Working out, while healthy, can also carry a bit of risk if you’re unprepared. Even the simplest exercises have procedures you must follow to make sure you minimize the risk of injury and maximize performance. It is sometimes wise to purchase gear that removes a lot of that risk so that you may focus on exercising without worry. They include weight lifting gloves, lifting straps, knee wraps, etc.
If you’re lifting weights, it could be a good idea to invest in wrist wraps for increased wrist support and better performance. If you’re a beginner or simply work out at home without many tools, you could be asking yourself “What are wrist wraps?”
This is where we come in. Here you will find a detailed explanation of how wrist wraps work with reviews for the best 5 picks on the market. The most important thing to remember is that your personal preference is the most important criteria. Choose what feels more comfortable for you rather than what your coach is using or what you see on TV. Here’s all you need to know about wrist wraps, so your choice becomes easier and more intuitive:
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- Finding The Best Wrist Wraps: Our Reviews
- What do Wrist Wraps Do For Me?
- What Are Some Qualities to Consider?
- The Best Wrist Wraps Are…
Finding The Best Wrist Wraps: Our Reviews
With all these factors in mind, we isolated 5 top-quality wraps and gave them a close examination. All of these are good choices, but some will fit your preferences more than others. Below you will find descriptions, pros and cons for each individual product.
These bulky Velcro wraps have the blessing of 2014’s powerlifting champion, Kevin Weiss. Sporting a length of around 18 inches, these babies are sold in two versions – Stiff and Medium Stiff and come with reinforced thumb loops to help control the tension.
Having a choice of how stiff you want your wraps is invaluable for people who need more wrist motion, as these wraps are not only made for hardcore lifting. However, as we mentioned above, be careful when taking these to a competition. The thumb loop can be difficult to remove properly, which is frowned upon by most federations.
For a wrap with options called “Stiff“ and “Medium Stiff,” it’s surprisingly easy to adjust, so you can get a good bit of comfort from using these. Couple that with how easy they are to clean and you’ve got yourself a minimal level of effort required to use and maintain the Rip Toned wraps.
Also, these can be ordered in pairs with a money-back guarantee if they end up not working out for you while you’re working out.
- Easy to clean and use
- Some variety in stiffness levels
- Reinforced thumb loops (especially helpful if you’re mildly injured, as the loops help stabilize your wrist even in that condition)
- Overall still a bit too stiff
- Despite being advertised as unisex, these wraps can be a bit too bulky for women
- Not ideal for people with smaller wrists
The wild buffalo of wrist wraps. While originally intended for heavy-duty lifting, this product is pretty versatile, and less stiff than you’d expect. It’s made from high-quality nylon, which makes it stretchy while still allowing you to freeze your wrist in place when you need to. The main selling point here is the wrap’s durability. The wraps can take a lot of abuse, and their strengthened thumb loop seems to indeed last a bit longer than most other competitors.
The length is also a nice bonus. At 18 inches, it’s long enough to give proper support without being extremely troublesome to use one-handed. However, despite all this, it can be too cumbersome and uncomfortable for women. This is somewhat understandable, as even though the wraps are not super stiff, they’re reinforced in enough ways to have a ton of material covering something as small as a wrist. If you can get over that, though, the wraps are also good for helping injured people workout.
- Extremely durable
- Thumb loops and hooks let you stay in control of the wrap
- Stretchy enough to allow some flexibility should you need it
- Good length
- Not ideal for women
Nordic Lifting are known for quality products, and they deliver once again with these wraps. An important thing for women who have made it this far in the article could be the “One Size Fits All” approach that helped create a set of wraps that are specifically meant to also fit women. The wraps are made out of cotton, making them very flexible and comfortable without sacrificing much support. They’re also machine-washable, which makes cleaning them super-easy without even breaking your daily routine.
They really focused hard on ease of use with this product. It comes with a handy set of instructions and the wraps work for both left and right hands so it’s next to impossible for anyone to get confused. In a world where exercise is terrifying to people because they don’t know where to start with all this funky equipment, it’s really nice to see someone going out of their way to ease people into working out.
- Comfortable and easy to put on
- Shipped with instructions
- Solid choice for women
- Extra thick thumb loop may prove uncomfortable for some
- While the wraps are usable by everyone, some people have issues tightening them enough
- Not the most durable wraps
4. Wrist Wraps by terriFIT
Another Velcro-based product. The terriFIT wraps have several benefits to them, and possibly the most important one is how much they don’t affect your circulation. Health benefits should always be considered the most important factor. Speaking of health, these wraps are probably the best option if your wrists are weak or injured, although not if you want to powerlift (which is already not a good idea if you’re experiencing wrist pain, so don’t do it).
They are comfortable, well-fitted wraps that are long enough (18 inches) to be wrapped around the wrist more than once for increased support. They sport heavy-duty thumb loops that make sure your wrist is more secure than the gold in Fort Knox and are easy to use. For a pair of soft wraps, they’re more durable than you’d expect, with double stitching implemented to help them last longer.
There’s one problem, however. From what we’ve found out, these wraps are no longer being produced, so they may become unavailable at some point soon. If they seem like your ideal product, you should act quick.
- Reasonably priced
- The wraps don’t cut your blood circulation
- Easy to use
- They become scratchy after a while
- The thumb loop is incredibly thick, which bothers some users
- Discontinued, so will become a rare sight soon
- Kind of bulky
The last entrant on this list, these wraps are good for a variety of exercises and fit both men and women. They can be adjusted to keep the wrist in place or allow more mobility and a better circulation without losing their strength over time. They’re very durable, so one pair can keep you covered for a long time, even if you use them for less conventional things like carrying furniture. The stitching and closures have been given extra attention, and provide good support for your wrists during a variety of exercises.
