If you’ve ever lifted weights and struggled with your grip, that’s where lifting straps come in handy. They loop around your wrist and wrap around the barbell, giving you a firmer grip and allowing you to potentially lift more weight. There are a lot of varieties out there, but the best lifting straps are designed for your preferred type of lifting and are made from a durable material that can handle repeated heavy use. You want your strap to safely, comfortably, and securely assist with your lifting, without fear of slipping, so you’ll also want to consider padding and strap length.
According to Reda Elmardi, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), nutritionist, and editor of thegymgoat.com, “There are many types of weightlifting straps that can be used for your training needs,” adding, “ you should consider what type of workout you plan to do.” These are your primary options:
- Single loop lifting straps (or Olympic lifting straps) have a closed loop with a thick tail at the end to wrap around the bar, enabling lifters to quickly and easily attach or disengage their hands from the bar. They’re highly versatile and can be used on any type of barbell, but they won’t secure you to the bar.
- Lasso lifting straps are made of a wrist loop and another piece that wraps around the bar. They can be tightened or loosened around your hand or wrist, and can be padded or unpadded. These straps are versatile for anything from recreational lifting to bodybuilding or powerlifting.
- Figure eight lifting straps have one strap that goes around the wrist, the bar, and around the wrist again, attaching you securely to the bar. They’re best used for deadlifts and powerlifting, which benefit from the secure connection to the bar, but not for Olympic-style weightlifting where you have to release the bar quickly.
- Wrist wraps with a strap can be an option if you want some additional wrist stability. These feature a padded wrist wrap that secures around your wrist with a hook and loop closure, with an attached strap that can wrap around the bar. These straps are also versatile for casual to heavy lifting.
Like weightlifting gloves, lifting straps come in a variety of materials, but what you end up choosing will come down to how you’re planning on using them. “If you are looking for something that can last through multiple workouts, then consider using nylon or polyester. These materials are strong and durable. But if you plan on doing a lot of heavy lifting, you may want to go with a heavier material like leather or cotton,” Elmardi advises. You might also want to consider lifting hooks, which aren’t technically straps, but can give you a solid grip on the bar with metal hooks that you hold in your palm, secured by a hook and loop closure wrist wrap.
Another consideration is padding and strap length. According to Joe Johnson, a U.K.-based fitness instructor and founder of 9 to 5 Nutrition, “If you’re lifting 100+ kilograms on a deadlift, the chances are that thinner straps will cut into your wrists causing discomfort. Padded straps avoid this issue.” Johnson adds that effective straps should wrap around the diameter of the bar you plan to use, explaining, “The majority of straps on the market will be long enough to wrap around a standard Olympic bar, but you may need longer straps if you plan to use wider-diameter bars.” A 12-inch strap will generally wrap around the bar once and 18 inches will wrap around twice. With every wrap, you add stiffness and support to your grip, so choose according to your lifting style and preference.
However, lifting straps may not be for everyone, so it’s always a good idea to consult with an expert before giving them a try. Johnson explains, “Many purists criticize straps, saying that using them is ‘cheating.’ While it is true that if grip strength is a limiting factor, it should be trained, doing heavy lifts without straps certainly isn't the best way to increase grip strength. If this is a concern, my recommendation would be to work on grip strength in a separate workout, while still using straps for heavy lifts.”
Whether you’re a casual lifter working towards your fitness goals or a future Olympian, these straps on Amazon will give you a secure grip on the bar to reach your next PR.
1. Expert’s Pick: These Heavy-Duty Cotton Figure Eight Straps For Deadlifts
If you’re planning on a deadlift, Serious Steel’s figure eight straps are a great option. According to Elmardi, “These straps feature a soft neoprene material that provides a comfortable fit and allows your hands to remain dry. They can be used with any type of barbell, dumbbells, kettlebell, or weight plate,” plus they’re “designed to provide maximum comfort and stability.”
The figure eight design secures you to the bar and can help give you a firm grip. The straps are available in three sizes: 60 centimeters (10 inches long for wrist circumferences up to 6.75 inches), 70 centimeters (12 inches long for wrist circumferences between 6.75 and 8 inches), and 80 centimeters (14 inches long for use with axle or fat bars). Multiple reviewers report that the heavy-duty cotton feels durable and high quality, but also advise consulting instructional photos before lifting to ensure you’re wrapping the straps properly.
Choose from two colors: black with red details, or red with black details.
Helpful Amazon review: “Bought these after having ‘slippage’ issues with my deadlifts - body strong enough to complete the lift, but grip strength not fully there. These figure 8's bring you right on top of the bar and allow you to focus on movement and form without fear of losing your grip. Added reps & weights to my lifts instantly. A little pricey but seemingly worth it - these almost have a rope-like feel to them (comfortable, though).”
2. Expert’s Pick: A Padded Wrist Wrap With A Nylon Strap
Whatever weight you’re lifting, the Schiek Model 1000-PLS power lifting straps can give you the grip and stability you need. According to Johnson, “These are thick, durable and have plenty of padding for comfort.” The strap is made of nylon, which means they don’t have a lot of stretch, but this makes them suitable for heavy lifting even though they can also be used for other types of workouts. Measuring in at 0.25 inches thick, 2.5 inches wide, and 11 inches long, each strap is triple stitched and can wrap around a standard Olympic bar once.
Choose from two colors: Blue with camo print details, or black with blue details.
Helpful Amazon review: “These work very well! Durability is top notch!”
