7 Best Lifting Straps to Improve Performance in 2021

Best Lifting Straps
Image by South Agency / Canva Photos

You’ve been hitting the gym daily, gaining muscle mass at a record pace. Go you! But, there’s a slight problem. Your grip strength isn’t keeping up with your massive pythons, forcing you to go lighter on the weights. And now, it looks like you’ve hit an ever-dreaded plateau. What do you do?

While you should definitely train up your grip strength, that takes time and doesn’t solve the immediate problem — you need to break through that plateau, and fast. The solution? All you need is a pair of the best lifting straps!

Lifting straps wrap around your wrists and loop around the weightlifting bar, securing all the weight without relying nearly as much on your grip capacity. What are the best lifting straps for going heavy at the gym? That honor goes to the Schiek Sports Deluxe Lifting Straps, which boast sturdy nylon construction and a dual-locking velcro & loop system that provides next-level support for heavy lifters. That said, there are many excellent options out there for all different types of lifters. Join us as we check them out!

Our Top Picks:

In a hurry to get back to the gym? Here’s a quick look at all our favorites:

Schiek Sports Deluxe Lifting StrapsBest Overall: Schiek Sports Lifting Straps.
With their sturdy construction and convenient glove-like design, the Schiek Sports Lifting Straps are ideal for most lifters.
Harbinger Lifting StrapsBest Budget: Harbinger Lifting Straps.
Lift big, don’t spend big! The Harbinger Lifting Straps are an ideal option for under $10.
Dark Iron Fitness Weightlifting StrapsBest Powerlifting: Dark Iron Fitness Weightlifting Straps.
If you’re a pro athlete or powerlifter, the Dark Iron Fitness Straps can support you up to 450 pounds!
Gymreapers Lifting Wrist StrapsBest Deadlift: Gymreapers Lifting Wrist Straps.
Lifting straps are perfect for deadlifts, and the Gymreapers ensure a successful workout — backed by a lifetime warranty.
IronMind Blue Twos Lifting StrapsBest Bodybuilding: IronMind Blue Twos Lifting Straps.
The Blue Twos are used in bodybuilding competitions around the world for their robust nylon craftsmanship and sleek design.
Serious Steel Fitness Figure 8 StrapsBest Figure 8: Serious Steel Fitness Figure 8 Straps.
If you’re into lifting serious steel, these figure 8 straps provide a dual-layer grip that supports upwards of 1000 pounds.
Harbinger Lifting GripsBest Grips: Harbinger Lifting Grips.
Try these grips on for size, and experience a lifting accessory that feels like a true extension of your body.
 

Best Lifting Straps: A Closer Look

Here’s a detailed look at each of our favorite lifting straps.

1. Schiek Sports Deluxe Lifting Straps

The best lifting straps overall

Schiek Sports Deluxe Lifting Straps

Brand: Schiek | Material: Nylon | Length: 20 Inches | Closure: Velcro / Standard Loop | Colors: 4 | Price: 💰💰💰

Schiek manufactures a variety of lifting straps, but their Sports Deluxe set is among the most helpful for intermediate to heavy lifters.

What sets these straps apart? First of all, they’re perfect for wrists of all sizes, with a generous 20-inch-long design. These straps also incorporate a steel buckle and velcro closure, delivering superior support, even under immense loads. That means whether you deadlift 100 pounds or 400 pounds — Schiek has you covered.

While these are some of the more expensive lifting straps on the market, you’re still only looking at roughly $25 for the pair. And the peace of mind is most certainly worth it, not to mention the comfort. It’s true — lifters love the plush neoprene wrist padding that adorns the inside of these straps. With 4.7 out of 5 stars on leading retail websites, you can be sure that you will too!

  • Easy to use
  • Comfortable neoprene padding
  • Extremely durable with a design that lasts years of daily use

  • Fitting to wrist takes some finagling
  • Takes longer than other straps to put on/take off

2. Harbinger Lifting Straps

The best lifting straps on a budget

Harbinger Lifting Straps

Brand: Harbinger | Material: Cotton | Length: 21.5 Inches | Closure: Standard Loop | Colors: 6 | Price: 💰

Harbinger has been around since 1988, and the company is a prominent player in the fitness industry. They’re particularly well known for creating premium accessories used by top lifters. So imagine our surprise when we found these excellent lifting straps for under 10 dollars.

