Wrapping Your Wrist For Sports
Wrist Wrap Guide: What Are They How And When To Use Them
With so many gym accessories in the market, it may be hard to figure out what gear is best for you. One gym accessories you may have heard of or even seen lifters use are wrist wraps. You probably wondered to yourself, what are those??.
Dont worry, youre not the only one! Wrist wraps are one of the most misunderstood and misused weightlifting accessories. And lucky for you, we know everything about them because we have our very own collection of Wrist Wraps that are designed to help you lift heavier, safely. So, keep on reading to learn what they’re used for and how to properly use them, so you can decide whether you’re going to add wrist wraps to your gym bag or not!
How Why And When To Use Wrist Straps
To strap or not to strap? The question has become far too loaded. Here’s the only wrist-strap guide you need to read before you step up to the bar!
Walk into any weight room today, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to see it: a long strap, usually black, dangling from the end of a lifter’s arm as he or she walks around between sets. As that lifter sets up, they performs a little squirming dance to attach the strap to the barbell, kind of like a bull rider preparing for their 8-second adventure. When the strap is tight, the lifter’s muscles tense, and the weights move like nothing.
What’s going on? In simple terms, wrist straps are sewn pieces of cloth or leather that loop around your wrist and the bar that make it easier to hold on to a heavy weight. They are commonly used by bodybuilders and casual gym-goers, but wrist straps can be extremely valuable to powerlifters and other strength athletes, too.
But that description doesn’t even begin to capture the immense arguments that happen online about straps. What are they good for? What aren’t they good for? Are you less of a beast if you wear them, or are they the key to becoming a beast in the first place? Here’s what you need to know.
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Finish Wrapping And Repeat
Continue to wrap around the wrist until its comfortably tight, then secure it with the Velcro. You may be wondering how tight should wrist wraps be? Well, that depends on your preferences. However, its considered normal for it to be tight enough for the joint to feel stable, but not so tight that it causes blood flow to stop. Once you are finished with one wrist, you can repeat the same process on the other hand.
They’re Called Wrist Wraps
Ive been wanting to write this article for a long time but never got around to it. I see this all the time in the gym and at meets and I am going to fix this issue today.
They are called wrist wraps, not forearm wraps.
Many of you newer lifters are scratching your head and wondering what I am talking about, but the veterans and the coaches know what I mean.
I see people wrap their forearms and get nothing out of their wrist wraps all the time, in my gym, at meets and in my training crew.
It drives me insane.
They are called wrist wraps for a reason. You are supposed to wrap your wrists.
Sounds obvious right?
Well why do so many people do it wrong?
Easy, no one taught them to do it right.
What is the purpose of using wrist wraps?
Wrist wraps are used for two reasons:
1. To keep your wrists straight
2. To increase your grip strength
Lets look at the first one:
When we bench or squat we need a nice straight wrist. This is especially true on the bench press.
When we wrap the wrists properly they should be almost like a cast making the wrist completely immobile.
The straighter the wrist the better the lift.
Addressing the second point, when you wrap your wrists properly it should make your hand close involuntarily.
This extra tension helps you to squeeze the bar harder. Squeezing the bar is essential to generating force.
OK, I think thats good so lets look at how to do it.
First: Line up the wrap at the joint of the wrist with the wrap on the center as shown.
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When Are Wrist Wraps Used
Wrist wraps should only be worn, during heavy pressing exercises like bench press or overhead press because your wrist can get in a vulnerable position, and you can overextend it leading to injury. A wrist wrap will provide support around the joint to keep it in position and minimize the risk of injury.
Use a wrist wrap only when going above 80% of the 1 rep max for a lift. If you wear wrist wraps frequently, youll never build up your smaller muscle groups around your wrist to support the joint, which will become your weakness.
How To Put On Wrist Wraps
Learning how to put on wrist wraps properly is key to preventing injury and finding your maximum potential. You can buy the best CrossFit wrist wraps in the world, and it would all be moot if you dont put them on the right way.
Heres how to put on wrist wraps:
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How We Selected The Best Wrist Wraps
After sorting through dozens of products from the top trusted retailers, we selected the best wrist wraps based on a few factors. First, we consulted a physical therapist, for his expert opinion on how to find the best wraps.
Then, we looked at price, comfort, and support. We also assessed how easy it would be to move while wearing each wrap. Finally, we considered the material each wrap was made out of, flexibility, and whether it was machine-washable.
When To Use Wrist Wraps
In general, we recommend using wrist wraps for heavy-lifting workouts, especially when overhead lifts are involved. Also, you should use wrist straps during any workout where overuse is possible such as during metabolic conditioning workouts. Here are more specific examples of when wrist wraps will come in handy:
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To Increase Grip Start With Your Hand Clenched In A Fist
One of the main reasons why lifters wear wrist wraps is to increase their grip on pulling exercises, such as deadlifts and chin-ups.
If your goal is to increase your grip strength, then your wrapping technique will change slightly.
