Why Use Wrist Wraps in Training?

Posted by George Corbo on October 29, 2020

In the world of Strength there are many ways to train and specialize to achieve different goals but one thing stays the same - the human body.  Whether you are Training simply for health or weight loss reasons, or if you are interested in more competitive arena’s such as Bodybuilding, CrossFit, Weightlifting, Strongman or Powerlifting, there is one piece of gear you should be using to get the most out of your training and your body - Wrist Wraps.

Wrist Wraps have been used since ancient times to stabilize the wrists. Even the strongest Warriors learned very quickly how fragile their Wrists were and immediately created ways to support them so they could push their bodies to the limits and achieve greatness. Today you will see every top Competitive Athlete using Wrist Wraps from the Olympics to Strongest Man in the World.

In Training we spend hours, days, months and years in the Gym. We push through discomfort, we apply pressure and stress willingly and we optimize our nutrition and recovery to make sure we can grow as quickly and efficiently as possible. It’s a life commitment.

With anything like this there are always certain tools, techniques and secrets that get passed down and learned over time. Wrist Wraps are one of these and we’ll explain why you need to have a pair in your Training bag. 

 Wrist Wraps Bodybuilding

TOP 5 REASONS TO USE WRIST WRAPS

1. Lift More Weight

Your Wrists are connected to your hand and your hand...well is connected to whatever you are lifting. When you stabilize and support the wrist joint you are able to transfer energy through your wrists in a more efficient manner and in some movements this even allows you to get into a better position. This means more power during your lifts and heavier weight is now possible because your body is better connected and more efficient at using that power. 

It’s not uncommon for our customers to come back to us and tell us that they set a new personal record their first time using our Wrist Wraps. This leads up to the next reason why you should use Wrist Wraps.

2. Build Muscle Faster

If you can Lift More Weight, you’ll now be able to rep out more reps with more weight and that is the name of the game in Strength. You can get more volume than usual at higher weights stimulating the muscles to adapt faster and in turn grow stronger.

If every day you go to the gym, you’re now lifting more weight and repping more reps - you’re going to progress much faster than before. Part of this is about wasting less energy and becoming more efficient. Imbalances occur in training all the time, usually when the body has to compensate for weakness.

Well, that’s what your Wrist Joint is in the Strength world - a weakness. Eliminate the weakness and grow stronger faster.

 Wrist Wraps Pain

3. Continue to Train After Injury And Eliminate Pain

The Wrists are weak - it’s a simple fact of life - welcome to being a human. They’re absolutely awesome for fine motor movements and they allow us to do almost everything on a daily basis. However, they were not made for the gym. You can break or injure your wrists more ways than you can count a grain of rice in that giant bag we all love so much. But that’s not the worst part. Because we use our wrists so much when they do get tweaked, injured or god forbid broken - it takes them forever to heal. 

The tendons in the wrists are very sensitive and the structure needs to function a certain way or everything pretty much sucks for you. This is where Wrist Wraps come in. If you’ve been experiencing wrist pain during training (or in general) or if you’ve injured your wrist recently - stabilizing the wrist joint will decrease the pain if not eliminate it and allow you to keep training while the wrist heals. 

We all know the worst thing in the world is being in pain during training. It kills your motivation, makes training a bad experience and more than that - it holds you back from reaching your full potential. That frustration is something we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy. Just kidding, yes we would. 

It’s not a coincidence that the founder of MANIMAL broke both his wrists when he was in high school and ten years later was experiencing pain daily while training himself and his athletes as a full time CrossFit coach. After developing Wrist Wraps he learned that it wasn’t just a problem for him but many athletes suffered from wrist pain during and after training. 

Immediately the feedback received confirmed that every Strength Athlete had experienced some sort of wrist pain during training.  Outside of training - we’ve had customers that wear our Wrist Wraps during work, playing sports and other outdoor activities to eliminate wrist pain and injury. We’ve learned a lot about the wrists  in the last ten years to say the least...So - if you have wrist pain or have an injured wrist - quality Wrist Wraps are a must! 

