What is weightlifting tape for?

Liam Rodgers
August 16, 2022

What is weightlifting hook grip tape for, why do weightlifters wear thumb tape, and do you need lifting tape? Today, we're answering these burning questions and covering all the most important topics so you can strap up and get to lifting more weight!

What is weightlifting for? And why are all the best and hottest weightlifters using Stash thumb tape?

Today, we'll answer these burning questions, and many more, while we take you through hook grip thumb tape and why it's so important for holding weightlifters' bodies together.

Let's get right into it. We'll start with the quick answer so you can buy the best hook grip tape and find out for yourself.

Weightlifting Hookgrip Thumb Tape EAB

Short Answer: Why do weightlifters wear thumb tape?

Weightlifting tape is there to keep your thumbs dry and comfortable - and to prevent grip slipping. Weightlifters use hook grip on the barbell to keep it in the grip, and this puts a lot of pressure on the thumb. Specifically, hook grip can cause tears in the skin of the thumb.

Thumb tape - or hook grip tape - protects that thumbs and makes grip more consistent. It's a form of athletic tape, meaning it stretches, is soft to the touch, and is lightly textured on the surface for better grip on the barbell!

This isn't goat tape, it's the GOAT tape! Comfier than athletic tape, flexes with the fingers, and perfect for better grip while lifting.

Stash weightlifting tape is the best hook grip tape because it's comfortable, effective, and - most importantly - great value for money. You'll see...

Hook Grip Tape: Why Do Weightlifters Use Tape?

Weightlifters use thumb tape to protect their skin and improve their grip on the bar. This isn't instead of grip strength - it's to prevent sweat making the skin slick and slippery. When you're lifting heavy weights, you want excellent grip on the barbell.

Excellent tape helps with that - and is perfect for the other damage weightlifting can cause the skin. The added grip is also helpful to prevent the bar from shifting in the hand, or during the wider grip of the snatch.

How Does Lifting Tape Affect Grip Strength?

A higher-friction surface, like thumb tape, prevents bar roll in the hand, and keeps it in place for more precise lifting.

Any unexpected change of position is a problem for lifting big weights. A roll of thumb tape could be the difference between comfort and re-adjusting your grip 15 times, only to psych yourself out and forget to focus on lifting the bar.

The Stash Thumb Tape Bulk Box - almost enough tape for weightlifting. One more roll, or even two more rolls, won't hurt.

Why Wrap Your Thumbs For Lifting?

The idea of hook grip tape is to wrap your thumb up so it stays in one piece. Any form of elastic tape can do this job, but it's likely to be expensive and low quality. Stretch tape designed for hook grip tape is more durable, comfortable, breathable, and shouldn't leave sticky residue behind.

Using the hook grip adds up quickly over 3+ sessions a week. This makes hook grip tape a gym bag essential!

Our rolls of thumb tape protect more than just your skin. Wrap your thumb, protect your nail beds, stay fresh. It's not in the lifting guide, but if you know, you know.

This is even more important for Olympic weightlifters, as the hand position of the snatch hook grip is particularly aggressive on your delicate thumb skin.

The sad reality: hook gripping causes damage if you don't wrap up!

All Olympic weightlifters have stories of tearing their hands in competition, or on a heavy workout when they need the grip strength.

Weightlifting tape is there when these "worst case" scenarios happen, or to protect you from them in the first place.

Extra protection is never a bad thing, and you'll find that this second skin is perfect when your first one gives way. Weightlifting tape can also be used for covering tears, wrapping injuries, or just preventing extra damage to your shins.

Thumb Tape: What should you look for?

Hook grip tape needs to use a durable but stretchy material with a textured surface. It needs to stick without sticky residue. It has to be easy to tear (without scissors!), and should be grippy enough that it never interrupts hook gripping the barbell.

Many tapes fall down on any of these areas - and you want to avoid them:

  • Too much sticky residue left on the thumb or fingers
  • Poor tear, requiring scissors, being a burden on your gym bag
  • Non elastic athletic tape, which is just absolutely horrible to use!
  • Too thick to wrap comfortably around the thumb - or too thin for adequate protection
  • Materials that tear during use, and are not suitable for Olympic weightlifting's dynamic movements

Any of these are going to make thumb tape unpleasant, useless, or harmful. You shouldn't be wrapping your thumb in tape that cuts off blood flow, reduces range of motion, or causes paresthesia.

