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Wrist wraps are used to keep the wrist straight when lifting, most commonly bench press and military press.
There are manyBenefits of wearing bracelets, including increased joint stability that lets you push beyond your normal fatigue limits, keeps your wrist injury-free, lets you grip the bar tighter, and makes the weight in your hands feel lighter.
However, to get the most out of your wrist wraps, you need to have some basic knowledge of how they work and how to use them correctly. Otherwise you are wasting time using them.
So, in this article, I'll be discussing the 13 tips you need to know to make sure your wrist bands contribute to stronger lifts.
If you don't have any bracelets yet, my absolute recommendation is this one.Inzer True Gripper Bracelets(Click here to see today's price on Amazon). These offer the most stability no matter what workouts you do at the gym.
1. Know that bracelets are not made for comfort.
Wrist straps are designed to shape the wrist.
The goal is to limit the wrist's range of motion when lifting. In other words, your wrist should be as steady as possible to be neutral.
Therefore, the bandage must fit snugly around the wrist. This is not going to feel right.
Many people may feel uncomfortable when the bandage is tight around the wrist and therefore choose to loosen it.
I encourage you not to lift with a loose bandage as this would defeat the purpose of using such devices. You want it tight enough where thethe pulse is stiff under the specificburden you lift.
So for heavier weights this means a tighter wrap that doesn't feel comfortable until the wrap is removed. Don't be surprised.
Be aware that the tight bandage you loosen allows you to lift more weight.
2. Begin wrapping with wrist slightly bent forward
A common mistake during lifts is when the wrist bends backwards. This is especially the case with movements like the bench press and military bench press.
This is an unhealthy position for the wrist as it increases stress at the joint level, which can cause pain or injury.
If your wrist is bent back, the bar is more likely to move in your hand, which can affect other parts of your technique.
To keep your wrist from bending backwards, one trick that I find works really well is to wrap your wrist in a slightly forward position.
After finishing the wrap, you will find it almost impossible to bend your wrist back.
By wrapping the wrist in this way, you create more stress on the back of the wrist, where it needs the most support during most pressing movements.
Try it and you'll see what I mean!
3. Wrap the bottom of the palm
One of the wrist wrap mistakes for beginners is not placing the wrap high enough on the wrist.
In other words, you want part of the case to be at the base of your palm.
Having the wrap on the underside of the palm further increases the stability of the wrist, making it less likely to bend or flex when lifting.
However, this has a caveat.
If you are a competitive weightlifter, one of the rules is that the bracelet cannot extend more than 2 cm beyond the wrist.
While there's still a lot of leeway when it comes to wrapping the base of the hand, it's worth noting that you can't continue to wrap the entire hand.
Check out my full reviewThe best wrist wraps for weightlifting.
4. Avoid curling too low
Similar to my previous tip of wrapping a little higher around the wrist, you should also avoid wrapping your wrist too low.
You'll know you're wrapping too deeply when you start wrapping your forearm more than your wrist.
When the wrap is lower on the arm, it doesn't add stability to the wrist and makes it much easier for the joint to bend forward or backward when lifting.
If you're a competitive powerlifter, there's a rule that says you can't wrap your wrist any lower than 4 inches below your wrist.
Whether you're a weightlifter or not, use the 4-inch rule as your strict no-crossing threshold when wrapping your wrists.
Wrist wraps can help prevent wrist pain caused by squatting. see my articleHow to fix wrist pain when squattingfor more details.
5. Gradually increase tension when winding
If you wrap your wrist it will probably take 3 wraps around your wrist.
Each turn you wrap should tighten gradually. This is possible thanks to the elastic material of the stretcher.
This is how each curve should feel in terms of tightness:
- The first turn should be about 60% tight.
- The second turn should be 80% tight.
- The last curve must be 100% tight.
A 100% tight wrap would be like removing as much elastic tension as possible from the material before twisting it around your wrist and velcroing it closed.
This type of wrap ensures that you get maximum stability while maintaining a level of comfort.
As I said before, you'll probably still feel some discomfort with a tight bandage, but it shouldn't cut off blood flow to your hand where your fingers are starting to tingle.
6. To improve your grip, start with one hand in a fist.
One of the main reasons weight lifters wear wrist wraps is thisincrease your gripduring pulling exercises such as deadlifts and pull-ups.
If your goal is to increase grip strength, your wrapping technique will change a bit.
This is because it is not so important that your wrists are still, but that your fingers and hands have as strong a connection as possible with the bar.
Formaximize your wait, start with one hand closed as tightly as possible. Then wrap your wrist as usual.
What you'll notice when you're done wrapping is that your fingers curl into your palm. It is much more difficult to straighten the fingers.
Essentially, your hand and fingers are now prepared to grip the bar more efficiently.