These simple cotton straps come with no unnecessary frills or strings attached, yet they’re extraordinarily effective. That’s because they’re slightly wider, longer, and thicker than traditional lifting straps, providing a firmer grip on the bar. As for their grip on your wrists, the NeoTek foam that runs across the hand seam is about 5mm thick and protects your skin during heavyweight or high-rep training.

Harbinger lifting straps are one of the most popular options for lifters. If you’re looking for a reliable, low-cost option, you can’t get much better than the Harbinger padded lifting straps. Hands down some of the best workout straps around.

  • Very affordable, under $10
  • Wider, longer design for superior grip
  • NeoTek foam padding supports your wrists during heavier lifts

  • Subpar stitching
  • Stiffer than competing options

3. Dark Iron Fitness Weightlifting Straps

The best powerlifting straps

Dark Iron Fitness Weightlifting Straps

Brand: Dark Iron Fitness | Material: Suede Leather | Length: 18 Inches | Closure: Standard Loop | Colors: 1 | Price: 💰💰

If you’re seeking a pair of powerlifting straps that can handle your weight, look no further. Dark Iron forged these straps out of the most robust suede leather they could get their hands on. A quick glance at these puppies tells you everything you need to know — just look at how the whole surface is reinforced with cross stitching for extra support.

Exactly how much can you safely lift with these straps? Suffice it to say, they’re rated up to a whopping 450 pounds! If you’re on that Olympic track, these will provide an able and helping hand alongside your entire journey.

Another welcome addition to these straps is the 3mm of padding, enough to offer a secure grip and protect your hands and wrists. While not everyone is familiar with Dark Iron Fitness, we’ve found their gear to be among the top in terms of quality. And, these are some of the best leather lifting straps money can buy.

  • Stress-tested up to 450 pounds
  • Ergonomic design w/ meticulous craftsmanship
  • Features 3mm of suede leather and neoprene padding for comfort

  • Prone to stretching
  • Some found the mid-length design too short

4. Gymreapers Lifting Wrist Straps

The best deadlift straps

Gymreapers Lifting Wrist Straps

Brand: Gymreapers | Material: Cotton | Length: 18 Inches | Closure: Standard Loop | Colors: 5 | Price: 💰💰

Get a grip with the Gymreapers Lifting Wrist Straps, the best deadlift straps this side of the Rockies!

These cotton straps feature everything you need to perform heavy deadlifts. Yes, they are made from cotton, which isn’t always as durable as nylon or leather. But the cotton is multi-layered to create an extra-thick band, and the straps are reinforced with extra stitching. Factor in the neoprene padding — which doubles a cushioning for your palms and wrists, and it’s safe to say they’re plenty secure. Plus, the straps are 18 inches long, which should be enough to wrap around the bar three times over.

Want to know the most impressive thing about the Gymreapers Lifting Wrist Straps? They come with a lifetime warranty against all defects. If that doesn’t demonstrate enough confidence in the product, look to the thousands of lifters just like you who swear by these straps daily.

  • Simple and effective
  • Lots of sleek colors to choose from
  • Easy to use once you get the hang of them

  • Some users would prefer more padding
  • Made from cotton, which is less durable than nylon or leather

5. IronMind Blue Twos Lifting Straps

The best lifting straps for bodybuilders

IronMind Blue Twos Lifting Straps

Brand: IronMind | Material: Nylon | Length: 23.25 Inches | Closure: Standard Loop | Colors: 1 | Price: 💰💰💰

IronMind lifting straps have won a ton of contracts for strongmen and lifting competitions. If you pay attention to the pro scene, you’ve probably seen them before, as all their straps rock that characteristic bright blue color.

Among the best IronMind straps? Definitely the Blue Twos. These competition-grade straps are an astounding 23.25 inches long and much wider than competing options, offering plenty of support when wrapped around the weight bar.

But the real secret of the Blue Twos? It all lies in the custom nylon material, which looks and feels very similar to the strapping you find in seatbelts. It’s exceptionally lightweight yet sturdy, and supports up to 350 pounds, no problem. The only issue is that this material is very smooth, meaning you’ll need to loop it tight to avoid slipping.

Overall, IronMind really raised the bar with this quality strap.

