For those looking to take their strength training to the next level, lifting straps can be a game-changer. Lifting straps are a simple but effective accessory that can help you maintain your grip when lifting heavier weights. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to use lifting straps properly and how to get the most out of your workouts.
The Beginner’s Guide to Lifting Straps: How to Properly Use Them
If you’re new to using lifting straps, the first step is to understand what they are and how they work. Lifting straps are essentially long, durable strips of material that wrap around the barbell or dumbbell to help you maintain your grip. They are usually made of heavy-duty cotton or nylon and are adjustable to fit the size of your hands.
Benefits of Using Lifting Straps
There are several benefits to using lifting straps, including:
- Increased grip strength
- Reduced risk of injury
- Ability to focus more on the muscle being worked
Using lifting straps can also allow you to lift heavier weight than you might otherwise be able to, which can help you progress and get stronger over time.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use Them Properly
Here’s a step-by-step guide for using lifting straps:
- Begin by wrapping the strap around the bar or dumbbell. Make sure the strap is positioned just above your fingers.
- Next, feed the loose end of the strap through the loop under your fingers, and then back over the bar or weight.
- Pull the strap tight, making sure it’s snug but not cutting off circulation.
- Now that the strap is secured to the bar or weight, wrap your fingers around the bar or weight and push your thumb on top of the strap for added grip.
- You’re now ready to lift!
It’s a good idea to practice this technique with lighter weights before moving on to heavy lifting to ensure you’re using the proper form and technique.
Illustrations or Images for Clarity
For a better visual representation of how to use lifting straps, refer to the following images:
5 Ways Lifting Straps can Improve Your Workout
Using lifting straps can offer practical advantages in terms of strength training. Here are five reasons to add lifting straps to your workout routine:
Increased Grip Strength
Stronger grip means you can hold onto heavier weights for more reps and longer periods of time. This, in turn, translates to more muscle fibers being recruited, a better burn, and ultimately more growth, development, and strength in the target muscles.
Decreased Risk of Injury
Without adequate grip strength, weights can fly out of your hands or cause other dangerous situations leading to injury. Lifting straps help keep you and those around you safe by improving grip and ensuring your tight grip never fails mid-lift.
Ability to Focus More on the Muscle Being Worked
When performing exercises, grip strength can play a limiting factor in achieving that burn in the target muscle. Using lifting straps help alleviate that problem, allowing you to concentrate more on the muscle and push your limits, leading to better results
Examples of Exercises that Can Benefit from Lifting Straps
Some of the exercises where lifting straps can be most beneficial include:
- Barbell rows
- Farmer’s walk
The Dos and Don’ts of Using Lifting Straps
Proper Usage Techniques
To properly use lifting straps, follow these tips:
Start by wrapping the strap around the bar or weight. Be sure to pull it taught but not too tight so as to cut off circulation. Ensure the strap is wrapped around the bar as much as possible so that it’s in direct contact with your hand.
No need to overthink the tightening technique. After wrapping the strap around the weight, simply pull it taught. You don’t need to feel the strap cut into your flesh, but you should feel it snug and comfortable as it ensures it won’t come lose in the middle of the set.
To remove the straps after a set or workout, simply release your grip on the weight and shake your hands to loosen the straps for easy removal.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Here are a few common mistakes to avoid when using lifting straps:
Lifting straps are designed to help you lift heavier weights during your training, but don’t become overly reliant on them. Make sure to use them only when needed and try to work on your grip strength regularly to reduce the likelihood of becoming reliant on them.
Using Them as a Substitute for Improving Grip Strength
While lifting straps can increase your grip strength, they shouldn’t be used as a substitute for improving your grip strength. A combination of using lifting straps and actively working to develop grip strength can help lead to the best results.
Breaking Down the Different Types of Lifting Straps
Explanation of Various Types of Lifting Straps
There are a few different types of lifting straps on the market, including:
Traditional Lifting Straps
The most common kind of lifting strap, these straps wrap around the wrist and loop around the weights or bar to provide grip on any barbell, kettlebell or other free weight, and help to take your grip out of the equation, while still allowing movement in your wrist and fingers.
