Wrist Straps

I’m highly against the use of wrist straps. I see people in the gym who wear these things for almost everything they do. From bench press, to shrugs, to curls, you name it, they’re wearing them. I think there is a time for these to be used and it is very seldom. I am a victim of having genetically small forearms so I try to avoid these like the plague. However, I just had this idea today that maybe I could start wearing them when chinning and deadlifting. This would overload the muscles I’m trying to work. I would then supplement extra forearm work, twice a week, intense workouts. My grip strength is good now because I’ve been doing farmer’s walks. I think that I’ll do this once I start my first cycle. Any one else out there have any comments abour wrist straps?

I like using wrist straps when I’m being spotted for heavy dumbell presses. It’s a method I learned from the old MM2k by Poliquin. With the strap around your wrist, your partner holds the untied end just barely, when you give out, they can help you safely lower the dumbells. Helped me break a plateau on all dumbell presses. As for as using them for every day, I can’t see why, except for maybe on occasional max attempt.

Ill have to disagree with you guys on this one. Although, Im the nutrition guy, Ive been training for a while now and have trained at at least 25+ gyms, trained with Powerlifters, Pro Bodybuilders, and Pro Athletes. So I consider myself relatively experienced. So this “real-world” experience has formed some strong opinions in my mind. Anyway, by not using wraps for pulling movements, you are often limiting yourself by grip strength. And I dont care how strong your forearms are. Theyre not as strong as your back. So why not focus on the muscle you are working? The argument that you have small forarms means that you are expecting a stimulus for forarm growth from alternative movements designed to work other body parts. This, to me, means that you are taking some of the focus off these parts in favor of that forearm work. Not the best way of doing things. Im an advocate of wraps. Then I just go and train forearms 1 day per week for 15 or 20 minutes on an easy day.

John, that’s exactly what I’m thinking of doing. I’ve noticed often my grip strength tires faster than my back on chins and definitely limits me for shrugs and deadlifts. I think I’ll use them once I finish Ian’s 12 week Chest and Back program. I will then train forearms 2 times/week so they grow!! Somehow I’ve managed to do pull-ups with a 45 lbs. plate attached to me for 6 reps. I think with straps I’ll be improving that in no time. I also like the idea about using straps while doing dumbbell presses. I read that a long time ago but forgot about it. Thanks for informing me again johnny boy.

I too have stopped using wrist straps on all movements except shrugs, where my forearms always give out before my traps. I used to use them to deadlift, but I now use an alternate (one palm in, one out) grip. I also have stopped using a belt on all movements. At fisrt it felt strange, and i had to decrease poundages on the deadlift and squat, but I am now back up to my old poundages. I have found that I am much more comfortable in the bottom position of squats and deads, without a belt, and as a bonus, my lower back has gotten stronger. Just be careful to use good form. As far as what John said about pulling movements, it is my opinion that using straps will hinder forearm strength, but if your forearms give out before your back (which may happen during high-repition sets), then you should use straps. And direct forearm work 1-3x per week is always good.

I use them only on my back routine with heavy lifts.

I agree that straps and other equipment are abused. I don’t resort to straps until my grip fails. For example I do deadlifts with a overhand grip to help prevent muscle imbalances, now obviously you can’t go very heavy in deadlift with a overhand grip so I train until the rep or weight range is high enough for my grip to fail then I switch to the straps. I do believe they are needed for heavy back training, your back will overpower your grip pretty quick when doing reps with heavy weight. Straps and other equipment should be used as a tool not a crutch. Since this subject is kind of directed towards equipment in general I have to mention all the excessive use of belts and wraps. The other day in the gym I actually saw a guy using a belt and wristwraps on a freaking pec deck machine, talk about a candyass. I have trained without a belt for a long time now and at heavy weights and have never had any injuries or other problems. As far as wrist wraps go I think that they are the most worthless of all equipment. I dinked around with them a long time ago and found that they actually hindered my bench. Then there are the people I see with knee wraps and a belt that don’t even come close to squating parallel.