How to Use Lifting Straps – Garage Strength

How to Use Lifting Straps

Lifting straps can be one of the most common pieces of equipment found in the gym. Athletes have utilized straps to benefit their training by completing sets where their grip would be their limiting factor.

With any piece of equipment, like, for instance, a weight belt or wrist wraps, athletes should know when and why they should be using it. Understanding the purpose of the equipment will allow the athlete to stay mindful of their training and reap the benefits that the equipment could bring to their training.


What are Lifting Straps

Lifting straps are a training tool to help maintain a confident grip on a bar while completing various strength training exercises. Athletes commonly use straps for Olympic lifts, especially clean and snatch pulls. Straps are common with powerlifters for heavy deadlift training, while bodybuilders use straps for dumbbell rows and similar pulling exercises. In each case, the athlete will utilize straps to train large muscle groups in the arms or legs without significant fatigue in the hands and forearms.

Lifting straps are made from several materials. Leather and nylon are the most popular materials because of their comfortability and durability. When looking at a pair of lifting straps to buy, look for heavy-duty and highly-rated pairs to withstand workout sessions.

When appropriately used, athletes will find a secure grip on their bar even past the point where their grip will usually fatigue and give out.

While the choice of lifting straps depends on personal preference and training objectives, Kam-loop (closed-loop) lifting straps are undeniably a top pick for Olympic weightlifting movements. With Kam-loop straps, athletes can simply slide their hands through the loop, securing them in place almost instantly. This eliminates the need for complicated threading of the strap, which is common with other styles of lifting straps.

There are several different types of straps out in the market. For instance, traditional lifting straps feature a long, flat strap with a loop at one end, requiring users to thread the strap through the loop and wrap it around the bar for attachment. Figure 8 lifting straps, shaped like the number eight, offer a simple and sturdy connection, making them a favorite for many powerlifters. Whatever style you decide on, utilizing lifting straps, weightlifters can focus on perfecting their technique, pushing their limits, and achieving their Olympic lifting goals confidently and efficiently.

Why Athletes Use Lifting Straps

Improved Grip

Lifting straps enhance grip strength for weight lifters, particularly with heavy lifting or high-repetition sets. Athletes often struggle to maintain a solid grip on the barbell, especially as fatigue sets in. Lifting straps provide a simple solution, allowing weightlifters to hold onto the bar securely, ensuring a consistent and controlled lift.

Let’s run through an example. If an athlete were to have four sets of four reps of high hang snatches, they’d discover soon that their natural grip strength would begin to wear down after rapidly completing reps. If these high-hang snatches aim to hammer a specific movement position, their grip could be too fatigued to hit the positions.

Now, if the athlete were to have a pair of lifting straps, they’ll be able to maintain an enhanced grip through the reps. By having a consistent grip on the bar, the athlete can focus on hitting proper positions in their pull.

Enhanced Technique

Using lifting straps can lead to improved lifting technique. When weightlifters are not preoccupied with gripping the bar tightly, they can focus more on maintaining proper form and positioning particularly. Lifting straps are especially advantageous when performing rapid repetitions or sets with multiple reps. Straps help athletes maintain their grip and concentrate on perfecting their technique.

Reduced Grip Fatigue

Weightlifting can be strenuous on the hands, and repeated lifts can cause calluses to tear and hands to become sore. Lifting straps alleviate this problem by minimizing the strain on the hands. This reduction in hand fatigue allows athletes to train longer and harder, ultimately leading to improved performance.

Increased Training Volume

One of the critical benefits of lifting straps is their ability to increase training volume. Using straps during sets with triples, quads, or sets of five, weightlifters can lift heavier weights and perform more repetitions without worrying about grip fatigue. This increase in volume can lead to more significant gains in strength and muscle mass.

Better Positioning

Straps are particularly useful during exercises involving isometric actions, such as pauses at specific points in the lift. Pauses below or above the knee can be challenging to maintain without gym straps, but with them, weightlifters can focus on their positioning and strength development during these critical moments.

