If you’ve been in a gym or seen photos and youtube videos of people lifting, you’ve probably seen people wearing wrist wraps.
Not gonna lie. Some of them are wearing them purely because they think they make them look tough or strong.
I and some of my lifting buddies wear them for other reasons.
Yours truly has managed to do some damage to both wrists. The right wrist was severely sprained when I was helping restrain a drunk. You know how some sprains can actually be worse than breaks? That would be what happened. The ER doc looked at it immediately afterwards. A few of my ER mamas checked it out immediately afterwards; my mama (ER nurse) looked at it the next day right before the chiro took x-rays. Unfortunately, it’s still an issue to put any weight on that wrist – think push-ups, high planks, downward dog – even though this happened five years ago!
So I started wearing a wrist wrap just on my right wrist only when doing anything overhead or chest presses. For push-ups, planks, downward dog, I just went on my fists instead of palms. Slowly, I started building up some of the strength in my wrist to where I didn’t always need the wrist wrap.
Then I slipped on spilled diesel at the gas station. (I’m not the one who spilled it.) I didn’t fall! But. . .in my attempt to not fall, I grabbed onto my truck’s door with my left hand and pulled just right that I dislocated my left wrist. This was on a Saturday. It didn’t look that bad to me (I couldn’t rotate my arm to actually look and when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see an issue.) My parents got back in the area on Sunday. Mama took one look at it and asked if I wanted her to take me to the ER. I waited til Monday when my chiropractor’s office was open to get it fixed. Got a slight lecture about waiting 2 days. . .
After not doing any upper-body presses of any kind for about 2-3 weeks, I was wearing wrist wraps on my both wrists now for anything overhead and on my left wrist for any presses until I built up strength. Again.
It’s the same thing as athletic tape. You don’t get taped before a practice and/or a game just because it makes you look more intimidating or because it will make you play better. You get taped because it supports weakened muscles. As someone who hated getting taped but needed different parts taped dependent on the sport (thumbs for volleyball, left little finger for basketball. . .maybe a thumb for basketball), it drove me absolutely insane when my teammates wanted me to tape them or asked a coach for tape just because they thought it looked cool.
The purpose of wrist wraps (and elbow sleeves and knee braces and ankle braces) is to support your joints. If you go from push-pressing only the 45# to 150#, you’re probably going to get hurt and your wrists definitely will be sore and protest it. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to start taping and running out to buy wrist wraps. It does mean you should hire a coach or trainer to help you learn how to exercise safely!
If you still think you should be wearing wrist wraps, there are a few things to consider.
* You want to be able to move your wrists. They’re not splints or designed to immobilize the joint. To do the lifts and movements correctly, you do still need to be able to move your wrists properly.
* Don’t tighten them to the point of losing feelings and/or circulation in your fingers. Most have a loop that fits over your thumb. This shouldn’t be super tight or cut into your skin either.
* Let them air out after use . . . trust me on this one.
For the record, I am not in any way, shape, or form affiliated with the following company.
I’ve tried a few different wrist wraps. These are my absolute favorite! They fit me pretty much perfect, but I’ve seen a few of the bulkier guys wear them too. Click HERE for my favorite wrist wraps by JekyllHYDE Apparel.