What Type Of Lifting Straps Are Best For Powerlifting
It is no surprise that choosing lifting straps for powerlifting can be a little bit confusing since there are so many different types and brands. Lifting straps come in different materials, lengths, and shape types. There are specific types of lifting straps that are specifically more ideal for Olympic weightlifting, Crossfit, and strongman training.
But what type of lifting straps are best for powerlifting? The best type of lifting straps for powerlifting is the lasso type. Lasso-type lifting straps offer maximal tightness, stability, and grip assistance whilst giving the powerlifting the option to let go of the bar if necessary. The Repel Bullies Lifting Straps are the best lasso-type lifting straps in the market.
In this article, we will go through the different types of lifting straps, explain exactly why the lasso type is best for powerlifting, what to look for in lifting strap quality and how to use them.
Types of Lifting Straps
There are 6 types of lifting straps available on the market, they are:
- Lasso lifting straps
- Close loop lifting straps (also known as Olympic straps)
- Figure 8 lifting straps
- Steel hook lifting straps
Within each type of lifting straps, there are a lot of variables that influence its quality and ease of use, they are:
Most straps are made of either leather, nylon, or cotton
There is a range of thicknesses available on the market
The length of the strap varies and can determine how many times you can wrap the strap around the bar
Most straps are of similar widths of 1 to 2 inches
Some straps have the extra material sewn on for longevity, robustness, and comfort on the hands
Pros and Cons of Different Types
Lasso Lifting Straps
The lasso type of lifting strap consists of a single length of material where one end of it is sewn onto itself in a way that creates a loop. This loop is large enough for you to thread the strap in through itself.
These straps are the most common type of lifting strap that is used by both general gym-goers and strength athletes such as powerlifters, weightlifters, and strongman competitors.
- Often cheap
- Comes in a variety of different thicknesses and length
- Allows for detachment and escape from the bar
- You can decide how many revolutions to wrap the strap over the bar
- There is flexibility with how you wrap the strap over the bar
- Can be fidgety to strap the second strap on once the first strap is on
- The slight learning curve to using them
- Can put a lot of stress on the back of the hand
Figure 8 Lifting Straps
The figure 8 type of lifting strap consists of a circular strap of material that has been twisted once and sewn across each other in a way that the strap looks like a figure 8. These types of lifting straps tend to be favoured by strongman competitors most.
The main distinguishing element of these types of lifting straps is that it offers maximum grip assistance with the bar and almost eliminates the capacity to be able to release the bar easily. This is the reason why strongman competitors use these types of straps.
A good example of figure 8 lifting straps is the Repel Bullies Figure 8 Straps.
- Offers maximum grip assistance
- Very quick and easy to put on
- Ideal for heavy deadlifts
- Does not allow detachment and escape from the bar
- Incredibly fidgeting to put on
- There is a learning curve to using them
Closed-Loop Lifting Straps
Closed-loop lifting straps are also known as Olympic lifting straps as they tend to be favoured by Olympic weightlifters. The main reason that they provide the quickest escape from the bar if they need to bail on a lift such as a snatch.
- Allows for fast detachment and escape from the bar
- Offers the least grip assistance if you do not want to detract from training grip strength too much
- Least fidgeting and quick learning curve with use
- Lightweight and short
- Tend to be pricier
- Offers least grip assistance if you are looking for a high grip assistance
A good example of close-loop lifting straps is the Strap of 5 Rings by Spud Inc. These are particularly well made for a closed-loop type lifting strap as the straps have thick cross-stitching, which is necessary for longevity and they are shorter than most other closed-loop straps. Most closed-loop straps are unnecessarily long.
Steel Hook Lifting Straps
Steel hook lifting straps are the least common type of lifting straps as they do not offer flexibility on how tight you can get the strap around the bar. Generally used by general gym-goers and not seen among athletes.
- Quick to put on
- No stress over the back of the hand
- No learning curve to putting on
- Very durable
- You cannot tighten the hooks to the bar
- One size for all so some people find that the hooks are too loose
- Velcro can deteriorate over time
- Hooks can be too bulky
Pros and Cons of Different Materials
Nylon is a cheap synthetic plastic material and is commonly used in the construction of lifting straps.
It is considered to be quite a strong material that does not shrink or stretch in length, which is important for the purpose of lifting straps.
It is resilient to change in length even when exposed to dryness and wetness as it does not absorb moisture well. Easy to wash and dry if it is needed.
Compared to leather and cotton, nylon is a relatively hard material for lifting straps and so can be the least comfortable one. Some manufacturers often reinforce the portion of the lifting strap that goes on the back of the hand with a soft layer of neoprene for comfort. Unfortunately, not all lifting straps have this reinforcement.
Leather is the most expensive of the 3 materials and has the most premium look and texture to them. Many leather lifting straps are often not made from real animal leather but instead made from synthetic leather.
These lifting straps often provide the most comfort. Many lifters prefer leather over nylon in terms of its ability to grip onto the bar the most.
The problem with the leather is that the material’s integrity wears down as it goes through many cycles of sweating and drying through regular use.
Cotton provides the best of both worlds from nylon and leather.
It can provide a similar level of grip that leather has when it is attached to the bar and also provides a softer feel to it so it is not as harsh as nylon.
Cotton provides the most amount of stretch compared to nylon and leather, which can be advantageous as it becomes more resilient against tearing especially like leather.
It is also most absorbing in terms of sweat and can be cleaned easily with warm water. Cotton lifting straps are probably the most reliant material with respect to washing them as cotton is used for clothing, which generally goes through many wash cycles.
Best Type for Powerlifting
The best type of lifting strap for powerlifting is the lasso type.
The main reasons are the fact that it can provide you with flexibility with how much grip assistance you get through deciding how many times to wrap the strap around the bar.
It can provide you with a great deal of grip support whilst still allowing you to be able to let go and escape from the bar if you need to bail.
How To Choose The Best Quality
To choose the best quality lifting straps, you ideally want the lifting straps to:
- Be made of heavy-duty cotton
- Have a long length so you can decide how tight to wrap the strap
- Have a reinforced strip of neoprene to provide more comfort and extra protection on the strap for longevity
The specific pair of lifting straps that is the best type for powerlifting and best quality is the Repel Bullies Lifting Straps.
How to Use Lasso Type Lifting Straps
Thread the tail of the lifting strap through the loop at the head of the lifting strap so that the strap now forms a figure 6 shape
Put your hands through the newly created loop in a way that the tail crosses between the thumb and the first finger.
Pull the tail through more so that the new loop is a little tighter on the hand
Wrap one tail of the strap under the bar where you want the hand to be placed and wrap the strap over 1 to 3 revolutions.
Wound the strap tighter until your palm is up and close to the bar.
Repeat the same process with the other hand
You cannot go wrong with a lasso-type lifting strap for powerlifting with an optimal balance between the ability to escape from the bar and maximise grip assistance. Choosing a quality and cheap pair of lifting straps will go a long way.
They will save you from not being able to deadlift if you have some form of minor injury like a torn callus. Using lifting straps has its place in powerlifting but you should not rely on using straps as you may neglect developing grip strength.