Related:Slings vs Hand Straps: Differences, Pros and Cons
7. Remove wrist wraps between sets
Another common mistake when using bandages is using them during training.
Bracelets are not likeKnieschonerwhere you put them at the beginning of the workout and then leave them.
The wristbands are designed to be put on and taken off game after game. There will also be some exercises that just don't require you to wear wrist wraps.
Knowing this, it's okay to experience a little discomfort while your wrists are in a cast, as it's temporary and lasts game after game.
8. Use rubber, polyester and cotton bandages if you want more rigidity.
If you want the stiffest wrist wraps possible, you'll need a wrist wrap made from a blend of elastic, polyester, and cotton.
The key material here is elastic. This allows you to tighten the material around your wrist.
The tighter the bandage, the stiffer it becomes and the more stable the wrist becomes.
If you want a hard wrap, chances are you're a powerlifter who handles bigger weights in moves like squats, bench presses, deadlifts, and bench presses.
My favorite weightlifting wrist wraps are theseInzer True Gripper Bracelets(Click Amazon for description and today's price).
One of the main features of this wristband is a synthetic rubber strip in the middle of the wristband that prevents the material from slipping on the skin. Once the wrap is in place, it doesn't move or slide around as it's lifted.
9. Only use cotton bandages if you want more flexibility.
If you want a more flexible wristband that isn't as stiff, you need a cotton wristband.
The cotton material offers some support but doesn't allow you to stretch the material for a tighter wrap. So you still getAnyWrist movement under load.
While I think most lifters should use a stiff bandage, there are a few reasons you might want a looser bandage.
if you are a...olympic weight lifteror a crossfitter performing moves like snatch and clean & jerk, you'll need a little more wrist movement to properly "catch" these overhead moves.
So, unless you're an expert in these types of exercises, I would opt for a stiffer, more versatile bandage in the gym.
However, if you are someone who needs a more flexible case, my recommendation is this one.RockTape Weightlifting Wristbands(Click Amazon for description and today's price).
10. Most people should wear 20 inch bracelets.
Generally, there are three sizes you can get wrist wraps in: 12 inches, 20 inches, and 36 inches.
Most people should wear a 20 inch wrist brace.
A 12 inch wrist bandage does not provide enough stretch to make the wrist bandage tight.
I would only recommend a 12 inch bracelet if you have extremely small wrists or are a teenager. But even if you're a teenager, expect to outgrow a 12-inch wrap. Therefore, most teens should be up to 20 inches tall for them to last longer.
A 36-inch bracelet is a bit excessive. While you will inevitably get a tighter wrap as this allows for more rotation around the wrist, the extra tension beyond a 20" wrap is not necessary.
I would only recommend a 36 inch wrap if you are a bench press expert who has been competing in the bench press for 5 years. For these individuals, any additional benefit they can derive from their team is likely to have a significant impact on their performance.
Check out my full review of20" x 36" strap.
11. Warm up without wrist wraps
Bracelets should not be worn with every outfit.
If you wear your wristbands to every game, you'll trust them more.
You will not be able to develop natural wrist stability due to stress on the joint.
Therefore, a general rule of thumb is not to wear wrist wraps during warm-up sets.
You should only use wrist wraps for work sets, and even then probably only for the heaviest sets you do.
The strongest athletes in the world wear wrist wraps. But you will find that they wear their bracelets sparingly.
12. Work on wrist mobility and stability
Similar to my tip above, you don't want your wrist wraps to bunch up.
You want them to support your performance when it matters most, but you don't want to depend on them for every set and every move in the gym.
Therefore, you should schedule a structured wrist mobility and stability program to ensure that your wrist is strong and healthy, regardless of wristband use.
Use:I would suggest just doing the first 4:30 minutes of this 10 minute routine.
Use: While this routine is designed for climbers, each of these exercises is highly applicable to general strength training, powerlifting, powerlifting, and crossfit.
13. Remove thumb clip from bracelet
All lift wrist wraps have an attached thumb loop.
The thumb loop is designed for easy wrist wrapping.
However, the thumb should not remain in the thumb loop when lifting. You want to remove the thumb loop after you wrap it around your wrist and before you start lifting.
The reason you don't want a loop around your thumb when lifting is for two reasons:
First, depending on how tight you wrap your wrists, the thumb loop can pull your thumb to the side, making it harder for your thumb to effectively grip the bar.
Second, if you're a competitive weightlifter, it's against the rules to have the loop around your thumb when lifting.
By following these basic tips, you will ensure you are wearing your wrist wraps correctly.
Effective use of wrist wraps can improve both the strength and technique of your movements by allowing your wrist to remain in a neutral position under load.
If you haven't checked them out yetInzer True Gripper Braceletson Amazon are my favorite wrist wraps for any strength athlete.
Are you looking for training gloves? Check out my comments on theThe best training gloves for women.