Lifting Straps Guide: What are they, how and when to use them
by Evelyn Valdez·
Lifting straps are one of the most important pieces of gym accessories to have. Powerlifters and bodybuilders commonly use them to progress on heavier pulls. Even new weightlifters use wrist straps!
Without them, people would have a difficult time building strength!
So what are lifting straps, why are they important, and do you actually need them? Well we're here to give you all that information and more, so you can decide if they're right for you!
What are Lifting Straps?
They are a weightlifting accessory that wrap around your hand and the bar to provide wrist support and to help you grip heavier weights. Weightlifting straps are approximately 1" to 1-1/2" wide, 12" to 22" long, and are typically made out of leather, nylon, or canvas. Check out our Lavender Lifting Straps for an example!
An important note, lifting straps are different from wrist wraps. Many people confuse the two, but wrist wraps have no strap and are used for different exercises.
What is the purpose of Lifting Straps?
Grip strength often becomes a limiting factor, especially for those powerlifting and anyone trying to build strength. Weightlifting straps are designed to reduce grip fatigue to allow you to focus on the muscles you're targeting when pulling heavy lifts. That way you can concentrate on finishing your heavy pull instead of worrying about your grip giving out.
They attach the weight to your wrists/hands so you can grip on the weight without it slipping out of your hand. This can happen if you have a weak grip, sweating, or have smaller hands.
The purpose of using lifting straps is to help your grip so you can hold onto heavier weights. With that being said, we advise you to use straps for this purpose only! There is no need to use straps for warm-ups and/or lighter weights. Only use them to help you progress on pulling heavier!
Here are the most important benefits of using lifting straps for weightlifting:
Lift heavier, longer
Weightlifting straps are designed to connect your wrists/hands to the weight. This helps you focus on completing heavy sets without worrying about your grip and compromising form.
This allows people who are strength training to be able to lift heavier for more reps, and therefore continue making progress.
Reduces grip fatigue
Your grip can only handle so much weight. Sometimes it can stop you from progressing on lifting heavier, but this is when weightlifting straps come in to help! Straps reduce grip fatigue so you go all out with heavy weights.
Using lifting straps help your grip to not give out before targeting the muscle groups you’re training. That way you can keep progressing in strength and building muscle.
Reduces the risk of injury
As we mentioned earlier, straps keep the grip strong and secure so that heavy weights don’t slip out of your hand. They help you lift heavier without compromising your form, so your wrist is secured and doesn’t give in to the weight.
Just make sure you are using weightlifting straps correctly! Make sure you know how to correctly put on the type of straps you decide to purchase.
Frequently asked questions
We covered the most important information about straps, below are just a few of the most frequently asked questions:
When to use lifting straps
Only use straps for heavy pulling movements, never for pushing movements. We emphasize heavy because you shouldn’t rely on wrist straps all the time. You still want to maintain good grip strength, so do not use them for warm-ups or for lighter sets.
Here are a few common exercises straps are used for:
- Deadlifting - Romanian deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, any other deadlifting variations
- Rack pulls
- Dumbbell or barbell rows
- Pull ups
- Lat pulldowns
How to wear lifting straps
There are three types of weightlifting straps, but we are going to focus on how to use the most common type: loop straps.
Step 1: Put your hand through the space created so that the strap rests on the back of your hand, just below your wrists. Tighten the strap around the wrist to ensure its secure.
Step 2: Place the rest of the strap over and outside your thumb on one side, and outside of your hand and down your palm.
Step 3: Now wrap the strap around the barbell or dumbbell by going underneath and around the bar. Tighten it up so that the bar is secured in your hand.
Step 4: Once the straps are in place, rotate the bar or dumbbell to tighten the straps to the weight and secure your grip.
OR watch this video that Iulia, founder of UPPPER, made showing how to use lifting straps:
Make sure to learn how to properly use the weightlifting straps you purchased to avoid any accidents and unwanted injuries.
Where to buy lifting straps
Different types of straps can be purchased in sport retail stores or online stores. And in our online store!
At UPPPER we offer a various selection of must-have gym accessories like Lifting Straps. We carry the most common strap type which is loop straps. Our straps are made from Cotton and Neoprene and measure 22" x 1.5". They come in various colors so you can pick your favorite one and start lifting heavier!
Have any more questions? We'd be happy to help, just send us an email at [email protected] (3 p's!)