Why use lifting straps?
Using lifting straps during strength training can offer several benefits in terms of safety, comfort, and performance.
- Reduces the risk of injury: Lower muscle tension decreases the likelihood of strains or overuse injuries due to heavy loads.
- Provides stronger grip: You gain a firmer and more reliable grip on the barbell or dumbbell.
- Enhances the focus on performance: You won't have to concentrate as much on holding the heavy barbell, but solely on your performance.
- Helps in delivering better performance: Lifting straps allow you to lift heavier weights or handle a greater number of repetitions, contributing to a greater training stimulus. This can result in increased muscle growth and strength.
When to use lifting straps?
You'll benefit most from the advantages of lifting straps when you use them only for exercises and situations where it makes sense.
- Appropriate weights: They are suitable for exercises with free weights, such as the barbell, kettlebell, or dumbbell, or during pull-up bar exercises.
- Suitable exercises: They are ideal for deadlifts, barbell bent-over rows, Bulgarian split squats, farmer's carry, bench step-ups with a dumbbell or weightlifting exercises (snatch, clean and jerk).
- Situations: Working out with heavy weights or when you want to handle a larger number of repetitions and grip strength could be the limiting factor.
What types of lifting straps are there?
Lifting straps differ in shape and usage method.
- Lasso lifting straps: Also known as wrap-around lifting straps. They have an eyelet at one end for threading, creating a loop where you insert your hand, and wrap the other end around the barbell. They are most commonly used during regular gym workouts.
- Olympic lifting straps: They have only one closed eyelet, which you thread through your wrist, then thread the other end under the barbell and secure it with your palm. They are popular among weightlifters because releasing the grip on the barbell is enough to also release the lifting straps.
- Figure 8 lifting straps: These straps have 2 eyelets. You thread your wrist through one, then thread it under the barbell and through the other eyelet. Unlike the previous two types, they won't fill the space between your palm and the barbell. They are favoured by both strongmen and powerlifters.
- Lifting hooks: These feature a metal hook at one end, which you hook onto the barbell and then exercise. The advantage is quick attachment, but it's necessary for the hook to fit well onto the barbell or dumbbell.
In this category, you'll also find hand grips, which serve a different purpose than lifting straps. They are particularly useful for exercises involving a high number of repetitions on the pull-up bar, parallel bars, or gymnastic rings. They increase grip adhesion and strength in the palm area. This makes them most popular among crossfitters during workouts, especially for pull-ups, muscle-ups, or toe-to-bar exercises.
If you want to learn more about the benefits and proper use of lifting straps, read the article: Lifting Straps to Improve Your Grip and Strength. How to Use and Secure Them?