How To Use Lifting Straps

5 Easy Steps to Lift More Weight With Straps + Pictures & Video

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTUpdated: September 15, 2023

If you’re lifting heavy weights, you may find that your grip strength is holding you back, especially when doing exercises like deadlifts and other pulling movements.

Thankfully, lifting straps can help you get a better grip on the bar. In this article, I’ll go over everything you need to know about when and how to use lifting straps.

By utilizing this simple strip of fabric, you’ll be able to lift heavier weights and make faster progress in your gym workouts.

How To Use Lifting Straps

What Are Lifting Straps?

If you’re new to resistance training, you may not be familiar with lifting straps. These straps can help you maintain your grip on the barbell, and are also known as weight lifting straps, wrist straps, or deadlifting straps.

They’re made of sturdy material and are designed to loop around your wrist and the bar. By twisting the straps tightly around your hands, you can “tie” your hands to the bar, which provides additional grip during the lift.

It’s important to note that wrist straps are not the same as wrist wraps, which provide extra support. Wrist straps are mainly designed to improve grip.

What Are Wrist Straps

When Should You Use Lifting Straps?

Lifting straps can be incredibly helpful when your grip strength gives out before the working muscles fail. This is especially true when performing deadlifts or pull-ups, where your set may end because you can’t maintain your grip on the bar.

Using lifting straps in these situations allows you to carry on with your workout and achieve the desired results without being limited by your grip strength.

Although most commonly employed during pulling exercises with barbells, lifting straps can also be used with dumbbells, pull-up bars, and various pulldown cable attachments.

Common Exercises To Use Lifting Straps:

Are Lifting Straps Cheating?

Using lifting straps is not considered cheating. Instead, they are a way to modify an exercise to focus on a specific muscle group rather than using secondary muscles such as the forearms.

Some powerlifting purists may argue that relying on straps can cause weak forearms and a soft grip, advocating avoiding them altogether. I agree that it’s important to incorporate exercises without straps into your workout routine to improve your grip strength.

However, when your grip strength is the limiting factor, it makes sense to use lifting straps to achieve your goals. Don’t leave potential gains on the table because of a weak grip!

How To Use Lifting Straps

In the following sections, you will learn how to properly use lifting straps to ensure a safe and effective lift. To start, I will provide a step-by-step guide. Then, you can view a quick video demonstrating how to use lifting straps on a barbell.

Steps for How to Use Lifting Straps

Now that we’ve covered the “what, when, and why” of using lifting straps, let’s move on to the “how.” I’ll guide you through a simple 5-step process and provide detailed descriptions with pictures to make it easier for you to follow along.

Step 1: Slide The Loose End Through The Loop

First, thread the loose end of the lifting strap through the small loop on the opposite end. Make sure the straps are symmetrical, with one for your left hand and the other for your right.

How To Use Lifting Straps Left Hand Loop
How To Use Lifting Straps Right Hand Loop
How To Use Lifting Straps Left And Right Hand

Step 2: Put Your Hand Through The Strap

Next, put your hand through the strap so the loose end is between your thumb and index finger. At this point, you’ll also want to pull the loose end tight so the strap is snug around your wrist.

How To Use Lifting Straps Hand Through
How To Use Lifting Straps Tighten

Step 3: Wrap The Loose End Around The Bar

With the straps on your wrist, put the loose end of the strap under the bar, facing away from you while resting your hand on top of the bar. Now is a good time to set the width of your grip using the knurl markings.

Continue to wrap the loose end of the strap by bringing it back over the bar towards you. Once you’ve wrapped the entire length of the strap around the bar, place your hand directly on top of it.

How To Use Lifting Straps Begin Wrap
How To Use Lifting Straps Continue Wrap

Step 4: Tighten The Strap & Repeat

To properly tighten the lifting straps, place your hand on top of the strap and twist it towards you. Don’t worry about making it too tight initially.

Repeat the same process with the other hand. It may be a little tricky since both hands are now on the bar, but you can slowly work the strap around the bar using your fingers and thumb.

Once both straps are on the bar, twist them towards you as if revving a motorcycle throttle to tighten. Ensure to secure them as tight as possible to prevent the bar from moving.

How To Use Lifting Straps Continue Wrap

Note: Your hands probably won’t be this close together, I just did this so they would both be in the picture.

Step 5: Lift & Release

Now, you can proceed with your lift. As long as you keep pressure on the straps, they will remain in place. Release your grip when you finish the lift, and the straps will quickly unwrap from the bar.

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How To Use Deadlift Straps: Video

If you’re finding the steps confusing, watching a video of the entire process may help you follow it more easily. In this video, I demonstrate how to use lifting straps on a barbell for exercises like deadlifts, Romanian Deadlifts, and Bent Over Barbell Rows.

My YouTube channel has dozens of videos showing you how to do a variety of bodybuilding exercises. You’ll learn how to target and build specific muscle groups in 90 seconds or less. Click HERE to subscribe, or click on the button below!

Types Of Lifting Straps

In this article, I showed you how to use Harbinger lifting straps. I have no affiliation with this company, but I’ve had these straps for over 6 years, and they’re holding up well.

This particular brand also has neoprene padding to cushion the top of your wrist. And you can pick them up on Amazon for only $11.99.

When it comes to lifting straps, there are a variety of options to choose from, including figure 8 straps and heavy-duty hook grips, which are made from materials like cloth and leather.

In my experience, basic cotton wrist straps provide the most bang for your buck. They offer the same benefits as more expensive straps but at a much lower cost.

Ultimately, the best type of lifting strap for you will depend on your personal preferences and needs.

More Gym Equipment & Guides

For serious weightlifters, having a reliable set of lifting straps is essential. This simple piece of gear allows you to lift heavier weights and develop larger muscles without being limited by your current grip strength.

If you found this article to be helpful, please feel free to explore some of my other informative content below.

Wrist Curls Technique for Stronger Forearms

Landmine Attachment Install Guide

Sweet Sweat Waist Trainer Review

Ten Thousand Interval Short Review & Buyer Guide

Best Deadlift Grip & How To Improve Deadlift Grip Strength

With this information, you’re on your way to more productive workouts. For additional fitness content, check out our range of workouts, supplements, and bodybuilding news.

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By |September 15, 2023|Workouts|0 Comments
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