What is the difference between wrist wraps and lifting straps?


Man using weight lifting straps on barbell


Wrist wraps and lifting straps are often confused. They sound so similar yet serve very different purposes when lifting weights. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two:

Wrist wraps

Whatever lifting exercise you undertake, your wrists will be involved and it is important that the wrists are supported, especially when lifting heavy. Wrist stress and strain is common amongst weight lifters, particularly those who fail to give their wrists the extra support they need. This is often due to a concern that adding support will affect their gains, but this is not the case. Olympic lifters will always strap their wrists before attempting to lift. Failing to do so will likely result in injury, preventing them from competing. Wearing wrist wraps helps to protect the joint by stabilising the forearm and wrist, avoiding an unnatural position being formed and thereby putting excessive stress on it. Additionally, the support offered by wrist wraps allows you to push yourself harder, lift heavier and to smash your training goals!

Lifting straps

Weight lifting allows you to target specific muscles relative to your training goals. Whether you are targeting your back, chest, arms or shoulders, focussing on your key muscle groups should be the priority. How frustrating it can be then when lifting, if it’s your grip that lets you down! The purpose of weight lifting straps is to help you grip your weight lifting bar and undertake your lift without the fear of your grip giving in. By wrapping the strap around your wrists and wrapping the loose ends of the straps around your bar, then gripping the bar, you will achieve the support you need if your grip fails. Weight lifting straps allow you to lift more than your normal grip strength would otherwise allow, encouraging more reps and higher weight. For detailed instructions on how to correctly wear your weight lifting straps, checkout our guide on 'how to use weight lifting straps'.

Lifting gloves

If you’re tired of sweating hands interfering with your training, causing your bar to slip, weight lifting gloves are the perfect solution. As well as helping to prevent blisters and calluses, they’re also a hygienic alternative to touching gym equipment. There’s a huge variety of weight lifting gloves to choose from including gloves which have an integrated wrist wrap offering the same support as individual wrist wraps. The York leather weight lifting gloves with wrist wrap are a great and affordable option.