What are Wrist Wraps?
Wrist wraps are cuff-like pieces of various material that fit around the wrist and support the wrist joint during the lifting and pressing of weights.
Wrist wraps are especially important when pressing or lifting max effort and doing overhead lifts.
Wrist wraps are intended to secure the wrists. After you continuously angle and use the wrist, putting weight on the wrist will begin to hurt or become sore.
This article aims to provide you our findings on the best wrist wraps for powerlifting currently on the market in 2019.
Without further ado, here’s our findings!
The Best Wrist Wraps for Powerlifting
Why Use Wrist Wraps?
Lifting weights, especially when maxing out on weights, the wrist undergoes serious amounts of stress. The purpose of wrist wraps is to stabilize your wrist to reduce injury.
When you lift weights, especially above your head, the lifting and pressing causes the wrist to extend. In some instances, the strain can cause the wrist to over-extend, which damages the movement of the wrist and can lead to injury.
Wrist wraps can provide extras support that your wrists need when lifting or pressing weights. By stabilizing the wrist, the wraps aim to prevent over-extension and exhaustion of the wrist joints.
The wrist wraps can also help prevent injuries within or surrounding the joints, including tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and syndesmosis. Overall, the wrist wrap is designed to reduce the strain on the wrist joints.
Wrist wraps, since they reduce pain and stress on the wrist, allow you to train more often. They also will allow you to have a firmer and stiffer grip on the weights, making it safer for you to life objects (especially above your head).
If the wrist is over-extended, you may drop your weights mid-lift, so wrist wraps can reduce the amount of dropped lifts.
When to Use Wrist Wraps?
You do not need to use wrist wraps in every strength-building situation. There are several different types of wrist wraps and they can be used in several different situations.
You should keep in mind that repeatedly using wrist wraps can actually weaken the flexors and extensor muscles in the wrist.
This is due to the fact that your wrist is not actually working and can begin relying on a wrist wrap to assist in a lift.
There are heavy wrist wraps, and these are used when you lift or press heavier amounts of weight.
It is ideal to use wrist wraps when athletes are lifting or pressing around or at max loads.
For those who have wrist pain but lift lighter loads, there are lighter wrist wraps that can support the wrist.
Additionally, lighter wrist wraps allow more flexibility, which will strengthen the wrist flexors and extensors.
As a general rule, unless you are lifting or pressing around 60 percent or more of your one repetition maximum (1RM), then wrist wraps are not entirely necessary.
How Do You Use Wrist Wraps?
Wrist wraps circle and hug the wrist to create pressure that surrounds the wrist. This pressure will stabilize the wrist.
Many wrist wraps have a loop for the thumb. You threat the thumb through the loop and pull the excess fabric around the wrist to build pressure around the joint.
Be sure to open the hand while wrapping the fabric around your wrist: this will allow blood to circulate freely through your hand while experiencing the pressure surrounding it.
Once the wrap is secured, the loop around the thumb can be unhooked (if desired), since the wrist wraps are secured by Velcro or another closure.
This way the thumb is not irritated by the loop. Again, this is not essential, but it is rather a preference.
The wrap should entirely cover the wrist joint, preventing the wrist from fully extending backward. However, the wrap should not extend more than 2 cm above the wrist joint.
What Size Wrist Wraps Should You Get for CrossFit?
The size (or length) of wrist wrap you should get depends on your lifting style, any previous injuries, and prior experience.
The length of the wrap differs in the amount of support they offer. The more you can wrap it around the wrist, the more support the wrap offers.
The longer wraps offer more support, while the shorter wraps offer some flexibility.
For those who have not worn wraps previously and/or have no injuries (previous or current), then a shorter wrap around 12 inches would be a good option. This wrap should go around the wrist about one time.
Those who lift heavy weights, have a previous/current injury or have experience with wraps, then you may want to consider using an 18-inch wrap.
This will wrap around 1. 5 to 2 times. This means it offers stiffer and stronger support than the 12-inch option.
There are also 24-inch wraps on the market. These wraps are more common in intense training and sports like powerlifting, strongman, or individuals only pressing max loads.
This is also a great option for someone who has serious wrist injuries or bad wrist joints.
Individuals in CrossFit can use any of the three options. The medium-length wrist wraps are a great option because they allow some flexibility that will strengthen the wrists without training the wrist to rely on it.
When to Use Wrist Wraps for Lifting?
You do not need to use wrist wraps for every strength-building exercise. The very first rule of thumb is that you first only need to consider wearing a wrist wrap if you are lifting overhead.
If you are not lifting overhead, then you assuredly do not need wrist wraps.
It is a good idea to use wrist wraps when you are building your max overhead squat.
It is also beneficial to wear the wraps when you are doing metabolic conditioning that consists of a larger number of repetitions of overhead lifts.
You do not need to use wrist wraps when the lift is not overhead, and you don’t need it when the weights and/or session is light and mild.
When to Use Wrist Wraps for Bench?
It is hotly debated as to whether or not to use wrist wraps for bench presses.
While some argue that it will maintain the wrist’s integrity in the odd position taken during the bench press. However, others argue that the wrist should be able to adapt and strengthen as you train.
It is generally a good idea to use wrist wraps for bench presses when you have weak wrists or previous injuries.
It is also a good idea if you are benching around 60 percent or over your max load.
You want to give room for the wrists to adapt and grow, but you also want to alleviate any pain when benching in the upper limits of your strength
When to Use Wrist Wraps for Powerlifting?
Wrist wraps are a great tool and piece of equipment for powerlifters. Similar to the previous sections, wrist wraps should be used towards maximum weight.
It is useful when you first introduce more weights to your regime.
Wrapping That is Right for Your Wrists
As you choose a wrist wrap, be sure to compare what you want with what kind of activity you are doing.
Some wrist wraps are not meant to be used for excessively heavy lifting. Instead, some are intended for moderate activity. WOD Wear is a great option for those doing mild activities.
You may also need to consider your price point. Bear Grips and Hustle Athletics offer durable wrist wraps at a moderate price point. However, you can find reliable options at lower prices that may work for you.
For those doing heavy lifting, you will want to consider heavier duty fabrics.
Hustle Athletics offers a durable wrist wrap for serious lifters, but this option is not necessary for lighter lifting.
We are hoping that this guide will give you a good start in thinking about what kind of wrist wraps you may need and the kind of features you should be looking for.
Always choose a wrap that will assist you in your strength and flexibility.