Lifting straps ARE a tool that should be in every weightlifter’s, crossfitter’s or powerlifter’s gym bag.
As already mentioned in the post on wrist wraps, the hands are probably the most stressed part during weightlifting. Especially when you have a high training volume with lots of sets and repetitions, your grip strength is easily affected. With exercises from the hang, high hang or pulls with a wide or close grip the strain is especially high. Often it does not fail because of the missing power of the legs, the back or shoulders more is it simply the loss of the grip or occurring tensions in your forearms, which are the decisive factors for a fail.
But the perceived goal for heavy pulls or hang exercises is not to increase the strength of your grip. To get rid of this limiting factor, weightlifters use lifting straps for those heavy loads and high repetitions.
Using straps lets you achieve higher training intensities and even the performance improves when your hands and forearms get relieved.
Weightlifters sometimes use them also when snatching. But you should keep in mind that they are not allowed as a tool in competition, so therefore you need the necessary grip strength.
Not to forget, the loose of the grip strength is a protection of our body which prevents overloading. Lifting straps bypass this protective function. With experienced weightlifters this is quite intentional, but with beginners this can also lead to problems.
It is not recommended for beginners to train, especially complex exercises like the snatch, with lifting straps. Since the technical execution and also the habituation to the so-called hook grip are in the foreground, their use should be limited to wide pulls.
HOW ARE LIFTING STRAPS USED?
Using it is quite simple, but you should follow a few basic tips. In weightlifting the acceleration of the barbell is significant, it should be possible to let the barbell go at any time with no hesitation. The straps must detach themselves easy and quick from the barbell to prevent accidents and injuries, especially at your wrists. Lifting straps have a loop to pull them around the wrist.
The attached 20 cm long strip, which is made out of nylon, leather or fabric, is torn around the barbell. To tighten the straps, you only have to rotate the barbell and you feel how the strap tightens up. The wrist is now connected to the barbell by the strap and a hook grip is no longer necessary.
HOW TO USE THEM? – TUTORIAL ON IGTV
LEATHER OR FABRIC? WHICH MATERIAL IS BEST?
Lifting Straps come in all fabrics, sizes, and styles. leather straps are the most comfortable option, avoiding chafing and calluses on the wrist which are results of the other fabrics. The other benefit of leather straps is their durability. These straps will last you years. While the leather will slightly stretch with use, they will not fray against the knurling of a barbell like the other fabrics. Expect other fabrics to give out after 6 months to a year of use.
Since pulls are a necessary exercise of any weightlifter and are common in almost every training session, lifting straps are used often and intense. Therefore, they are part of the basic equipment of any weightlifter.