Improved Lat Activation

Straps can enhance lat activation, especially during the turnover phase of the snatch. Weightlifters often struggle to maintain an upright posture and prevent excessive arm bending during high-repetition snatches without straps. Straps provide better wrist awareness and a stronger connection to the bar, allowing for improved lat activation and snatch performance.

Torn Calcuses

One of the most significant advantages of using lifting straps when dealing with a torn thumb callus is maintaining continuity in training. When a callus tears, it can take time to heal fully. Athletes can continue their training regimen using lifting straps without a prolonged break. This keeps their progress on track and prevents detraining effects that may occur during extended breaks from lifting heavy weights.

Thumb tape offers a simple yet effective solution. By carefully wrapping the thumbs with this specialized athletic tape, weightlifters can create a protective barrier over the torn callus.

How to Use Lifting Straps

First, you’ll go to the Garage Strength website and pick up a pair of our lifting straps. They’re a comfortable leather and nylon combo, and you’ll be confident that your grip on the bar will stay.

Placing the Straps on the Hands

When the athlete is ready to use the lifting straps for a lift, knowing which strap goes on which hand is crucial. Most straps indicate which straps go on the left or right hand. If you have a pair of our Garage Strength straps, the “L” and “R” are stitched into the strap to indicate what straps go on the left hand and what goes on the right.

Place the lifting straps on your wrists, with the garage strength label on the back of your wrist. Again, most companies will have some indication of the proper orientation. To make sure, check the manual for assurance.

Bringing the Straps to the Bar

While keeping the same hand-to-strap orientation, hover the hand over the top of the bar. Holding this position, roll the tail end of the lifting strap underneath the bar.

Roll the end of the lifting strap under the bar until you feel secure and confident in the strap and your grip.

Once you feel secure and the lifting strap tight, move to the next hand to complete the same steps.

Thumb Orientation with Straps

We always recommend having the thumb under the bar for the most secure position. Some lifters may pull with thumbs over the bar, but when they switch back to hook gripping with no straps, their grip will be awkward, possibly throwing them off. By keeping the thumb underneath the bar, the athlete will be more confident in their pull and have less disconnection between the grip with straps and the hook grip without straps.

Safety Precautions

Before any usage of lifting straps, ensure the condition of the straps. Any wear and tear found from these straps could lead to the abrupt loss of control while in a less-than-advantageous position.

When to Use Lifting Straps

Rapid Reps

Before any usage of lifting straps, ensure the condition of the straps. Any wear and tear found from these straps could lead to the abrupt loss of control while in a less-than-advantageous position.


Weightlifters can use lifting straps when performing pause variations of lifts. Pausing below or above the knee can help improve technique and strength in specific positions. For example, pausing below or above the knee can help improve lower back and hamstring strength. Using straps ensures that the grip fatigue doesn't limit the strength benefits of these exercises

Hang Variations

Lifting straps are ideal for hang variations of lifts, including high-hang and low-hang snatches. The low hang snatch teaches athletes to keep a tighter bar path -- it prevents bumping the bar forward. Similar to the pause snatch, the low hang variation also helps the athlete strengthen the posterior chain and improves knee movement in a position we call "no man's land."

The high hang variation improves the athlete's finish and teaches connection with the upper body. High hang variations are also great for improving speed for athletic performance. Lifting straps make training with these variations more accessible at heavier weights.

Heavy Pulls

During exercises like snatch pulls, deficit pulls, rack pulls, RDLs, barbell rows, and other heavy pull variations, lifting straps can help athletes execute these movements safely and effectively. These heavy-pulling exercises contribute to increased absolute strength, which, in turn, enhances overall lifting performance.

Pull Ups

High-repetition sets of pull-ups are a grueling test of upper back strength and endurance. As your muscles fatigue, maintaining a firm overhand grip on the pull-up bar can become increasingly challenging. This is where lifting straps prove to be a smart choice, even for bodyweight exercises like pull-ups.


Lifting straps are a valuable tool for athletes looking to improve technique and increase training volume. However, athletes should use straps strategically while doing snatch/clean pulls once to twice a week, as well as hang snatches once to twice a week. By incorporating lifting straps properly into their training routine, weightlifters can experience significant benefits that translate into better performance on the platform and in the gym.

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