  • Made in the USA
  • Extra-long and wide w/ minimal thickness
  • Superior-strength nylon webbing and sleek IronMind blue design

  • Wiggles a bit on the initial pull
  • Smooth material slips if not wrapped properly

6. Serious Steel Fitness Figure 8 Straps

The best figure 8 lifting straps

Serious Steel Fitness Figure 8 Straps

Brand: Serious Steel | Material: Webbed Cotton | Length: 12 Inches | Closure: Figure 8 Loop | Colors: 1 | Price: 💰💰💰

The Serious Steel Figure 8 Strap is here to help you get a better handle on the bar.

These straps couldn’t be easier to use! You simply slip your hand through one of the loops, then twist the remaining loop until there’s just enough room for you to wrap it around the bar and slip your hand through again. Then, it’s off to the races!

Getting the hang of this process can be challenging at first, it’s true. But once you do, the hold is as tough as your biceps after arm day. And, unlike traditional straps that max out around 500 pounds, these are strongman-tested to support over 1000 pounds! Try one on for size, and see what you can accomplish with Serious Steel.

  • Perfect for deadlifts
  • Supports upwards of 1,000 pounds
  • Figure 8 loop system makes these ideal for small and large wrists

  • Figure 8 loop can be challenging to learn at first
  • Such strength requires a thick design that frustrates some users

7. Harbinger Lifting Grips

The best lifting grips

Harbinger Lifting Grips

Brand: Harbinger | Material: SpiderGrip Durahide Leather | Length: 8.75 Inches | Closure: Hook | Colors: 1 | Price: 💰💰💰

If you’re looking for something a little different, Harbinger (seen earlier on this list) also manufacturers a unique lifting strap variant known as a “lifting grip.”

These lifting grips incorporate a unique glove-like design that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before. Advocates claim that these allow more flexibility in the wrist and fingers, all while helping you retain a secure grip on the bar. One thing’s for sure — these lifting grips are manufactured with heavy-duty stitching and high-quality leather, aptly dubbed SpiderGrip Durahide. While they take some time to break in, the leather can withstand a beating and soaks up sweat efficiently.

Overall, these “lifting grips” provide a secure hold that’s perfect for bodyweight exercises like pull-ups and powerlifting workouts alike.

  • Innovative design w/ excellent grip
  • Durable SpiderGrip Durahide Leather material
  • Ideal for various types of workouts, from bodyweight exercises to full-body weightlifting exercises

  • Some find them uncomfortable
  • Strange design takes time to adjust to

Best Lifting Straps 101

Attaching the Best Lifting Straps
Image by Martin Mark Soerensen / Canva Photos

Weight lifting straps are simple workout accessories designed to help you get a better grip on weight bars while training. 

Lifting straps come in all shapes and styles, though the best wrist straps for weight lifting tend to feature a simple loop for your hand and a “tail” that wraps around the bar, securing your grip. Most often, the straps are made from cotton, nylon, or even leather.

There are many reasons folks turn to the best weight lifting straps:

  • Lack of grip strength
  • Oft-sweaty hands
  • Small hands that can’t clasp the bar tight enough
  • Grip fatigue toward the end of a set
  • Slippery barbells without knurling

Some lifters wear straps for every lift, but that’s hardly necessary. On the contrary, wearing a strap for every exercise may prevent you from building up grip and wrist strength. Most lifters agree that it’s best to use straps during heavy pull lifts and to secure your grip for deadlifts. 

Not only will lifting straps help you improve your performance during intense workouts, but they also provide users with a layer of safety from the most severe injuries at the gym. When you’re lifting (or pulling) heavy weights, the last thing you want is for your grip to slip on you. Something like that can cause serious injury — so serious that, in some cases, you won’t be heading back to the gym for months or even years.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Lifting Straps

There’s a reason why weight lifting wrist straps can be found in most professional gyms and athletic facilities across the board — they’re effective.

Though you may sacrifice some gains in the grip department by using straps during specific lifts such as deadlifts, your big muscles will gain faster and more than make up for that. Besides, your grip is going to improve whether you’re lifting weights with or without a strap — it might just take a little more time.

It’s important to note that not everyone enjoys lifting straps, and some people don’t perform well with them. Sometimes this is mental, and sometimes people have trained so long without a strap, they can’t integrate them successfully. If that’s the case, it’s totally fine to pass on them — you can still get big and improve without the use of lifting straps.

