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Why You Should Be Using Lifting Straps During Deadlifts

Updated on June 27, 2013
Without straps, it is unlikely this individual would be able to lift this sort of weight. With the aid from the lifting straps, he is able to utilize his leg and back muscles to their fullest extent and complete the lift.
Without straps, it is unlikely this individual would be able to lift this sort of weight. With the aid from the lifting straps, he is able to utilize his leg and back muscles to their fullest extent and complete the lift. | Source

A Powerful Tool

While many hardcore, "old school" lifters may scoff at the sight of a gym newbie taking time to strap his hands to the bar during a deadlift in order to maintain his grip, this does nothing to deny the many benefits that can result from lifting heavier weight than one would normally be able to. For many, failure to complete a repetition of a deadlift occurs due to insufficient hand strength, allowing the bar to slip off of his or her fingers and crash downward to the floor. By utilizing straps, however, one can eliminate a grip deficiency entirely and load as much weight as their back and legs can handle, not just their hands.

Don't Waste Strength

The deadlift is the king of all weightlifting movements: it works virtually every major muscle group in the entire body, ranging from the upper and lower back to abs and thighs. There are plenty of variations of this lift, but there is simply no complete replacement for it. With an extreme amount of muscle fibers being worked and an unparalleled ignition of the central nervous system, the deadlift is a key component in any serious lifter's repertoire. The amount of muscle built over time is more or less correlated with physical strength; for natural lifters, the strongest are usually the biggest. Therefore, the heavier the weight that is lifted, the more muscle mass will result. Wrist straps allow the excess weight on the bar that cannot be held by the user's hands to be placed upon the material of the straps, which is usually composed of durable nylon. With all this information in mind, it's an obvious conclusion that deadlifting heavy over time will transform your physique, and wrist straps can greatly aid you on your journey.

Straps allow increased weight to be handled, thus allowing muscles to be worked harder.
Straps allow increased weight to be handled, thus allowing muscles to be worked harder. | Source

Hold on Tight

For example, let us assume that a 180-pound man has the leg and back development to handle a 405-pound deadlift, but his grip strength only allows him to hold 315 pounds. He could either limit the development of his physique by allowing his inadequate grip to inhibit his overall progress, or he could make use of his straps and lift nearly a full 100 pounds more. That kind of weight difference will have a very dramatic impact on his muscularity over time.

While it could be argued that extensive usage of straps will lead to an even weaker grip, using them solely while performing deadlifts will have virtually no negative impact on the lifter, especially if other pulling movements, such as chin-ups and barbell rows, are performed on a regular basis.

Alternatively, if the lack grip development is a genuine concern, one could throw in fifteen minutes of grip-specific training at the end of a workout to help account for the difference. Grip training is relatively simple and will quell your fears of having substandard gripping strength.

At an average price of ten dollars for a pair, wrist straps are nearly a necessity for those without superhuman, bone-crushing grip that seek to take their physique to the next level. Not taking advantage of such an accessible tool only serves to limit success.

I have been training heavily while deadlifting with these straps for an extended period of time. They have yet to disappoint me.
I have been training heavily while deadlifting with these straps for an extended period of time. They have yet to disappoint me. | Source

What Straps Should I Buy?

The quality of your lifting straps is very important. Short-term, it may not matter much if your $6 straps become torn and frayed after a few weeks, but for serious lifters, this is money that has to be spent frequently, accumulating to a price far greater than higher quality straps. My personal recommendation is Iron Mind's Strong Enough Lifting Straps. I have been using them for over six months with no trouble, and the quality has not diminished in the slightest.

But don't take my word for it; Zydrunas Savickas, one of the absolute strongest men of all time, utilizes these straps when he lifts. If they don't tear or fray for him, then they certainly will not for anyone else.

A Valuable Investment

When working out at the gym, you will very rarely see a person wearing jeans. Jeans restrict mobility, and thus limit one from performing at optimum efficiency. Using straps while deadlifting is no different than wearing gym shorts; they are both worn in order to ensure that 100% effort may be given.

Other than the previously mentioned potential grip deficiency (which can easily be resolved), there are virtually no drawbacks to using lifting straps. Chances are, if you are not currently using wrist straps, you are not handling as much weight as you ideally could, so grab a pair and see how far they can take you.

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    • profile image

      Jay 2 years ago

      Hey Cycling, news flash for you.......you're grip will ALWAYS be weaker than your grip! I always use straps for Deadlifts (working sets of 5 by 3 sets) and heavy sinlge db row. I also however take time to work my grip spcifically to make up for it. I have been deadlifting for only 4 months having used straps ands still have put 495lb (no hitching) If you want to use the well powerlifters shouldn't that's your choice. I'ld rather not hinder my back's development. Remember for powerlifting you have to pull the weight ONCE!! not for multiple reps.

    • profile image

      Jay 2 years ago

      Hey Cycling, news flash for you.......you're grip will ALWAYS be weaker than your grip! I always use straps for Deadlifts (working sets of 5 by 3 sets) and heavy sinlge db row. I also however take time to work my grip spcifically to make up for it. I have been deadlifting for only 4 months having used straps ands still have put 495lb (no hitching) If you want to use the well powerlifters shouldn't that's your choice. I'ld rather not hinder my back's development. Remember for powerlifting you have to pull the weight ONCE!! not for multiple reps.

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 2 years ago from Nottingham UK

      I would argue that by using grip straps you'll be creating a weakness in your grip and arm muscles