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Enhance Your Grip: The Comprehensive Guide to Using Lifting Straps

Lifting straps are primarily used to provide additional grip support during heavy lifting exercises, such as deadlifts, rows, and shrugs. The fundamental benefit of lifting straps is their ability to mitigate the limitations of grip strength. When lifting heavy weights, the forearms and hands often fatigue faster than the larger muscle groups being targeted. This discrepancy can hinder the lifter’s ability to maximize the load on these muscles, thus impeding overall strength gains.

By securing the barbell or dumbbell to the lifter’s wrists, lifting straps transfer a portion of the load from the hands to the wrists. This shift allows the lifter to maintain a firmer grip on the weight, facilitating better control and lifting capacity. Consequently, lifters can push their limits more effectively, leading to enhanced muscle development and strength.

Moreover, lifting straps can reduce the risk of injury. A weakened grip can cause the weight to slip, potentially leading to accidents or strain injuries. By ensuring a secure hold, lifting straps contribute to a safer lifting environment, particularly during high-intensity or maximal-effort lifts.

Types of Lifting Straps

Lifting straps come in various designs, each catering to different lifting needs and preferences. The three most common types are lasso straps, figure-eight straps, and closed-loop (or Olympic) straps.

  1. Lasso Straps: These are the most versatile and widely used lifting straps. They feature a loop at one end through which the other end is threaded, creating a secure wrap around the bar. Lasso straps offer adjustable tightness, making them suitable for a range of exercises and personal preferences.

  2. Figure-Eight Straps: Named for their figure-eight shape, these straps provide a very secure grip by looping twice around the wrist and the bar. They are particularly favored for heavy deadlifts and strongman training, as they minimize the risk of the bar slipping.

  3. Closed-Loop Straps: Also known as Olympic lifting straps, these are a continuous loop of fabric that slips over the wrist and wraps around the bar. They are quick to put on and remove, making them ideal for dynamic lifting environments such as CrossFit or Olympic weightlifting, where lifters switch between movements rapidly.

Proper Usage of Lifting Straps

To reap the maximum benefits from lifting straps, it is crucial to use them correctly. Improper use can not only diminish their effectiveness but also increase the risk of injury. Here is a step-by-step guide to using lifting straps effectively:

  1. Positioning the Strap: Start by threading the strap through the loop to create a circle. Slip your hand through the circle and position the strap around your wrist, ensuring it is snug but not too tight.

  2. Wrapping the Bar: Lay the excess strap over the barbell and wrap it around once or twice, depending on the strap length and your comfort. The goal is to create a secure hold that helps your grip.

  3. Gripping the Bar: After wrapping the strap, grip the barbell normally. The strap should now be providing additional support to your grip, allowing you to focus more on lifting the weight and less on holding onto it.

  4. Performing the Lift: With the straps in place, proceed with your lift. Ensure that your form and technique remain correct, as relying too heavily on straps can sometimes lead to complacency in form.

Integrating Lifting Straps into Your Training

While lifting straps are beneficial, they should be integrated into your training regimen thoughtfully. Over-reliance on straps can lead to underdeveloped grip strength, which is crucial for overall functional fitness. Therefore, it is recommended to use straps primarily for your heaviest sets or during specific exercises where grip fatigue is a limiting factor.

Incorporate grip-strengthening exercises, such as farmer’s walks, forearm curls, and dead hangs, into your routine to maintain balanced muscle development. This approach ensures that while you benefit from the enhanced lifting capacity provided by straps, you also build the necessary grip strength for overall athletic performance.


Lifting straps are a valuable tool for anyone serious about strength training. By understanding their benefits, selecting the appropriate type, and using them correctly, lifters can enhance their performance, increase muscle gains, and reduce the risk of injury. However, it is essential to balance their use with grip-strengthening exercises to ensure comprehensive muscle development. With proper integration, lifting straps can be a game-changer in achieving new personal records and reaching higher levels of strength and fitness.