Weight Straps Benefits:

  • Use More Weight
  • Avoid grip fatigue during high repetition sets
  • Prevent risk of serious injury
  • Prevent slippage
  • Decrease risk of gym-rattling drops (and subsequent glares)
  • Inexpensive

Weight Straps Drawbacks:

  • Cannot be used for all lifts
  • Can become dependent upon straps
  • Reduces callus buildup
  • May need to increase supplemental grip building exercises

How to Use Lifting Straps

If you had the opportunity to take a weightlifting class in high school or college, you might already know how to use lifting straps properly. It’s a lot like tying a shoe: while it’s not apparent at first, once you learn the method, it’s a piece of cake.

To receive the full benefits of lifting straps, you need to wear them on your wrist correctly. You’d be surprised to know how many guys wrap the straps around the bar in reverse — neutralizing most of the benefits of wearing them in the first place!

Here’s how to use the best lifting straps:

  1. Slide the ends of the lifting straps through the loops
  2. Next, slip your hands through the loops
  3. Slide the loop down to where the wrist meets the palm
  4. Make sure the tail goes from the underside of the wrist through the thumb and pointer finger
  5. Cinch the loop up until it is tight around the wrist
  6. Now, grip the bar
  7. Put the tail underneath the bar the same way your thumb would go underneath
  8. Flip the tail over and Under, twist it tight
  9. Repeat step 7 and 8 two to three times
  10. Now you’ve got a powerful and secure grip that will not slip out of your hands

What to Look for in the Best Lifting Straps

Using the Best Lifting Straps
Image by South Agency / Canva Photos

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of lifting straps and how they function, let’s discuss the three most important things to look for when shopping for the right fit.

1. Material

The first aspect to consider when choosing one of the best lifting straps is the material.

You can find lifting straps made from cotton, nylon, leather, and more. The ideal material? Well, that depends on your intended use (and budget).

First, there’s cotton. Widely available and extremely affordable, this is a superb option for most lifters. The downside is that cotton is less durable than other fabrics, meaning you’ll end up with less weight capacity or a webbed cotton blend that’s on the bulky side (some lifters prefer this, but some claim that bulkier straps get in the way).

Next is nylon, which is a synthetic fiber specifically designed for durability. These straps are thinner and lighter weight, without sacrificing anything in the way of strength. But, they can be slippier than cotton or leather.

Speaking of leather, that’s considered the gold standard when it comes to lifting straps. Leather is tough, durable, and has a premium look and feel. The downside? Leather straps are almost always more expensive than their cotton and nylon counterparts.

Whichever option you choose, consider selecting a model with interior padding for extra comfort (your wrists will thank you).

2. Length

The next consideration is lifting strap length. While many straps come in various sizes (think small, medium, large), some take a most-size-fits-most approach. This is where things get tricky.

After reading countless user reviews, we’ve ascertained that the sweet spot for one-size-fits-most straps is roughly 20 inches. Lower, and it may not wrap around the bar enough. Longer, and it won’t fit men and women with smaller wrists.

Keep in mind, however, that you should take into account your individual preferences. Some athletes actually prefer longer straps, since these can wrap further around the bar, thus providing an additional layer of stability.

But what if the strap you’re considering isn’t a traditional lifting strap? What if it features a figure-8 closure or a specialized design? Length isn’t nearly as important in those cases. Let’s talk about why.

3. Closure

The lifting strap’s closure and design are the final elements to think about when making your decision.

Here are the three primary types of lifting straps to consider:

  • Standard. The standard lifting strap features a loop that you wrap around your wrist and a length of coil that you wrap around the bar. They’re simple, easy to use, and preferred by most pro lifters.
  • Figure-8. The best figure-8 lifting straps are a different beast. These feature an infinity-loop-inspired design that wraps around your hand twice. They’re bulkier than the standard strap, but some lifters swear by them. You can learn how to use them here.
  • Specialized. What if a lifting strap doesn’t fit the above categories, AKA the Harbinger Lifting Grips. Or, what if it uses a standard design with a few unique twists, AKA the Schiek Sports Deluxe Lifting Straps. These can be hit or miss. Sometimes, they make lifting easier and more enjoyable. In other instances, it’s folks trying to reinvent a wheel that doesn’t need reinventing. Look at the product’s user reviews closely to uncover whether the specialized design is a home run or a strikeout.

Consider all these aspects carefully, and choose the lifting strap that speaks the most to you. Try it on for size, and see what kind of difference it makes in your workout. 

Our Process

For this guide on lifting straps, our team spent 3 hours researching the most popular options from over 30 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about one hundred and fifty user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each strap. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 7 lifting straps on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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Further Reading

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