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A guide to wristbands: what they are, how and when to use them

May. 23, 2022

With so many fitness accessories on the market, it can be difficult to figure out which gear is best for you. One fitness accessory you may have heard of or even seen weightlifters use is wrist guards. You may be wondering, "What are those??" . 

Don't worry, you're not the only one! Wristbands are one of the most misunderstood and misused weightlifting accessories. Fortunately, we know all about them, because we have our own line of wristbands designed to help you lift heavier safely. So read on to learn what they're used for and how to use them properly so you can decide if you want to add wristbands to your gym bag!  

A guide to wristbands: what they are, how and when to use them


What are wristbands?

Weightlifters, bodybuilders and even new weightlifters often use wristbands to help provide wrist support when pushing heavy weights. Some people may confuse them with suspenders, but they are not the same thing! Wrist straps only wrap around your wrist and they do not contain straps that wrap around your hand like lifting straps do. They are simply designed to add pressure around your wrist to help protect it and provide stability without limiting your range of motion. However, there are different types of wrist straps available to meet the needs of any type of lifter ...... 

● Wrist Strap: This is the traditional wrist strap that we discussed above. It is usually made of a durable material with a closure mechanism and is usually a sturdy VELCRO. They also provide thumb loops for those who need extra security while lifting. Fabric wrist guards are available, but if you lift weights, grab a durable pair of wrist straps with strong Velcro to ensure you get the compression you need for wrist stabilization.

Lifting Strap Combo (or Wrist Strap): This type combines a wrist guard with a lifting strap to give you the added support advantage of lifting support from the strap. So, in addition to providing compression to provide wrist stability, this combination also helps relieve grip fatigue so you can lift more weight to fully fatigue the target muscles! This combination is not as common as most lifters have a separate pair of weightlifting straps on pull days.

● EZ Grip Combo: This combo is perfect for those who want to protect their palms from blisters and calluses! It's basically a classic wrist strap, but with an extended leather (or other fabric) pad. The wrap provides wrist support and stability, while the pad helps you grip the barbell more tightly so it will help you lift safely while protecting your palms from the heavy weight.

● Hook Combo: This is very similar to the EZ Grip Combo, but instead of a pad, it has a hook. This combination is ideal for weightlifting and Hercules training because it helps increase grip strength and helps lifters achieve PRs in hard pulls, overhead presses and other heavy compound training.


When and how to use wristbands

The first thing about using wristbands is knowing when to actually use them! They are typically used for push presses and overhead lifts. Heavy duty wristbands are designed for weightlifters and should only be used when you are performing max/heavy weight sets. However, if you are training for hypertrophy (building muscle) and following a high rep, medium weight routine, then you can still use wristbands for support! High reps can put repetitive stress on the wrist and elbow joints, which can eventually lead to strain and injury. To help, you can use a wrist brace to reduce the stress on your wrists.    

However, while wristbands are a great weightlifting accessory, they should not be relied upon heavily. Relying on wristbands for every type of weightlifting may result in poor upper body mobility. Therefore, use them only for the heaviest lifts, not for warm-ups!

Not sure which exercises to perform with wristbands? Stick to strenuous pushing exercises, such as ......

● Max overhead deep squats

● Shoulder push-up exercises

● Bench press

● Triceps extensions

You can even use them for self-weight exercises like push-ups and pull-ups that require stiff and stable wrists!


How to wear wrist straps

Putting on a pair of wristbands is easy! It depends on the type, but for the classic Velcro, follow these steps to make sure they wrap securely around your wrists.

Step 1: Locate the thumb loop and align it with the inside of your wrist.

Step 2: Place your thumb through the loop so that the wrist strap fits over your hand.

Step 3: Wrap your wrist with the Velcro facing inward. The Velcro needs to be on the outside of the wrist when the wrap is complete. Keep the edges aligned as you wrap the edges around your wrist.

