Weightlifting is one of the most popular activities among fitness enthusiasts. This exercise involves lifting heavy weights to build muscle and increase strength. However, lifting heavy weights can be quite challenging, especially for beginners. This is where lifting straps come in handy.
What Are Lifting Straps?
Lifting straps are weightlifting accessories that wrap around the wrists and the barbell or dumbbell to provide a better grip. They are made of durable materials such as nylon or leather (we don't recommend) and come in different sizes and lengths. Lifting straps are commonly used for exercises that involve pulling movements, such as deadlifts, rows, and shrugs.
Why Use Lifting Straps
Lifting straps can help lift heavier weights by improving one’s grip strength. They allow you to focus on the muscles you are working on instead of worrying about holding onto the weight. Lifting straps also reduce the risk of injury by preventing the weight from slipping out of your hands. They can also help prevent calluses and blisters on your hands.
When to Use Lifting Straps
While lifting straps can be helpful, they should only be used sometimes. It is crucial to naturally build grip strength by using weights you can handle without straps. Lifting straps should only be used for exercises that require a strong grip, such as heavy deadlifts or rows. You should also avoid using them for activities that require a lighter weight or a more delicate touch, such as bicep curls or lateral raises.
How to Use Lifting Straps
Using lifting straps is relatively simple. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Choose the Right Lifting Straps
Before you start using lifting straps, you need to choose the right ones. Different lifting straps are available, including figure-8 straps, loop straps, and hook straps. Figure-8 straps are designed to be wrapped around the wrist and the barbell in a figure-eight pattern. Loop straps are similar to figure-8 straps but are looped around the barbell instead of being wrapped. Hook straps have an S-shaped hook that is attached to the barbell. These can be highly dangerous and we do not recommend them. We have seen these break mid lift and can cause serious harm.
Step 2: Wrap the Straps Around Your Wrists
Once you have your lifting straps, the next step is to wrap them around your wrists. Make sure the straps are tight enough. You want to be comfortable but still have a good grip on the barbell.
Step 3: Wrap the Straps Around the Barbell
After wrapping the straps around your wrists, you must wrap them around the barbell. How you wrap the straps will depend on the type of lifting straps you use. If you use figure-8 or loop straps, you need to wrap them around the barbell, ensuring the straps are tight. If you are using hook straps, you need to attach the hooks to the barbell.
Step 4: Grip the Barbell
Once the straps are wrapped around the barbell, you can grip the barbell as you usually would. Make sure your grip is strong and secure.
Step 5: Lift the Weight
Finally, you can lift the weight. Make sure you lift the weight using proper form and technique. Lifting straps help you lift heavier weights but should not be used as a crutch. You still need to use your muscles to lift the weight.
Lifting straps can be a helpful accessory for weightlifting, especially for exercises that require a strong grip. They can help you lift heavier weights and reduce the risk of injury. However, they should not be used all the time. Lifting straps should only be used for exercises that require a firm grip, such as heavy deadlifts or rows.
When using lifting straps, please choose the right ones, wrap them around your wrists and the barbell properly, and use proper form and technique when lifting the weight. With these tips, you can safely and effectively use lifting straps to improve your weightlifting performance.
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