Benefits of Wrist Wraps
Your wrists take quite the beating when lifting weights.
For most exercises, you will have a barbell or dumbbell placed in your hand. Any slight deviation of the wrist either forward, back, or side-to-side, will cause additional stress at the level of the joint.
What you want to limit as much as possible are these wrist movements under load.
When you wear wrist wraps you create wrist stability and any movement of the wrist will be much more difficult.
For example, in the bench press, you want to ensure that the barbell sits in your palm directly over your wrist joint. As the load gets heavier, the wrist might cock backward, which will increase the stress for the entire kinetic chain, from your wrist, elbow, and shoulder.
By wearing stripes series wrist straps in this scenario, you have a better chance to keep the barbell stacked directly over the wrist without it flexing backward.
2. Gives You The Ability To Push Beyond Your Fatigue Limits
When you’re training hard, you will push your muscles to their fatigue limit.
Not all muscles fail at the same rate though.
There is generally a cascading effect where your smaller stabilizing muscles will fatigue first, followed by your larger prime movers.
If you wear camouflage series wrist wraps , you can protect your smaller muscle groups from fatiguing quicker.
For example, in the bench press, let’s say you want to do an AMRAP set at 70% load (as many reps as possible).
You’ll start the set with your wrist directly stacked over your wrist; however, as the set goes on, the smaller muscles in your forearm that help stabilize the wrist begin to fatigue. As such, your wrist starts to cock backward. Once those stabilizing muscle groups fatigue, other muscle groups need to work harder to pick up the slack.
Therefore, if you can keep your wrist stabilized longer throughout the set, you will likely be able to rep out an additional couple of reps because your system as a whole is working in unison with each other, not overcompensating for weaker muscle groups.
3. Allows You To Return To Lifting Post-Injury Quicker
If you already have a pre-existing wrist injury, then wrist wraps might help you return to lifting a bit quicker.
Obviously, you’ll want to heed the advice of your medical doctor, as wrist wraps aren’t a magic cure to fixing injuries.
However, wrist wraps are a tool in helping people lift weights while experiencing some level of wrist pain or discomfort.
This is because pain is often caused by bending or flexing the wrist, and wraps can provide the rigidity necessary to keep the joint neutral.
Wrist wraps can make your hands stronger for any exercise that involves gripping, such as deadlifts, rows, chin-ups, etc.
Try this right now:
Take your right hand and place the palm on the wrist of the left arm
Your right thumb and fingers should wrap around the left wrist
Squeeze your right hand as hard as possible
Observe what happens to the fingers of your left hand
You should notice that your fingers on the left hand start to close.
This is the effect that tight thickened wrist bracers have on your grip.
When you wear wrist wraps your fingers will squeeze harder around the bar. This is why you see some top-level powerlifters wear wrist wraps while deadlifting.
5. Makes The Weight Feel Lighter In Your Hand
If your hands are tight around the barbell the load will feel lighter in your hands, which will build your confidence under heavier weight.
This happens because of the idea of proprioception, which is your body’s sense of the world, including the sense of muscle force and effort.
Our proprioception is activated by receptors in our skin, muscles, tendons, and joints. So, when a barbell sits in our hands, it’s constantly providing feedback to our central nervous system to how the weight feels and where our body is in space.
You can increase your proprioceptive ability by creating rigidity in your muscles.
Therefore, if your hands are tight, the more proception you have and the lighter the weight feels.
However, if your hands are relaxed, the less proprioception you have, and the heavier the weight feels.
Because wrist wraps ensure the muscles in your forearm don’t fatigue as quick and helps grip the barbell tighter, it will help make the weight feel lighter in your hand while lifting.
Most wrist wraps made from blends are about $5-$10 more expensive compared with the cotton wraps. The additional cost is absolutely necessary if you want a high-quality wrap that will provide you with the needed support.
Like I said, my go-to wrist wraps are the Inzer True Gripper Stripes Series Knee Strap, which are made from 40% elastic, 10% polyester, and 50% cotton. There’s also a strip of rubber down the middle of the wrap, which grips your skin, ensuring that the wrap does not move once it’s secured by the velcro.