Best Lifting Straps For Deadlifting, Bodybuilding, and More

Add lifting straps to your gym bag for heavy lifting.

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There are so many lifting straps on the market, and shopping for one can be a daunting experience for a strength athlete trying to find the best lifting strap for them. What we continue to find through sweaty gym sessions is that different straps offer different benefits. Just as there are different styles for different seasons, there are different lifting straps for different goals and sports. If you’re a weightlifter, you’ll likely prefer a quick-release strap that comes off the bar easily if you need to bail on a lift. Conversely, strongman competitors usually prefer figure 8 straps that won’t come off the bar even if their grip gives out. 

A lot of what makes a strap so great is heavily dependent on an individual’s goals, wants, and needs, in addition to the help it can provide their wrists. Most people’s training will lie somewhere in between the extremes, which is what the majority of lifting straps are meant for — in this list we break down the best types of straps for a variety of training styles, budgets, and scenarios. Whether you’re an Olympic weightlifter, a strongman competitor, powerlifter, or just a normal gym rat — this is your definitive best straps list, where we go into detail on common designs, materials, and uses for lifting straps.

Best Lifting Straps

Best Overall Lifting Straps

The best lifting straps need to be useful in any lifting session, providing the correct amount of security, versatility, and durability. Having the confidence to pull heavy and build those glutes without worrying about a slip from your lifting straps is a great advantage to have when working on PRs.

Gymreapers Lifting Straps

These lifting straps from Gymreapers offer the combination of security and comfort that lifters want without being too invasive. At 18 inches long, these straps can wrap around the bar a couple of times to provide extra security, so you know your bar or dumbbell isn’t going anywhere once you’re strapped in — that way you can just grip it, and rip it. The added padding isn’t very thick, but is just enough to help prevent digging into the skin, or bruising of the wrist.

If you’re someone that doesn’t like padding, Gymreapers offers options that don’t include padding on the wrist. The Gymreapers Lifting Straps are made from a durable combination of neoprene and cotton, and they offer a lifetime replacement guarantee. These straps even come in nine different color options, such as black/red, desert tan, ranger green, pink, navy, black, and gray. 

Gymreapers Lifting Straps
Gymreapers Lifting Straps
Gymreapers Lifting Straps

Gymreapers Lifting Straps provide the security and comfort that many lifters desire at an affordable price. These 18 inch straps are available in nine different colors. You can rely on these straps for shrugs, deadlifts, cleans, or heavy dumbbell rows.

Who Should Buy Gymreapers Lifting Straps

  • Someone looking for a versatile pair of cotton lifting straps that feel comfortable (thanks to the neoprene padding), and offer great security without being cumbersome.
  • Athletes who want a bit of padding around the wrist to help prevent skin pinching or abrasion will appreciate the neoprene padding here.
  • Gymgoers who prefer to have a bit of color variety — these straps come in nine color options including black, green, and pink.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Gymreapers Lifting Straps

  • Beginner lifters who still need to build up a base of strength, and learn when/how to use straps.
  • Athletes who are looking for maximum security may want to look for a figure 8 strap since they stay attached to the bar no matter what.
  • Weightlifters who need to quickly and safely release a weight from overhead, or bail on a lift — these can be wrapped around a bar multiple times preventing them from coming off easily.

These lifting straps from Gymreapers are a good choice for an individual who is just starting to use straps. They’re relatively inexpensive, don’t have a learning curve to use like olympic lifting straps or figure 8 straps, and offer a degree of comfort with the neoprene wrist padding. The heavy-duty construction can also satisfy experienced lifters looking for a solid choice for their next pair of lifting straps. 

[Related: The Lifter’s Guide To Magnesium: What This Nutrient Does For Strength]

Most Durable Lifting Straps

For many folks purchasing gym equipment, durability is top of mind, and they want a product that will last them a long time, getting them a good return for their money spent. When selecting the most durable lifting straps, we took into consideration not only how they’re made, but the material they’re made from. To ensure a lifting strap is durable, they need to be stitched well and made to endure wear and tear from all types of knurling and training — enter the Manimal Infinity Lifting Straps. 

