Pulling Straps

Daniel Siegel
3 min read
May 5, 2022

What are they? why use them? will they help your lifting? Let us tell you a little more about using straps.

Weightlifting pulling straps may differ from those you have encountered beforehand. They are typically a length of leather, cotton or nylon strap, with the both ends either sewn together or hanging free.

Unlike their powerlifting counterparts, these straps are far more basic, with no extra padding, hooks or loops to help grip the bar.  The key instead is to find a good material which offers the feel needed for a technical snatch as well as the grip and strength for a heavy pull. Plus, the material should be durable enough to accompany you through countless sessions before they inevitably break. Be careful particularly with cotton variants as they will wear down more quickly. The straps snapping during a pull can catch you by surprise, and maybe even send you flying. (I've been there.)

Using Straps

To use them pass your hand through the loop created by the strap so that the strap rests on the back of the wrist, with the rest of the strap resting in the palm. You'll know if you've done it correctly if the strap forms naturally to your wrist. The strap is then wrapped and secured around the barbell *once* and clenched in the users’ hand, hookgrip is not used. The straps should feel tight and locked onto the bar, with the weight pulling on your wrists rather than your fingers.

The intended design purpose is not for the ultimate grip on the barbell, but to allow for a ‘quick release’ when necessary i.e. when missing an overhead lift either in front or behind. It does take some practice to learn how to get the straps just right, so don’t give up, as they are worth their weight in gold once mastered. (we realise that’s not much gold, but you get the point)

So what's the point? 

The primary use for weightlifting pulling straps is to save the hands when doing… well pulls, but also snatches or deadlifts. (never used for cleans. *actually I regularly use them for stuff like hang cleans but I would proceed with a lot of caution since it is easy to put a lot of strain through your wrists and elbows).

They also allow you to concentrate on the movement without having to worry whether your grip is giving out or not. This means that you can focus on bar path, body position, technique or whatever you may be working on without being preoccupied with clinging on for dear life. And when you’re on your 5th set of pulls having already done working sets of snatches and cleans, our Tow Straps will be your best friend.

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