Training

Lifting Straps

Are they a benefit or a crutch?

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Lifting Straps

 OPENING ARGUMENTS 

Lifting straps are used for exercises that place a heavy demand on grip strength, such as rows, chins, shrugs, and deadlifts. Bodybuilders use straps to prevent their grip from giving out.

 DEFENSE 

Grip strength is critical in both powerlifting and strongman competitions. Lifting straps reduce the grip-strengthening effect of certain exercises.

 PROSECUTION 

Bodybuilding contests do not involve lifting onstage, so using straps in the gym does not impact your chances of winning or losing a competition.

 EVIDENCE 

In a recent study at the University of Texas, subjects performed deadlifts both with and without straps. The use of straps resulted in lower rep speed and greater muscle force and duration when compared with lifters who did not use straps; additionally, using straps increased the amount of work performed by the target muscles.

 VERDICT 

USE STRAPS IF GRIP STRENGTH IS YOUR LIMITING FACTOR.

Using lifting straps to perform heavy deadlifts improved the effectiveness of the exercise. Grip strength was not a weak link, thus allowing the lifters to place more demand on the target muscles.

 SENTENCING 

When performing pulling exercises, forgo using lifting straps until your grip is all that prevents you from properly progressing your training. This will ensure you are adequately training your grip. When the loads get heavy, however, use lifting straps to allow you to adequately train the larger target muscles. – FLEX

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