It always surprises me when I enter a weight room and see people weightlifting without a pair of lifting straps.
Even for lower weight ranges, the added grip may provide more safety. But it’s for those low rep sets that lifters might notice the biggest difference.
Unfortunately, I’ve encountered more than my fair share of lifting straps. I’ve had some rip during a deadlift, and others cause painful blisters.
If you use lifting straps, focus on the following ones that we have put to the test.
Our Top Lifting Straps
1 - Grip Power Cobra Grips (Editor's Choice)
These figure 8 lifting straps might be the most versatile ones you’ll find.
Not only might they significantly improve your grip strength, but they are fast and easy to get on and off as you need them.
Once you’ve picked the right size for your wrists, there should be no issue with pressure points or friction.
Many users comment on how it helped them add more reps to their usual routines, as well as how good its quality and design is.
Be extra careful with sizing though, with some users recommending to buy a slightly bigger size from your actual measurements to be sure.
- Available in 3 size options for better comfort
- Extra stitching should help with durability
- Figure 8 lifting straps should make it fast and easy to use
- Many positive comments about improved grip strength
- Might take a few tries to get it positioned right
Just give yourself a few lifts with lighter weights to get used to the optimum positioning on your hands.
The company gives you a year to try these lifting straps, and if you don't feel it's working for you, you have the option to return or exchange it with other products.
2 - Harbinger Cotton Lifting Straps
The Harbinger padded cotton lifting straps might suit athletes who sometimes feel more pressure or strain on their wrists with heavy lifting.
By using padded lifting straps, you might be able to get rid of that strain without causing damage. This is of particular interest for weightlifters to prevent the straps from digging into their skin.
And if you’re conscious of matching up your gym gear by color, then you’ll like the choices Harbinger has to offer.
Many people particularly like the color options, but some noticed that there are times when it doesn't create a lot of grip.
- Padded lifting straps may reduce pressure on the wrists
- Positive comments about the heavy-duty stitching
- Available in different colors to match up with your gym gear
- Might be a bit tight fitting for athletes with bigger wrists
Just be aware that if you have a particularly large wrist, then these might feel a bit tight. But with the length of these lifting straps, it can provide a strong wrap on the bar to help you lift with more confidence.
3 - Dark Iron Fitness Leather Lifting Straps
Leather lifting straps may offer two good advantages. First of all, they should last a lot longer, and secondly, they should offer a good bit more grip than cotton or nylon straps.
We also like that the added layers of stitching may make these lifting straps suitable for lifters who get into the competitive weight ranges.
With a long yet thick strap with options of 2 and 3mm in thickness, it should easily wrap around a barbell two to three times.
Some opted for 2mm in the beginning, but there are some cases where it ripped halfway through a routine. The company was nice enough to replace and upgrade it to a 3mm, which was way tougher than the previous thickness.
- Leather suede
- Soft material may reduce pressure on the skin and improve grip
- Triple stitching may improve durability for pro-level use
- Easily adjusted to different wrist sizes
- Leather straps might take a while to break-in
We noted that the only downside is that the leather might take a few days to fully break-in, so maybe try them with lower loads initially.
4 - Grip Power Pads PRO
These are another pair of weight lifting straps with neoprene padding that the company claims may help folks with strains or injuries.
We also found that the longer length might suit some folks, especially with heavier bars where you want maximum confidence in your lifting straps.
With three different length options, you can choose the most suitable one to help you with the most challenging lifting routines.
But be careful with the cross pattern that holds the foam in place as it can leave some crazy marks on your wrists after a long session.
- Cotton and neoprene
- May provide better wrist support with comfortable padding
- Longer Length may suit athletes lifting heavier weights
- The silicone lettering seems to provide some added grip
- They might be a bit wide for some powerlifters
Just note that these lifting straps are a bit wider than standard, which might not be ideal for all types of lifting.
5 - Anvil Fitness Lifting Straps
This loop lifting strap should make it a bit easier and faster to wrap 2 to 3 times around the bar. We also liked the smooth edges, which on other lifting straps might quickly cause blisters or calluses.
