Stiff and Strong: A Review of Gorilla Wraps
© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.
One of the ways I pretend to delay the aging process is by hoisting heavy barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells at Crossfit Brea in Southern California. (For more information on my fitness follies, check out How I Lost Weight and Gained Health with Crossfit Workouts.) While the weight training has generally granted positive effects, it strained my upper forearms to a slight pain; enough so that it limited the weights I could use. For a time, I was afraid of not being able to do any overhead weights again.
The obvious solution was to visit my doctor to see if my thrice-weekly regimen inflicted a serious medical condition. The trainers and trainees at the gym suggested a cheaper alternative: wear wrist wraps, which compresses the softer parts and bones of the anatomy to lend them strength. Some samples were available that I could try out during a workout before committing. They did exactly what my fellow gym-goers said they would: eliminate the pain and increase the stability of my moves.
Gorilla Wraps consist of two strips of cloth (one per wrist) that each measures three inches wide and about 32 inches long, not counting a 13-inch strap. You wind one wrap Then, you twist the wrap in the direction of the winding to increase the tightness to your taste. For movements involving a straight wrist, such as overhead squats, the wraps go on tightly. For movements where wrists are bent, such as for cleans, the fit can be looser.
These fitness aids are the creation of James Acosta, who also does Crossfit at my gym, and who wanted a way to improve his lifting. He and his wife make each one by hand, which assures attention to detail and excellent quality. The wraps weigh almost nothing but you can feel the effect of their force in the movement improvement.
He hand-selects each fabric and while he does use standard colors, he sometimes discovers singular patterns at his sources. If you see a version that you like on his website, it’s best to buy it right away because you may not see it again, if it’s created from his one-of-a-kind treasures.
My partner brought him some fabric from Malaysia, which sported intricate batik designs. James turned this into a wrap to which he added a heavier cloth for heft, since the fabric proved to be too light. If there’s a fabric you want to use for your wraps, contact him to see what he can do. However, I imagine that as he gets more orders, he’ll be less able to do custom work.
If you experience any kind of wrist or forearm pain during exercise, try these wraps, which are reasonably priced and can add a spot of color to your workout wardrobe. I use them only for certain overhead movements. But my partner brings them into play for almost all his exercises, including pull-ups and pushups. If weights form only part of the workout, leaving the wraps on for complete sessions doesn’t adversely affect other exercises. His line now includes colorful headbands.
Note that the website is still under construction, so keep checking back as he adds new items.
- Release your Inner Animal | Gorilla Wraps
Home and ordering page for Gorilla Wraps.
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