger compare to cotton and leather. Plus, they are known to maintain durability even under stress and pressure. Nylon is also argued to allow weightlifters to release dumbbell the most quickly compared to cotton and leather.
Leather is known to maintain its shape and form even under heavy loads. It holds very well and it does not pinch the skin. What is special with leather is that it's much easier on the wrists. You can get the straps tightly gripped around the bar while providing comfort to your wrist.
It all depends on your personal taste, preferences generally differ per person!