Deadlift Straps: Should You Use It Or Not?

eddie hall deadlifting with straps

Everyone who wants to do some weight lifting can always choose between bare hands and a special deadlift strap. If you are a beginner in a weight lifting or you want to start with it, then you certainly have one dilemma – deadlift straps: should you use it or not?

Well, we think that is a really important question because you don’t want to hurt yourself in such a dangerous thing with a risk of some pretty bad injuries, so we would now try to solve this problem for you.

What are deadlift straps?

Basically, these are straps which help you like a grip pad for a bar, but at the same time, they provide protection from scratching and chafing, too. The majority of people who are using these straps use them for deadlifts and you want a good grip on a bar when you are working deadlifts.

You certainly saw those in a gym, some guys are using them for weight lifting and some uses straps even for pull ups. But mostly you are going to see people using straps when it is time for deadlifting. And if this is your first time at the gym, just go to those guys and ask them about deadlift straps and why they use them.

Why people are using deadlift straps and why should you use them?

There are a few different types of a grip which people use for deadlifts, but whichever you choose your hands is going to hurt. But that is not an excuse to use straps; the deadlift is a painful weight training exercise.  With time your hands will adapt and then you will come to a point where your grip is a limiting factor because of the increased weight. And that is the moment when you need to start using deadlift straps if you want to lift more weight. Simply, little hand muscles will be unable to hold the grip tight so that you will need some help from the deadlift straps.

When people start using deadlift straps, they suddenly increase their numbers. The straps allow a better grip, and they allow people to hold a bar long enough because that is the sometimes crucial thing for a particular training regime. The targeted group of muscles can be fatigued enough and that is the purpose of every exercise.

Likewise, there are few more occasions when people are using deadlift straps, or they should definitely do:

  • Hand injury – deadlift straps should always be used when someone has a hand injury that prevents gripping a bar well. A sprained or dislocated finger is a good reason to use deadlift straps
  • Convalescents – people who are recovering from some hand or shoulder injury should always use deadlift straps. With better grip, you will feel more comfortable and it will help you with a proper workout trying to stay fit
  • In a competition, if they allow usage – most elite athletes use deadlift straps if it’s allowed by regulations

Work on your grip before you start using deadlift straps

A lot of experienced dead lifters advise you to work on your grip as hard as you can before you start using deadlift straps. Don’t be ashamed, train your grip with smaller weights. Even if you can’t lift because your grip is not strong enough, keep working on it. Sometimes you will need a year or two to improve and perfect your grip. After all, the bigger numbers will not run away. Be patient. When it comes to deadlifts, your grip could save your back and shoulders.

Why you should not use deadlift straps and when?

If you are a beginner in weight lifting and you just started working deadlifts, then you don’t need to worry about using deadlift straps in the gym. Some experts suggest that first two years you have to learn and pay attention to technique, not thinking about using straps. When you are a rookie, you have so much room to grow and you should concentrate on strengthening your grip and improving your overall deadlift skills.

If your hands hurt from deadlifting, remember, do not use deadlift straps. The pain is a part of a process and your hand muscles will get stronger. Instead of using straps, just work harder on your grip and with time you will see some progress.

And when you hit the cap and you realize that you can’t lift because it is too heavy and not because your grip is weak – it is time to start with deadlift straps. But remember, if you rely on straps too much, your grip is going to suffer.

Learn how to use deadlift straps

When you’ve decided to start using deadlift straps, please learn how to use them – it is a must! Maybe it looks pretty obvious, but it is better to inform yourself than to hurt your body.

There are many types of straps, but when you are buying them, it will go with the manual. If there are no instructions, then just ask your fitness trainer or find directions on the internet. Here is one quite nice video when you can learn how to use deadlift straps:

The most common types of straps are:

  • Loop straps – the easiest to find, made from nylon, leather or cloth
  • Speed (Olympic) straps – these straps have closed loop which allows you to get them quick and easy to the bar but it is not possible to adjust the tightness
  • Hook straps – you don’t need to wrap those around the bar and it feels quite nice. The only issue might be specialty bars because they don’t fit well.


Conclusion

We definitely recommend deadlift straps if you are experienced lifter because they can really improve your performance in training allowing you to work heavier. If your hand is injured, your shoulder is in pain, or you are convalescent, necessarily use deadlift straps. But if you are a beginner, then it is better to concentrate on improving your grip and your hand muscles while straps will not help you with that.

If you still having a second thought about deadlift straps or have some comments about it, please feel free to share it with us.

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