When Should I Use Deadlift Wrist Wraps?
Have you ever been to the gym and seen those long fabric cords attached to the
weightlifter's hands wrapped around the barbell? Those are most probably lifting straps/deadlift wrist wraps.
Wrist straps have become a sort of taboo within the circle of fitness enthusiasts. Many trainers claim that these are cheating devices meant to give you a false sense of achievement while doing nothing for your natural strength. Others believe that these are training wheels meant to assist you in reaching your maximum capacity.
Let’s address this million dollar question and determine when to use these wrist wraps in case they are in your best interest.
What are Deadlift Wrist Wraps?
Deadlift wrist wraps, weightlifting straps, or wrist straps are well-built, heavy duty fabric wraps, typically made from leather, nylon, or canvas material. Athletes use these wraps to improve their grip on a heavy barbell during heavy pulling exercises such as the deadlifts.
These straps are a staple in every intermediate or experienced weightlifter’s gym bag. You can loop them around your wrist to assist in holding on to a heavy barbell. If you are confident that your other muscle groups are capable of lifting heavier weights but you are limited by your lack of grip strength, deadlift wrist straps are the way for you.
What is the Purpose of Deadlift Wrist Wraps?
The deadlift is a weight-training exercise involving the entire body in which the loaded barbell is lifted off the ground up to the level of the hips while keeping the torso at 90 degrees to the floor before setting it down again.
Aside from strengthening your wrists and its grip, deadlift involves engaging your posterior chain of muscles including the back, the hips, and the glutes. Once you get used to lifting weights, you will move on to pull more weights. However, there comes a time when your strength is at its best and you know you can lift more but your wrists are just not having it!
Before you know it, you lose feeling in your wrists and the bars slip from your hands.
Deadlift wrist wraps are ideal for people who struggle with maintaining grip on the barbell. Using weightlifting straps can take some of the pressure off your hands when it’s the most important obstacle in lifting additional weights.
Moreover, they are an excellent form of support for people who have recently suffered from rips, blisters, tears, or some other injury that has rendered them incapable of gripping the bars properly.
Benefits of Using Wrist Straps
There are countless ways incorporating wrist straps can improve your workout regimen. Let’s discuss some of these benefits:
A lot of times on the deadlift, your back and legs will have enough strength to go on but you keep dropping the barbell due to poor grip strength. Using wrist straps at this point will reduce the pressure on your hands and wrists and allow you to reach maximum capacity.
Deadlift entails a lot of friction that causes blisters, calluses, and cuts on the hands. Powerlifters can use wrist wraps to protect their hands as these helpers redistribute tension away from the palms and reduce pressure on the hands.
Are Deadlift Wrist Wraps a Way of Cheating?
One of the common questions that fitness enthusiasts ask trainers is if using these wrist wraps is a way of cheating your workout regime. You would be surprised by how many people believe that it’s a crutch to amplify your strength and grip without actually making an effort.
If you incorporate them smartly into your gym routine, you will notice how much strength you gain in the long term and all of that through an honest add-on.
From another perspective, think of wrist wraps as training wheels that you use before you can independently grip and lift the bars. They help you stick to your training program, increase the weight you lift without worrying about losing your grip, and target the essential lifting muscles.
How Do Deadlift Wrist Wraps Work?
Deadlift wrist wraps are looped around your wrist while anchoring the other end to the barbell. The idea is that they should work as an extension of your wrists. Once it gets too slippery and too heavy for your fingers to hold onto the barbell, that's where the wrist wraps come in. They will take away most of the weight of the bar until you are trained in a way that you can lift additional weight without dropping it on your toes.
When Should I Use Deadlift Wrist Wraps?
Now, if you thought that wrist wraps are your constant companion, irrespective of the weights you are lifting or the duration, you are gravely mistaken.
There are appropriate times for using weightlifting straps and in most scenarios, the appropriate time is when you are working out with a barbell and you feel like you can go on or increase the load but the limiting factor is your wrist grip.
If your wrists give out before the rest of your body, you will know that strength is not the issue but the grip. At that moment, you can pick up your wrist wraps and train with them to your maximum capacity. The key is to start without straps first and once you reach a point where you need the extra grip, then you can turn to this little helper.
It's also important to know that your maximum capacity with and without straps is different. You can lift more with straps because you can hold onto the bar longer and while this practice boosts your weightlifting strength, you can't expect to lift as much without the straps.
In a nutshell, you won’t know if these wrist wraps aren’t good for you until you try them on, so get your own set and give those wrists some relief now.
- Are wrist wraps legal?
It’s legal to practice with these straps, of course. However, keep in mind that to check competition requirements beforehand as some need IPF approved kit
- How long do wrist wraps last?
It usually depends on how well you take care of your wrist wraps. Ideally, they can last several years before they can’t be of use anymore. Gunsmith Fitness offers a lifetime guarantee on all our products
- Which material is best for a wrist wrap?
Leather or nylon is a good material for heavy lifting such as bench and overhead presses. Cotton is better for Olympic lifts and gymnastics.