The padding may also be thick enough to offer some protection from wrist injuries, which might be helpful if you’ve had some previous sprains.
Some users note some stitches immediately came out so this pair of lifting straps only lasted them 2 weeks, yet it lasted for about 2 years for others without too much damage.
It would be nice to give beginners instructions on how to use these lifting straps as using it the wrong way can make its life span shorter.
- Positive comments about the well-placed padding for fewer pressure points
- Doesn’t seem to have any uncomfortable edges that might rub
- Single loop strap makes it easy and fast to adjust
- Some people find the lifting strap material a bit too thick
Powerlifters looking for a lifting strap that isn’t too thick might need to consider a different option.
6 - Nordic Lifting Straps
We love the Nordic weightlifting brand, and we like this one-size-fits-all lifting strap design as it seems to be fast and easy to get a comfortable grip for lifting or pull-ups.
And these weight lifting straps come in a good choice of color options so you can match them up with your other weight training gear.
- Size adjustment is fast and seems to hold in place securely
- Many reviews highlight that they don’t tend to cause pressure points
- Available in a good range of color options
- Might not be suitable for smaller wrist sizes
The only thing we noticed on one of our female clients is that they might not be the most comfortable for anyone with a slim wrist.
7 - Serious Steel Fitness Figure 8 Lifting Straps
The Serious Steel Fitness Figure 8 Lifting Straps are popular with a lot of powerlifters as the design may reduce the chance of slipping or reducing grip.
This pair of lifting straps is designed specifically to help avoid mistakes on deadlifting, which makes it more suitable for people who already have some level of skill and experience.
What we liked is the careful placement of the stitches, which should avoid even small pressure points that could cause sore blisters.
Since they have a figure 8 design, each lifting strap literally stay attached to the wrists even when you try to let go. This feature makes it one of the most secure and reliable weight lifting straps on the market.
- Well placed stitching should avoid pressure and rubbing
- Good choice for a powerlifter looking best durability
- Figure 8 design allows for fewer problems with lack of grip
- May take a few attempts to get the positioning right
Just give yourself a few attempts with a lower barbell load to make sure you get the lifting strap position right.
8 - IronMind Lifting Straps
IronMind has created these cotton lifting straps as a single loop that makes adjusting and fitting to the barbell quick and easy.
There are many positive comments about the added grip and that they release quickly once you've finished a set. Once we got the right tightness, the strap felt comfortable with no sore points to cause trouble.
Like most online users, we were surprised with how this basic lifting strap turned out to be. It looks durable and solid with its high-quality cotton material.
- The single loop may provide an easier and more secure hold on the bar
- May suit powerlifters as they release quickly
- No rubbing or pressure points from misplaced stitching
- Getting the tightness right doesn’t seem as easy with these lifting strap
We just found that adjusting how tight you want the lifting strap isn’t as easy as other straps on the market.
9 - Stoic Olympic Lifting Straps
The Stoic Olympic lifting straps are another leather option, and this time we were pleasantly surprised that it didn’t take much time to break in the leather materials.
It’s a simple weight lifting strap design that claims to make it easier and faster to get set up and ready for the lift.
And the leather looks very durable, especially compared to some nylon lifting straps that seem to be common.
It also distributes weight over the hand rather than concentrating around the wrist, which makes for a better lifting experience.
- Durable leather material should last for years
- Easy to get on and off when you need them
- Positive comments about the leather breaking in easily
- Some people have reported pressure points on wrists
Just pay close attention to how you wrap it around your wrist, as you might notice some pressure points.
10 - Spud Weightlifting Straps
The final one of our top 10 best lifting straps is this Spud weightlifting strap that has many user reviews that they might last for years of heavy lifting.
We couldn’t find any stretch in them, which should also give you more confidence during every lift.
- Well designed stitching may make them suitable for heavy weightlifting
- Positive comments that they don’t seem to stretch or wear down
- Easy to keep clean with the rest of your gym gear
- Some reviews said they could be a bit wider for more support
We did receive some feedback from a few powerlifters who said they prefer a wider strap when lifting weights over 300 pounds.
