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What are Gym Straps?

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  • Written By: Patrick Lynch
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Gym straps are a piece of equipment worn around the wrist and designed to help a person lift more weight than their grip would normally allow. They are usually made from a heavy cloth with with an open loop at one end so that a hand can be placed through it. Gym straps are generally used for pulling exercises that involve a large amount of weight.

There are those who are dubious about the usefulness of gym straps, saying that they will not help your grip to improve. This is countered by proponents who point out that exercises like the deadlift are designed to increase overall strength, and this is more important than developing forearm strength. Certainly there is no reason why anyone should be held back by a lack of grip strength when it comes to weightlifting.

Although grip strength is vital in terms of overall progression, it can be developed through specific exercises like wrist curls and dumbbell holds. Just because one part of the body lags behind doesn’t mean that the rest has to suffer. The use of gym straps can help build strength and muscle all over the body while other isolation maneuvers can be utilized to strengthen forearms and grip.

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Gym straps can also be used to ensure that injuries don’t occur because of poor lifting form. When trying to move a large weight off the floor, a weightlifter may tend to lift with the back in order to somehow compensate for having a poor grip. Where large weights are concerned, a loss of control can cause a serious injury. Straps allow lifters to move the weight in a more natural manner through using their legs to bear the brunt of the force.

It is important to purchase gym straps that are comfortable and don’t put too great a strain on the forearms. Although lifters use straps with dumbbells, it is usually workouts involving the larger barbell that require their use. Once the straps are securely placed around the forearms, it is imperative that the loose piece of cloth remaining on the straps is wrapped around the bar tightly.

It is then vital to take a firm grip on the bar and pull it upwards using leg power. Those who have used gym straps have noted that they allow them to hold on to the weight for a very long time in comparison to previous workouts. Straps are an inexpensive yet useful piece of equipment that could help improve the overall strength of those who use them.

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