Figure 8 Lifting Straps
These straps support the wrists and offer more assistance with grip, making it easier to hold onto heavier weight. This added support is by way of a “figure 8” design, which reduces the nerve compression that can occur during heavy lifts.
Wrist Wrap Lifting Straps
More of a hybrid between lifting straps and wrist support, wrist wraps provide extra support for the wrist joint and surrounding muscles while still allowing you to maintain a mild grip on the weight.
Differences Between Types of Lifting Straps
The differences between the types of lifting straps revolve mainly around level of support and how tight they wrap around the bar or weight. Wrist wraps are beneficial if wrist fatigue might be more of an issue than actual grip strength. Traditional lifting straps work better with dumbbells or any other odd-shaped, unevenly weighted objects, while figure 8 straps are the epitome of strength support, allowing you to lift even heavier weight more efficiently.
Which Types May Be Best for Certain Lifts or Fitness Goals
It can be a challenge determining which of the lifting straps best fits into our fitness goals and training regime, but some tips to consider include knowing what your weakness is, considering your experience, and finding the type of strap that best aligns with your needs.
How to Incorporate Lifting Straps into Your Training Plan
When to Use Lifting Straps
Lifting straps are best used for big compound lifts that can benefit from more grip support. As weight goes up, grip can become a limiting factor, and using lifting straps can help you push beyond that limitation.
Which Exercises Can Benefit from Lifting Straps
Exercises like deadlifts, pull-ups, shrugs, rows, and farmer’s walks are some of the best moves to incorporate lifting straps because weight can be lifted with a wrist position that is safer and has no negative effects on the grip.
Tips for Transitioning Away from Using Lifting Straps
If you’ve become overly reliant on your lifting straps, it may be time to try using progressive overload to gradually introduce heavier weight to your grip strength, effectively improving your grip over time without straps.
The Science Behind Lifting Straps: How They Work
Biomechanics of Lifting
To get the best insight into how lifting straps work, we have to consider the biomechanics of lifting weights. The limiting factor in lifting is how much our hands can hold on to. However, lifting straps work against that resistance, enabling a firm grip. At first glance, it may seem like the device does all the work; however, that isn’t the case.
How Lifting Straps Distribute Weight Differently Across the Hands and Wrists
Lifting straps transfer weight and tension from the fingers to the wrists, allowing you to hold more weight in your hands. This reduces the fatigue that can occur in the fingers and allows you to lift weight more comfortably.
Lifting Straps vs. Other Lifting Accessories: Which Is Right for You?
Comparison of Benefits and Drawbacks of Different Types of Lifting Accessories
While lifting straps can be incredibly helpful, they’re not the only option when it comes to improving grip and maximizing your lifting potential. Other lifting accessories include gloves and chalk.
Gloves provide a layer of padding, helping to reduce fatigue and improve grip, but can also be hindering to grip strength development and can negatively impact your grip on heavier weights.
Chalk provides grip by absorbing moisture and increasing friction, allowing for better control and strength. Chalk is absorbed into the pores of the skin to create a natural barrier that functions like grip threading; however, the downside is that it can leave quite a mess to deal with.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Between Lifting Straps, Gloves, or Chalk
Choosing between lifting straps, gloves, or chalk can be a personal preference, and there is no need to limit yourself to only one type. While each type of accessory provides some added benefit, the decision is mostly based on individual needs, preferences, and accessibility.
Summary of Key Points
Lifting straps are an essential tool for strength training, helping to increase grip strength, reduce the risk of injury, and allow you to focus more on the muscle being worked. Make sure to use lifting straps correctly by properly wrapping them around the bar or weight and not relying on them too much to improve grip strength.
Final Thoughts on Using Lifting Straps
When used correctly, lifting straps can help you reach your strength training goals by improving your grip and allowing you to lift heavier weight. Keep in mind that lifting straps are just a tool in your weightlifting toolbox, so don’t rely on them for every workout.