When it comes to weightlifting, you will not find one person who enters the gym thinking ‘How can I lift less?’. Both you and I always want to lift more. Our body requires are wrists to perform a number of heavy compound lifts. As a result, we want to run through the best wrist wraps for weightlifting for 2019 and how to get the most out of them to lift more.
Weightlifting is a magnificent example of how to combine technique and strength, hence its tremendous appeal as an athletic discipline.
A bullfighter deploys a subtle technique when moving and positioning to avoid the horns by millimetres during the onslaught of the bull.
An elephant uses all its strength and body weight to push and knock down a tree in the middle of the savannah.
A weightlifter uses the best of those two worlds, especially in heavy compound lifts.
Lifting weights require strength but you also need to be smart about how you position your body and the technique you use. Failing to do so will eventually result in injury.
And you know what injuries mean. Days, weeks or months of sitting on the sidelines as your new found muscular gains slip away.
The victories of human strength over matter are mythical and live in powerful and universal images:
- Samson toppling the pillars of the temple of the Philistines
- Hercules killing the giant Anteo
- Atlas holding the world on its back.
But none of these feats is superior to the triumph and ecstasy you get from a new PB in your squat or bench press.
That, as you know, does not come for free, it requires training, experienced guidance and the right equipment.
Within the equipment department, there is a whole universe of devices and support implements to help prevent injury and increase your lifts.
You now have squat lifting shoes, EZ curl bars, pull-up rings, advanced dumbbell racks, pull-up bars and stretch bands.
At the top of the list, and the feature of this blog post is wrist wraps.
Let’s take a look at the best wrist wraps for weightlifting and how they help protect your body during your lifts.
The human wrist
The human wrist is a delicate and complex articulation well worth paying attention to.
She is the bridge that allows you to transmit the energy of your body to the object you want to lift.
The wrist is a masterpiece of structural biological engineering. The wrist works in a similar way to your ankle. It helps transmit strength and energy to be able to do a job while remaining flexible and responsive to allow movement.
No matter how strong your arms, shoulders, chest, or back are, if the wrist does not do its job, you will not be able to do anything.
The wrist does not generate force because it has no muscles. The muscles that control it are those of the forearm, but the importance of it lies in the connection it provides.
Imagine a car with a powerful engine and bad tires or a strong steel chain with a paper link.
That’s you if your wrist is weak or damaged.
A weak wrist will inevitably limit your progress.
That is one of the reasons why athletes in many disciplines protect their wrists from injuries and strengthen them in a preventive manner.
And for people who practice high-strength sports such as weightlifting, the protection of the wrists is essential.
The best wrist wraps for weightlifting
Among the support equipment, one that has been with us for a long time and that is currently experiencing tremendous popularity is the wrist wrap.
Described in a simple way the wrist wrap is a band of reinforced cloth or leather that wraps around the wrist to reinforce it. And at times, they will link it with the bar of what you want to lift.
The purpose of the wrist wrap is to support the physical structure of the wrist during heavy lifting, avoid hyperextension under heavy loads, failure of the technique and injuries.
Despite its apparent simplicity, the wrist wrap requires care for its correct use.
Let’s run through some important points.
- Do not use wrist wrap during warm-ups
Although the wrist does not have muscles, it does have extensor and flexor tendons that require strengthening to guarantee the health of the joint.
The best way to strengthen the wrists and prepare them for the intense session is to do the preliminary exercises without wrist wraps. This will give your wrists the opportunity to work at full capacity.
It is recommended to use the wrist wrap only when working near maximum loads.
- Adjust the wrist wrap in the right place
The intended use for the wrist wrap is to help the wrist, not the forearm, so you must ensure that the joint is well covered all the way to the bottom edge of the hand, above the fold where the hand bends.
Otherwise, they do not contribute at all in the protection or prevention of injuries and excessive fatigue.
- Pay attention to the proper type of wrist wrap
There are two basic types of wrist wrap, the lightweight and flexible, usually made of cotton, and the heavy one, usually made of leather with Velcro.
