How to Use Lifting Straps

by Jordan Syatt November 26, 2014

Lifting straps get a lot of hate.

And I understand why so many lifters and coaches hate on ’em.

More often than not, lifters overuse them for an ego boost rather than a tool for strategic overload.

But just because some people use them excessively doesn’t mean they’re worthless.

Truth be told, when used properly they are remarkably helpful.

The main issues pertaining to lifting straps are two-fold

1) Most lifters don’t understand when to incorporate them within their training

2) Most lifters have no clue how to put them on and properly use them

By the end of this short article you will learn exactly when it’s appropriate to incorporate lifting straps within your training as well as how to put them on and use them effectively. 

First, let’s talk about how to use them.

How to Use Lifting Straps

As simple as it seems, “How do I use lifting straps?” is one of the most common questions I get on a daily basis.

To end the confusion and help you understand how to use lifting straps effectively, I filmed the short 3-minute instructional video below.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk about when you should/shouldn’t be using lifting straps.

When Should You Use Lifting Straps?

whenWell…it depends.

Are you using them to overload a movement and handle supramaximal weights like during a rack pull? If that’s the case, this should be extremely rare. Maybe 3-6 total weeks out of an entire year.

Are you using them to get a solid grip in an otherwise challenging movement like Snatch-Grip Deadlifts? If that’s the case, you can do this as frequently as your programming calls for. Snatch-Grip Deadlifts are an extraordinary exercise and weight used should not be limited by your grip. Using straps for this and similar movements is extremely beneficial. 

Are you using them because you have an injury and won’t be able to deadlift otherwise? If that’s the case, this is totally fine just as long as you don’t drastically overload the movement. Continue to handle the same weights you would without the straps until your hand fully heals and you can get back to strapless deadlifting.

Are you using them because you don’t plan on competing and simply prefer wearing straps? If that’s the case, who am I to tell you to stop wearing straps? I’d rather you deadlift with straps than not deadlift at all. Just be cautious about overloading the movement too much & too frequently. Be intelligent and objective with your training to avoid injury and maintain longevity in sport.

Your Takeaway

As always, the answer depends. But if there’s one thing you take from this section let it be this: YOU DO NOT NEED STRAPS!

In fact, unless you have an odd injury or you’re competing in Oly lifting, you’re probably better off without them. Of course, there are obviously appropriate times & places to use them but, by and large, your training should include very few movements with straps.

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