4 TIPS FOR USING WRIST WRAPS
1. Never Wrap Too Low
There are generally two ways to wrap your wrists. One is what the vast majority of athletes should be doing and the other is what Powerlifters are screaming all over the internet at other people about.
If you watch Youtube videos on How to Wrap Wrist Wraps you will see what we refer to here as the Powerlifting method. This involves wrapping the wrist wraps around the bottom of the palm of your hands so there is NO movement or mobility in the wrists.
This means restricted blood flow and the complete bypass of the wrist joint entirely. That works great for a one rep max bench press or a short set of maximal output in a movement where you don’t need mobility of the wrist.
This method is also commonly called “Casting” the Wrists. Sometimes you will see a coach wrapping his athlete’s wrist like this during a competition before their turn on the platform.
The other 99% of us should be wrapping our Wrist Wraps right below the palm, making sure the wraps cover past the Ulna and Radius bones (the bulging bones on either side of the wrists). The compression of the joint in these spots is what’s going to provide the most support and allow you to participate in the vast amount of movements where you want mobility of the wrist and blood flow. However if you wrap your wrists too low, especially below the Ulna and Radius bones you will lose a large amount of the support and stability gained from Wrist Wraps.
2. Always Flex While Wrapping
Ever have your hands or fingers go numb during your training? There’s more to wrapping your wrists than the position of the wraps. One of the biggest mistakes athletes make is wrapping their wrists without flexion of the wrist and forearm.
The wrist is controlled by the muscles in the forearm, believe it or not, so blood flow is an important part of the performance of this equation. When you wrap Wrist Wraps you should crank your wrist backwards, creating flexion at the wrist and you should squeeze a tight fist to flex all the muscles in the forearm and rest of the lower arm.
This must be maintained while putting your Wrist Wraps on. When you’re done wrapping your Wrist Wraps you should be able to relax your hand and still have blood flow. You can tell this by the color of your hand. If it is pale, it’s not a good wrap and it won’t be comfortable to wear them for long. If you’re “Casting” your wrists this isn’t a problem and to be expected but in general you always want blood flow so you can feel your hands and perform your best.
3. Take Off The Thumb Loop
Let’s be clear here - Thumb Loops Are Awesome...but they’re not meant to be worn while you train. The point of thumb loops is to allow you to get a good angle on your wrap, put the wraps on with one hand and do it all quickly.
There’s nothing out there that works as well as a thumb loop, which is why all good wrist wraps have Thumb Loops but there’s absolutely no benefit to leaving your thumb loop on during your workouts. In fact - it’s the opposite. If you keep your thumb loops on it will pull your wraps out of position, sometimes affecting the overlay of the wraps and support. It will also stretch them out over time. This is one of the biggest misconceptions with Wrist Wraps - so much so - one company we know has been falsely advertising how inconvenient thumb loops are and encouraging people to think thumb loops should be worn during workouts - just to make sales.
This type of stuff hurts our souls. Don’t fall for gimmicks - take off your thumb loops after you’re done wrapping your wrist wraps. You can leave them to hang or do what we do - tuck them in between the wraps nice and snug for a clean finish.
4. Tighter Is Not Always Better
Yeah, we said it. Depending on the movement you may want to be able to move your wrist more or less. For example in a Weightlifting Clean - you’ll receive the bar in a rack position that requires you to have flexion of your wrists.
If your Wrist Wraps are as tight as they can possibly go it will inhibit your ability to receive the bar in a good position or get your arms in the best position and result in making the lift harder.
Much like we mentioned earlier - too tight of a wrap will also mean less blood flow even if you flex your wrists during the setup. Understand that the tightness of the wrap should depend on what you plan to do with your wrist and body following the wrap.
For a conditioning workout where you wear the Wrist Wraps for a longer period of time, you will want a less tight wrap than a strength session. It’s also important to note here that a good pair of wrist wraps will provide enough comfort to still be worn tight for extended periods of time.
When we created MANIMAL Wrist Wraps we specifically designed them to be worn for hours, while still providing ample support and comfort.