The flexible, cloth type, is best suited for exercises that require a wider range of motion, such as clean and jerk or the snatch.
It is easier to adjust between different types of exercises, so you don´t have to remove and put them on again and again.
Many come pre-softened and padded for maximum comfort.
One of the best examples out there is the FKNLIFT STRAPS – KHAKI sold by Lift Gear.
The Velcro wrist wrap are perhaps the most common and FKN Gym Wear does it so well.
They are heavier, thicker, and more resistant. This makes them ideal for heavy lifting routines, for when you are working near or at your maximum load.
For bench press or overhead press, use the heavier wrist wrap to get more support.
The Velcro system allows a precise and strong fit for maximum efficiency, although they can cause restrictions in blood flow.
The proper thing is to adjust them tight just before the exercise and then loosen them when you have finished.
Again Lift Gear has one of the best products on the market with its line of wrist wrap for heavy lifting.
- It is not required to use wrist wrap always
Most gymnastic, or warming up exercises, do not need wrist wraps.
Like all the other parts of your body and muscles, the wrists grow with you.
As you progress in the complexity and scope of your routine, the wrists become stronger and healthier. So, over time, your wrists can take heavier loads.
These complementary exercises that help you stay flexible and elastic, like many of the Cross Training types, it is advisable to do without wrist wrap.
One last recommendation, do not disguise a pain with the wrist wrap.
You know how to treat pain and what it means.
Pain is a sign that you are breaking a limit, and in that sense, pain is an obstacle to overcome.
But pain is also a warning of something broken, and in that sense, it is a protection circuit.
If your wrist hurts, it is almost certainly a sign of bad technique. Check with your coach your extensions and rotations, especially in your achievement of the rack position.
The wrist strap
Some words must be said about a special category of the wrist wrap; we are talking about the wrist strap.
The wrist strap is used to join your wrist to the bar of the equipment you are using, giving you a better grip and a more effective force transmission from your muscles to the equipment.
They are not legal in official competitions, but they are very popular among hundreds of thousands of weightlifters around the world in their daily sessions.
And why is this?
Because the wrist strap ensures that the target muscle gets tired before your grip, supposedly the weakest link in the whole system, fails.
All part of a principle of weightlifting called “right link / wrong link,” that establishes a relationship between the target muscle and the rest of the muscles in your body.
For any particular exercise you have to answer two questions, what is the target muscle?
And, which muscle gets tired first?
If the answer to both questions is not the same, then something is wrong, and it is necessary to change the mechanics.
The wrist strap helps you to focus better on the target muscle allowing you to hold the bar for much longer and giving the muscle target a chance to work more intensely.
There are three basic types of wrist strap:
– Loop straps: consist of a simple loop that is placed around the wrist with an extra length for wrapping around the bar before closing the hand on top of it.
They are the most common and cheap; they come in different lengths and materials and are very safe.
On the other hand, it is not easy sometimes to roll the strip with one hand, and there is the possibility of getting tangled if the lifting fails and we have to bail from the equipment in its free fall.
– Speed straps: also called Olympic straps, is a closed loop that is placed similarly to the first type we discussed but with no extra length of cloth.
Its main advantage is the ease of leaving the equipment bar if the lifting fails.
However, with them, you cannot adjust the tension on the wrist and offer less material to form the grip.
– Hook strap: they are pieces that fit the wrist and have hooks for placing under the bar that contributes to the lifting.
The advantages are that there is no material to roll up and the hooks fit very well in the bar.
The main problem is that you cannot squeeze the bar completely with the necessary negative consequences on your technique.
Wrists wraps are good for you if you feel good about them.
Always remember what you are training for.
If wrist wraps allow you to gain in raised weight and repetitions, there is no reason not to use them.
Many people think it is like cheating, but if your purpose is not an official competition, there is no reason not to benefit from a relatively cheap, simple to use and effective equipment.
We have, in preparing this information, used our best endeavours to ensure that the information contained herein is true and accurate, but accept no responsibility and disclaim all liability in respect of any errors, inaccuracies or misstatements contained herein. Information guide only and any other further information should be considered by a professional.