11 Best Lifting Straps To Help You Smash Your Lifting Goals

2022-12-21 16:15:04 By : Mr. Troy Sun

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Lift heavier with better form with our pick of the best lasso, Olympic and figure 8 lifting straps

You put your all into weight training: nailing your nutrition, sussing your sleep and ensuring adequate recovery, only to have your grip strength let you down. The good news? A decent set of lifting straps can change that.

An inevitable frustration of heavy weight lifting, wrist and grip strength can fail you before your larger muscles do, scuppering your lifting goals. But incorporating lifting straps into your training can help you lift heavier and avoid that post-weights session wrist ache.

In a hurry? No dramas. These are the best lifting straps available to shop now. Keep scrolling for the full list, plus tips on which to buy and how to use them.

Lifting straps are exactly what they sound like, strips of fabric that wrap around your wrist and barbell to aid grip and form a stable point of attachment should your fingers start to fatigue.

'Lifting straps are weightlifting accessories, usually made from canvas, cotton, leather or nylon with neoprene padding for the wrists,' says Mikey Smith, Assistant Fitness Manager & Elite Personal Trainer at Third Space. 'They are usually about an inch wide and 12-20 inches long.'

Lifting straps work by forming a loop between wrist and weight – typically a barbell, but they work on dumbbells and kettlebells too – to stop the weight from slipping out of your hands. 'The straps are looped around the wrist and attach your hand to the weight. This provides a much better connection to the apparatus you are using, especially if you are prone to sweaty hands or find the weight slips out of your hand easily,' explains Smith.

Lifting straps also increase the amount of weight you can lift. 'Lifting straps make holding heavy objects easier by improving grip strength, minimising fatigue and thereby building strength, particularly on pulling movements,' says Smith. 'Typically, they are used on heavy sets only, and not so much during warm up sets or lighter sets.'

Lifting straps can help you work with heavier weights than your usual threshold allows, and the benefits of heavier lifts go way beyond the thrill of smashing a new PB. 'Using straps allows you to lift heavier loads and perform more reps without compromising form,' says Smith.

'Although grip strength might be a separate issue that may need addressing, using straps can bypass limiting grip strength and allow a much more focused connection to the working muscle. Poor grip strength can cause failure before the target muscle has even been stimulated.'

By using lifting straps you're able to overload the major muscles groups in the hips, back and legs, forcing those muscles to adapt and build strength. They also help protect your wrists, particularly during exercises that target the arms and lower back. 'The bottom line is that straps will increase strength, help build muscle, and in most cases, help prevent a deterioration in form,' says Smith.

If you're a weight lifting newbie, it's unlikely you'll be lifting enough to benefit from lifting straps, but they can be a good choice for beginners looking to build confidence. When starting out it's also a good idea to work on your grip strength alongside your usual training, to ensure you have a solid foundation to work from.

'Lifting straps are commonly used by powerlifters, strength athletes and bodybuilders, however casual gym-goers can hugely benefit from using them too,' says Smith. 'Anyone who feels their grip strength is limiting their progress should invest in a pair.'

There are three main types of lifting straps – closed loop, or Olympic lifting straps; lasso, or loop straps; and figure 8 lifting straps. Here's what you need to know.

Sometimes called loop straps, Smith says these are the easiest to use and most popular lifting straps on the market. At one end of a lasso strap there's a small loop stitched in that you feed the other end of the strap through to create an adjustable loop (or lasso, hence the name). Your wrist goes through this loop, then you wrap the remaining tail piece around the bar – you can loop it multiple times for a tighter grip. 'Loop straps allow for a tight and secure connection, although it can be tricky to loop them in securely as a newbie. With time and practice this isn’t an issue,' says Smith.

Also known as Olympic straps, closed loop straps are exactly what they sound like – a closed material loop you attach to the bar. 'These are easier for some and allow for a quicker exit from a failed lift, but they aren’t as tight as the loop straps,' explains Smith. This quick release feature is also why they're favoured for Olympic lifts, as you need to be able to release the bar swiftly to get it over your head, but as a result are the least secure of the lifting straps.

Figure 8 straps loop around your wrist, go under the barbell, then wrap around your wrist again. As they can only be looped around the bar once they're not the most versatile, but are very secure, helping to anchor the wrists. Figure 8 lifting straps are ideal for deadlifts, but shouldn't be used in lifts where you may need to release the weight quickly, like an Olympic lift.

