Best Weight Lifting Straps Review: Wrist Support For Deadlifts, Olympic Lifting, Bodybuilding & Strongman
Are your hands sore or torn from lifting heavy weights?
Perhaps you are stuck on a deadlift when your muscles aren’t sore, but your grip lets you down?
Trust me, I’ve been there...
And it sucks.
It’s not just with the deadlifts. Basically, anything that has to do with heavy lifting or pull-ups.
So, if your grip goes to hell while trying to pull off a snatch, there is a solution.
You need a lifting strap.
These are made to strengthen your wrists and give you that extra support.
Of course, you still need to work on getting a better grip while using them.
Now, if you are wondering what the best lifting straps for deadlift, strongman, powerlifting or weightlifting are, this review will show you the light.
It will not only save you the stress of finding the best wrist straps, but it also settles your mind of any doubt in the information section.
- Top 6 Best Lifting Straps Reviewed
- What Are Lifting Straps?
- Available Types & Styles
- Lifting Strap Materials: Pros & Cons
- When, Why & How To Use Them
Top 6 Best Lifting Straps Reviewed
1. Serious Steel Figure 8 Straps
Our Verdict: Best for Deadlifts
This is easily the best lifting strap for max deadlifts.
To make things clearer to you, it has been tested on a 1,000 lbs deadlift and did amazingly well.
This is no surprise with the kind of material and stitching used to produce figure-8 style lifting strap.
It is made with thick canvas cotton which is also extra padded along the wrist to ease you through a heavy deadlift. Also, the strap is double stitched which makes it not only good for heavy deadlifting but also prevents the seams from fraying.
One thing I like about the Serious Steel Figure Eight Straps is that it comes in varying sizes (60cm, 70cm and 80cm) that support different wrist sizes and lifts. For instance, the largest size, 80cm, is the perfect option for axle deadlifts.
But, you need to get the 70cm size if your wrist size is the max circumference for the 60cm size.
With the perfect size, there is no need to worry about dropping the weight or suffering pain on your wrists.
If there is anything like too much grip, you just may have it with this strap.
But the thing is, they are only suitable for deadlifts and other strength workouts that use only limited movements. In this case, it is also a choice to consider for strongman and powerlifting training.
2. Harbinger Cotton Padded Lifting Strap
Our Verdict: Most Versatile
The Harbinger Cotton Padded is a lasso single- loop strap which makes it versatile. This is because it’s good for both slow-tempo movements with barbells, dumbbells, pull-ups, and kettlebells.
And it also works fine with power movements but with moderately sized weights.
Talking about the cotton material, it is made of heavy-duty cotton which is durable, but not as much as that of the Serious Steel Figure 8 Strap. For even better durability, the cotton has heavy-duty stitching, and the ends are overlocked which prevents it from fraying over time.
But that isn’t even the best feature of this strap.
It has an added cotton pad which is made with Harbinger’s Neotek technology.
In simple terms, the cotton pad gives your wrists extra cushion and is also long-lasting. Surprisingly, the cotton pad does a good job of absorbing sweat.
Furthermore, the cotton material is unlike that of other cotton straps would still be stiff after several weeks of use. From just one or two sweaty sessions, it breaks in and you won’t even suffer from chafed skin before this happens.
But be careful of what workouts you use it for.
Its versatility for use in fast and slow movements doesn’t transfer to bar security in heavyweights.
I’d recommend the Harbinger Cotton Padded Lifting Strap for the recreational lifters and bodybuilders that don’t lift extremely heavy weights.
3. Rogue Oly Lifting Straps
Our Verdict: Best for Olympic Lifting
When it comes to Olympic weightlifting straps, you think easy to strap in, comfort, and quick dumping.
The Rogue Oly lifting straps makes a good fit.
Its nylon material is particularly soft, smooth and light on the skin. For this reason, it isn’t stiff and bends really well from first use. Also, your skin is less likely to be chafed.
Most importantly, it saves your thumb while practicing with the dreaded hook grip in Olympic lifting movements.
When it comes to durability, the nylon material is likely to withstand wear and tear for a long time from heavy load and bar knurling.
The downside to the nylon material is that it takes a while – around two weeks - before it becomes worn in.
For easy strap in and release, it has a short 10” length and 1 1/2” width. This is a one size fits all measurement. Though, if you have smaller wrists, you may have issues with the strap moving up your wrists.
However, it doesn’t provide the best bar security with slower and heavier lifts like rows and deadlifts.
But this isn’t much of an issue since you want to be using them for Olympic lifts like snatches and power cleans that require a quick release strap when dumping.
