Wrist wraps vs wrist straps is a strange debate within the lifting communities, as both accessories are designed to help with different aspects of your training. In this article, we will discuss when to use wrist wraps and straps, what they do and how both can be useful, depending on your training program.
The difference between wrist wraps and wrist straps is that wrist wraps are used to give you additional support for the joints while you’re lifting, on the other hand, wrist straps are used to help you grip extra weight and to support you when your grip fails.
What Are Wrist Wraps?
Wrist wraps are typically used by weightlifters, Olympic athletes, and Strongmen who frequently train with heavy weight. Their main function is to support and stabilize the wrist joints so that the chance of injuries is reduced. Using wrist wraps for weightlifting is a must as they are an accessory that stabilizes the wrist and forearm and helps the hand remain stable, even when lifting a lot of weight.
When and Why Do You Need Wrist Wraps?
The main function of wrist wraps is to stabilize the wrist and help prevent possible injuries when lifting heavy weights. Knowing this, we can safely conclude that wrist wraps should be worn only on heavy lifting days when you’re performing pressing exercises such as snatch, jerk, overhead or bench press. A good tip is to use wrist wraps only when you’re going above 80% of your one-rep max or when you’re going through a whole session that requires you to lift close to your maximum constantly.
Pros and Cons of Wrist Wraps for Lifting
Now that you have your answer to the question “what do wrist wraps do?” and what they are, let’s check out the pros and cons of using them in training.
- Help to stabilize the wrist joint.
- Prevent injuries.
- Give additional support to the forearm and the wrist.
- Long-lasting – one quality pair can be used for many years.
- Can lead to instability in the wrist if you over-use them, as your wrist becomes reliant on the additional support.
- If you don’t wear them correctly, they can lead to injuries.
- Not all of them are made equal and so choosing the correct type is key, as cotton ones feel lighter on the wrist, but velcro ones are the kind of wrist wraps you need for heavy lifting.
What are Wrist Straps?
Wrist straps are lifting accessories looped around the wrist and then wrapped around the bar with the sole purpose of creating a “hook-like” grip for the lifter. The main idea of weightlifting wrist straps is to help the lifter grip more weight. Typically, they are used by athletes who have been training for a long time and can now lift more weight than their grip allows. That’s where wrist straps come in handy, as they allow lifters to continue working on their strength, even when their grip fails them.
When and Why Do You Need Wrist Straps?
Most weightlifters use wrist straps whenever they want to train heavy, typically close to their maximum. Often, in such situations, grip strength can become an issue, as experienced lifters can lift heavier weights than their grip allows them to. In gyms, you will rarely see someone doing a heavy deadlift without using straps, and there’s a good reason for that – wrist straps eliminate the demand for grip strength and help lock the wrist to the bar. In addition, they eliminate the possibility of grip failure and enable lifters to do more reps.
When and Why Do You Need Wrist Straps?
You already know what wrist straps are and why you often see people in gyms using them, so now you might be wondering what the pros and cons of including this accessory in your training program are. Let’s see.
- Improves the lifters’ ability to grip.
- Allows the lifters to go for more repetitions than normal.
- Helps the lifter overcome the limit of his grip strength and lift more weight.
- Durable – a pair can last for years.
- Lifters can become over-reliant on wrist straps if they’re used regularly,
- Their usage can lead to a weaker grip
Top Rated Lifting Straps and Wrist Wraps
Now you might be wondering which pair you should buy and which ones are the best in the business. That’s why, in the next paragraph, we will present you with two high-quality, top-rated options for both wrist wraps and wrist straps so that you know what to buy if you decide to.
Warm Body Cold Mind Straps
When it comes to wrist straps, you want a comfortable, durable pair that can absorb your sweat during those long and strenuous lifting sessions. Well, we’ve tested out many pairs and have concluded that the ones from Warm Body Cold Mind are the best option when comparing both quality and price. These straps are made from cotton, which makes them quite sturdy and long-lasting.
Warm Body Cold Mind Premium Velcro Wrist Wraps
These wrist wraps from Warm Body Cold Mind are one of a kind. Like the straps, we’ve also put these wraps through a test and can confidently say that they’re perfect for those of you who do heavy lifting frequently and want to have more stability and support in the wrist. These wraps are made from velcro and so are incredibly strong and durable. This pair is a must-have for any athlete and is suitable for both training and competition days. Thanks to the quality materials they’re made of, one pair of these straps is likely to last you years.
Can You Use Wrist Straps as Wrist Wraps?
No. These two accessories are made from different materials; they have completely distinct builds and serve their own purpose. Even though the strap also stabilizes the wrist to some extent, it cannot deliver the same benefits as the wrist wrap.
Do Wrist Wraps Help Wrist Pain?
Wrist wraps are not made to provide pain relief and should not be used for that purpose. Their whole idea is to give you additional support and stabilization so that you can prevent injuries from happening in the first place. If you’re dealing with wrist pain, you should immediately contact your physician, so that the injury can get diagnosed and treated properly.
Do Wrist Wraps Help Bench?
Many lifters believe they should wear wrist wraps for deadlift, bench, or overhead press as a way to increase results. However, that assumption is entirely false. Wrist wraps don’t help you lift more. Their purpose is to give additional support to the joint and prevent injuries.
Wrist straps and wrist wraps are two separate weightlifting accessories that serve two completely different purposes. One (wrist wraps) helps prevent injuries and gives additional stabilization to the wrist joint, while the other (wrist straps) enables you to lift more weight if your grip strength is weaker than your overall strength and weightlifting ability.
With that said, let us ask you: Have you used any of these accessories, and do you believe they’ve helped you during your training sessions?
- Advice From A Certified Hand Therapist: Exercising With(Out) Wrist Pain // American Society for Surgery of the Hand:
- Protect Your Wrists From Injury // Health and Safety Unit of UC Santa Cruz
My name is Oleksiy Torokhtiy. I am a professional athlete with 20 years of experience in Olympic weightlifting. I have won multiple European, and World titles and have taken part in two Olympic Games (Beijing 2008, London 2012).