Manimal Infinity Lifting Straps

These lifting straps have clear labeling, so you never have to concern yourself with which strap goes with which wrist — a nice long-term detail when the straps are broken in. Additionally, the poly-nylon mix used in the material gives these straps durability that users can be confident will go the distance even when going heavy on hang cleans and deadlifts. Another key to the durability of these straps is the 24 inch length — longer than the common 18 inch straps seen on the market — so they’re able to distribute the weight being held over more material for less stress on the straps. 

These straps also feature three millimeter neoprene padding around the wrist to help increase comfort and prevent pinching of the skin and bruising around the wrist. The wrist wrap poly-nylon material will likely outlast the neoprene padding though, so you may find yourself without that padding if you keep these straps for a long time.

Manimal Infinity Lifting Straps
Manimal Infinity Lifting Straps
Manimal Infinity Lifting Straps

These one-and-a-half-inch wide and 24-ince long three millimeter neoprene lifting straps provide padding to the wrists. They are made with a poly-nylon mix for better durability.

Who Should Buy Manimal Infinity Lifting Straps

  • Recreational lifters who need a secure strap to last in all settings — Manimal named these the Infinity Lifting Straps because they’re meant to last forever.
  • Dedicated strength athletes who want straps made with high-quality, sturdy poly-nylon that won’t fail you when going for a big lift. 
  • If you’re looking for a longer lifting strap (which may also help with durability), these are 24 inches. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Manimal Infinity Lifting Straps

  • The beginner who isn’t familiar with straps, and why or when they should use them.
  • Budget-conscious shoppers who want the most cost-efficient straps. Though these are not much more expensive than other straps, there are cheaper alternatives.

Manimal set out to make the most durable pair of lifting straps on the market, and we think they did a solid job of it. The material is meant to last, and the longer length of these straps helps to distribute the weight being held to reduce stress on the straps. The neoprene padding is a nice extra touch for comfort, and the price is reasonable for a product of this quality.

Best Lifting Straps for the Money

On a budget and need a cost efficient pair of lifting straps? Gymreapers offers a high-quality, and reasonably priced option that should check a lot of your boxes. 

Gymreapers Lifting Straps

These high-quality lifting straps — made from premium neoprene and cotton — are 18 inches long, and work great for a wide range of exercises. You can use these for heavy deadlifts and shrugs, dumbbell rows, or even pull-ups. They have neoprene padding around the wrist to provide extra comfort, but are also available without padding if you like to feel slightly more connected to the bar. The Gymreapers Lifting Straps are heavy duty with double-stitched cotton, and made to stand up to even the most punishing workouts that you throw at them. Gymreapers offers them in nine different colors to help match your other gear or preference. Plus, they come with a lifetime replacement guarantee.

Gymreapers Lifting Straps
Gymreapers Lifting Straps
Gymreapers Lifting Straps

Gymreapers Lifting Straps provide the security and comfort that many lifters desire at an affordable price. These 18 inch straps are available in nine different colors. You can rely on these straps for shrugs, deadlifts, cleans, or heavy dumbbell rows.

Who Should Buy Gymreapers Lifting Straps

  • Someone who wants a high quality product at an affordable price will enjoy these straps.
  • Anyone who is looking to get their first pair of lifting straps, there’s no learning curve to use these, and they work on either wrist.
  • Someone who wants some extra padding around the wrist portion of their straps to help prevent pinching, tugging, or slipping.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Gymreapers Lifting Straps

  • Serious strength athletes who want maximum security, and are looking to deadlift some insane weights. These straps are durable, but a pair of figure 8 straps would offer a more secure connection to the bar.
  • Athletes who are looking for straps for the olympic lifts — the length of these allow them to wrap around the bar at least twice , and won’t come off as easily as weightlifting straps.

