If you’re trying to get huge, but have hit a plateau, one of the main reasons might be that smaller muscle like your forearms and stabilizer muscles simply can’t get as big as your back. To get around this you need the help of weight lifting straps that will take some of the weight off of your smaller muscle and pile it on your larger muscles like your back and shoulders to blast them and get them bigger quicker.
What Are Weight Lifting Straps?
Weightlifting straps are essentially a really simple accessory that you can use in the weight room to help you grip a barbell or dumbbell better. They are essentially just a thick durable fabric like nylon, cotton, leather, or suede that is sewn together with a loop on one end and a long strap on the other end.
By wrapping the lifting straps around your wrists and the bar that you’re using, you make the bar easier to grip, reducing the amount of energy you have to spend gripping it with your forearms. This puts more of the strain on your back, shoulders, or other muscles that you’re trying to work, letting those muscles get bigger.
When to Use Lifting Straps
While weight lifting wrist straps are a great way to jump start your muscle gains, there are times when you should be using them and times when you shouldn’t. Using them too much can have some serious negative consequences.
The best time to use lifting straps is when you’re doing a particularly heavy set or having a long workout day. During these sets and days, your forearms may start to lose their ability to hold onto the weight, cutting your workout short or limiting the amount that you can lift. Wearing wrist straps will ensure that you get the workout you want the targets the muscles you want.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should always wear wrist straps. Wearing them all the time can cause the strength development in your forearms to fall way behind that of your other muscles. This can create complex problems in your body that can result in joint pain, muscle tears, and other negative consequences.
The best solution is to only use wrist straps when you need them or are trying to lift incredibly heavy. This will ensure that you’re still working your big muscle groups to the extent that you want, but that you’re not sacrificing forearm strength to do so.
Also, always remember that wearing straps is not a substitute for having good form. Bad form, even if you’re using lifting aides, will always result in long-term injuries.
Okay, So How Do I Use Them?
If you’ve decided that you want to use a weight lifting strap as part of your workout, follow these simple steps to makes sure that you use them correctly.
- Put your hand through the loop and leave the strap dangling between your thumb and index finger.
- Pull the strap around your wrist
- Wrap the strap completely around the bar twice.
- Secure it by passing it through the loop on your hands again.
Weight Lifting Hooks: Another Option
Another option that you have in addition to using straps is to use a weight lifting hook. These are metal hooks that you hold in your hand and are attached to your wrist by a tight-fitting band. Both hooks and straps are designed to essentially do the same thing, take weight off of your forearms, and both do it well, but most people will prefer one to the other. Which one you choose will be a matter of personal preference.
Weight lifting straps provide a way to load more weight onto your exercises, target the muscles you want, and get bigger faster. As long as you use them only when you need them, they are a great addition to anyone’s weightlifting arsenal.