What do wrist wraps do? Are you curious about that? Of course you are; I used to be, too!
Wrist wraps might look simple at first glance, but they are engineered in order to allow humans to more safely lift heavy weights. But how does a piece of cotton or nylon provide such an advantage? That’s what led me to check – do wrist wraps work?
Wrist wraps, other than looking really, really cool(at least in some cases), are an integral part of heavy lifting. If somebody asked me about them today – I’d recommend using them in a heartbeat. In this article, I’ll dive deep into the way they provide an advantage to an athlete.
And they’re not just for lifting! These babies are great for every kind of workout that strains your joints. Let’s see why I like them so much, what are the benefits of wrist wraps, what wrist wraps are used for and why you’ll think you need them before the end of the article!
What Do Wrist Wraps Do?
Wrist wraps provide support and stability to the wrists during weightlifting and other activities that put a strain on the wrists. They help reduce the risk of injuries, improve grip strength, and allow for better performance and lifting technique.
What Are Wrist Wraps?
Basically, wrist wraps are your best friends if you’re lifting or doing any kind of workouts that strain your joints. They’re made of specially designed bands made from elastic or fabric material and you wear them around your wrists for support and stability.
If you’re not lifting super heavy weights or if you’re not that experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to fitness accessories, you may think you don’t even need them. That may be the case because they’re not an absolute necessity for everyone. Ever seen a runner on a treadmill with wrist wraps? Didn’t think so.
But consider this – lifting (of any kind) puts strain on your joints. It doesn’t matter if you can’t feel it right away. Your joints will remember the strain and thank you later; and when they do, you’ll remember wrist wraps and how they could have helped you.
If your wrists are weak, if you’re struggling with keeping proper form, if you’re recovering from wrist injuries – wrist wraps have your back (or… your wrists, to be more accurate).
5 Wrist Wrap Benefits
What are wrist wraps used for? How do they help? Now we’ll get to the nitty-gritty. I know I’ve been saying how I recommend, and love wrist wraps and for some of you, that may be enough to convince you to go out and get your first pair.
But I think the vast majority of you will need some more information on exactly how they work and how they can help you. So let me show you all of the wrist wraps benefits.
✅ Enhanced Wrist Stability
If you’re lifting or doing any repetitive wrist movements, stability is very important for you to do it correctly. If your wrists aren’t stable, they’ll move too much, and you will struggle with keeping them in a neutral position – which can lead to injury. Wrist wraps help you with keeping your joints stable and keeping you safe from injury.
✅ Improved Support
If your wrists are weak or untrained, getting that extra helper while you’re training the wrists and making them more robust is extremely efficient. The first time you wrap your wrists, you’ll likely notice a huge change; your wrists will feel supported and stable, and you’ll have a lot more confidence when lifting heavier weights. Trust me, the support that wrist wraps offer to your ligaments and tendons is unmatched.
✅ Reduced Strain
Of all the benefits that I’m going to mention, this is probably the most important. Repeated strain can cause a lot of issues (don’t ask me how I know!) in the long run, even if you don’t feel the strain while working out. That’s where wrist wraps come in – they distribute the weight evenly and make your joints happy.
✅ Injury Prevention
Can you imagine what a 300 lbs. weight can do to your wrists? Not to mention anything above that. Even if you’re experienced, you’re never 100% safe from strains, sprains and just generally injury. Wrist wraps tremendously reduce the risk of injury because they can prevent it by limiting too much movement and providing support.
✅ Improved Performance
Yes, you read correctly. Wrist wraps will help you lift heavier; as they stabilize your wrists, you’re able to create more power and force during lifts.
Do Wrist Wraps Help Wrist Pain?
Do wrist wraps help wrist pain? The answer to this question is not a yes or no, as much as I would want it to be. It’s a bit more complicated than that but, if you’re struggling with pain and want to work out, wrist wraps can help with making your workouts more comfortable.