Your thumb tape should make you look this happy:

We don't often look happy in lifting. This is the face of a man who knows he's got enough tape to get the lift done.

What Should You Look For In the Best Hook Grip Tapes?

Stash weightlifting tape is a fine balance of all these "not too much, not too little" categories. It's made to be the best hook grip tape for the best price - you'll go through many rolls of tape, so you want them to be affordable first and foremost.

Is Your Thumb Tape Durable?

There's no point using the hook grip tapes that tear under use. If you can't hold a barbell with it, you may as well raw-dog the bar. Durable materials that an hold up to your knurling in a snatch grip are the bare minimum, but some other thumb tapes can't even do that.

If a tape starts to open up internally during use, it's not good enough. Lifting puts pressure and abrasion on the tape. You need to have the confidence that your thumb tape wrap will stand up to the pressure and knurling of the bar during any lift.

Durability and Extra protection

We use durable material with strong elastic weave so you can pull it tight, but it's still thick enough to protect your thumbs. Thick tape can be too much, so we're trying to hit the sweet spot. If you need more protection, pull the thumb tape less, and try to layer it on tight without so much pull.

Stash weightlifting hook grip tape goes through intense product testing to ensure durability. It's not lifting and it's not a bar, but this wrap survived!

This is a simple way to get extra protection from your thumb tape - as is doubling up the wrap. Obviously, this burns through rolls a little faster, but can be the best solution for

Is Your Thumb Tape Flexible?

Thumb tape has to be flexible since it's going onto a thumb. There are multiple joints in there and it articulates around the attachment into the hand, too. Flexibility is also important for fitting tape to the contours of your thumbs and getting the best grip, reliability, and freedom of movement.

the Problems With Other Brands: Thumb Tape Pains?

One of the things we hated with some other brands was that they felt like non elastic athletic tape. It felt like strapping, and not wrapping a flexible adhesive tape. This can put real pressure on the joints, especially if you wrap a straight thumb and try to bend afterwards.

A flexible tape prevents this horrible feeling and the cutting into your skin it often causes. A tape should bend with your thumb when wrapping, and shouldn't hurt during the lift.

It's not hard - just make your hook grip tape flexible!

Stash weightlifting tape is flexible, durable, and reliable. It's not setting the world on fire - it's the best value weightlifting thumb tape and it does its job perfectly.

Does Your Thumb Tape Stick Reliably?

Stick is the name of the game. Hook grip tape has to stay on your thumb while you're lifting, and ideally not leave residue on your skin afterwards. You should wash your hands with warm soapy water after training, but it shouldn't be required to remove excess glue.

Lifting puts some serious stress on the tape - especially in snatch grip movements - so it has to be adhesive enough to stay put. This is one of the main problems we've seen with other brands of tape - they are cheap, but low quality, and tend to flop off halfway through a training session.

The Best Weightlifting Tapes Are Easy Tearing!

We went for more adhesive designs, relying on smart adhesive placement instead of just throwing more on the underside of the tape. This - combined with the durable and grippy material - let us offer the most reliable tape for the best value.

Stick-iness is important. Watch out for reviews that say tape doesn't stick properly. It's a big red flag.

Is Your Thumb Tape Stretchy?

The amount of stretch you get out of thumb tape is important for making it comfortable - especially around the small joints of the thumbs. Poor stretch can cause constriction of blood flow here, as the arteries inside the thumb are susceptible to over-pressure.

Stretchy tape is also easier and more convenient to use - and more comfortable as it provides that second skin feeling. Hook gripping isn't a normal and basic movement, so it does require this extra flexible, stretchy design.

Compressing the radial artery is a bad idea - so your thumb tape needs to stretch to prevent major issues.

Do you need scissors to tear your thumb tape?

Any roll of thumb tape needs to be strong enough for big lifting, but convenient enough to tear by hand. It should tear in your hands, but not during your lift, and that's the balance we strike with durability and easy-tear rolls.