The wraps are machine-washable and easy to use, with labels for the left and right hand. They have been reported to work well for people who are experiencing wrist pain, so if you’ve got minor health problems, these wraps might be for you. The length is on the short side (13 inches) though, so don’t expect to be able to mummify your arms with them. They’re very bulky and thick for that length, but they still work well even for people with small wrists.
- Thick and durable
- The wraps have labels for the left and right hand
- One of the best choices for women
- Easy to wash
- Thumb loops can sometimes loosen up after prolonged use
What do Wrist Wraps Do For Me?
Before we look at measurements and all kinds of other details, the first thing we need to do is examine what kind of benefit wrist wraps provide for the user. The most important upside to putting on wrist wraps is that your wrists cannot suffer hyperextension. This injury is common in all physical activities and results in anything from minor pain and discomfort to a ligament rupture.
Using a wrist wrap keeps your wrist joint in place and gives it more support, ensuring that your workouts become more comfortable and safe. Using a wrist wrap is similar to using wrist straps. Before making a hasty purchase, however, consider the kind of exercises you do. There are different kinds of wrist wraps with their own pros and cons, and choosing the right kind can be difficult without being informed. Here are your choices:
1. Loop Straps
Simple loop straps are probably the most common variant you’ll encounter. This means there’s variety to enjoy when it comes to materials, with options such as leather and cloth. While they’re easy to wrap around your wrist (because of how their loop is constructed – more on that below) and remain securely fastened, you may run into trouble while trying to manage any extra material.
This problem is especially noticeable because you’re usually only using one hand to do it. This problem also manifests when you’re trying to bail out of a failed lift, which is why people who compete tend to avoid these wraps. However, they’re still incredibly good for beginners and casual trainers due to their ease of use.
2. Speed Straps
More commonly used in competitions, speed straps allow you to more easily escape bad lifts. Their more closed loop makes them significantly easier to attach to bars and such, but they don’t have as much extra material which makes it difficult or impossible to change how tight they are. Speed straps also offer marginally less wrist support, so they’re typically used in performance-oriented environments such as Olympic lifting (and even then, only because of how easily you can bail out).
3. Hook Straps
Easy to use, but with some downsides. You don’t have to wrap it around a bunch of times, and most bars can fit smoothly in the hooks, making it pretty handy for beginners. However, because you’re using hooks, these wraps are not ideal if you need a lot of flexibility.
There are also special bars that aren’t made to be used in these hooks, and they often don’t fit, which limits the usability of hook straps. Still, if you’re mostly doing basic lifts and don’t mind having a weird-looking gadget on your arm, hook straps are a solid choice.
What Are Some Qualities to Consider?
While the above descriptions summarize different types of wrist wraps, it’s important to know what things like “closed loop” mean. Otherwise, you’re still making a mostly blind purchase. Many factors influence how good any given product is, and getting to understand them doesn’t take too much effort. We’ve made a list to help you out:
The length of your potential wrist wraps can be easy to overlook, as an uninformed buyer could easily think it’s only a matter of comfort. While this is somewhat true, there’s one main difference between shorter and longer wraps. The longer your wrap is, the less freedom you have for your wrist motion. Olympic lifters tend to use shorter wraps for added flexibility, but longer wraps give more support, which is useful for heavier lifts.
Different materials are more or less flexible, and your exercise choices may demand one or the other. As a rule of thumb, more stiff materials offer more support but make your arm more stiff by preventing extension. Stretchier materials give you more freedom but less support. When trying to fit your wraps, try to make sure they don’t cut off circulation.
3. Thumb Loops
The purpose of a thumb loop is to help adjust how tight the wrap is. They’re not necessary (and in fact, while competing you will usually be asked to remove them, which is more or less difficult depending on what kind of loop you’re using), but knowing how they’re attached helps for when you want to remove them.
Most of the time, the loop is attached to the corner of the wrap, making it relatively simple to remove. On some wraps, however, the loop is attached on both ends, which makes the wrap tighter but makes the thumb loop itself much harder to remove. If you wish to compete, we suggest staying away from the latter category.
4. Versatility and Ease of Use
Consider what kind of exercises you’re doing. The more different kinds you do (that put strain on the wrists), the more difficult finding ideal wrist wraps becomes. The reason is simple: Not all materials are good for all exercises. Velcro is popular for heavy lifting and pushing exercises, but it doesn’t offer as much flexibility and freedom as something like cotton.
Another thing you should do is find the ideal size, hopefully something you can adjust without losing too much support. In the perfect world, your wraps will support any and all exercises you do. This can be hard to achieve, though, so try to find wraps that give you some room for wrist motion just in case. Also, hook straps are not good for doing pushups and similar exercises, for obvious reasons. Stay safe, kids.
The Best Wrist Wraps Are…
There are two clear favorites here, depending on what you’re looking for. For women and people with small wrists, the best choice award goes to the Nordic Lifting Wrist Wraps. They offer a nice balance of support and flexibility, while being incredibly easy to use and clean. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something more tailored towards heavy-duty lifting, you can’t go wrong with the Stoic Wrist Wraps, possibly the most cost-effective choice on this list and more durable than an average tank.
What are some of your experiences? Tell us about other products you’ve had success with, we’d love to read your input!