Wrist Wraps – How to get the most out of them!
Wrist wraps are one of the most common pieces of equipment you will see in any gym. They are a very useful tool for maintaining a stable wrist under load – for example in the bench press. As with any tool, however, you need to know how to use them effectively.
Choosing your wrist wraps
First up – selecting your wrist wraps. If you are on the beginner side of the spectrum, a ‘softer’ wrap will probably be preferable. A softer wrap will be more comfortable, while still offering a lot of support. If you have a smaller wrist, a 12 or 24″ length wrap will likely be a good place to start. If you have a bigger wrist, or are using relatively higher loads (as a complete fabrication – let’s say 140kg+), you may find a 36″ length or stiffer wrap a better fit.
Ultimately, wrist wrap length and stiffness are personal preference. For example I have a softer 36″ Gangsta Wrap for rep work on bench, overhead press, and squats (you can find them here). I have a much stiffer 36″ Titan Signature Gold wrap for heavy bench work (find them here). Depending on your gym and who you know there, you will probably be able to try a few different types of wraps before deciding what to order.
Using your new wrist wraps
Alright, so you’ve got your wrist wraps and you’re ready to bench. How should you wrap them? The job of a good wrist wrap is to support the joints of the wrist and create a barrier to movement of that joint, particularly extension (bending your wrist further backwards). With this in mind, you can start to visualise where you may need to wrap – we have to cover the wrist joint.
Wrapping underneath the wrist will provide some support via compression of the ulna and radius of the forearm, and some lifters prefer just this, but will provide no actual support at the wrist bones nor prevent extension of the wrist. In simple terms, I like to start with 50% of the wrap above the wrist joint line, and 50% below it. This will provide resistance to extension as well as compression at the radius and the ulna. For more information, check out the video below 😀