Why lifting straps are underrated

written by Philip Stefanov  |  MAY 16, 2023

Lifting straps have received a lot of hate from lifters over the years. However, despite some potential drawbacks, straps can be an invaluable workout tool people should leverage.

Read on to learn why that is.

1. Grip More Weight

Lifting straps are long pieces of fabric with a loop for your wrist. Feed your hands through the loops and wrap the long pieces around a barbell or dumbbells to secure your grip.

In essence, you tie your hands to the external weight, which allows you to grip greater loads for more time. The grip support means you won’t have to strain to hold onto heavier weights, which can reduce the risk of the weight slipping through your hands and crashing to the floor.

The advantage here is that, by being able to hold onto more weight, you could provide a superior muscle stimulus and possibly experience more growth and strength gain. Of course, that will always depend on your technique––being able to grip more weight doesn’t mean you can lift it with proper form.

Extra grip support is particularly beneficial during heavy shrugs, deadlifts, rows, pull-ups, and other movements where grip strength could be limiting.

2. Focus on the Mind-Muscle Connection

Since lifting straps support your grip, they shift the focus away from holding the weight and make it easier to achieve a solid mind-muscle connection when doing back exercises.

Straps can make it easier to follow the cue of ‘lifting through your elbows’ and merely see your hands as hooks for the weights. As a result, you can feel a deeper and more satisfying burn in your back (especially the lats).

3. Train With Better Form

This is more of a hypothesis, but I’m inclined to believe that using lifting straps can positively impact technique.

The reason is that, by using straps to support your grip, you don’t have to focus as much on actually holding the weight. Instead, you can concentrate on other essential aspects of the lift, including bracing, body position, range of motion, etc.

So, aside from getting more out of each rep you do, straps can help you stay safe during your training.

Take the deadlift as an example. You might be strong enough to lift 315, 405, or even 495 lbs, but if your grip is a limiting factor, you will spend a lot of time and effort trying not to drop the barbell. That could affect your overall execution by making you less mindful of your hips, feet, spinal position, and midsection.

4. Keep Calluses From Getting Bad

While they can be unpleasant, calluses are an inevitable part of lifting. Avoiding them is impossible because some friction will occur when you’re gripping a weight and lifting it for multiple repetitions.

However, heavy and consistent lifting can cause your calluses to worsen and even tear open, which is unpleasant. Torn calluses are pretty painful and can interfere with your training, forcing you to use athletic tape and other remedies to mask them long enough to do your workouts.

The great thing about lifting straps is they can limit callus formation, thanks to the protective layer between your hands and the bare metal. As a result, the friction is far less, and you can more comfortably grip heavier weights.

The Bottom Line on Lifting Straps

If you’re looking to improve your strength training efforts and do your hands a favor, invest in a pair of lifting straps. They cost less than $30, are simple to use, and pay off in the long run.

That said, knowing when straps might work against you is important. If you’re new to lifting, hold off on the straps until you’ve built some grip strength. Using straps too early can limit your grip development, making it difficult to hold even lighter weights.

Similarly, those aspiring to compete in powerlifting should do enough strap-less training to grip enough weight and do well on competition day.

Thank you for taking the time. Until next week,


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