You might also come across hook straps, which look like a wrist brace with a curved hook attached. 'Hook straps don’t need any wrapping whatsoever, however they don’t allow the hand to grip the bar as tightly in the same manner as loop straps and don’t fit all pieces of kit that you may be using,' says Smith.

Whichever variety of lifting straps you go for, Smith recommends keeping quality and comfort in mind. 'There are various brands on the market and you usually get what you pay for,' he says. 'I would look for versatile straps made from heavy duty cotton with neoprene for added comfort, as straps can be abrasive to the wrists without that extra padding.'

Lifting straps are easy to use once you've mastered putting them on. 'There are many different wrapping techniques depending on the straps you are using, and various brands may have slight variations,' says Smith. 'I will assume that, like me, your preference is loop straps.'

From budget buys to cult classic Gymreapers figure 8 straps, we've handpicked the very best lifting straps to help you lift more, better.

These leather lasso style loop straps from Harbinger are widely considered some of the best lifting straps around. The wrist section is padded, stopping the strap from digging into the skin, plus they're incredibly durable and the long length provides a strong wrap around the bar.

Type: Lasso lifting straps Suitable for: Barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell

Leather Olympic lifting straps give a more grippy feel while still allowing you to release the bar quickly when needed, which is why we're big fans of these closed loop lifting straps. Leather also means great durability without being bulky, plus this pair have left and right specific straps to allow for even bar wrapping.

Type: Olympic lifting straps Suitable for: Barbell

On the hunt for great lifting straps Gymreapers is a brand you'll see crop up time and time again – and for good reason. These lasso straps can be securely looped two or three times around the bar to help support heavy deadlifts or rows, while the neoprene padding on the wrist makes them extra comfortable. They're made from a durable cotton blend, and you can choose from a range of colours, including black, red and military green.

Type: Lasso lifting straps Suitable for: Barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell

These budget figure 8 lifting straps from Myprotein have padded foam on the wrists and are super strong, constructed from a sturdy, heavy duty cotton weave. Simply place your wrist through one of the loops, pass the second loop under the bar and feed your wrist through to secure. Don't forget to stock up on protein while you're at it.

Type: Figure 8 lifting straps Suitable for: Barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell

At 21 inches (53cm) long, these lifting straps from British brand Bear Grip can be wrapped several times around the bar, plus they have textured rubber detailing for incredible grip. Made from double stitched heavy duty cotton, they feature a neoprene padded wrist guard and come in six colours.

Type: Lasso lifting straps Suitable for: Barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell

The gel grip on these loop style lifting straps helps lock the straps in place when in use, stopping potential slips and giving you extra purchase. They have thick, chafe-proof neoprene padding on the wrists and their 22.5 inch (57cm) length helps improve grip on the bar.

Type: Lasso lifting straps Suitable for: Barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell

These figure 8 lifting straps from Gymreapers are designed to provide serious support. They're made from thick, durable cotton with heavy-duty cross-stitching to withstand the heaviest of lifts, with a weight capacity of over to 1,000 pounds (454kg). Now, go nail that Romanian deadlift.

Type: Figure 8 lifting straps Suitable for: Barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell

These lasso lifting straps from the makers of our favourite whey protein are a sturdy budget option. Hard wearing and durable, they're made from a tough cotton weave and are padded for extra comfort on the wrists. Type: Lasso lifting straps Suitable for: Barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell

Yep, it's another set of Gymreapers, and these are ideal if you're looking for comfort when lifting heavy. When catching the bar at the bottom of a snatch there's a risk of sacrificing good form to avoid discomfort, and these closed loop lifting straps are the answer. Made from cotton with reinforced triple stitching, they're shorter than most lifting straps at 8.5 inches (21.5 cm), but this is a bonus as you won't have excess material in the way to compromise your technique.

Type: Olympic lifting straps Suitable for: Barbell

If you're stocking up on some of their quality (yet affordable) gym gear, you may as well throw in a set of these Gymshark figure 8 lifting straps. Made from a strong polyester and neoprene blend, they have comfortable wrist padding and a raised rubber Gymshark logo to improve grip. Type: Figure 8 lifting straps Suitable for: Barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell

There's no wrapping required with these hook style lifting straps from Bear Grip. They have a large, rubber surface area for grip, strong nylon webbing and padding on the wrists for optimum comfort. You simply slide the rubber hook under your bar, curl it over and back towards your hand, then grip and you're good to go.

Type: Hook straps Suitable for: Barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell