If you walk into a gym or a CrossFit box, it is a common sight to see a gear, made of some cloth material, wrapped around a lifter’s wrists. These are called wrist wraps.
There are two kinds of wrist wraps being sold on the market today: cotton wraps and neoprene wraps.
Cotton wraps are generally thinner and more breathable because of its material. They also provide more flexibility of movement.
The neoprene ones are usually those that are Velcro-bound and are thicker. They provide more support and the material also wicks moisture better than the cotton ones. The kind of wrist wrap that you will need would depend on the activity that you will be doing.
Wrist wraps, in general, are made to provide support to the wrists joint during heavy lifting, especially when executing pressing movements and overhead lifts. Other than providing support, they actually have a lot of benefits.
My Personal Experience
Last year, I was going for a heavy clean and failed the lift, resulting in a strained wrist. Any movement that required a bent wrist sent pain through my wrist. It was probably the most frustrating injury I have experienced so far in my CrossFit life because it didn’t hurt much, and the recovery was slow and tedious! I knew it was ligament damage, so I invested in my first set of wrist wraps to help prevent the injury getting any worse.
The exact wraps I bought were these wrist wraps by Rip Toned, and I found them to be absolutely perfect for the job. Less than a week after it happening, I was able to do Toes to bar, light Deadlifts and light snatches. Cleans, or anything in Front rack position was still a no go. Without these wrist wraps, there was a high chance of hurting my wrist further. It took a good 4-6 months for my wrist to be completely healed, and that was with the help of a bit of rehab.
Are Wrist Wraps Good For Heavy Lifting
First is that wrist wraps enable you to lift heavier. Wrist wraps are made to aid your grip which will allow you to hold heavier weights longer, without the risk of them slipping out of your hands.
Wrist wraps can also make you train harder, better, and more effectively. Wrist wraps will let you get a lot more from your workouts.
When used properly, you will be able to execute any movement or any exercise without feeling any strain or pain in your hands and wrist. Each movement will feel comfortable and you will feel fully supported. Meaning you will be able to do more sets and repetitions.
Wrist wraps support your wrists even when you are exerting your maximum effort. Apart from just strengthening and increasing your grip, they provide the ultimate support when lifting weights. Because of this, the risk of incurring hand or wrist injuries is reduced.
Reduces Strain in Muscles
Furthermore, because wrist wraps allow you to lift heavier weights while providing support, the strain on your muscles and joints is also reduced. You will generally feel less sore after a workout whenever you use wrist wraps. Repeated strains also causes injuries, and wrist wraps help reduce the chances of getting weight lifting related injuries.
Given all these benefits, using wrist wraps does sound like a good idea.
However, but for you to get all these benefits, you should know how to use them properly and when to use them.
Choose the Wrap Most Appropriate to your Exercise
First and foremost, you should use the right kind of wrist wrap for you. As mentioned earlier, there are two kinds of wrist wraps. Choose the one that is more appropriate to the exercise that you will be doing.
Generally, lighter loads do not require the maximum support provided by those velcro-bound neoprene wraps. In line with this, heavier loads will probably strain your hand or wrist, which could lead to injury, if you wear cotton wraps.
Our recommended neoprene velcro wrist wrap are by RipToned and currently on a discount at Amazon.
Simple and light weight exercises and bodyweight exercises do not require the use of wrist wraps. In the same way, you also do not need to use wrist wraps when doing gymnastic movements in Crossfit.
Also read: Best Knee Sleeves for Crossfit
Also, wrist wraps should not be used when warming up. The only exception to this is when you are training or competing with a wrist injury.
It is actually advisable to use them only when lifting or working on maximum loads. You should not be dependent on wrist wraps. Becoming dependent on them all the time will actually limit the strength development in your wrists flexors and extensors.
Do Not Use Wraps to Hide Discomfort
Another is that wrist wraps should not be used to hide mobility or flexibility problems. Athletes often use wrist wraps because they feel discomfort whenever they are doing a particular movement or exercise. They use the feeling of discomfort as an excuse to wear wrist wraps.
More often than not, the reason for this discomfort is usually poor form and positioning, and poor mobility. So for a wrist wrap to be more effective, you should always be mindful of your form and positioning. As every athlete should know, form is key. This applies to any exercise for it to be effective.
So to summarise, wrist wraps are great for lifting while bearing in mind to use the right one for you, use them properly and only when appropriate, and practice the correct form. This is so you can reap the wonderful benefits that wrist wraps provide.
Kevin also likes to eat healthy. He usually prefers to prepare his own meals. His cheat day favorites are his own versions of cheesecake and panna cotta.
Aside from being a blogger, Kevin is also a ghostwriter and CrossFit box manager. In between his many activities, he always finds time to squeeze in living a healthy and active lifestyle.
You can check out his updated PR's on http://kevinolega.com/fitness
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