Lifting straps are very useful when weight training. They allow you to hold onto heavier weights for longer because you don’t have to maintain the proper grip all the time. Of course, the grip should not be neglected but the main purpose of weight lifting is, as the name suggests, to lift. Lifting straps give the lifter the peace of mind to focus on the pull and not the grip. This is useful if you are lifting weights for longer periods as naturally, the grip will weaken with each pull. But fatigue should not stop you from continuing training. That’s where the lifting straps come in.
What do lifting straps look like
Different straps are used for the right and left hands. One end of a lifting strap is meant to be wrapped around your wrist and the other one is attached to whatever you are lifting, be it a barbell or anything else. They are usually around 1 to 1.5 inches wide and 12 to 18 inches long.
The material used to make lifting straps can be either leather, nylon, or cotton. The best lifting straps are made out of a material that suits your needs. Leather can change shape with use but it isn’t as restrictive as other materials. Nylon is the strongest one and is used for heavy lifting, although it moves around on the wrist when soaked with sweat. Cotton is the most commonly used material as it provides a good balance of comfort and strength.
What are the benefits of using lifting straps
Some weight lifters are of the opinion that using lifting straps will make the grip weaker and if you aren’t able to lift weights by yourself then you should not be lifting them at all. However, the truth is that unless you are training to participate in a competition that prohibits the use of lifting straps then it doesn’t really matter.
Yes, you should be working on strengthening your grip as well but for most people, the priority is strengthening a specific muscle group and not the grip. And if a weak grip is the only thing preventing you from working on what you want to train then go ahead and use lifting straps. Grip training can be done on its own and it doesn’t have to be at the expanse of weight training.
That said, there are some circumstances in which lifting straps should not be used. They only work for some weight lifting exercises such as dumbbell or barbell rows, deadlifts, rack pulls and similar. They will have no effect on bench presses etc. A simple way to determine which exercises are suitable for lifting straps is to consider gravity. When lifting, if the only thing working against you is gravity and not some other factors, then it is okay to use lifting straps to help yourself.
Lifting straps are a good addition to any weight lifter’s gym bag. If you haven’t had a chance to try them yet get a pair for yourself because even the best lifting straps aren’t that expensive.