When Should You Use Wrist Wraps?

When Should You Use Wrist Wraps?

When Should You Use Wrist Wraps?

When it comes to lifting, there are endless options for accessories and equipment available. It can be hard to know which ones will truly aid in your performance and keep you healthy.

Wrist wraps are a proven piece of lifting equipment among novice and professionals alike. Other athletes like CrossFitters also use wrist wraps during their workouts. Wraps are affordable, easy to use, and offer many safety and performance benefits for athletes. If you are wondering if wrist wraps are right for you, this article will tell you everything you need to know.

What Are Wrist Wraps?

Wrist wraps are usually made of high-quality nylon or cotton and extend up to 18 inches in length. They are wrapped around the wrist to provide support and prevent injury. Wrist wraps are not the same as wrist straps. Wrist straps wrap around the wrist and the bar. They are meant to assist a lifter in the event that their grip fails.

The wrap keeps the wrist secure when performing moderate to heavy lifting. The wrap helps to maintain the wrist in a neutral position and prevents overextension. For those working with heavy weights, wrist wraps can help them avoid injuries from common exercises such as overhead presses.

There are different types of wrist wraps on the market. You should choose your wrist wrap based on your personal fitness goals and concerns. A traditional wrist wrap can provide support for most semi-experienced lifters. Other options, such as a wrap-strap combination, can be useful for athletes concerned about safety if their grip fails at the bench.

When shopping for a wrist wrap, consider how much weight you intend to lift. Some wraps are made of stronger, more durable materials to provide support for athletes wanting to lift competitive weights.

How Do You Use Wrist Wraps?

Most traditional wrist wraps on the market work in the same way. They are straightforward to use and can be purchased in many gyms, specialty stores, and online.

To properly use a traditional wrist wrap, follow the steps below:

  1. Hold the loop in your hand and lay the fabric wrap over the wrist with the velcro facing up.
  2. Place the loop over your thumb.
  3. Begin to wrap the fabric around the wrist.
  4. Secure the wrap with the velcro when it is tight and secure.

When Do You Use Wrist Wraps?

Wrist wraps are ideal when an athlete desires additional support and stability when performing overhead lifts. They are most necessary and effective when you are lifting heavy weights or attempting to achieve a maximum lift.

Common workouts and exercises where wrist wraps are beneficial include:

  • Shoulder press
  • Bench press
  • Clean and press
  • CrossFit
  • Powerlifting

Experts do not recommend that wrist wraps are worn during warm-ups or while lifting light to moderate weights. Why?

Do Wrist Wraps Weaken Your Wrists?

A common mistake that many lifters and gymgoers who use wrist wraps make is wearing wraps too often. It is not necessary to wear wrist wraps for every exercise in your workout. In fact, wearing them too much can prevent you from developing the wrist strength and mobility you need to lift effectively.

A safe wrist is a strong wrist. By over-wearing lifting equipment such as wrist wraps, you may be negatively impacting your overall performance and your chances of hitting a new personal best.

Be sure to take time off from wrist wraps during your workouts. During these times, focus on exercises that will help you develop a flexible wrist that can support weight on its own, without the use of supports.

What Are Wrist Wraps Good For?

Wrist wraps are popular because of the many benefits they provide. No matter if you are new to lifting or a seasoned pro, wrist wraps can help you perform your best. Here are the top three benefits of using wrist wraps for weightlifting:

1. Stabilizes wrist joints.

Lifting heavy weights can place a great deal of stress on the wrist joints. The positioning of a barbell can cause the wrist joint to bend or flex during activity. Overextension is a frequent cause of wrist injury that can take you out of the gym.

Wrist wraps provide stability to the joint and prevent overextension. They allow lifters to maintain a neutral wrist throughout a movement. With more stability, your form improves and so does your overall performance.  

2. Improves recovery time.

After a lifting injury, you should always follow the advice of your healthcare provider. However, with medical permission, wrist wraps can help you get back to the gym faster after an injury.

If you have some residual wrist pain after an injury, wearing a wrist wrap can give the bones of the wrist stability. Pain often occurs from the flexion of the wrist. Wrist wraps prevent the sudden bending or flexing that results in pain or more injury.

3. Aids in performance.

Many lifters wear wrist wraps because they want to make every workout count. Every lift is an opportunity to hit a personal record or lift more than the previous session.

The stability that the wrist wrap provides can make your hands stronger and the weights feel lighter. Combined, these factors can help you lift more.

Should You Use Wrist Wraps?

For lifters who are thinking about adding wrist wraps to their workouts, consider the following pros and cons:


  • Provides stability and support
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to find
  • Long-lasting and durable
  • Used in multiple workout modalities


  • Possible to become dependent on them
  • Can take some getting used to
  • Many types to choose from

The decision to wear wrist wraps must be a personal one. Like any piece of lifting equipment, it is important to educate yourself on the pros and cons before use. If you had a previous injury, consult with your doctor to determine if wrist wraps are right for you.


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