Tips For Using Wrist Wraps Effectively
by Evelyn Valdez·
When it comes to weightlifting and building your overall strength and power, there are a few pieces of equipment that come to mind, such as barbells and power racks. But fitness gear and accessories can also be a big part of your strength training journey, like UPPPER Wrist Wraps!
Wrist wraps are designed to offer support and stabilization during heavy weightlifting by compressing your wrist area, preventing the hyperextension of the wrist which could lead to unwanted injuries. It’s a great accessory for all fitness levels, whether you’re a beginner who’s practicing your form and getting into heavier weights or an advanced weightlifter looking to take your maximum muscular strength to the next level.
Of course, the key behind having an effective workout routine with a pair of wrist wraps is to use them correctly. There are a few things to keep in mind when using this fitness accessory that’s specifically designed for lifting heavy loads, and we’re here to walk you through them all so you can get a better understanding of what wrist wraps are good for and how you can improve your workouts by using them.
Choose the right kind of wrist wrap for your training
Just like there is a variety of free weights and machines for different exercises, fitness accessories such as wrist wraps come in different variations depending on the exercise that you’ll be doing.
Velcro-bound wrist wraps, which are thick and long just like our 2.0 Wrist Wraps, are specifically designed for heavy lifts such as powerlifting because of their durability and enhanced support. It’s the best option for those who are working on their maximum muscular strength by lifting heavy weights at low rep ranges during exercises such as the bench press and the shoulder press, because it offers better control and it decreases the risk of injury, allowing you to make progress smoothly.
And while you can use heavy-duty wrist wraps for all kinds of pressing exercises, strength wraps are a thinner and better option for higher reps and medium weight. If you’re into CrossFit or compound movements in general, these wraps offer you enough wrist flexibility to get through your workouts comfortably while still providing you with support and stabilization.
With this in mind, next time you’re at the gym try to choose the right kind of wrist wrap for your workout so you can enhance your training experience!
5 tips for using wrist wraps properly
Once you find the right type of wrist wrap, all you have to do is wrap them around your wrist and start pushing! But before you do, here are a few tips to ensure you're getting the most out of your wrist wraps and maximizing your push workouts...
Wrap them around your wrists, not your forearms
If you want to have an effective and successful workout using your wrist wraps, you need to make sure you’re using the correct placement for them!
Weight lifting wrist wraps are meant to go on your wrists, naturally, but there’s still a bit of confusion among beginners and even advanced lifters in regards to the placement and whether they should go higher or lower in the forearm. Ideally, your wrist wrap should hug the base of your hands, almost like how a long shirt sleeve would look like. This way, you make sure that the wrist wrap is fully protecting your wrist area instead of mostly covering the end of your forearm, which wouldn’t do much for you during your lifts.
Another thing to keep in mind when placing your wrist wrap is compression, meaning how tight you want your wrist wrap to be. You don’t want it to be so tight that you can barely move your wrist or that it cuts your circulation, but it needs to be tight enough to provide you with the needed support, so try to find that sweet spot where you can comfortably move your wrists while working out!
Pro tip: The heavier the weight, the tighter you’ll want your wrist wrap to be so you can maximize control and stability during the lift. But always make sure you’re comfortable!
Warm-up without them
Warm-ups are necessary before you start your training session because you need to give your muscles and joints some time to prepare and get out of their usual resting state - but warm-ups are not actual training. Therefore, you don’t use any heavy weights when warming up, meaning that you don’t need the wrist support and stabilization that wrist wraps provide you.
The main purpose of wrist wraps is to help you lift moderate to heavy weights and prevent any wrist injuries, so you can just leave them in your gym bag before you hit the weights. And this is not only an issue of needing or not needing the extra support! It’s crucial to let your muscles and joints move and loosen up without any external help in order to improve your flexibility, range of motion, and overall strength.
If you’re always wearing wrist wraps, your wrists won’t be able to develop good technique and improve on their own, and this will hinder your progress in all kinds of movements, not just wrist-specific exercises. So keep your warm-ups wrist wrap-free!
Don’t try to cover up flexibility/mobility issues with them
Wrist wraps should be used as a tool for your training sessions so you can lift more comfortably and build your strength, not as a substitute when your wrists are weak or have limited mobility.
Some people tend to use wrist wraps when lifting feels uncomfortable or even slightly painful, and while this accessory can help alleviate wrist pain, the pain and discomfort are likely due to a lack of wrist training - unless there has been a previous injury. And yes, wrists need training, just like your other muscles and joints, because you use them for a wide variety of exercises and they need to be strong and flexible enough to get your workout done!