Gymreapers lifting straps are a solid choice for someone picking up their first pair of lifting straps to even more experienced athletes. The neoprene padding on the wrists is an added comfort bonus on a pair of wrist wraps in this price range. 

Best Lifting Straps for Powerlifting

The best powerlifting lifting straps will need to be both secure and durable to withstand multiple heavy sessions of barbell training. The lifting straps also need to be versatile enough to meet the demands of different exercises that powerlifters do as accessories to the big three lifts, like barbell rows, shrugs, and heavy dumbbell rows. That’s why we like the Rogue Fitness Ohio Straps. 

Rogue Fitness Ohio Straps

This strap offers a minimalist versatile lasso design. It’s a great pick for lifters who bring straps to the gym with them, for “just in case” instances, or want straps to withstand ample loading. The 20 inch length is longer than the usual 18 inches that lifting straps are, allowing a little extra room for those with larger wrists, like powerlifters, to get the most out of these lifting straps. These straps are also made to be durable for your heavy deadlift sessions as they’re made from a heavy-duty cotton webbing with reinforced stitching and edging to prevent fraying. Whether you’re using them frequently or every once in a while, this simple strap is portable and effective for providing security and durability. 

Rogue Fitness Ohio Straps
Rogue Fitness Ohio Straps
Rogue Fitness Ohio Straps

This lifting strap is designed with a cotton build and offers additional padding to limit wrist friction and discomfort. These are great for deadlifts as well as accessory movements like shrugs and rows.

Who Should Buy Rogue Fitness Ohio Cotton Straps

  • The recreational lifter who wants a pair of lifting straps with them at all times will appreciate the design here.
  • The powerlifter who needs a pair of lasso lifting straps to support heavy pulls and other accessory movements.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Rogue Fitness Ohio Cotton Straps

  • The true beginner that doesn’t have a real need for lifting straps.
  • The cost-efficient shopper who wants the lowest possible price for lifting straps.

Powerlifters may use lifting straps occasionally due to grip requirements for deadlifts during meets, but when you break out the straps you want to know they’ll work for everything you need them to. That’s why we recommend the Rogue Ohio Lifting Straps — they’re durable, and simply designed at a reasonable price.

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Best Lifting Straps for Deadlifting

When you’re going for an all time deadlift PR you want reassurance that you won’t miss it because your gear or grip failed you. Lifting big can often tax the grip, and some may need extra, reliable support to pull heavy, which is why we chose the Gymreapers Figure 8 Lifting Straps here. 

Gymreapers Figure 8 Lifting Straps

These straps are designed specifically to help avoid deadlifting mistakes and aid in strongman-style pulling, so you know they’re secure. In fact, we wouldn’t recommend them for every type of lifter, as they do require some level of skill to master using them.

Since these offer the figure 8 design, they literally stay attached to the wrists with weight even when you let go. That being said, these straps are certainly some of the most secure on the market. They have a weight capacity of over 1,000 pounds, so unless you’re Thor or Eddie Hall, you won’t outgrow these anytime soon. They feature heavy-duty cross stitching, and 1/4 inch thick cotton webbing for maximum strength construction. They even come in three sizes to accommodate any type of bar you might be lifting on, and most any wrist size. These straps are also backed by Gymreapers’ lifetime replacement guarantee. 

Gymreapers Figure 8 Lifting Straps
Gymreapers Figure 8 Lifting Straps
Gymreapers Figure 8 Lifting Straps

If you intend to pull some massive weights, then you need massive support, and these Figure 8 Straps from Gymreapers are designed to provide just that. With heavy-duty cross stitching and thick cotton webbing, these are meant to stand up to the heaviest and hardest of workouts.

