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Powerlifting has become exceptionally popular among fitness gurus the world over; in fact, the sport has its own federation (the International Powerlifting Federation) with over 100 member countries contributing to the competition. With such an expansive reach, there is no shortage of powerlifting accessories in circulation designed to improve your form, strength, and — you guessed it — power.
Wrist wraps embody the theme of most powerlifting products: they give you added support and protection, which in turn allows you to safely and confidently lift more weight. During pressing movements and overhead lifts, your wrists will be bearing a lot of weight and pressure, and may be pulled into excessive extension under load which can cause injury. Weight lifting wrist wraps can be a boon if used correctly, but are useless if worn carelessly. Let’s look at three tips surrounding weight lifting wrist wraps that will guarantee a better lift.
- Don’t warm up with them on. Wrist wraps are meant to offer an extra layer of support to your lifts; if you’re using them all the time, you’ll become dependent on that support. This can result in limited strength development in your wrist flexors and extensors which reduces the amount of weight you’ll be able to support in the long run. Compromise and only wear them when you’re working at or near max loads.
- Make sure they’re high enough up on your wrists. Any equipment that is used incorrectly is essentially useless. Since the point of the wrap is to support your wrist joint, it needs to actually be on your wrist joint. Many lifters make the mistake of wearing them too far down, effectively creating a bracelet that does nothing to help you lift. Tie your wrap so that it covers the wrist joint enough to create support and prevent excessive wrist extension.
- Use the right kind of wrap. You’ve got two choices here: cotton and velcro. Cotton wraps are thinner and more flexible, allowing for more range of motion (and therefore the ideal choice for clean and jerks or snatches). The velcro-bound wraps are thicker and are a better fit for bench or shoulder presses.
Once you’ve got a handle on weight lifting wrist wraps, you’ll be able to comfortably explore the rest of the powerlifting world. Remember: one small lift today, one world record tomorrow!