- Good choice for snatches and clean-and-jerks
- Feels soft and light on the skin
- Protects thumb from damage while using the hook grip
- Easy strap in
- Quick release
- Takes longer to break in
4. IronMind Strong Enough
Our Verdict: Best for Strongman & Power Lifting
The IronMind Strong Enough lifting strap is no doubt the best for strongman competitions and weight training.
Asides being a top choice by Strongman competitors, it was actually the official lifting strap of the 2010 World’s Strongest Man Contest.
But they are also good for general use.
If you are wondering why...
It is made from synthetic nylon materials which makes it sturdy and strong just as you’d require for the heavy load in the strongman category. Also, the loop is double stitched to ensure that it doesn’t rip off or fray.
On the flip side, this strap gives up comfort for durability. Due to its synthetic and stiff material, this strap is a bit hard on the skin and would need some time to break in.
Nevertheless, it works well with heavy lifts and won’t fray or rip apart from the pressure of heavy lifts or friction against a bar with newer knurling.
So, if you are looking for a strongman-oriented lifting strap for heavyweights, this is a great choice.
But if you don’t work with a heavy load, you are better off with other lifting straps that are cheaper and more comfortable
5. IronMind Sew Easy
Our Verdict: Best for Weightlifting
This is another good all-rounder like the Harbinger Cotton Padded. But it’s a better option for weightlifting because of its single loop style.
This makes dumping the weight after failure easy when performing cleans or snatches as it is quick to release.
The IronMind Sew Easy is made of nylon which is a tough and unlikely to rip off or fray. But it's slick and would need to go through several uses to break in. Using it on a bar with newer knurling and chalking it up is another way to go about it.
What I like about this strap is that it also works well with power lifts like the deadlift. The width and strength of the strap maintain comfort and supports the weight.
In all, this strap is easy to use and doesn’t inhibit movement mechanics when performing any kind of lift.
In spite of these, you may have a problem with keeping and getting the strap on your wrists. Also, smaller wrists might slip out if not properly placed.
6. 321 STRONG CrossFit Lifting Straps
Our Verdict: Best Economy Choice
This lifting strap from 321 Strong isn’t a run-of-the-mill or cheap lifting strap you can get in your local store.
For the price and qualities it offers, this lifting strap is an offer you can’t refuse if you are on a budget.
First, it is a lasso strap which is a versatile choice. So, if you aren’t lifting giant weights, you can use it for virtually all kinds of movements without any hindrance to your mechanics.
It is made of strong cotton which is capable of withstanding frequent use from the average gym goer. Plus, it has an 8” Neoprene padding which gives your wrist extra support and protection.
Also, it’s generous 24” length provides enough strap to grip the bar and still have some left.
The special thing about this product is that you get a personal message from the business owner who is available in case there is any problem. To me, this is a nice personal touch.
Another thing is, it comes with a clear zipper bag to straps.
On the flip side, the neoprene padding makes it hard to fit the straps if you have smaller wrists. Also, the strap is not durable enough for people who lift heavy.
All in all, this strap offers great value for its price and I would recommend it to anyone on a budget.
What Are Lifting Straps?
First off, lifting straps are not the same as wrist wraps for lifting.
Even though their names sound very alike and maybe a bit of a tongue twister, they are used differently, but definitely for similar tasks.
A lifting strap is a piece of material worn around the wrists and wrapped around the bar. Many gym goers users use a lifting strap when the target muscle isn’t sore but have a grip failure.
Lifting straps are made with various materials and come in varying sizes and styles for different uses and level of comfort. Some styles are good for general use while some – like figure 8s – are only good for deadlifts.
The sole aim of a lifting strap is to allow you to get more reps when your grip has failed or when an injury is slowing you down.
Available Types & Styles
There are three (3) different styles of lifting straps and they all provide grip but different levels of security.
The single loop is very easy to use and offers the needed grip but with little assistance.
Basically, the whole of the lifting strap forms one loop with a stitched part (tail) at one end. Then, you put your wrists through the loop and wrap the tail around the bar till it fits snugly.
This kind of style offers the least bar security but it has a quick release and is a versatile option.
This is why powerlifters who already have a strong grip use it in practice to ease the stress off their thumbs.
The lasso style is probably the most common type you see around. This is because it is a great option for recreational lifters are bodybuilders that actually make up the bulk of gym goers.
A reason to consider this style is that it also versatile, but not as much as the single loop version. But it offers better bar security than the latter.
A lasso-styled lifting strap has a loop that you will cinch the strap through to form a lasso or noose. Then, you place your hand inside the lasso/noose, if you haven’t already, and wrap the long tail around the bar.
Unlike the single loop style that has a preset size, you can fit the lasso style to your desired size and pressure on your wrists.