Who Should Buy Gymreapers Figure 8 Lifting Straps

  • Strongman athletes who train with axle bars and compete — these are the go-to style of lifting strap for most strongman competitors.
  • Lifters who want the absolute maximum amount of security during deadlift sessions.
  • Advanced lifters who are very strong, and don’t want their grip or gear to be a limiting factor — these straps will keep you attached to the bar even if your grip gives out mid-set.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Gymreapers Figure 8 Lifting Straps

  • The true beginner — these take time to master, and beginners won’t need this much of a heavy duty strap.
  • Recreational athletes who do not have experience with straps or maximal lifting.
  • Anyone who wants to get grip training along with their deadlift sessions — other types of straps still offer some grip strengthening.

The figure 8 style of strap has become increasingly popular over the past few years due to popular competitors like Eddie Hall using this style of strap when he broke the 500kg deadlift barrier. Though not for everyone, these straps are a solid choice for people who want to ensure the bar isn’t leaving their hands once they’re strapped in and ready to pull.

Best Lifting Straps For Bodybuilding 

Bodybuilders often get a bad rap for lifting just for aesthetics, and not being legitimately strong. That is far from the truth as “The King” Ronnie Coleman was often seen crushing heavy squats and deadlifts as part of his training. You don’t want to be taxing your grip every day though and creating possible muscle imbalances as a bodybuilder, which is where a solid pair of lifting straps come in. 

Harbinger Cotton Padded Lifting Straps

Great lifting straps for bodybuilding need to be supportive and fairly comfortable since these sessions are often much longer in nature, and we think the Harbinger Cotton Padded Lifting Straps do a great job of offering both comfort and support. The Harbinger Cotton Padded Lifting Straps are a great fit for the lifter who needs a strap for routine use in the weight room. They provide versatility, and can be used with both barbells and dumbbells. The NeoTek cushioning provides extra comfort over other padding by being thicker and taking pressure off of the wrist when lifting, so you’re less likely to have bruised wrists or abrasions when you step on stage.

Harbinger Cotton Padded Lifting Strap
Harbinger Cotton Padded Lifting Strap
Harbinger Cotton Padded Lifting Strap

A cotton lifting strap that provides additional padding for the wrists to reduce friction. These 21.5-inch lifting straps have extended length to give more grip on the bar and extra stitching to prevent frays. These affordable straps are great for beginners and advanced lifters alike.

Who Should Buy Harbinger Cotton Padded Lifting Straps

  • Recreational athletes who want a comfortable strap to wear for long workouts will like the NeoTek cushioning here.
  • Athletes that need security and want a lasso strap that is great in all settings.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Harbinger Cotton Padded Lifting Straps

  • True beginners who need to build adequate grip strength first.
  • Athletes who need a quick release strap when doing cleans and snatches should look elsewhere.

These lifting straps from Harbinger are reasonably priced, and offer solid security that should be more than enough for the average gymgoer. The NeoTek padding is thicker than most other wrist padding, and offers an extra layer of protection for the skin and comfort on the wrist that bodybuilders will likely enjoy when using these straps.

[Related: Nutrition For Bulking: 10 Tips For Intelligent Muscle Gain]

Best Lifting Straps for Weightlifting

Weightlifters have a unique set of needs when looking for lifting straps. They need something that is both very secure (so they’ll stay attached to the bar during the high acceleration forces involved in snatches and cleans), but also straps that come off very quickly if they need to dump the bar. Weightlifting straps are generally shorter in length than other lifting straps since they’re intended to only wrap around the bar one time for the ability to release the bar quickly.

Gymreapers Olympic Lifting Straps

Weightlifting lifting straps need the advantage of being quick-release to avoid getting stuck with weight overhead when dumping the weight is the goal, which is why we’re highlighting the Gymreapers Olympic Lifting Straps. These straps are made of cotton with reinforced triple stitching. When catching a bar at the bottom of the snatch (or clean, though fewer lifters use straps for those), comfort plays a huge factor, which these straps can provide. Otherwise, there is the risk of compensating form to offset discomfort.

It’s important to remember that movements like the snatch require a fast release when a bar is overhead and balance is lost, so having straps like these is ideal. The shorter length of these at 8.5 inches is a plus — they’ll only wrap around the bar once or twice, and won’t have much material left over to get in the way or feel different to ensure your technique stays the same. With how important technique and form is for weightlifting, anything that could alter it is a no-go.