Step 4: Wrap it up until it is comfortably tight and secure it with the Velcro. It should be tight enough to apply pressure, but not so tight as to cause discomfort.

Bonus tip: Make sure the wrist strap covers the wrist joint enough to create support. If it is set below the joint, then they will become useless!

A guide to wristbands: what they are, how and when to use them


Benefits of Wrist Strap Weightlifting

Wrist straps help provide stability and stress to the wrist joint during weightlifting or pushing exercises. They help you by stabilizing the barbell or dumbbells and preventing any loss of strength in the shoulders or legs. So, how does this benefit your heavy workload? Let us tell you...  


Help you train harder and lift heavier weights: The stability provided by a weightlifting wristband allows you to train harder and push heavier weights. Heavier weights can damage form and quickly fatigue the wrist joint, leading to weightlifting failure. With wrist braces, you can get the support you need to help you complete more reps without wrist pain and fatigue holding you back.

Help relieve wrist pain and recover from injury: If you suffer from wrist pain or soreness and any type of weight can cause minor pain, use wrist straps to stabilize your arms and reduce the soreness and pain associated with heavy weights. If you are recovering from a wrist injury, which is common among avid weightlifters, use wristbands to ease your way back into weightlifting. Fortunately, with proper rest and activity, the wrist can recover quickly. So, once your wrist starts to feel better, use a pair of heavy-duty wraps for extra support! After recovering from a wrist injury, you can use wrist wraps in your pushing exercises to help your wrists get back into training. Doing so will help improve wrist stability and reduce stress on the joint.


Helps reduce the risk of injury: As we discussed, wrist wraps are designed to stabilize and protect your wrist joint while performing maximal/heavy overhead lifts. Heavier weights can add too much stress to the wrist joint and can lead to hyperextension of the wrist, which can lead to sprains or strains. Using wrist guards during maximal overhead lifts will help provide your wrists with the support they need to successfully complete the set and reduce the risk of injury.

If you are strength training and want to keep progressing in the gym, then definitely consider adding wristbands to your gym bag!

What to look for when buying the best wristbands for you

Everyone's weight lifting needs are different, so the best wrist brace really depends on your training style and goals. When looking for wristbands to add to your gym bag, there are three things you should consider ......

● Material: Typically wristbands are made of cotton, nylon or polyester blends. Choose the correct type of material for your lifts. If your primary focus is on high reps such as CROSSFIT training, then cotton may be a better choice because it is thinner, more flexible, and allows your wrists to breathe. For those who use wristbands to reduce weight, choose nylon or polyester blends. These wraps are stronger and more durable. We recommend using nylon or polyester wristbands, but again, it really depends on your training style and goals. 


● Length: Wrist strap lengths vary, ranging from 12 inches to 30 inches in length! The length of the wrap is important because you want it to be long enough to adjust the compression to your liking, but not so long that the wrap is too big and interferes with your training performance. For example, the optimal length for women seems to be 12 inches and 18-19 inches for men.


● Stiffness: In addition to material, pay attention to stiffness. Stiffer wraps don't necessarily mean they are better, but they are better for lifting weights. Flexible wraps are ideal for high volume workouts because you need good wrist stability and some flexibility to perform the exercise effectively.

Now you have all the necessary information to help you find the perfect wrist strap! You'll know exactly which type to get to maximize your training sessions and reach new heights in your fitness journey!


Don't know where to buy wristbands?

Look no further, because we have the ultimate collection of wristbands! Our wristbands are made of polyester and feature a strong Velcro material that holds the wristband in place. They are heavy duty and come in two lengths, 12 inches and 19 inches. Our original version is 12 inches in length and is perfect for women and anyone who performs high rep workouts such as cross training. Our WRIST WRAPS 2.0 are 19 inches in length and can be used by any weightlifter! The longer length allows you to adjust the compression to your liking, but not so long that you have extra material to get in the way of your workout. Use Partner Wrist Wraps to lift weights longer and more safely!


A guide to wristbands: what they are, how and when to use them

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