Let’s say you’ve been lifting really heavy weights and now your wrists are resenting you big time. You still want to do your workout, but don’t know if you should. So, you think to yourself – do wrist wraps help with wrist pain or should I not risk it?
If the pain is not something that’s affecting your daily life, then wrist wraps will help with reducing it and you’ll be able to work out. The support they provide will help with the discomfort, and the compression will improve blood flow and reduce inflammation.
Also, you’ll notice that wrist wraps keep your wrists nice and warm; the warmth will help with the pain, and you’ll feel a lot more comfortable while working out.
If you’re struggling with confidence, that’s another thing wrist wraps can help you with because you won’t worry about making the pain worse.
Now, I do have to point out that this type of pain is not the same as chronic pain. If you’re experiencing chronic pain, do yourself a favor and check it with your doctor. Chronic pain can be an indicator of a health issue and there’s not a pair of wrist wraps in the entire world that will help you.
Get a professional to have a look at it and, once the chronic pain is gone and your wrists have healed, you can lift all the weights you want safely.
Do Wrist Wraps Help With the Bench Press?
For a lot of people, the bench press is what gets them into lifting because it looks so impressive, and it’s usually the first barbell-related exercise people notice in a gym environment (that, squats, or deadlifts).
And in the beginning, just as you are starting out, you might find yourself having fear, or worries. That feat prevents people from making any real progress because, let’s face it, dropping a barbell on your face does not seem very appealing.
Then I got my first pair of wrist wraps and they have been a great help. My writs felt supported, stable and I was much more confident in my workouts. Do wrist wraps help bench press? For me, they absolutely do.
When you wrap your wrists tightly, you keep them in a straight position. What does this mean, you ask? To put it simply – the force transfers better from your arms to the barbell and your lift is more effective just like that!
When I started using wrist wraps regularly, I also noticed my focus and concentration improved. Think about it – if you don’t have to worry about getting injured (or flat faced!), you can just focus on your form and technique.
And have you ever worked out too much or too heavy and felt that the next day? I know you did. We all have! Sprains (and even tendonitis) are not that much fun so if you want to keep the risk of it to a minimum, go out and buy yourself some wrist wraps. They’ll distribute the load evenly and, trust me, your joints will thank you for it.
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Difference Between Velcro Wrist Wraps vs Cotton Wrist Wraps
Well, where those two types of wrist wraps got their name has to do with the fastening system and the material used – so let’s start with these two. Cotton wraps are made from, well – cotton, hence the name. But it is not pure cotton, but rather a blend of cotton and elastic. Velcro wraps are usually made from pure synthetic materials such as nylon or polyester.
When it comes to the fastening system, velcro wraps have a – you’ve guessed it! A velcro fastening system! It allows for super quick and easy adjustments. Cotton wraps usually have no fastening system, but you rather wrap them around your wrists until you get to the end. And you simply tuck the end into the wrap to secure it from falling out.
Both of these are not set in stone, and the adjustability is almost limitless(well, not really limitless, but you get the jist), depending on the creativity of the person that designs the product.
There are also other differences between the two, like: durability, adjustability, comfort, washing, and when you’d want to use each of the two types of wraps.
|More durable, may lose stickiness over time
|Less durable, may stretch over time
|Not so adjustable
|Less comfortable, usually not breathable
|More comfortable, soft and breathable
|Usually not machine washable due to Velcro, air dried
|Machine washable, air dried
|WHEN TO USE?
|Powerlifting, weightlifting, bodybuilding, or wherever swift tightness adjustment is critical
|Boxing, or sports where long-term comfort is needed
Cotton Wrist Wraps We Recommend – WBCM Premium Cotton Wrist Wraps
You know what really irks me? When someone goes on and on about how great something is, and then doesn’t tell you where to get it or what the price is. But that won’t be happening today because I’ll introduce you to the Warm Body Cold Mind weightlifting wrist wraps. A product that was created as a result of a dozen years of athletic experience.
