HomeAdvice & GuidesLifting Straps vs. Wrist Wraps: How To Choose + Recommendations

Lifting Straps vs. Wrist Wraps: How To Choose + Recommendations

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Lifting straps and wrist wraps are great tools to help you lift heavier and safer. Lifting straps are used to reduce grip fatigue, allowing you to lift more weight for more reps on pulling movements. Alternatively, wrist wraps are used to stabilize the wrist, allowing you to lift with better form on pressing movements.

Differences Between Lifting Straps vs. Wrist Wraps

Differences between Lifting Straps vs. Wrist Wraps

Lifting straps and wrist wraps are sometimes confused when people are discussing what they do and how they help. Although both tools wrap around your wrist, they accomplish different things and are used for different reasons.

In basic terms, you use lifting straps to help with pulling exercises, and wrist wraps for pushing exercises.

Both tools use similar materials and are very affordable. They’re also compact, allowing you to easily throw them in a gym bag or store them in your home gym.

In this article, we’ll look at lifting straps vs. wrist wraps in detail. I’ll outline the pros and cons and provide a few recommendations.

What are Lifting Straps?

Using Lifting Straps on Barbell

Lifting straps are worn around the wrist with an extended piece of material that’s used to wrap around your barbell, dumbbell, or other weight of choice.

Straps were designed to transfer the weight from the hand into the straps themselves. This effectively eliminates grip fatigue, allowing you to lift more reps, weight, or both. It’s not uncommon to immediately hit a PR when wearing lifting straps because your grip is likely your biggest limiting factor.

Lifting straps come in several designs, including lasso, figure-8, single-loop, and flap. I recommend lasso straps to most people because they’re durable, strong, and very effective.

They also come in various materials, including cotton, nylon, and leather. I recommend cotton straps to most people because they’re comfortable and great at managing moisture.

Who Should Wear Lifting Straps?

Using Lifting Straps on Dumbbell Rows

Lifting straps are great for every type of lifter. Powerlifters commonly use lifting straps because they help boost deadlift numbers. Strongmen/women competitors use straps on various movements, including deadlifts, carries, holds, and more. CrossFitters use them for deadlifts, pull-ups, and Olympic movements. Bodybuilders use straps for machine-based movements like lat pulldowns and low rows, and dumbbell movements like rows and more.

While using straps is a great way to bust through plateaus and increase volume, you shouldn’t use them all the time. They’re an excellent supplemental tool, but you should still train your grip to improve your overall strength.

Lifting Straps Pros and Cons + Recommendations

Pros

  • Eliminates grip fatigue
  • Allows you to lift heavier weights
  • Allows you to increase reps
  • Very affordable
  • Compact design can travel anywhere

Cons

  • Doesn’t build grip strength
  • Some straps can be awkward to set up

Buying wrist straps is an inexpensive way to dramatically improve your lifts. In addition to hitting PRs, wearing them can allow you to increase reps, which will have a positive impact on your overall strength and size.

Again, don’t wear straps too often, or you may become reliant on them. Continue strengthening your grip through direct and indirect methods, and wear straps only when needed.

Top Lifting Straps
Gymreapers Lifting Straps
$14.99

The Gymreapers Lifting Straps are affordable cotton straps with a comfortable neoprene lining, a secure fit, and multiple color options. They also come with a lifetime replacement guarantee.

Key Specs

  • Type: Lasso
  • Material: Cotton
  • Length: 18″
  • Width: 1.5″
  • Size Range: One Size Fits All
  • Color: Multiple


Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Gymreapers
02/18/2024 06:30 pm GMT

The Gymreapers Lifting Straps are durable, comfortable, and affordable. They come in various colors, and their 18″ length makes them easier to use than others. The lasso style applies to several lifting styles, including powerlifting, strongman, bodybuilding, and more.

Other Lifting Strap Recommendations

What Are Wrist Wraps?

What are Wrist Wraps?