This means a roll that is easy to select the right length, pull tight, and then tear once you have a good wrap. Athletic tape does this badly, so we've designed our tape to be easy to pull from the roll, but strong once it's on your thumb!

Using hook grip can actually make the tear easier, once you pull it tight. Just be sure to wrap your thumb half-bent to get the most comfortable fit and easiest tear!

Weightlifting Tape FAQ: The Big Lift Tape Lessons

If you don't make thumb tape for your business, you might have some good questions. Do you get it pre cut? Does Stash tape leave space for the joint? Are you going to be leaving residue all over your precious little thumbs?

Thumb tape invites many questions, and we're going to answer some of these for you.

Does Thumb Tape Leave Residue On Your Thumbs?

It shouldn't, but thumb tape can definitely leave excess glue on your thumbs. Using hook grip puts pressure on the adhesive and the skin, and it can get sticky during hot months or more humid gyms.

You should take your tape off the moment you don't need it anymore, wash your hands with warm soapy water after a session, and take good care of your hands. Regular hand-care is part of Olympic lifting, and you need to prioritise it for just a few minutes a day.

Got more questions? Watch this:

Why do Olympic lifters tape their thumbs?

Olympic lifters tape their thumbs to prevent damage to the thumb skin - which can cause bleeding, make lifting more difficult, and cause distracting amounts of pain. Hook grip tape also prevents sweat building up on the thumbs and reducing grip on the barbell.

Olympic weightlifters perform many reps in practice and this kind of small issue can really impact a training week. With the weights and technical demands of weightlifting, it's important to remove any kind of distraction - especially in competition or on heavier lifts in the gym.

If you don't tape your thumbs, there's a good chance you'll be bleeding in the gym, and everyone hates that.

The last thing you want to think about is how much your thumb hurts, whether you're bleeding all over the bar, or if using the hook grip is about to blow your thumb nail bed off. It's just better to tape up - safe, not sorry!

Do I need thumb tape for Olympic weightlifting?

You don't need thumb tape for weightlifting, but you're really likely to tear your thumbs without it. Thumb tape is there for a reason - and it is sold by companies (like us) and gyms because it's so useful to prevent injuries that oculd easily mar your training.

It's not just for better grip, it's for sustainable training. Elastic tape is also multi-purpose and can be used in a wide range of scenarios - it's not just thumb tape. It's shin tape, bag tape, packing tape, whatever.

Our rolls go further. We're just dunking on other brands - take that, LyftRx. Eab stands for elastic athletic bandage, or athletic tape, which is just a worse version of what we do!

The point is that an elastic adhesive athletic tape is about the most versatile thing you can buy for your training for 4-quid a roll.

3 quid per roll if you get the stash 16-roll box - the best value on the market for thumb tape that actually works. I'm just saying.

Is weightlifting tape for just your fingers?

No - you can use weightlifting tape for more than just your fingers. It's a complete athletic tape solution for most people: flexible, thick, and without sticky residue. Good hook grip tape is about the easiest way to prevent avoidable injury, tears, and sweat related missed lifts!

Durable, elasticated athletic tape for real athletic development! Grip and rip - just not your thumbs.

It's general use protection that just happens to be perfectly suited to wrapping thumbs for hook grip!

We call it hook grip tape because that's the main everyday use. It's a flexible elastic tape with adhesive backing. You can fix your weightlifting shoes with it, if you want. What matter is that a good tape prepares you for anything.

I like to wrap my middle finger and use it to swear at my coach when I have front squat 8s.


Weightlifters use weightlifting thumb tape - hook grip tape - to keep their skin safe and get the best lifting done. It's not that complicated, and the main thing you need to focus on is getting good tape at the best price - you're going to use a lot.

We think we are outdoing the competition with the most important factors: lyft rx tape always opens up and never sticks, goat tape is amazingly expensive for crap tapes, and other brands just offer too little for too high a price.

Stash weightlifting gets it done - good tape at great prices - so you can get these essentials without breaking the bank. We focus on lifting, staying safe, and moving on. Let's not try to overcomplicate tape - ours is good, and cheaper, and that's what it's all about!

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