First, let’s get into the material. These are cotton, which is a huge plus for me. I used to use synthetic blend wraps that were mostly elastic, and I’d secure them with Velcro. Now, Velcro is annoying because it’s kind of noisy, and the synthetic won’t let my skin breathe (sometimes, I’d feel like my wrists were cooking under there!).
I don’t have that issue with these cotton wrist wraps, though! Cotton is natural and lets my skin breathe, which immediately makes me feel more comfortable. I can tighten the wraps with just one hand and the elastic strip makes the whole process easy-peasy.
Don’t let that cotton material fool you into thinking these are not durable! This is heavy duty cotton and stitching and there’s no signs of wear on these even after months of constant use.
The compression these offer is amazing. I don’t worry about injuring myself because my wrists stay very stable during workouts and the cotton keeps the wraps soft, so they don’t rub against my skin.
I have to mention, though, I do see these being a tad problematic for people with skinny wrists because they are quite long. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not unusable if you have skinny wrists, but you’ll need to wrap them around a bit more, which can make them bulky. If that’s not an issue for you, I recommend them 100%!
- Soft and breathable
- Excellent support and compression
- Available in different colors
- May not be suitable for people with skinny wrists because they’re long
Velcro Wrist Wraps We Recommend – WBCM Elastic Velcro Wrist Wraps
If you’re a serious lifter, then these weightlifting velcro wrist wraps are an amazing addition to your lifting experience. They were designed for lifters. They are super versatile and flexible, and they also provide immense support to your wrists even when doing the heaviest lifts out there.
One of the most important things about these wraps is the fact that even though you’re able to tighten them a lot – you retail the full range of motion in your arms. This is vital if you’re doing any type of cross-training workout, weightlifting, or calisthenics.
They’re available in two sizes (lengths) – 12’’ and 18’’. But you can buy them in one color option – black with red edges & logo.
- Size options cover most lifters
- The thumb loop locker allows for easy DIY wrapping
- Very comfortable considering they are Velcro wraps
- Not as breathable as cotton wrist wraps
At What Weight Should You Use Wrist Wraps?
I always recommend using them when lifting heavy weights (in the range of 70% to 80% of your max lifting capacity), but you should use wrist wraps any time you feel like your wrists could use the extra support.
Do Wrist Wraps Weaken Your Wrist?
Wrist wraps do not weaken your wrists. If you use them properly (and in moderation!), they provide support and stability.
Do Wrist Wraps Help You Lift More Weight?
Wrist wraps can help you lift more weight. They limit excessive movement, keep your wrists stable and allow you to focus on your technique instead of worrying about injury or being uncomfortable.
Well, there you have it! After covering when to wear wrist wraps, what the benefits are and what they do for you, I hope you think of them the next time you start lifting with bare hands (or… arms). If you include them in your workout just once, you’ll see – you’ll never want to exercise without them. Think of them as your little buddies that help you lift your weights safely and comfortably.
Now it’s your turn! Do you have anything to share with us, any tips perhaps? Have you tried the WBCM wrist wraps and how did you like them? Do you have a favorite pair of wrist wraps?
Leave a comment and then get to wrapping! 😊
- “Wrist Injuries and Disorders,” National Library of Medicine https://medlineplus.gov/wristinjuriesanddisorders.html (accessed Jul. 14, 2023).
- Ross Brakeville, DPT, “Wrist Sprain,” June 18, 2023, https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/wrist-sprain (accessed Jul. 14, 2023).
- Volker Schöffl, Andreas Heid, and Thomas Küpper, “Tendon injuries of the hand,” World J Orthop. 2012 Jun 18; 3(6): 62–69. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3377907/ (accessed Jul. 14, 2023).
Ihor Shymechko is a renowned Ukrainian weightlifter. He has represented his country in several Olympic Games, notably in 2008, 2012, and 2016. His impressive career includes winning the European championship in 2009 and earning a silver medal in 2011 in the +105 kg division. Shymechko also earned a Ph.D. from Lviv State University of Physical Culture.