Wrist wraps are also worn around the wrist, but you use them to increase stability around the joint. Just as grip is a limiting factor for many people, the wrist may also cause limitations around weight and reps. Whether it’s joint instability, weak wrists, or general pain and discomfort at the wrist, wearing wraps can make a big difference.

It’s important to note that wraps don’t have the same influence on strength as straps. However, improving your form and reducing discomfort may allow you to lift more weight.

Who Should Wear Wrist Wraps?

Wrist wraps are also great for nearly every type of lifter. Powerlifters use them because they help tremendously on the bench press and overhead press. Strongmen/women use them for various lifts, including overhead press, circus dumbbell press, and more. CrossFit athletes and Olympic weightlifters use them for snatches and jerks, while bodybuilders use them for dumbbell presses, push-ups, and more.

Quick Tip

Wrist wraps must be worn properly to be effective. They should cover the entire wrist joint to create stability. If worn too far below the joint, they’re practically useless.

Wrist wraps can be worn more frequently than straps. When you wear straps, you avoid building your grip strength. That doesn’t exist with wraps, so you can wear them as soon as the weight becomes uncomfortable or your form begins to break down.

Wrist Wraps Pros and Cons + Recommendations

Pros

  • Helps stabilize the wrist
  • Improves pressing form
  • Allows you to lift heavier weight
  • Affordable and compact

Cons

  • Long straps can be bulky and more awkward to put on
  • Ineffective if worn below the wrist joint

Wrist wraps are outstanding accessories for lifters with wrist pain, discomfort, or weakness. They stabilize the wrist, allowing you to improve your form and potentially lift more weight.

Top Wrist Wraps
Gymreapers Wrist Wraps
$19.99
The Gymreapers Wrist Wraps are durable wraps with flexible and stiff options. They're available in various colors and come with a lifetime warranty.
Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Gymreapers
02/18/2024 08:30 pm GMT

I recommend the Gymreapers Wrist Wraps for most lifters. They’re built with a polyester/elastic blend, making them comfortable and durable. Gymreapers offers their wraps in two options: Weightlifting and Heavy-duty. The weightlifting straps are suitable for all lifting styles, while the heavy-duty straps are best for super-heavy pressing movements.

In addition to having multiple color options, these straps also come with a lifetime warranty, which many wrist wraps don’t offer.

Other Wrist Wrap Recommendations

FAQs

  • Are Wrist Straps and Wrist Wraps the Same?

    No, wrist/lifting straps help increase strength on pulling movements by eliminating grip fatigue. Wrist wraps help stabilize the wrist during pressing exercises, which helps improve form and reduce pain. Both are great, affordable tools, but they accomplish different things.

  • Do Wrist Wraps Improve Grip Strength?

    In some cases, compression at the wrist joint with wraps can improve temporary grip strength. However, lifting straps are a much better option for enhancing your grip during a lift.

  • Should I Buy Wrist Straps or Wrist Wraps?

    Because wrist wraps and wrist straps are so affordable, I recommend both tools to serious lifters. However, you should assess your training style to determine the best one for you. Wrist straps are ideal for pulling movements, while wrist wraps are better for pressing movements.

Final Thoughts

When comparing lifting straps vs. wrist wraps, consider your needs and know that both tools serve different purposes.

If you need assistance with pulling movements because your grip is limiting your lifts, invest in some straps.

If you need assistance with pushing movements because of wrist instability or pain, pick up a pair of wrist wraps.

However, given their affordable prices, I recommend serious lifters buy both to maximize performance.

Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab and has over two decades of fitness/training experience. He serves as the chief content creator and runs our YouTube channel and social media accounts. When he's not testing equipment or sharing his love for home gym life, you'll find him with his wife and two kids in sunny South Carolina.
Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab and has over two decades of fitness/training experience. He serves as the chief content creator and runs our YouTube channel and social media accounts. When he's not testing equipment or sharing his love for home gym life, you'll find him with his wife and two kids in sunny South Carolina.

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