To Use Straps or Not?
Lifting straps, not wraps are a very useful tool to have in your gym bag. There are multiple designs, yet, they typically come as a strap that is wrapped around the wrist for support and come across the palm of the hand. From here, they can be wrapped around a barbell, dumbbell, or other piece of equipment for added grip support.
Let’s talk about the role they can play in your training.
Role of lifting straps (not wraps) help with heavier weights on back day
Having these straps may seem like a crutch to some, yet this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Lifting straps are a great tool to help you get the most out of your workout sessions. What is one thing that typically limits the amount of training you can do? Grip strength.
With some weights and movements, your grip may be the first to go. All the while, the other muscles are still rearing for some resistance. Thus, you miss out on some hefty gains that you could be getting. That extra set or few pounds may be what gets you to the next level, and without straps to help, you may miss out on it. Where the workout may be cut short, you can now continue working with straps.
This typically shows itself the best with any type of back training. Most movements for the back require a lot of pulling. This in turn requires a lot of gripping. Thus, the straps come in handy on those tough back days. You may also be lifting a lot heavier when you train the back and having some straps ready to go can help you hit those heavier movements.
Save them for the Heavy Stuff
As stated before, straps are good for the heavy movements, especially ones that focus on the back. These would include things like the deadlift, bent over rows, and lat-pulldowns. With that being said, you should avoid using them for every single set and movement.
It’s common to see people with straps using them for exercises that don’t necessarily need them. At this point, you have become reliant on the straps to do anything.
Try your best to save them for the heavier exercises and the heavier sets. For example, you may do some warm-up sets without the assistance and as the weight gets heaver you bring in the straps. This is how you can most effectively use the straps as intended.
Do you lose grip strength while utilizing straps? No. Will you advance your grip strength as much as you would without them? No. However, you’re not training to have the strongest grip.
If you are reading this, then you are more than likely looking to build muscle mass, which doesn’t require crazy grip strength. The muscles are getting worked all the same and having to repair themselves, which drives growth. If anything, you are actually able to grow even more due to the increased amount of volume you can accomplish with straps.
So, if you’re worried about losing your grip, don’t. Unless you change your goal to something requiring grip strength, then it’s all good!
Earlier in this article, we talked about there being multiple designs when it comes to lifting straps. In addition, there are also many different materials. With many to choose from, I wanted to share what I think to be the best option.
Hemp-derived materials are on the rise and for a good reason. They are super sustainable when it comes to actually growing them, which aids in benefitting the environment. In addition, they make for a high-quality lifting strap material.
Some of the benefits from a hemp derived strap are that they are extremely durable. They will last FOREVER, which saves you money in the long run. If you’re going to be lifting heavy, you want something that you can rely on.
Hemp also creates an anti-microbial environment for the straps. Most gym equipment or apparel will trap viruses, fungi, bacteria, and who knows what else. Hemp actually works to kill off bacteria such as Staph and others that may come in contact with its surface.
Not only that, they look and feel great. Instead of the grungy nylon straps that most companies use, you have a sleek and fresh looking accessory. The feel of a hemp strap is fantastic, and despite a rough looking texture, they cause no irritation or redness to the skin. Hemp is also a very breathable material which will reduce excess sweating and provide a very reliable grip, while also not smelling terrible.
With all of that being said, here is a great company that focuses on providing an extremely reliable hemp, lifting strap. You can check them out here gymhemp.com to get your own.
Lifting straps are a great addition to anyone’s gym bag arsenal. They will help you to push the limits when it comes to training, which we all know breeds great results. If you’re a big fan of growing that cobra-style back, then it’s time to grab some of these and get to work. Remember, there are tons of designs and materials, but a hemp strap is superior when looking at quality and you can find the best ones here gymhemp.com Happy training!