The 7 Best Wrist Wraps for Heavy Lifting, According to Certified Trainers

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The 7 Best Wrist Wraps for Heavy Lifting, According to Certified Trainers

OKAY, SO you're starting to lift heavier. Much, much heavier. Good work. But before celebrating, take note of how your wrists respond under heavier loads. If you're struggling to maintain a neutral wrist position while benching or pressing overhead, for example, it may be time to integrate wrist wraps.

This is where wraps come into play to provide extra support to keep wrists in check. That's right—they're not just for show. For some, they provide the stability to tackle heavy lifts without compromising form. At their core, wrist wraps are built to help you avoid wrist hyperextension, which occurs when the wrist joint extends beyond its normal range of motion.

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"You should be fighting to maintain a neutral wrist on many lifts (think bench presses, snatches, and jerks, anyway)," explains Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., MH Fitness Director. "But wrist wraps assist in this process, thanks to a thumb loop that pulls your wrists into near-flexion, preventing them from shifting into extension."

From budget-friendly Amazon options to International Powerlifting Federation-approved cult favorites, we've spent hours testing and researching the best wrist wraps out there. Men's Health fitness editors, in collaboration with fitness experts including Former CrossFit athlete and functional bodybuilder Marcus Filly, have compared testing notes on dozens of the best wrist wraps to identify which ones are worthy of a recommendation. Throughout our meticulous evaluation process, we've carefully considered all the essentials: support, durability, comfort, length, and price.

Now, we're not saying wrist wraps are a magic solution. Especially for those early on in their lifting journey, understanding how to maintain a neutral wrist position without the aid of these accessories is crucial.

"My general feeling about supportive equipment like wrists wraps is that we should use them only when absolutely necessary," explains Filly. "Save the use of these tools for your top sets in an effort to keep you safe, feeling good, and being consistent in the gym."

Keep reading for our list of the best 7 wrist wraps to keep your wrists locked and loaded with every rep.

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These wraps are the real deal, built to handle the toughest workouts and deliver long-term results. Iron Bull Strength products are trusted by serious lifters, and these are no exception.

Designed for extreme situations, they provide reliable support and durability. Though they may sacrifice some comfort for stability, we found the quality stitching ensures long-lasting performance. Plus, these wraps come in a range of colors, adding a touch of professionalism and style to your lifts. At under $20, they're a great all-around choice.

These wraps are the ultimate combo of support and mobility. When we hit the bench or busted out Olympic lifts, they had our wrists covered without limiting our range of motion.

One feature we loved was the thumb loop. It not only gave us a snug fit but also kept the wraps from slipping mid-lift. No distractions, just pure focus on smashing those weights.

The 18-inch strap provides solid security, giving you peace of mind, especially if you're dealing with an injury. The blend of polyester and elastic gives you a comfy yet supportive fit. No overly tight feeling here, just the perfect balance for crushing your workouts.

These wraps might set you back around 30 bucks per pair, a bit pricier than other options. But trust us, the durability and quality are worth every penny.

These 10-inch wraps may be shorter than traditional options, but provide adequate support for smaller wrists, lighter workouts, or those who just prefer a little less wrap. Made from breathable neoprene, we found the comfort and durability is supreme for such a light product.

While some users find them more soft and flexible than super supportive, they are ideal for those who prefer a little less external reinforcement but aren't ready to go without wraps entirely.

You can throw any worries about stability out the door with these wraps from Rip Toned. We love that they're available in stiff and flex support, so you can opt for a level that's right for you. The stiff option is firm and thick, which offers great support for serious lifts at a fraction of the price of comparable heavy-duty wraps. Comfort is king, and these wraps deliver on that, too.

However, they're not IPF-approved for competitive lifting. Despite that, we found these to be a value-packed choice, as Rip Toned also provides a lifetime warranty.

Available in three lengths (12″, 18″, and 24″) and made from a tri-blend fabric, these wraps from Rogue Fitness offer versatility and a comfortable feel. We found these wraps to be less stiff than expected, but provided suitable support for functional and CrossFit movements.

Starting at $25, they're pricier than most other wraps we've evaluated, but do come backed by the Rogue Fitness name and reputation. With a good track record for durability and reinforced stitching, they offer reliable, moderate wrist stability.

The WOD Nation Wrist Wraps might look like a traditional velcro-closure wraps, and they are. But they're a softer option that offers more flexibility and less rigid stability than, say, the Iron Bull Strength or Rogue Fitness wraps. Meaning they're ideal for CrossFit, functional fitness programs, or anyone who wants a little less restriction for dynamic moves.

We love that they come in 12" and 18" sizes, which packs a ton of versatility for different sports and preferences. They come with a convenient knitted carrying bag, making them easy to store and carry around (which makes them a great gift, too).

One downside: The stitching may not be the most durable in the long-term, limiting their suitability for heavy sessions. But after all, that's not what they're meant for.

The Gymreapers Strength Wrist Wraps are a go-to choice for those seeking a unique style of wraps that combine comfort, versatility, and more flexibility than traditional wraps. They're specifically designed for dynamic movements, such as WODs and functional training, with a thin profile and moderate support.