4. Support for High Volume Training 

If you’ve read this far you learned how the wrist tendons and bone structure are sensitive. If you’ve ever worked a job where you’re on the computer all day you’ve probably experienced some form of Carpal Tunnel - aching and throbbing pain that seems to be a curse from hell. Well - it turns out overuse can wear out the wrist tendons, cause inflammation and also make it easier for you to have a “lazy” wrist position while training.

Many of us like to hit training sessions that involve a large amount of repetitions, whether it’s in a workout or just part of a Bodybuilding routine. Some of you “special” people like to actually do sets where you go to fatigue. We’ve all got our ways of training but it’s no surprise that a big trend recently has been lots of high volume training. As a result of all the repetitions and fatigue these types of training sessions put a large amount of strain on the wrists and lead to diminishing returns, if you’re lucky and if you’re unlucky lead to wrist injuries or tweaks. 

We’ve already identified how supporting the wrists makes you more efficient and how wearing wrist wraps prevents injury. Well - high repetition training opens you up for wrist problems as your form fatigues, your wrists take a beating and your performance suffers. 

Wearing a good pair of comfortable Wrist Wraps that you don’t have to repeatedly adjust with the right balance of support and mobility of the wrist will make your high volume training more safe, efficient and effective. Easy as that.

5. Speed Up Conditioning Workouts (WODs)

This one's for you fire breathers and power athletes. The ones that like to taste blood in their lungs, feel the burn of lactic acid and die in a pool of sweat and chalk after the workout. Good old strength and conditioning - always ends with conditioning. The name of the game is Power. How do you get Power? With SPEED. What is the enemy of Speed? Fatigue. What’s the best friend of Speed? Efficiency. 

Waste less energy, get more shit done faster, generate more Power. That’s what being Fit is all about. Alright - I’m getting amped writing this and I already worked out today so..back to the point. 

If you’re trying to speed up your conditioning workouts, hit personal records, be a CrossFit monster, destroy your friends at the gym or just feel the motherfucking burn - wearing Wrist Wraps will help - a lot. How, you might ask? 

There’s a couple things that slow you down but we’ll talk about the big one when it comes to high speed conditioning workouts - fatigue. Fatigue is when your muscles, central nervous system, lungs etc etc hit a point where they can no longer function at the pace you’re trying to push them to. It’s when you’re dizzy, shaking, or failing reps that you could do in your sleep. When you’ve gone from being that icon of masculinity to the guy who everyone feels bad for. That’s fatigue - it’s for the old and the weak - mostly the weak. 

Wrist Wraps allow you to transfer energy better resulting in more efficient movement, proper muscle activation so that as you switch between your movements in your Metcon, WOD, Conditioning workout - you will be recovering faster. Inefficient movement patterns make everything harder and that’s what leads to fatigue. 

So, the next time you’re busting out some Handstand Pushups or doing some Tire Flips put on a pair of Wrist Wraps and watch how you get more work done in a shorter period of time. 

Since we’re a fan of passing on secrets - we recently learned from a couple of Strongman Champions we know that Wrist Wraps will allow you to have a tighter grip for Farmers Carries - that’s a little golden nugget right there. Because putting down the weight to rest is admitting defeat - even if it is just your grip.

 

WRIST WRAP FAQS & MYTHS

1. Will I Lift More With Wrist Wraps?

The wrists are the weakest connection point in your body when it comes to weight training. Stabilize and support them with Wrist Wraps, eliminate the weak point and you’ll instantly become more efficient and powerful. Simply put - Yes, you’ll be able to lift more weight and gain muscle faster as a result.

2. Will Wrist Wraps Make My Wrists Weak?

That depends on your definition of weak. If by weak you mean like the world’s strongest athletes who compete in Powerlifting, Strongman, CrossFit, Bodybuilding, Weightlifting and Gymnastics - then yes. All jokes aside - no Wrist Wraps will not make your Wrists weak. We’ve tested this myth vigorously over the last 10 years of working with athletes and our customer base. We even have a biomechanics doc who studied our wrist wraps and the effect they had on the wrists to better understand how performance interacts with the anatomy of the wrists. The wrists are controlled by the many forearm muscles and gain their strength from proper position and support. Wrist Wraps do not impede on the ability for your forearms to work and your wrists will get plenty of activation and use from grip intensive training and fine motor movements out of the gym. 

