I don’t like talking about lifting equipment. Generally, I look at these accessories as band-aids that mask the real underlying problem.
But sometimes that’s not the case.
Today I wanted to talk specifically about wrist wraps. What are they? Why would you use them? When would you use them?
What are They?
Wrist wraps are short pieces of fabric you wrap around your wrist. I know you’re shocked.
More specifically, they’re stiffer than standard clothing materials. They also stretch a little.
So you pull them tight, the fabric stretches, and then you wrap it around your wrist. It’s like a big hug, except there’s nothing warm and fuzzy about this hug because it cuts off your circulation.
Why Would I Use Them?
Wrist wraps give your wrists a little external support. This is especially helpful if you’ve got wrists with a really small circumference. This means there’s less area in your wrist joint to disperse the forces from the weights you hold in your hands. It’s like stepping on a nail instead of a boulder.
Loading, especially while the wrist is bent back into extension (i.e. back of hand comes closer to forearm), can be contraindicated for some. This position puts extra stress on the cartilage in your wrist. For these individuals, I’ll try to make sure their wrist stays straight whenever they push things.
The fix for push ups may be to use handles when you do push ups. When pressing a barbell or dumbbells, wrist wraps can be especially helpful, but make sure your wrist position is shored up first—knuckles pointed up to the sky.
When Do I Earn the Right to Use Them?
I may tell you about them if…
- You push some real heavy stuff from time to time
- You compete in powerlifting
- We’ve cleared up movement and positional dysfunction (i.e. technique is sound and you’re neutral), but your wrists still hurt
- We can never seem to get on top of your wrist issues, especially if you have a host of other things to worry about
If you haven’t been training for more than a couple months, I’m probably not going to tell you about them.
If you feel the need to use them, ask one of the trainers at the gym and they’ll tell you if they’re appropriate for you or not.
*Images by Allen Tucker