With a length of 36", these wraps provide ample coverage without bulkiness and stiffness of velcro wrap options. We love the unique friction-tightening single-string system these wraps employ, which eliminates the need for constant wrapping and unwrapping.

They aren't the best choice for powerlifters or heavy lifters due to their flexibility, but CrossFitters and functional fitness enthusiasts will appreciate their performance. Plus, they are affordable and backed by Gymreapers' lifetime replacement guarantee.

When it comes to shopping for wrist wraps, there are a few key factors you gotta keep in mind. We're not talking about some flimsy wristbands here, we're talking about serious support for your heavy lifts. Let's break it down.

Material: First thing's first—quality is key. You need wraps made from durable, elastic material that can withstand the intense pressure you're gonna put on them. Look for a blend of cotton and elastic, something that strikes the right balance between comfort and support. You don't want your wrists feeling like they're trapped in a straightjacket, but you also don't want them flopping around like a wet noodle.

Length: You have to find your sweet spot. Too short and you won't get the support you need; too long and you'll be wrapping your wrists like a mummy. Aim for a length that allows you to wrap around your wrists a couple of times without restricting movement. This can vary a ton based on your wrist size and preferences.

Closure system: You want something secure, something that's gonna keep those wraps locked in place. Ain't nobody got time for readjusting mid-lift. Look for wraps with a strong, durable hook and loop closure that won't let you down. Trust me, you'll appreciate the peace of mind knowing your wraps aren't gonna come undone when you're pushing your limits.

Style: Yeah, we're talking aesthetics here. Function comes first, of course, but you'll be more inclined to wear them if you like the way they look (or at least don't hate the look). Find wraps that match your personal style and make you feel like a beast in the gym. From bold colors to badass designs, there's something out there that'll make you feel unstoppable.

Price: Even the very best wraps certainly don't need to break the bank, with most ringing in at around $15-20. Remember, you don't wanna sacrifice quality for a lower price, but you also don't wanna empty your wallet for a fancy brand name when more affordable options may offer the same quality.

Understanding the differences between wrist wraps and wrist straps is absolutely key. While wraps are mostly about stabilizing the wrist, straps help you actually grip an item.

"Wrist wraps create compression around the wrist," explains Filly. "Much like a weightlifting belt, this compression protects the tissue underneath and can add stability to a joint so you can express more force and power."

Wrist straps, on the other hand, go around the wrist and a grip/handle/bar to facilitate a more secure grip and connection between your hand and the implement you are pulling on, he says.

"Wrist straps are great tools for pulling exercises like rows and deadlifts, but they don’t provide much support for the wrist itself."

For movements where the wrist might overextend/hyperextend, wraps are more useful, and can help maintain proper wrist position.

Wrist wraps are not just for any Tom, Dick, or Harry who casually strolls into the weight room. They're not only unnecessary for novice lifters, they also get in the way of beginners learning how to maintain an optimal and safe wrist position naturally.

However, if you're working with weights that exceed your body weight or have a history of wrist issues, wrist wraps might be a smart investment, explains Samuel. "In general, if you aren’t in those categories, you probably don’t need these."

According to Filly, intermediate and advanced lifters that have progressed their strength quite far may be suitable candidates for wrist wraps when they are training with heavier weights. "To get the intensity some athletes want from their lifts, they need to use heavier weights. Wrist wraps can help keep them safe, avoid injuries or nagging pains, and stay consistent in their fitness program."

They won't transform your lifts, but they can help to prevent hyperextension and keep your wrists supported in a strong, neutral position so you can go for heavy reps with little extra support.

But with the added support of wrist wraps, you can keep your wrists in a neutral position, reducing the risk of injury and allowing you to focus on the muscles you're working instead of worrying about your joints.

By securing the wrists in a neutral position, wraps help maintain proper form and prevent excessive bending or hyperextension during heavy lifts. However, their primary utility lies in supporting movements where the wrists bear a significant load.

Broadly—and although you'll often see them get used for many other exercises—wraps are best reserved for those doing motions with barbells. More specifically, for bench press, Olympic lift, overhead press and overhead press variation movements.

When it comes to the bench press, wrist wraps provide support by stabilizing the wrists and reducing range of motion in the extended position.

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For this story, we thoroughly researched and tested dozens of the best wrist wraps on the market. We carefully evaluated every major feature, including size, durability, comfort, and, of course, price. We even looped in strength trainers and CrossFit coaches to compare notes and diverse perspectives on the best wrist wraps available today. The list above represents our honest picks for the best wrist wraps worthy of our recommendation in 2023.

Talene Appleton is a fitness and food writer and editor, certified personal trainer (NASM-CPT), and former professional dancer based in New York City. Passionate about both exercise and cuisine, she merges her fitness, nutrition and culinary expertise with the goal of motivating others to embrace balanced healthy living. Her work has appeared in Men’s Health, General Surgery News, The Food Institute, The Nessie, and more.

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is the fitness director of Men's Health and a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience. He's logged training time with NFL athletes and track athletes and his current training regimen includes weight training, HIIT conditioning, and yoga. Before joining Men's Health in 2017, he served as a sports columnist and tech columnist for the New York Daily News.  

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The 7 Best Wrist Wraps for Heavy Lifting, According to Certified Trainers

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