With all of the “de facto” information being spread around, I wanted to clear up something about using straps. If you’ve talked to many lifters, you’ve probably heard not to use straps because “it weakens your grip” or “you become reliant” on them.

The fact is you need to make everything stronger, worrying about these little details when training will lead you in the wrong direction and you end up worrying about things you don’t need to.

Read below to see why beginners and quite frankly anyone, should use straps.

What are lifting straps?

For those who might not know what lifting straps are, they are generally a piece of equipment that wraps around your wrist and there will be a strap that extends out. Wrap the strap around the bar and then grip the bar normally as you would. The strap keeps the bar from spinning and sliding out of your hands.

sheikStraps

Why Straps are Good

Straps are a great piece of equipment that everyone should carry in their gym bag. Straps are great for regular gym goers, training to lift heavy, get into better shape, or build muscle. They also are a valuable tool for powerlifters that aren’t allowed to use them in competition.

When you do any rows or deadlifts, your grip will give out eventually. Using straps will help you keep going heavier once your grip gives out. Getting your back stronger will increase your grip strength.

Why Straps Can be Bad

Using straps on every pulling exercise can have it’s disadvantages also. When relying on straps for every exercise, your grip could be impacted.

If your grip strength is much weaker than your ability to deadlift or do rows, check out this grip strength workout to help you get your grip stronger.

Should Beginners Use Straps?

Beginners should use straps if they need to. Don’t let your grip strength prevent you from lifting as heavy and safely as you can. Using straps will help you overload your rows and deadlifts and will get you stronger all over.

Do not use them every set, instead use them when you start feeling the bar slipping. You’ll be surprised how much more you can do once your grip is not the weak point.

The stipulation with using straps is you must row and deadlift with as much force and safety as you can. Do not baby rows or deadlifts if you want to gain muscle and get stronger. I went from struggling with 135 pound bent over barbell rows to 315 for reps simply by not babying my rows.

 Conclusion

Straps are a tool to help you get stronger. When used properly, straps will help you overload and make your back stronger which will lead to better and safer lifts.

Use straps when you feel your grip failing, and learn to really force that back to get stronger. If your grip is really lagging, add in grip work on your off days to help build your meat hooks.

 

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