When using wrist wraps, it’s important to also perform exercises without them so your wrists can develop enough strength on their own - and this is true for all fitness accessories! Additionally, wrist mobility can be improved with flexibility exercises, so you can be able to move the joint freely without struggling or needing to rely on a wrist wrap. And remember, your muscles and joints work together during your exercises, so try to include a few arm, shoulder, and other general flexibility exercises in your wrist mobility routine.
The more you train your wrists, the more you can get out of your wrist wraps, so take some time to work on them and you’ll see an improvement in your workouts in no time!
Clean your wrist wraps regularly
When you work out, you tend to sweat - a lot. This sweat gets on your workout clothes, your equipment, and even the accessories that you wear. So, just like you would wash your clothes after breaking a heavy sweat at the gym, you need to wash your wrist wraps!
You don’t necessarily need to wash them after every use, but don’t go too long without washing them either because they can get dirty and smelly very quickly. Ideally, you should wash your wrist wraps after every few uses to get rid of all the soaked-up sweat from your intense weightlifting sessions.
You can throw them in the washing machine and air dry them, but if you want them to last you a long time then the best way to go is hand-washing them! The washing and drying cycles might be damaging to the high-grade material over time, so when laundry day comes, take a few minutes to hand-wash them with some cold water and mild detergent. Then, hang them to air-dry and they’ll be as good as new for you to use on your next workout!
Use your wrist wraps for the right exercises
Since wrist wraps are used to keep a straight wrist and prevent the hyperextension of the wrist joint when lifting heavy weights, whether it’s too far forward or too far backward, they’re mostly used for heavy pressing exercises.
Technically, you could wear wrist wraps for every lifting exercise, but why shouldn’t you?
Overreliance is a real thing when it comes to fitness gear and accessories. Because they help you perform certain exercises more easily, people tend to use them too often. This becomes a problem when you don’t let your muscles and joints develop enough strength on their own, just like we previously mentioned. So yes, you could use wrist wraps for any kind of lift, but if you’re serious about building your strength and making significant progress at the gym, you should leave them just for the heavier lifts when you really need wrist stabilization.
So what are these heavier lifts that we’re talking about? Well, here are a few pressing exercises that you can do with wrist wraps for better control and stability:
The bench press is an exercise that requires you to press a barbell over your chest, putting a lot of tension on your wrists. When the weight is heavy, there’s a risk of hyperextending the wrist too far back, which is why wrist wraps are a great accessory for this exercise!
To do a bench press, lie down on a bench with a loaded bar set on a rack over your head. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip and your hands shoulder-width apart at a comfortable position. Take the bar off the rack and begin by pressing it away from you in a straight line until your arms are fully extended. Hold the position for a moment, then lower the bar until it’s close to your chest, and repeat.
Another staple gym exercise, the overhead press (also known as shoulder press) also puts a lot of tension on your wrists and challenges your stability by balancing the weight over your head. With the wrist wraps, you can have better control over the bar and prevent your wrists from swinging forward or backward.
First, stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and a loaded barbell placed in a rack in front of you at chest level. Grasp the bar with both hands and place it over your shoulders with both elbows pointing down and slightly forward, keeping your back straight and your hips fully extended. Begin the movement by driving the barbell overhead in a controlled manner, pressing with your shoulders through your arms. Squeeze your muscles at the top, then lower the bar to your chest and repeat.
This compound exercise is all about building power and strength. It’s divided into two parts, the clean and the press, and both include the movement of the wrists to make the heavy weight go up and down. Because of this, using wrist wraps will ensure that you can perform it safely, especially if you’re still practicing your form!
Prepare for the clean part of the exercise by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, with a barbell on the floor directly in front of you. Center your body with the bar, bend your knees, and hinge at the hips to place your hands on the weight, just outside of your legs with an overhand grip. Begin the movement by explosively lifting the bar from the floor, driving the weight up through your legs until it’s over your shoulders. From this middle position, start the second part of the movement by pressing the bar upward with your upper body until it’s over your head with your arms fully extended, as you would with a standard overhead press. Hold for a moment, then lower the weight down to the floor without letting it drop and repeat.
As you can see, wrist wraps can be an invaluable piece of equipment when used correctly! All kinds of fitness enthusiasts can put them to good use in order to enhance their heavy lifting sessions and avoid any unwanted injuries and strains that can only hinder your progress with time. So, if you’re into weightlifting and want to take your strength to the next level, consider adding a pair of wrist wraps to your gym bag!
Why choose UPPPER Wrist Wraps for your weightlifting sessions?
They’re designed by lifters for lifters!
Our high-quality wrist wraps are all you look for in a fitness accessory - durable, comfortable, reliable, and stylish! We offer long and sturdy wrist wraps in both neutral and cute colors that are perfect for safely lifting on those days that you really want to challenge yourself with heavier loads. Take your strength to the max with our UPPPER Wrist Wraps!