Gymreapers Olympic Lifting Straps
Gymreapers Olympic Lifting Straps
Gymreapers Olympic Lifting Straps

These tear-drop shaped lifting straps are great for cleans and snatches because they are reinforced with triple stitching along the seams. The soft cotton fabric allows for more comfort while lifting heavy.

Who Should Buy Gymreapers Olympic Lifting Straps

  • Weightlifting athletes who need more comfort when weight is overhead.
  • Athletes who want straps that provide security, but not maximal amounts with multiple layers around the bar.
  • If you’re looking for shorter straps, these are 8.5 inches. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Gymreapers Olympic Lifting Straps

  • The beginner who isn’t familiar with straps, and why they should use them.
  • Non-weightlifting athletes can find a better option on this list.

The high-quality cotton and reinforced triple stitching along essential seams here both ensure you’re getting a durable product that can meet the needs of even high-level weightlifters. The soft cotton fabric, while tough and durable, is designed for comfort, so you don’t have to punish your wrists. Gymreapers Olympic Lifting Straps are great for all your Olympic lifting needs.

Most Secure Lifting Straps

When thinking about the most secure lifting straps, there are a lot of considerations — materials, stitching, style, and durability. The most secure lifting straps need to provide maximal security when pulling absolute 1-RMs or performing high-rep sets, and the Gymreapers Figure 8 Lifting Straps check all of these boxes. 

Gymreapers Figure 8 Lifting Straps

These Gymreaper Figure 8 straps are designed specifically for deadlifting, rowing, and strongman-style pulling. The strap is made with heavy layered canvas cotton and contains extra padding along the wrists, along with double stitching throughout to handle heavy weight. What really proves this strap as the most secure strap is the double-looping around the wrist.

These straps have a weight capacity of over 1,000 pounds thanks to the 1/4 inch thick cotton webbing and heavy-duty cross stitching. The last thing you want when you’re halfway through a set of heavy rows or an all-time personal best on deadlift is your lifting straps to start slipping. This design allows you to feel incredibly secure to the bar, and gives no chance of slippage due to grip. You can physically let go of the bar and still remain tied to your lift, and this is what makes Gymreapers Figure 8 lifting straps our favorite choice for most secure lifting straps.

Gymreapers Figure 8 Lifting Straps
Gymreapers Figure 8 Lifting Straps
Gymreapers Figure 8 Lifting Straps

If you intend to pull some massive weights, then you need massive support, and these Figure 8 Straps from Gymreapers are designed to provide just that. With heavy-duty cross stitching and thick cotton webbing, these are meant to stand up to the heaviest and hardest of workouts.

Who Should Buy Gymreapers Figure 8 Lifting Straps

  • Strongman athletes who train in this fashion and compete in competitions — the different size options mean you can get a pair for regular deadlift bars and a pair for axle bars.
  • Lifters who want the absolute maximum amount of security during deadlift sessions.
  • If you’re looking for a high weight capacity of 1,000, these straps are for you. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Gymreapers Figure 8 Lifting Straps

  • The true beginner — using this style of strap does have a learning curve to maximize its effectiveness.
  • Recreational athletes who do not have experience with straps or maximal lifting

Figure 8 style straps aren’t for everyone, and they certainly aren’t for beginners, but if you’ve been lifting for a while and don’t feel quite as secure to the bar as you’d like from your straps, then you may want to give these a try.

[Related: 3 Partial Range Of Motion Lifts To Boost Your Powerlifting Game]

What Are the Benefits of Lifting Straps?

Lifting straps can be used for a variety of reasons in strength training by multiple types of athletes. The main reason for using a strap is to support grip. A strap enables an athlete to hold more weight than their normal grip can handle.