Why Should You Use Lifting Straps?
Lifting straps are used in various routines in strength training by different types of athletes. The main goal for using these straps is to provide additional grip for your lifting routines. Therefore, it allows athletes to hold more weight than what their usual strapless grip strength can handle.
But whether you’re a recreational lifter or an Olympic athlete, lifting straps are of great help to make the most out of your workout routine.
While working on your strength, using lifting straps will ease your worries on doing a perfect grip, which would lower your chances of experiencing intense fatigue and having lifting injuries even after just a few lifts.
Since your hand grip is usually weaker compared to your upper back or lats, lifting straps would significantly increase your lifting power. However, as you become heavily reliant on these straps, your hand grip might suffer and end up weaker and unstable over time.
So if you're going to use any type of lifting straps most or all the time, I highly recommend that you always include exercises to strengthen your grip on your usual workout routine. These exercises include fist pushups, hanging from a pull-up bar, and harder squeeze on barbells.
These are the four key features you have to pay attention to when making your buying decision.
1. Don’t Ignore The Material
Choosing high-quality cotton or leather material will pretty much always trump products using some synthetic materials .
First of all, they tend to last a lot longer. But they should also improve your grip on the bar even during the heaviest lifts you attempt.
Equipment for your home gym:
2. Pick The Right Size
Some powerlifting straps allow you to adjust the size as needed. But with figure 8 lifting straps, you’ll need to do a bit of measuring to get the fit right.
“If you're going to lift things, your wrists are going to be involved. This is something that really needs to hit home if you're new to training, but also something that should be maintained and improved as you progress – especially if you can move really heavy loads.”
- Tom Morrison, Writer at T-Nation.com.
You also need to make sure that a strap that wraps around the bar is long enough to wrap multiple times for added grip.
3. Check The Durability
Choosing heavy-duty materials with multiple layers of stitching will go a long way towards having straps that will last for years.
This is more important if you tend to do a lot of very heavy deadlifts and other powerlifting exercises compared to a bench press where there might be less force pulling on the strap.
4. Choose Your Preferred Design
The most common designs are single loop and figure 8 lifting straps.
To be honest, after half an hour of a heated debate among our team, we couldn’t figure out a way to say whether one or the other is better.
Try to use straps of both designs to see which ones might suit you best.
Alternatively, if neither of these designs fit you, you can always try Warm Body Cold Mind lifting tape. The thumb tape was designed by the Olympic Champion O. Torokhtiy, and it has pretty impressive results when it comes to protecting the palms and thumbs.
This thumb tape is claimed to be extra sticky, staying on even during the most intense workouts. It’ll wrap around your thumbs, palms, and wrists with ease.
It may be a good idea to give this tape a try to see if it works better for you.
Are Lifting Straps Worth It?
Yes, lifting straps are worth it, even if you’re not aiming to become an Olympic powerlifter. Using durable lifting straps on a regular basis may help protect and strengthen your wrist joint .
How Tight Should Lifting Straps Be?
Lifting straps should be tight enough to support your wrist but not so tight that it cuts off circulation. This should leave plenty of room for personal preference without risking injuries.
What Is the Difference Between Wrist Wraps and Wrist Straps?
The main difference between wrist wraps and wrist straps is that latter aims to provide extra grip while lifting. Wraps tend to help with reducing flex in the joint to keep it in a more neutral position.
Are Cotton Lifting Straps Good?
Yes, cotton straps are good for providing additional grip, especially for beginners. It can also feel more comfortable to use than other materials. However, the material is naturally stretchy and this can significantly reduce grip strength over time.
The Best Lifting Straps We Would Recommend Is...
We let our clients vote on this, and the overwhelming majority favored the Grip Power Cobra as the best lifting straps.
They seem to be the easiest to get set up with, and the materials and features tend to give you a much better grip.
With the added confidence in your grip, you should be able to add some more plates to the bar and aim for a new personal best.