How to Use Wrist Wraps

Wrist wraps, which are different from lifting straps, can help prevent wrist extension (bent wrists) on heavy pressing movements such as the bench press or overhead press.

If your wrists bend back excessively during pressing movements, you’ll lose some energy. Ideally, we want the wrists to stay stacked so the bar is held over the bones of the forearms.

Wraps are not made to be comfortable, so remove them in between working sets. If left on for too long, they will cut off circulation to your hands. Most lifters should use 24 inch wrist wraps that are relatively stiff.

There are right hand and left hand versions of your wrist wrap – lay them down on a table, and you can see where the thumb holes line up with either hand. To put on the wrap, put your thumb through the loop and lay it across the back of your hand. For the first wrap, put it around the base of your hand, not down around the wrist. Wrap it at about 60% intensity, then 80% and finally 100%. This allows you to remove the thumb loop once the wrist wrap is secure. For most powerlifting meets, you’re not allowed to wear the thumb loop around the thumb, so it’s important to put the wraps on properly to facilitate this!

How do you know if you’re ready to use wrist wraps? First of all, make sure your grip is correct for both the bench press and the overhead press. If your grip is correct, and you still struggle to maintain straight wrists at heavier weights, wrist wraps are probably a good choice for you.

To be clear, wrist wraps can be a crutch. If you wear them for every single set of every bench or press, your wrists won’t be as strong.

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