For a weightlifter, a strap is often used when performing heavier pulls and snatches. Powerlifters will usually utilize straps when they’re working to overload their muscles and nervous system, or for accessory work when their grip may be fatigued. Strongman-style training will utilize straps in a similar manner to powerlifting. The end goals are usually to strengthen and overload the body when grip is fatigued.

Whether you’re a serious athlete or recreational lifter, straps can be a great tool to utilize in a well-thought-out program. They’re a lifting accessory that doesn’t require a ton of gym bag space and can come in handy when work is present, but grip is not.

How We Decide the Best Lifting Straps

With so many different kinds of lifting straps available, we had a lot of digging to do. We considered style, durability, and price when deciding which straps were our favorites. 

Style of Lifting Strap

There are many different styles of lifting straps. These include single-loop, which are commonly used for weightlifting; lasso, which is the most common style and a jack-of-all trades strap; and figure 8, which is commonly used in strongman and high level powerlifting. Since many customers have different needs when it comes to lifting straps, we included a variety of these types on this list to help suit them all. 

Materials and Durability

There are also different types of materials that can be used to manufacture lifting straps, such as cotton, nylon, leather, and other poly-mix materials. Material likely has the largest impact on the durability of a lifting strap. The most common material for lifting straps to be made of is cotton and nylon, but in years past, they were made from all sorts of materials, such as leather and suede. Now there are more synthetic fibers that are available to make lifting straps extremely strong and durable (like polyester blends, and reinforced or cross-stitched cottons).

Durability is another major factor in how we decide the best lifting straps as we want to show you products we know will last you, and get you a good return for your money. Durability not only refers to how long the strap will last you — which depends on how often you use the straps, as well — but it refers to the amount of weight the straps are designed to hold safely. A heavy-duty lifting strap can hold over 1,000 pounds and some straps, like figure 8 straps, have held over 1,200 pounds (like in the silver dollar deadlift world record). This is due to their reinforced stitching, as well as material layering.

Price

Price is also an important consideration since we want to ensure we’re highlighting products that offer a good value. It may not be quite as large a consideration with lifting straps as it is with other products that can get quite pricey (such as lifting belts and shoes), but getting a good product for your hard-earned money is something that everyone wants. Lifting straps can range from under $10 for a cheap pair that beginners or those who aren’t lifting heavy weights might want — on the other side of the coin, a pair of heavy-duty figure 8 straps might run you upward of $50. We included some straps from both ends of the price range as well as those in between, so no matter your needs or budget, we’ve got you covered.

Why Lifting Straps?

Lifting straps can be used for a variety of reasons in strength training by multiple types of athletes. The main reason for using a strap is to support grip. A strap enables an athlete to hold more weight than their normal grip can handle.

For a weightlifter, a strap is often used when performing heavier pulls and snatches. Powerlifters will usually utilize straps when they’re working to overload their muscles and nervous system, or for accessory work when their grip may be fatigued. Strongman-style training will utilize straps in a similar manner to powerlifting. The end goals are usually to strengthen and overload the body when grip is fatigued.

Whether you’re a serious athlete or recreational lifter, straps can be a great tool to utilize in a well-thought-out program. They’re a lifting accessory that doesn’t require a ton of gym bag space and can come in handy when work is present, but grip is not.

Main Types of Straps

There are three common types of straps and they include single-loop, lasso single-loop, and figure 8. Each has different attributes that will benefit a strength athlete in different scenarios.
3 Types of Lifting Straps_Resize
[Related: What Most Lifters Get WRONG About Progressive Overload]

Lasso Single-Loop

This strap is somewhat a jack of all trades, and you’ll typically see this strap in Globo gyms and in bodybuilding style training. This strap is highly versatile in its abilities, meaning it can be used for deadlifting, along with lifts like pull-ups and lat pull-downs. This style strap is great for newer lifters who want good bar security and are looking to perform maximal lifts.

The lasso strap is easy to use and comes in a ton of varieties to accommodate a lifter’s wants and needs. For example, if a lifter wants comfort, then the Harbinger Padded Cotton Strap would be a good fit. For a leather feel and preference, the Schiek Leather Strap would be a great fit. If a lifter desires a simple, minimalist option, then the Rogue Ohio Strap could be a good fit.

