September 12, 2021 9 min read

When it comes to exercise equipment and accessories, the choices for what to buy and why may be confusing. If you push your body to prior unimaginable heights, you may need assistance along the road. That is why it is genuinely essential to invest in equipment that will assist you in getting there.

Whether you're serious about your exercises and have been thinking if wrist wraps are worth it, we've got you covered. Many individuals believe that having a pair of wrist wraps in their gym bag is essential, and we're going to explain why.

The Importance of Wrist Wraps

If you ask yourself which area of your body you utilize the most for weightlifting or power training, you will almost certainly think of your shoulders, legs, and lower back. But it's easy to forget that your hands and wrists are just as essential in every workout. They perform an important function and are subject to heavy loads.

Hand muscles palmar aspect superficial labeled

The hand is made up of 27 bones, 8 of which are situated in the wrist and are held together by a plethora of ligaments and tendons. As a result, the anatomy of the wrist is very complicated since it must be flexible in order to sustain and execute all of the required hand movements.A wrist wrap's function is to support the wrist joint during heavy or maximum effort lifts in pressing motions and overhead lifts.

During these motions, the wrist may be pushed into extreme extension under load, resulting in impaired mechanics, potential injury, and unsuccessful lifts.

Wrist wraps are definitely helpful for athletes because they:

  • Have the ability to stabilize the wrist joint rapidly.
  • Are simple to use.
  • Allow you to test your wrist and forearm strength beyond their natural limits.
  • Make the weights seem lighter in the hand
  • Relatively low-cost.
  • May be used for a variety of workouts.
  • Usually last for up to 5 years.
  • Don't take up too much room in workout bags.

Benefits of Wrist Wraps

1. Ensure joint stability

When lifting weights, your wrists take a pounding. Most workouts will need you to hold a barbell or a dumbbell in your hand. Any little forward, back, or side-to-side deviation of the wrist will generate extra stress at the joint level.These wrist motions under stress should be limited as much as feasible. When you wear wrist wraps, you establish wrist stability, making any wrist movement considerably more difficult.

For example, in the bench press, you want the barbell to sit in your hand precisely above your wrist joint. However, as the load increases, the wrist may cock rearward, increasing the stress on the kinetic chain, including your wrist, elbow, and shoulder. In this situation, using wrist wraps increases your chances of keeping the barbell packed squarely over the wrist without it bending backward.

2. Allow you to go beyond your limits

When you work out hard, you will strain your muscles to their breaking point. However, not all muscles deteriorate at the same pace. In general, there is a cascade effect in which your smaller stabilizing muscles tire first, followed by your bigger prime movers.

Wearing wrist wraps may help keep your smaller muscle groups from being fatigued as quickly. For example, let's suppose you want to perform an AMRAP session at 70% load on the bench press (as many reps as possible).You'll begin the set with your wrist directly stacked atop your wrist; but, as the set progresses, the tiny forearm muscles that assist maintain the wrist begin to tire.

As a result, your wrist begins to cock rearward. When the stabilizing muscle units tire, other muscle groups must work harder to fill the void.As a result, if you can maintain your wrist stable for a more extended period of time throughout the set, you will most likely be able to add a couple of repetitions since your whole system is functioning in harmony with each other, rather than overcompensating for weaker muscle groups.

3. Injury Recovery

Wrist wraps allows you to return to lifting more quickly after an injury. If you have a pre-existing wrist injury, wrist bandages may help you return to lifting more quickly. You should listen to your doctor's advice since wrist wraps aren't a miracle cure for injuries.

On the other hand, wrist wraps may assist individuals in lifting weights despite suffering wrist pain or discomfort. This is due to the fact that discomfort is often induced by bending or flexing the wrist, and wraps may provide the stiffness required to maintain the joint neutral.

4. Make you grip more weight

Wrist wraps may help you strengthen your hands for any workout that requires grasping, such as deadlifts, rows, and chin-ups.

Right now, try this:

  1. Place the palm of your right hand on the left arm's wrist.
  2. Wrap your right thumb and fingers around your left wrist.
  3. Squeeze your right hand as tightly as you can.
  4. Take note of what occurs to your left hand's fingers.
  5. You should see that your left hand's fingers begin to shut.

Your fingers will grip tighter around the bar if you wear wrist wraps. This is why some of the world's best powerlifters use wrist bandages when deadlifting.It makes the weight in your hand feel lighter.If your grip on the barbell is firm, the burden will seem lighter in your hands, which will boost your confidence while lifting larger weights.

This is due to the concept of proprioception, which is your body's perception of the environment, including muscular force and exertion.Skin, muscles, tendons, and joints have receptors that trigger our proprioception. So, when we hold a barbell, it continuously sends input to our central nervous system about how the weight feels and where our body is in space.

You may improve your proprioceptive abilities by making your muscles stiff.As a result, the tighter your hands are, the more proception you have and the lighter the weight seems. However, the more relaxed your hands are, the less proprioception you have and the heavier the weight feels.

Wrist wraps make the weight seem lighter in your hand when lifting since they guarantee the muscles in your forearm don't tire as quickly and help you hold the barbell tighter.You may test this for yourself by doing a max set with and without wrist wraps. You'll notice that the weight seems lighter with the wrist wraps, even if the bar load is the same.

How To Properly Use Wrist Wraps?

When you've decided you're ready to utilize wrist wraps, you'll need to know how to put them on correctly. There are many brands and sizes available, which we will discuss later, but they all have in common how they should be worn.