This is because it doesnt matter so much that your wrists are immobile, but rather, that your fingers and hands maintain the strongest connection possible to the barbell.
In order to maximize your grip, start with your hand clenched as hard as possible. Then, wrap your wrist as you normally would.
What youll notice when you finish your wrap is that your fingers curl toward the palm. Its much harder to straighten your fingers.
Essentially, your hand and fingers are now primed to grip the barbell more effectively.
Remove The Thumb Loop On The Wrist Wrap
All lifting wrist wraps have a thumb loop attached.
The thumb loop is meant to make it easier to start wrapping your wrist.
However, the thumb should not remain in the thumb loop while you lift. You want to remove the loop from your thumb after you finish wrapping your wrist and before starting your lift.
The reason why you dont want to have the loop around your thumb while you lift is for two reasons:
First, depending on how tight you wrap your wrists, the thumb loop can actually pull your thumb sideways, making it harder for your thumb to grip the bar effectively.
Second, if youre a competitive powerlifter, its against the rules to have the loop around your thumb while lifting.
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This article was co-authored by Laila Ajani. Laila Ajani is a Fitness Trainer and founder of Push Personal Fitness, a personal training organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Laila has expertise in competitive athletics , personal training, distance running, and Olympic lifting. Laila is certified by the National Strength & Conditioning Association , USA Powerlifting , and she is a Corrective Exercise Specialist .There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 51,681 times.
A deadlift is a body-building exercise in which you lift a barbell from the floor to your mid-thigh. Wrist straps are a piece of fabric, one side of which wraps around your wrist, and the other side of which wraps around the barbell youre lifting. Wrist straps can help you deadlift heavy weights by strengthening your grip and taking some of the weight off of your hands. Using straps, youll tire out your grip strength more slowly and be able to keep a good posture for a higher-rep set.XResearch source
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Preventing A Wrist Injury
Benefits Of Wrist Wraps For Lifting
Wrist wraps help provide stability and compression to the wrist joint during heavy overhead lifts or push exercises. They help you by stabilizing the barbell or dumbbell and preventing draining any strength from your shoulders or legs. So, how does this benefit your heavy lifting? Let us tell you…
If youre strength training and want to keep progressing at the gym then definitely think about adding wrist wraps to your gym bag!
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Tighter Is Not Always Better
Yeah, we said it. Depending on the movement you may want to be able to move your wrist more or less. For example in a Weightlifting Clean – youll receive the bar in a rack position that requires you to have flexion of your wrists.
If your Wrist Wraps are as tight as they can possibly go it will inhibit your ability to receive the bar in a good position or get your arms in the best position and result in making the lift harder.
Much like we mentioned earlier – too tight of a wrap will also mean less blood flow even if you flex your wrists during the setup. Understand that the tightness of the wrap should depend on what you plan to do with your wrist and body following the wrap.
For a conditioning workout where you wear the Wrist Wraps for a longer period of time, you will want a less tight wrap than a strength session. Its also important to note here that a good pair of wrist wraps will provide enough comfort to still be worn tight for extended periods of time.
When we created MANIMAL Wrist Wraps we specifically designed them to be worn for hours, while still providing ample support and comfort.
How To Use Wrist Wraps
Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means I earn from qualifying purchases.
Wrist wraps are used to help keep the wrist straight while lifting, most commonly during the bench press and overhead press.
There are several benefits to wearing wrist wraps, including increasing joint stability, allowing you to push beyond your normal fatigue limits, keeping your wrist injury-free, giving you the capacity to grip the bar stronger, and making the weight feel lighter in your hands.
However, to get the most out of your wrist wraps, you need to have some basic understandings of how they work and how to wear them properly. Otherwise, youll be wasting your time by wearing them.
Therefore, in this article, Ill discuss the 13 tips you need to know to make sure your wrist wraps are contributing to stronger lifts.
If you dont already have a set of wrist wraps my absolute best recommendation is the Inzer True Gripper Wrist Wraps . These will provide the greatest stability no matter what exercises you do in the gym.
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What Is The Difference Between Normal Wrist Wraps And Functional Wrist Wraps
In this article I will distinguish between “Wrist Wraps” and wrist bandages . The second have the following disadvantages:
- The bandages must be opened and reapplied for more/less tension
- The Velcro closure prevents a general fit for everyone, especially with thinner wrists
- You usually have a thumb loop
Functional Wrist Wraps, as shown in green here, on the other hand, have
- a closure with a tape that cannot be soiled. We recommend silicone print on the tape so that the Wrist Wrap holds well and stays closed.
- In addition, the Wrist Wraps fit everyone, as there is no Velcro closure which hinders the flexibility of size adjustment. Wrist Wraps are therefore suitable for women, as well as men and children
- no thumb loop, because the fixation is also possible without rubber on the thumb
- thinner fabric, which is more comfortable to wear, less likely to cause sweating and yet extremely well supported
At the end of November, we released the Light Wrist Wraps, the third type of wrist wraps, so that all training goals and preferences are covered.
Wondering which wraps are right for you?