Single-Loop

This strap, like the lasso, can be used for all styles of lifting. It’s a versatile option and is the easiest to strap in with. Although, it’s worth noting this style of strap offers the least amount of bar security. Those with weaker grips may experience some problems using this style strap.

While this strap is the least secure, it’s often considered the best for Olympic lifting. This is the best strap when you need a quick release in lifting – like in the snatch and clean & jerk. Straps like the Attitude Nation Single-Loop strap were designed by Olympic lifter Jon North for Olympic lifters.

Figure 8

This style strap is the least versatile, but most secure. The figure 8 strap design is the basis for our Figure 8 Deadlift straps, which are made with extra padding to support the wrist during heavy pulls. This strap is ideal when performing maximal pulling lifts such as the deadlift and other strongman-type pulls.

This style strap doesn’t have a quick release, so it’s never recommended for power movements or occasions when dumping the bar may be required. These straps are often heavily made with a lot of material, as they’re designed for holding maximal loads.

Types of Material

There are multiple types of strap material. The most common three are cotton, leather, and nylon. Each strap material will have a different feeling to it. In most cases, the material comes down to personal preference. Some materials will be harsher on the wrists as well, so for those with sensitive skin, the material can be a big factor. A strap that uses simple cotton like the Rogue Ohio Lifting Strap may be a little tougher on the wrist until they’re broken in.

In addition, every material will offer different benefits and attributes to your lifting. For example, if you need a strong strap, something like the IronMind Strong Enough Lifting Strap is made of 100% nylon and is designed to support heavy strongman lifting.

Cotton

Cotton is the most commonly used form of material in a lifting strap. This material absorbs sweat best out of the three, and the thicker the cotton, the better the sweat absorption. Most cotton straps require a few lifts to break in, and through all of our strap reviews, the average cotton strap takes about three to four good sweaty gym sessions to break in.

Softer kinds of cotton-like in the GoFit Cotton Lifting Strap took a little less time to break in, and this strap takes about 2-3 lifts to feel comfortable. It’s worth noting that the softer the material – while comfortable on the wrist – the more the strap seemed to stretch with heavy lifts.

In some cotton straps, there’s added padding for comfort like the Harbinger Padded Cotton Lifting Straps. The added foam pad is utilized to take the stress off the top of the wrist during heavy lifts. We found the added pad made a strap instantly more comfortable but took away from some of the sweat absorption other cotton straps offer.

[Related: The Best Foods And Supplements For Fighting Inflammation]

Nylon

Nylon is another common form of strap material. This material generally offers a smooth feeling on the wrist, but still produces a little chafing when breaking in a strap. We noted that most nylon straps took about four to five workouts to truly break-in.

Like cotton, there were different styles of nylon, some harsher on the skin than others. The Attitude Nation Pink Lasso Strap was a tougher Nylon, so the initial breaking in took a little longer than a softer style.

This style strap isn’t ideal for absorbing sweat; in fact, in our tests, a majority of the nylon straps moved on the wrists when getting progressively more sweaty. Someone using this style strap for a WOD or any other style of high-intensity training with lots of reps may experience difficulty with maintaining an optimal strap placement.

Most nylon straps are made for heavy lifting, as this material is generally stronger than standard cotton and leather. Nylon is less prone to stretching when force is applied to it, and outdoor equipment will often contain nylon because of its strength and durability. Some straps are made with nylon specifically for heavier lifting, such as strongman training, like the IronMind Strong Enough Lifting Strap.

Leather

This type of material is the least common of the three and is usually used due to personal preference. The feeling of leather on the skin is much different than the above two. Like cotton and nylon, leather comes in multiple forms and some are tougher on the skin than others. A softer leather, or what’s used in the Schiek Leather Lifting Strap takes less time to break in. The Schiek strap takes about two to three workouts to feel comfortable on the wrist.

