Weight lifting straps are a very useful tool to help anyone using heavy weights get more reps out than they would have otherwise have done. They are an inexpensive accessory that you can use for virtually any pulling or lifting exercise. But before we go any further let’s look at exactly what they are…
Exactly What Are Lifting Straps?
Lifting straps are short lengths of cotton webbing that have a loop at one end to thread through and fasten around the wrist. They are usually made of leather or more commonly from cotton these days.
They are used to take away the strain from the forearms if they are a weaker muscle group or if you have an injury in that area. They are generally around 20 – 24 inches long and around 1½ inches wide.
They vary in cost from only a couple of pounds through to around £12.00 or above. You can get them with or without padding, the padding helps to cushion and protect the back of the wrist against the pressure of the straps digging in.
Which Exercises Can They Be Used For?
Generally speaking they are used for heavier exercises as they are designed to take away the stress placed on the forearm muscles, but shouldn’t be used all through the training cycle as they could lead to muscular imbalances and an inability to grip even the lightest of weights.
The exercises they should be used for include all heavy lifting or pulling movements such as – pull ups, dead lifts, single arm rowing, rack pulls, heavy pull downs and most heavy rowing exercises. lifting slings
How Do You Use Weight Lifting Straps?
Firstly you thread the flat end through the loop at the top of the straps. Next you slide your hand through the loop so the long end follows the line of your thumb and the loop sits flat around your wrist without any twists in the fabric. The position you should be in at this point is with the loop around your wrist and the length of the strap pointing upwards in between your thumb and forefinger.
Next you need to wrap the strap around the bar or handle of the object you’re lifting. To do this you need to take hold of the object and wrap the strap around the handle or bar at the same time. Once you have the strap wrapped around once, you need to twist your wrist to continue wrapping around the bar a few times. Try to avoid bunching the straps as this will feel very painful during the exercise.
Once the strap is wrapped around the bar a few times and it’s smooth and not bunched up, you’re ready to start. If you need to adjust the fit still further, you can do this by twisting the wrist slightly.
Getting weight lifting straps around a bar isn’t a difficult task but it may take a bit of practice to get exactly right, but once you do you can expect to see quite a difference in your workouts. Not least of all because you won’t need to focus on your grip any more, but instead concentrate on working those often hard to reach muscle groups like the lats and hamstrings for example.