3. What's The Difference Between Wraps and Straps?

Wrist Wraps and Lifting Straps serve completely different purposes. Wrist Wraps are placed around the wrists to support the joint with compression and stabilization for use during a wide variety of movements over an extended period of time. They use velcro to fasten as they wrap continuously around your wrists. Lifting Straps are straps most commonly used for Deadlifts or pulling movements, that loop around your wrists and a barbell at the same time - significantly reducing the grip strength needed to move the weight so that you can train your body without the limitation of grip strength. You will commonly see the term Wrist Straps but what they are really referring to is Lifting Straps. In Summary - one is for grip bypass (Lifting Strap), the other is for overall performance (Wrist Wrap).

 Lifting Straps Deadlift

4. Are Wrist Wraps only for Advanced Lifters?

There’s something almost all Advanced Lifters have in common - injuries. They’ve all been there and they’ve all learned the hard way over years of training. So Wrist Wraps are less about how you compare to other athletes and more importantly about supporting a joint in your body to get the most out of your training and progress. Many of us would change the tools and methods we used if we could go back in time, only to magically appear stronger, here and now. Now with this said - Wrist Wraps are not a replacement for mobility and flexibility. There are cases where you need to be able to put your body in the right position in order to perform better. Wrist Wraps can help support your position with certain lifts - like a Back Squat but they are not a solution for poor mobility. Wear Wrist Wraps but always work to keep and improve your range of motion.

5. What Makes MANIMAL Wrist Wraps Better?

The truth is simple. MANIMAL Wrist Wraps are better because they were made by a real strength coach who broke both his wrists and needed a solution so he could continue training pain free. In 2009 he started buying every wrist wrap he could find and none of them held up in the gym or got rid of his wrist pain. So he decided to make his own. After a year of research and development he created what we have today. A Wrist Wrap that eliminates pain, allows you to lift more weight so you can grow muscle faster, doesn’t need to be adjusted during long workouts due to quality velcro, is quick to put on and take off with an elastic thumb loop, has 4 band compression built into the wrap so it doesn't need to be as long to perform better and last 3 years of daily use before they need to be replaced. It surprised everyone who used them. But once we explained that we didn’t create Wrist Wraps for business and that we had pain every day from training they understood why they were so much better. Since then we’ve had customers who wear our wraps outside of the gym for work, bring them on military deployments, wear them during sports or for recovery from wrist injuries on a daily basis. We’ve also had customers in every Strength Sport who have broken records, earned medals and proven our design to perform at the highest levels. At the end of the day we thought we were creating a solution for ourselves but it turned out every athlete can benefit from our Wrist Wraps. Sometimes the universe aligns - even when your wrists don’t.

6. What's the best Length for a Wrist Wrap?

Look - you know we aren’t into bullshit. This is one of the biggest misconceptions with Wrist Wraps we have seen. The performance of a Wrist Wrap is not defined by the length. It is determined by the design and quality of the materials in the Wrist Wrap. Many companies will try to sell you different length Wrist Wraps but that’s just their way of marketing more products to you in an attempt to make more money. MANIMAL Wrist Wraps are made with higher quality materials that provide a superior level of compression and stretch so they do not need as much length to perform. We tested different lengths during the development phase of our Wrist Wraps until we found the perfect level of performance, ease of use and comfort. The result is a shorter Wrist Wrap that performs better and is quicker to put on and take off. Now - with this said - there is one reason you would want a longer wrist wrap, which is why we make 31.5 inch Power and Mutant Wrist Wraps. In Powerlifting athletes will “Cast” their Wrists so there is no mobility or movement of the Wrist Joint, essentially removing the Wrists entirely from the equation. It cuts off blood flow as well and is really only ideal for max lifts or heavy sets of low volume where you need no mobility of the wrists. (think a Bench Press max) The extra length here is needed to wrap around the palm of the hand, down over the Wrist bones and back with many wraps before it’s finished. For the majority of the other 99% of Strength Athletes this is not functional, practical or optimal for performance. In conclusion - there is no best Length for a Wrist Wrap. Not all Wrist Wraps were created equal - so don’t judge them by their length. (Unless you only Bench Press and want to Cast your Wrists.)

Wrist Wraps Cast

George Corbo
George Corbo


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