Weightlifting and CrossFit WODs require proper preparations. Although we encourage you to lift heavyweight without any of fitness gear, it is a smart choice to consider investing in some fitness gear when you challenge the bounds of your limits.
In pursuing fitness goals, wrist wraps are excellent fitness gears that help you stabilize your wrists during high-volume exercises when used properly. And they provide extra support and reduce the strain to your wrists when performing any pressing or pushing exercises.
In this article, we are going to talk more about the benefits and drawbacks of wrist wraps.
Top 4 Benefits of Wrist Wraps
The main purpose of wearing a wrist wrap is to offer support and comfort to the wrist joint while lifting heavyweights. But their ultimate purpose is met only when they are used in the right way.
The pivotal benefits of using a wrist wrap include:
1. Stabilize Your Wrists for Better Performance
Like any other joint in the body, the wrist joint is also composed of tiny muscles, bones, and tendons. These muscles strengthen as we keep training.
Your form needs to be on point if you are entering an Olympic lifting competition because the inappropriate position or use can debilitate consequences. There is a potential risk of injury to the body when you lift heavy loads.
The primary benefit of using a wrist wrap is to keep the wrists stable and ensures that they are optimally placed under the bar. With wrist wraps, you can also better stabilize the barbell weight and prevent hyperextension.
2. Support for High-Intensity Workouts
CrossFit workouts are demanding and exhaustive. Individuals practicing CrossFit workouts are pretty used to investing maximum strength during their workout sessions. And when the body and mind are exhausted, the form is often sacrificed.
CrossFit workouts such as barbell squats, ring dips, Olympic lifts, and handstand pushups (HSPU’s) cause ultimate stress on the wrist joints—this is possible during your initial workout days unless you are an RX athlete or a CrossFit games contestant might be as fit as a fiddle able to bear a heavy load. But as you keep working regularly, your wrists strengthen eventually.
For other fitness enthusiasts who practice medium-intensity workouts or do it for general fitness, using a wrist wrap offers extra stability and support to prevent any pain or bad twitches in your joints.
3. Aiding the Recovery Process
Injuries are part and parcel of exercising—this might happen due to overstraining, incorrect postures, or carelessness. Weightlifting and CrossFit exercises commonly involve wrist sprains, but you will get better eventually with proper rest and therapy.
Using wrist wraps helps recovery faster from injuries and quickens the entire process. Besides, they promote stability of the wrist and decrease strain in your joints. And you are Ok to remove the wrist wraps when you are sure that the swelling is decreasing and your pain is going away.
4. Allows You to Train Hard
When used correctly, wrist wraps allow you to get more from your workout without hand and wrist pain, including more repetitions, frequent exercise sessions, and a pain-free exercising experience.
You will also find pleased with yourself that you can hold the weights for a longer period without any slippages.
Drawbacks of Wearing Wrist Wraps
Wrist wraps are not necessary if your wrists are healthy. Using wrist wraps for the injured/weak joint is beneficial to you, but many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts abuse the use. They wrap about their knees, wrists, and every joint. This is NOT good as it will restrict their range of movements, makes the joint increasingly dependent on the wraps.
Wrist wraps worn improperly also restrict the wrists from strengthening the ligaments and tendons—the main purpose behind practicing heavy weight lifting exercises day in and day out.
When Should I Wear Wrist Wraps?
Although people likely to wear wrist warps when they lift heavyweight, certain situations are advisable to wear wrist wraps. These include:
- Any injury to the wrist that needs support. With optimal support, you can get a faster recovery.
- Our wrists have a maximal extending ability beyond which they suffer from hyperextension. This could happen while doing a bench press or any exercise that causes you to stretch more than optimally. Wearing a wrist wrap prevents hyperextending the wrists.
- Those undergoing therapy, elderly people, individuals with wrist arthritis, or people who have already experienced an injury in the wrist are recommended to wear wrist wraps to take off excess pressure while working out.
Will You Lift More Weights with Wrist Wraps?
As we said before, wearing wrist wrap offers extra stability and support to your wrists, but does it mean that it helps you lift more weight? Here’s where most people get confused. You will not lift more weights when wearing the wrist wraps. Only if your muscles become stronger will you lift more weights.
What Kind of Wrist Wraps Should I Get?
There are two major kinds of wrist wraps available for athletes and weightlifters—Traditional wraps and strength wraps. They are made of different materials. Traditional wraps are made of thin cotton for a wide range of movement. While strength wraps are made of leather (not always), they are thicker and ideal for powerlifting or bodybuilding movements, such as bench pressing, deadlifting, and Olympic lifting.
If you are a CrossFit trainee or practicing for Olympic lifting, the best wrist wraps include those made of:
- Thin cotton
- Velcro wrap
- Thumb loops
Some wrist wraps come with hook straps (in-built hook, which helps to loop around the bar while doing a bench press or a squat) but try to avoid buying them as they restrict ample grip hold. It is usually velcro straps that have hooks.
Once your muscles (including those of the wrists) start to fatigue and the wrists show indications of tiredness, then it’s time to put on the wrist wraps. They offer better support and stability when planning to do bench press, deadlift, or dumbbell rows.
You can go for cotton wraps if your exercises involve movements that require wrist flexibility, such as the snatch clean or the jerk powerlifting move.
How to Use Wrist Wraps for Weight Lifting
To use wrist wraps correctly, you should make sure the wrist wraps are comfortably strapped around the wrists guarantees benefits. Here is a Wiki guide that helps you to use wrist wraps correctly.