How, why, and when to use pulling straps for weightlifting?

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Pulling STRAPS are an aid that should not be missing in every GYM bag of a weightlifter, crossfitter or POWERLIFTER.

As already mentioned in the article on wrist wraps, the hands are probably most stressed when lifting weights. Especially with high volume through many sets and repetitions, grip strength is an important factor. The strain is particularly high when doing exercises like pulls or hang snatch. Often it does not fail because of the force from the legs, shoulders, or back, but the grip force decreases or the forearms become firm and cramped.

But the perceived goal for heavy pulls or hang exercises is not to increase the strength of your grip. To get rid of this limiting factor, weightlifters use pulling straps for those heavy loads and high repetitions.

Using pulling straps lets you achieve higher training intensities and even the performance improves when your hands and forearms get relieved.

Weightlifters even use pulling straps for the snatch in their training, but you should not forget that pulling straps are prohibited in competitions and there you will need the right amount of grip strength.

Not to forget, the loose of the grip strength is a protection of our body which prevents overloading. With pulling straps it is possible to avoid this natural body protection, that is wanted for experienced weightlifters but can cause problems for beginners.

It is not recommended for beginners to train, especially complex exercises like the snatch, with pulling straps. Since the focus should be on the technique and getting used to applying the hook grip. With that in mind, the use of the pulling straps should be limited for pulls with a wide or close grip.

Using pulling straps is actually pretty easy, but you should keep a few things in mind.

In weightlifting the acceleration of the barbell is significant. It should be possible to let the barbell go at any time with no hesitation. The pulling straps must detach themselves easily and quickly from the barbell to prevent accidents and injuries. Pulling straps have a loop that is worn around the wrist.

The attached 20 cm long strip, which is made out of nylon, leather or fabric, is torn around the barbell. To tighten the straps, you only have to rotate the barbell and you feel how the strap tightens up. The wrist is now attached to the barbell and you won’t need a hook grip.

Pulling straps out of leather are proved to be most durable and better fitted at the wrist.

Since pulls are a necessary exercise of any weightlifter and are common in almost every training session, pulling straps are used often and intense. Therefore, they are part of the basic equipment of any weightlifter.

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