3. A Highly Rated Pair Of Padded Lasso Lifting Straps
With more than 18,000 reviews and a stellar 4.7-star rating overall, these lasso straps are a popular pick with lifters. They’re available in a few colors and designs, and they measure 21.5 inches long (so they can wrap around the bar at least twice) and 1.5 inches wide, with heavy stitching and sealed ends to prevent fraying. The wrist portions of the straps are padded, and the durable cotton material should hold up to heavy lifts (two features noted by Elmardi and Johnson). According to the brand, the straps are suitable for weightlifting, strength training, bodybuilding, and powerlifting, whether you’re using barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, or bumper plates.
Helpful Amazon review: “Thanks to these lifting straps, I was able to hit a new deadlift PR! I’ve always used my hand, no gloves for grip and constantly felt like I was dropping the bar because I have small hands. These straps made me feel like I had that bar and could keep it up! Omg in love with these! Strongly recommend for anyone avoiding gloves but wanting the secure hold!”
4. A Pair Of Single Loop Lifting Straps For Olympic-Style Weightlifting
When you’re doing some Olympic-style weightlifting and need a quick release from the bar, these cotton lifting straps are the way to go. These 12.5-inch long straps are dual-stitched, have a maximum test strength of over 660 pounds, and can wrap around the bar once. They’re also 2 millimeters (around 0.08 inches) thick, 1.6 inches wide, and don’t have any padding, but one reviewer reports that they are “mind blowingly comfortable.” Made of cotton webbing, a material Elmardi recommends for heavy lifts, these should last through many a session at the gym. They come in a ton of different colors, like a bright red with white details, royal blue with yellow details, and even a black color with a white “don’t lose your focus” message printed in white.
Helpful Amazon review: “I am new to Olympic weightlifting and my grip really struggles to hold the bar or the bar and some weight when practice proper positions in the snatch. I’m sure as I progress I will use them more and more. They are quick and easy to use, they grip the bar well and don’t make you feel like your hand is too far off the bar itself. I’ve used straps before that I didn’t like and was very hesitant to order these. After using them a few times, I actually like them a ton and really feel that if I use them I can focus on feeling the proper muscles firing and not focus on losing the bar during the movement.”
5. A Pair Of Sturdy Suede Lasso Lifting Straps
Leather is another material that Elmardi suggests for heavy lifts, which is one of the reasons these leather suede lifting straps might appeal. The material is elastic, can endure a lot of stress, and should be easy to break in. These straps are available in two widths, a 2-millimeter (0.08-inch) thickness for lifts under 400 pounds and a 3-millimeter (0.12-inch) thickness for lifts over 400 pounds. Regardless of which width you choose, the straps measure 18 inches long, can wrap around the bar at least once, and come with neoprene padding. If you’re wondering how well they’ll last, just ask one Amazon reviewer, who reports that even after a year of using them twice a week for deadlifts, they work as well as they did when they were new.
Helpful Amazon review: “These straps rock!! I've been using straps recently for assistance with my heavier deadlifts and these are sooo comfortable. They don't hurt my hands at all and give a very firm grip.”
6. A Pair Of Padded Cotton Lasso Lifting Straps Designed For Small Hands
Some lifting straps can be uncomfortable for those with small hands or wrists, and this is where these cotton lifting straps come in. Specifically designed with this demographic in mind, the straps feature a smaller section of neoprene padding so they can be cinched tighter around the wrists. Coming in at 23.25 inches long, they can also wrap around the bar twice or more. According to the brand, the straps are great for use with barbells, kettlebells, bumper plates, and lifting platforms, and are endorsed by World Champion powerlifter Kevin Weiss.
The straps are available in nine colors and patterns, and come with a plastic case and a lifetime replacement guarantee.
Helpful Amazon review: “I have really small hands (they don't even fit around an Olympic barbell) so I need to use straps but most of them are too big. Normal size padding is too wide so the straps won't stay above my thumbs and do more harm than good. The pink straps help me with weights over 300 lbs better than other brands I've tried.”
Also Nice: Lifting Hooks
Lifting straps can help you lift heavier weights and keep a firm grip on the bar, but there’s definitely a learning curve involved. Lifting hooks like these padded ones might be a bit easier to start with, and might be more comfortable if you’d rather support the weight with the base of your hands than your wrists. That said, there’s one major concern when it comes to using lifting hooks, which is that it’s much easier to drop the weight you’re lifting, which is pretty dangerous. Plenty of people have great experiences with lifting hooks, but it’s definitely something to be aware of!
The purpose of lifting hooks is to help in lifting weight, so should ideally be used for pull exercises like deadlifts, shrugs, barbell rows, and cable rows. The metal hook wraps around the bar once, and Elmardi explains, “They can be attached to a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, etc.” This particular set of lifting hooks is made with hook-and-loop closures, neoprene padded wrist wraps and solid steel hooks with non-slip coatings. And the brand reports that they have a 600-pound pull rating.
These lifting hooks are available in nine colors, with front-facing or reversed hook designs, and come in two different sizes (small/medium and large). One reviewer raved that they were immediately able to increase their lifting weight and continue workouts that they wanted to do with more weights.
Helpful Amazon review: “I have been a weight lifter doing heavy weights for the past 54 years. I have seen a lot of changes in thoughts and practices in training and in equipment over the years. As one gets older, the first thing to go is grip strength. These heavy duty pro lifting hooks have been a godsend to me. I can still do all the lifts I did when I was younger with the aid of these hooks. The wrap around wrist feature does not put undo pressure on the wrists and they are quite comfortable to use. You don't have to be old to use these hooks! Many lifts that younger people do need extra assistance such as lat pull-downs or shoulder shrugs if they lift excessive poundage. The hooks are rated at 600 pounds and I believe that this is an accurate figure. These hooks are well made and industrial strength for any professional or amateur lifter.”
Reda Elmardi, CSCS trainer, nutritionist, and editor of thegymgoat.com
Joe Johnson, fitness instructor, founder of 9 to 5 Nutrition