Don’t let a hard week of intense grip training prevent you from hitting all the lifts in your workout plan. Wrist straps allow you to “tie” the barbell to your wrist and use friction to keep the weight attached instead of grip strength. check out this Harvard demonstration showing how a small rope can hold a 100lbs.
Exercises that benefit from wrist wraps
Hex bar deadlifts, heavy shoulder shrugs, and heaving pulling are just a few examples of exercises that can be made easier with wrist straps. Compound lifts are great because they target many muscles at once, but new lifters can often have their grip strength be the limiting factor.
Do not use wrist straps as a crutch!
Ego lifters love to use wrist straps on every set of deadlifts, but this can lead to imbalances and missed opportunities to build those forearms. Wrist straps should only be used on a top set or if the forearms have already been exhausted from other earlier exercises. Wrist straps are so powerful that many powerlifters have two max deadlifts: a raw max deadlift and a wrist strap max deadlift.
Best forearm training exercises.
Check out these top 25 forearm workouts. I regularly do the Reverse Curl (#3), Wrist Curls (#11), and Bar hangs (#21).
Wrist Straps vs Wrist Wraps
A wrist strap is tied to the forearm and is typically used for heavy-pulling exercises. You do NOT want a heavy max pulling at your wrist joint, so make sure to slide the wrist strap up the arm before tightening.
A wrist wrap, on the other hand, is a structural support for stiffening the wrist joint. Wrist wraps directly cover the wrist joint and are meant to attach to the barbell. They are primarily used for heavy-pushing exercises but can help with any exercise that requires a stable wrist.
How to attach wrist wraps
1) SKDK Lifting Wrist Straps
DRIP Score: 9.5/10
- Made from durable cotton with neoprene padding
- 24 inches in length for ample wrapping
- Anti-skid surface for a secure grip
- Cushioned wrist support for comfort
The SKDK lifting straps stood out as the best lifting wrist straps. Designed for versatility, they’re ideal for the most slippery bars, ensuring your grip doesn’t limit your potential. The anti-skid pads create a new contact surface to ensure maximum friction. At an affordable price, they excel with cushioned wrist support, making them a great choice for lifters seeking grip enhancement.
2) Gymreapers Wrist Straps
DRIP Score: 9/10
- Made from heavy-duty cotton for durability
- Extra length (24 inches) for versatile wrapping and grip
- Reinforced stitching to withstand heavy loads
- Non-slip design for a secure hold
The Gymreapers Lifting Straps are the perfect wrist strap for anyone hardcore lifter. Whether pulling heavy deadlifts, nailing those shrugs, or powering through rows, these straps ensure your grip isn’t what holds you back. Their standout feature is their robust construction offering the longest-lasting wrist straps we could get our hands on.
3) Best For Firm Grip: Rip Toned Weightlifting Straps
DRIP Score: 8/10
- Made from high-quality, heavy-duty cotton
- Neoprene padding for wrist comfort
- 23.5 inches long for versatile wrapping
- Reinforced stitching for durability
Let’s talk about Rip-Toned Weightlifting Straps. Their standout model is the black max performance that includes anti-skid padding. Ideal for deadlifts and barbell rows, they’re designed to overcome any grip issues, allowing you to focus on your form and muscle engagement. With wrist padding, you can rest assured that the extra weight will be evenly distributed.
While we found the Rip-Toned logo on the anti-skid pads ugly, the straps still performed under heavy loads. We would not recommend the other Rip-Toned models as they do not have wrist support pads and come in cheap-looking designs so stick with the black max.
4) Best For Stability: ihuan Wrist Straps for Weight Lifting
DRIP Score: 8/10
- Constructed from high-grade nylon for maximum durability
- Adjustable for a snug fit
- Length of 18.5 inches to accommodate various wrist sizes
- Sleek black design with many color options
Next, we have the ihuan Wrist Straps for Weight Lifting. While we rated these straps last on our list, they performed similarly to the other wrist straps at a fraction of the cost. If you don’t mind tasteless logo, these are a great pick for the money,
Complement Your Gear
To round off your gym kit, consider adding these:
- Protein Bars: To hit those daily protein goals.
- Water Bottles: For staying hydrated on the go.
- Lifting Chalk: To keep the 215lb bench press in your hands
With these items in your gym bag, you’re on your way to a safer, more efficient, and enjoyable workout experience. The right equipment can make a significant difference in your fitness journey. Keep pushing the limits!