When it comes to sweat, leather doesn’t absorb moisture well. In the middle of a sweaty workout, the leather straps we tried actually moved on the wrist and had to be tightened multiple times. One cool thing about leather is how it maintains shape when heavy loads are placed on it — it snaps back and barely shows stress.

What to Consider Before Buying

Whether you’re looking for your first pair of lifting straps, or you’re an advanced lifter looking for a fresh pair, there are some considerations to keep in mind when making your investment. Here are a few of the important ones.

Primary Use

When considering which lifting straps to buy, the major factor to consider is what you’ll be using them for primarily. If you compete in weightlifting, you likely won’t have a use for figure 8 straps. Conversely, if you’re a strongman competitor, you probably don’t need weightlifting straps. Figuring out what type of lifting you prefer to do and envisioning when you’ll be mainly using the lifting straps will help narrow down which type to get. 

That said, if you like to do a variety of lifting styles, or if you’re still trying to figure out what you like to do, it may be a good idea to experiment and try out different styles of straps. We have a few different pairs in our gym bags, ourselves — weightlifting straps for dumbbell work since they’re quick and easy to use, figure 8 straps for heavy deadlifts and rows, and even a pair of regular lasso style straps for everything in between.

Durability

Durability and frequency of use go hand-in-hand. When thinking about buying a pair of lifting straps, how often you plan to use them can have a large impact on which ones you buy. If you’re looking for straps you can use every day for multiple sessions, you may want to consider a pair with some added wrist padding to prevent discomfort from repeated use. Maybe you only want to use the straps for max effort days. Then you’ll want to look for a pair that can handle quite a bit of weight and remain secure — like a figure 8 strap. Whatever you plan on using them for, know that durability varies with lifting straps, and keep that in mind when looking for your next purchase.

Budget

Your budget is something to consider when looking for any piece of gym equipment. It may not come into play quite as much with lifting straps as they are lower in cost than most other pieces of equipment, but it’s still a consideration. Why spend more than you have to for a pair of lifting straps when a cheaper pair will meet your needs just fine? This is where the other two points are helpful — if you know your primary use and the durability that you need, it will be much easier to figure out the right straps for you within your budget.

Final Word

With so many styles of straps on the market, finding the perfect fit can be a complex task. The best way to start when selecting your perfect strap is to consider your training styles, goals, and personal preferences. Remember that factors such as bar security, value, and versatility can be accounted for in pursuit of your perfect lifting straps. And after you’ve made all your considerations, allow this list to guide you to the perfect fit for you. 

FAQs

When should I use lifting straps?

The answer to that question is going to be different for everyone. If you’re a powerlifter, then you’ll likely only use them during your off-season training since they’re not allowed in competition, or when you have a grip-heavy session such as one with rows, shrugs, deadlifts, and heavy dumbbell rows in the same workout. If you’re a strongman competitor, then you can usually use them whenever you like since straps are generally allowed in competition. For everyone else, you can use them when you feel it’s necessary — just be sure not to use them as a crutch for poor grip strength, as grip is an important aspect of overall strength.

Lifting straps hurt my wrist — am I doing something wrong?

If using lifting straps hurts your wrists or causes a sensation that your hand is being ripped from your arm, then you may be weaning them too far down on the wrist and need to move them up over the bone that sticks out from the wrist. Wearing them too far down onto the wrist can cause the hand to be pulled from the wrist, and create a sensation of your hand being dislocated. If lifting straps hurt because of bruising or irritation of the skin, then looking into a pair with some padding on the inside may help reduce the irritation.

Should I use lifting straps or lifting hooks?

Lifting hooks were more popular in the old school days of lifting. They’ve largely fallen out of popularity since they were unreliable and prone to breaking and bending, rendering them useless after just a session or two. The design of lifting hooks also caused additional pain from pulling on the wrist and they were known for slipping and sliding when in use with heavy weights as well. Overall, lifting straps are better functionally, and generally cheaper than lifting hooks.