How to Use Wrist Straps to Increase Effectiveness of Training.


Question: I read your article last week with great interest because I always lose my grip before my back gets a complete workout. I have seen others in the gym where I workout using them but I never knew how effective they were. I have had difficulty getting used to them and using them has been a challenge. What’s the best way to get them on and secured?
Answer: The use of wrist straps allows the user to focus on the back muscles being worked instead of worrying about losing their grip on the handle. It’s not uncommon for an individual’s hands to begin to open up during the set and end the set hanging on by their fingertips which can be dangerous. The most common straps are loop straps which have an open end that allows the opposite end to loop through and cinch around the wrist. When properly looped the part that wraps around the bar should cross the palm in the same direction as the thumb. If you put them on backwards the wrapping part heads up your forearm in the wrong direction.
To use the straps with a standard overhand grip:

  • Hover your hand on top of the bar,
  • Wrap the strap under the bar one time with your free hand and
  • Cross it under your palm in the direction of your thumb.
  • The first one was the easy one!
  • While keeping your secured hand tight and in position,
  • Hold the strap on the other hand with your thumb and middle finger and turn your palm upwards under the bar.
  • Flip the strap with your free index finger and hold it on the bar initially with your middle finger and switch to your thumb as you rotate your hand to the proper position on top of the bar.
  • Grip and twist the strap until you get it to the required tension.
  • You can use a thumbless or regular grip and only one wrap is required to hold the bar though some people choose to wrap the strap around the bar more than once.

When using a reverse or underhanded grip, wrapping is a bit more tricky.

  • Now with your hand under the bar,
  • Flip the strap over the top,
  • Pass it between the bar and your palm towards the thumb and cinch it tight.
  • To do the second hand solo may require using your teeth to tighten the strap after your get it looped.

As the strap wraps around the wrist, it needs to be cinched snugly but this can chafe or rub your skin raw for a couple of days after your workout. By using wrist bands under the strap or loosely wrapping an Ace bandage around your wrist prior to slipping on straps you can prevent this.
Straps are very inexpensive and are one of the most efficient tools you can use to increase effectiveness in your training. With proper use they can aid in training with a minor injury or inflammation. Use caution and get medical advice before trying to use them to work around an injury.
God bless and keep training,