How to Use Lifting Straps

How to Use Lifting Straps

Wrist straps or lifting straps are often used during deadlifts or other heavy pulling exercises. Straps are usually made from canvas, leather or nylon and have a loop on each end – when assembled correctly, those loops create a right hand strap and a left hand strap.

Take the bottom of each strap and feed it through the loop from the inside out. Notice how this creates opposite aiming wrist straps. The long end of each strap should line up with the lines in each hand, which is how you can tell right hand vs left hand versions.

To take a grip on the barbell, the strap should end up sandwiching the barbell between it and each hand. Wrap the strap around only once from the outside in, so your hand lays on top of the strap. Take a normal double overhand grip on the bar.

Tip: use your dominant hand to help the opposite hand take a grip with the strap. Make sure there’s no extra space between your hand, the strap and the barbell. Secure your grip tightly so the strap doesn’t cause the bar to come forward, off your legs.

When to Use Lifting Straps

It’s important to remember that a deadlift is a grip exercise as much as it is a full body exercise. Only use wrist straps when grip becomes a limiting factor, and you’ve exhausted your other grip options such as hook grip. Deadlift variations such as heavy rack pulls or high volume sets may cause grip to be a limiting factor, and therefore, straps can be used to keep a secure grip on the bar.

If you’re suffering from or recovering from a hand injury, straps are also a great option.

Be careful that your lifting straps don’t become a crutch. Only add them to the heaviest or highest reps sets that you do.

Experience a Life of Strength

The biggest challenge of barbell-based strength training is the lifts themselves, and far too many people give up before giving them a try. It’s true that the lifts take patience and practice to master, but they are surprisingly easy to learn. And once you learn them, you can train optimally for strength absolutely anywhere there is a barbell.

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