Athletes demand a lot of their bodies and the selection of the wrong tool/aid can cause serious damage. These tips and guidelines for selecting powerlifting wrist wraps are designed to ensure that you find a good product that is able to meet your needs and expectations. These are the things that you should consider before purchasing or using one:
(i) Select the Ones the Fit
This may sound obvious but we often have a very warped view of our actual size and capabilities. When purchasing powerlifting wrist wraps make sure that you have a place where you can test them to see how they feel and fit. They should not hurt your wrist flexors or extensors even with repeated use. Do not place the wrap below the joint because it will no longer provide support. Instead it will become a bracelet for the forearm which really has no benefit for your exercise. Watch out for fraying and irritation when you use the product. If you are getting an allergic reaction then it is best to find an alternative.
(ii) Get Two Types if You Can
The market offers two options which are useful in different ways. Therefore it is in your best interests to get both the powerlifting wrist wraps. The first category is made of cotton. It is a lot more flexible and thinner than its counterpart. The second one is made of Velcro and provides much more support. Obviously the intensity of the workout will determine what you use on any given day. If you have two of them then there is only a limited risk that you will become dependent on the wraps. This is because you tend to develop an instinctive feel of what wrap feels fine and when it does not feel right. Typically the thinner wraps work best for snatch and jerk sessions while the stronger ones are best for a bench/shoulder press.
(iii) These are not accessories
It is rather saddening to see a professional gymnast putting on powerlifting wrist wraps for no other reason than the possibility that they make him or her look cool. Sometimes they can be used for the pommel house and vault, but mainly in competitions where you do not want anything to go wrong. They are not appropriate for ring dips, pull-ups, handstands and push-ups. Nevertheless it may be a good idea to use them if you have an injury that you need to favor during your session. Do not use these wraps if you are merely performing a clean squat. They are not to be used as a smokescreen for serious injuries. Deal with the injury first before competing. If you have to use wraps for every single session then there is something obviously wrong. Speak to your physio and coach to sort it out.
Unfortunately these powerlifting wrist wraps have become a go-to-piece for body builders and other amateurs who do not really understand its function. Ideally this product is meant to support the wrist joint during exercise. It is particularly important if you have an injury or if you are doing a very heavy load.