Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wrist Straps & Wrist Wraps - When to Use

One topic I have been asked to cover is about the value and purpose of wrist straps and wrist wraps.   Yes, these are indeed very different.

Using wrist wraps (which go all the way around the wrist and attach to themselves with velcro) is to me a no-brainer.  These are used during press movements to help stabilize and support your wrists.  I use these every time I bench press moderate to heavy.

Wrist straps are used to help you hold the weight.  You loop one end around your wrists, and wrap the other end around the barbell or dumbbells.  So if your grip fails or is not strong you are attaching the weight to your wrists.   There is more debate about when and how to use them.  Personally, I believe they are overused.   I have seen lifters use them for chip ups, pull-ups, rows, deadlifts, pull downs, etc.     When used this way, they take away from the balance of your muscles.  Giving your grip a "cheat" by using straps limits the development of your forearms and arms.  Yes, it might help isolate the back muscles but takes away from the compound move and the stimulating effect of greater muscle growth.     The only time I use wrist straps is for very heavy dumbbell rows, simply to assist in the heavy awkward grip.     If you are going to use them, I suggest that you limit when you use them and only use them on your very heavy sets.    It is ALWAYS best to go with your own grip.

Stay tuned………..

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