Also, there are various options available with the lasso style. For example, some give extra padding with foam or neoprene. And, you can find a lasso style lifting strap available in any type of material.
This is the least versatile style of lifting strap but it offers the most bar security. It is basically only suitable for pull movements such as deadlifts.
As its name implies, it is a strap that is stitched in the middle to create two loops that form a figure eight (8) pattern. To strap in, you fit your wrists in one loop and wrap the other loop around the bar such that the stitch in the middle is under the bar. After that, you put your into the second lift and start your workout.
Its maximum bar security takes away the option of quick release. This makes it unsuitable, and in fact, unsafe, for power movements or lifts where dumping the bar may be necessary such as clean and jerks or snatches.
This style of lifting strap is made with heavy-duty materials that are built to withstand heavy load. Most figure 8 straps can support up to 1000lbs.
Lifting Strap Materials: Pros & Cons
The material of a lifting strap is important to know which one suits you best.
This is especially important if you have a sensitive skin which is easily marked or chafed.
Cotton is the most commonly used lifting strap material.
It’s no surprise since it offers the most comfort, which many average gym goers look for compared to strongman type lifters.
More so, this material does a good job of absorbing sweat if that’s a point for you. However, cotton straps with extra padding for comfort may take away some of that sweat absorption point.
Also cotton seems takes less time to break in and become loose compared to other materials. It takes even less time to break with softer cotton materials is you are concerned about that.
But, it is important to note that softer cotton will stretch under the pressure of heavyweights. This almost defeats the purpose of using them in the first place. So, tougher materials, like heavy-duty cotton, nylon, and leather may give you better results.
Nylon is also common and is the kind of stuff that car seat belts are made of.
It has a soft feel on the skin and takes a bit more time to break in compared to cotton. It also chafes the skin a bit when it faces heavyweight. But, the comfort varies with the finishing and texture of the nylon.
Also, it sucks at absorbing sweat, so it isn’t an option if you are into CrossFit or any high-intensity program because the strap will be unstable on your wrists.
On the flip side, if you are a heavy lifter, this is the go-to option to support the maximum load without stretching.
This is the least common of all the lifting strap materials. Most times, it is used because of a personal affinity with the feel of leather.
It has an entirely different feel on the skin from that of cotton and material. It has a soft, yet grainy and natural feel on the skin.
But as you’d expect, they are not good at sweat absorption and would need to be tightened several times within a sweaty gym session.
And just like other materials, the softer the leather, the less time it will need to break in and become loose.
One thing they are good at though is taking all the force from a heavy load.
When, Why & How To Use Them
If you still think using a lifting strap makes you a wimp, then you should consider that some of the world’s strongest men use lifting straps.
But why exactly should you consider using them?
For Better Grip
This is the fundamental reason to wear a lifting strap.
You are at the gym sweating it out with a deadlift, and your thigh and back muscles are still rearing to go, but your grip isn’t in support.
Then, you should wear a wrist wrap with pride and hit more reps while you gain in on your target muscle.
Also, use weight lifting straps for some muscle-targeted exercises where your grip strength might be a limiting factor.
Some of the exercises include:
To Lift Heavier Weights
Sometimes, you may have the strength to lift heavier weights but not the grip to do the same even when you aren’t fatigued.
While you can use a lifter strap to enable you to lift heavier weights, it is important you still work on your hand grip strength with a set of hand & forearm grippers at the same time.
And coupling straps with the best knee sleeves you can find will make your lifts more comfortable and even help you eek out an extra rep.
When Chalk Isn't Allowed At Your Gym
At some gyms, the traditional chalk isn’t accepted perhaps to prevent dirt and dust build-up.
In any case, a lifting strap is the perfect substitute in such a situation.
If You Have An Injury (Or To Avoid One)
It is a norm to experience injuries or painful calluses to the palm while lifting weights. To prevent the friction with the bar from battering your skin, it is important you use a lifting strap and live to see another day at the gym.
Also, even though powerlifters aren’t allowed to use them in competitions, they can come in handy during practice.
So, if you are a hook grip deadlifter, you should use lifting straps to protect your thumbs from all that pain and go more sets. Plus, it takes off stress on the wrists for the competition.
There is no point in shying away from using a lifting grip when it can actually help you with muscle gain by strengthening your grip.
Of course, you need to have a good grip strength by working it out with your bare hands.
If that is a “duh” advice to you, I’d recommend the Harbinger Cotton Padded Lifting Strap for all-around use.
It is a lasso styled cotton strap with added “NeoTek” padding for extra cushion during heavy weight sessions to help you achieve new personal bests.