Traditional wrist wraps are pretty simple to wear, so here's a short tutorial on how to do so:

  1. Locate the thumb loop, making sure it is facing upward.
  2. Position the loop so that the long fabric strip is on the inside of your wrist.
  3. Make sure the Velcro part is facing up so that you can firmly tie the wrap.
  4. Insert your thumb inside the loop and begin winding the cloth around your wrist.
  5. Check that the wrap fits snugly and that the Velcro is securely attached to the strip.

When Are Wrist Wraps Most Effective?

You may start utilizing the wraps for a variety of workouts now that you know how to put and secure them on your wrists correctly. For example, bodybuilders, powerlifters, and enthusiastic gym-goers often use wrist straps to push their maximal lift while providing the necessary support and stability.

When Should You Use Wrist Wraps

CrossFitters often wear strength wrist wraps during challenging overhead exercises. An overhead squat, for example, demands you to utilize a lot of your body's balance and core strength. Wrist wraps in powerlifting or heavy lifting can ease some of the stability concerns and offer the wrist support required for heavy lifting.

When Should Wrist Wraps Be Avoided?

It is not essential to use wrist restraints during warm-up exercises or lower-weight activities. Wrist mobility exercises are an excellent method to verify that your wrists can support a modest amount of weight. Wrist straps should, of course, not be used during aerobic or non-overhead motions.

Tips

Wrist Wraps Aren't Necessary for Warming Up

To move 60% of your 1-RM press, you do not need to wrap your wrists. I typically encourage my athletes to use wrist wraps only on training days when we are working at or close to maximum load. Using wrist wraps all the time limits the development of strength in your wrist flexors and extensors. Take a glance around, and you'll see that some of the best athletes seldom use wrist wraps.

The Best Type of Wrap

There are two types of wraps on the market: thinner and more flexible cotton wrap, like using strength wrap, and thicker, Velcro-bound powerlifting-style wraps that offer more excellent wrist support. I would recommend utilizing the thicker wraps if you are attempting to maximize movements, such as a bench press or shoulder press.

However, if you want to aim for a max in your clean and jerk or snatch, the thinner wraps may be a better option since they provide more range of motion at the wrist. To get clean, you must be able to extend your wrist, and the wrist will be slightly extended at the finish position of both the snatch and jerk.

How to Increase Grip Strength

1. Deadlift: Lifting heavy objects is the easiest method to stress your forearms and increase your grip strength.

man doing deadlift at powerlifting competition

And nothing is better or more effective than deadlifts.Simply stated, pick heavy objects off the floor – securely, of course – and place them back down. The diversity of hand grips available for deadlifts makes them so effective.

2. Zottman Curl: The Zottman curl is essential for building forearm strength. “The rotation in the Zottman curl will exercise both the biceps and the forearm muscles.

3. Farmer's Walks: The wonderful part about this workout is that you may use any tool or item you choose. The goal is to walk as far as possible while carrying the weight. When you begin to fatigue, place the weight on the ground, shake it off, and begin again. It doesn't get any easier than that.

4. EZ reverse curl: Simply curl up and down while holding a bar in both hands. Increase the difficulty as time goes on by allowing the weight to roll to the tips of your fingers, moving away from your palm at the bottom of the curl.

What Type Of Wrist Wrap Is The Best?

When it comes to selecting a pair of wrist wraps, there are many brand choices. The kind of motions you need assistance with can help you narrow down your options.When making your choice, consider the quality and durability of the wrist wraps' material. The following are some popular kinds of wrist wraps.They are usually 18 inches long and are the most often used wrist wrap while making maximum motions on the bench press or shoulder press.

  • Stiff wrist wraps are composed of stronger, more durable material and are available in a range of sizes ranging from 12 to 36 inches in length if you need even more support for heavy-duty lifting. In addition, because of their thicker material and thumb loop, these wraps are a step above traditional wraps. As a result, these may be seen in a competitive context.
  • Strength wraps are ideal for individuals who love compound exercises or who participate in CrossFit. They're less cumbersome, with a more extended fabric design (approximately 36 inches), and can be changed fast, which is useful while rushing.

Wrist Wraps: Are They Worth It?

Wrist wraps are great for lifting, particularly if you have tiny or weak wrist joints. If your wrists do not remain neutral while you lift, invest in wrist wraps. Furthermore, if you have a history of wrist discomfort, you should invest in wrist wraps.

Another reason to purchase wrist wraps is to make the weights seem lighter in your hand while lifting and to boost your confidence when lifting larger weights in general.

Wrist wraps are not generally necessary for novice lifters, but you should certainly consider them if you have strength training expertise. However, keep in mind that they are not a miraculous solution for weak wrist stability.

Wrapping It Up

Wrist wraps are simple to wrap around the wrist and may be tailored to your specific needs for support. However, it is critical that they do not fit too low, else there will be no purpose other than you wearing a beautiful wristband. Please keep in mind that your wrists should not lose any flexibility. Flexibility and stability go hand in hand, especially with the clean and front squat.

The choice to possess or not own wrist wraps is entirely up to you, based on your objectives. This guide is intended to provide you with all of the information you need to make an educated choice. We've covered a lot of ground, and you should now understand what wrist wraps are, how to use them, the many kinds of wraps, and why quality matters.

Allow your joints to get used to pressure, particularly during your warm-up. Wrist wraps are intended to protect the wrist from physical strain. Wrist wraps are a helpful tool for athletes who want to achieve maximum loads and personal records. Remember only to buy equipment that will endure and help you achieve your objectives. Your wrists will appreciate you, and your development will improve.

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