Le lifting bands (or also called straps or straps) are very useful in weight training. When you have reached a high level of strength and you begin to have problems in taking, the straps can be for you, as they will allow you to continue progressing with the load without having the problem of grip.
However, it is important to know that the bands are not allowed in the competitions of Powerlifting, so if that is your goal, leave this tool aside.
? In which exercises to use them
It is very important to carefully choose the exercises in which to use the bands as not all exercises lend themselves well to their use, and in some cases they can be rather useless.
Surely the exercises in which their use is indicated are above all those dedicated to the posterior kinetic chain (back, lats, hamstrings). Specifically, they can be useful for exercises such as:
- Deadlift (and its variants)
- Rowing machine (and its variants)
- Tractions (and its variants)
? When not to use them?
As we said above, they are definitely not to be used if you want to compete in powerlifting.
Beyond this they are not indicated even if you still have very low loads, as before using the straps to load more, it would be good to concentrate on the progression of the load up to high loads (depending on the subject).
? Why use them?
The main reason for using them is the fact of being able to have better focus in training the rear kinetic chain, as not having to think about tightening the barbell, dumbbells or bar, but being able to think only of pulling with the back (using the arms like hooks or better as an extension of the back) you will be able to have better sensations in the muscles, perhaps managing to unlock the growth of a muscle that is difficult for many to train and grow.
? Which bands to use?
It is also very important to choose the right type of band, try to make sure that:
- seams are done correctly
- are made of cotton or nylon (as they are more rigid and tend to deform less)
- are long enough to make enough turns around the bar / handlebar.
If you are returning from an injury to your wrists, elbows or have had problems with tendonitis, my advice initially is to also use them in exercises where you use lower loads, in order to re-accustom the joints to those types of movement.
If you have not suffered injuries, but still tend to have problems with inflammation in the elbows / tendons (in addition to avoiding as much as possible the exercises that give you problems) I recommend that you use the bands in exercises that cause you discomfort.
Even when using the bands, you still maintain attention and safety during the execution of the exercise, because if it is true that the bands give you support in lifting the weight, it is also true that if you are too confident you can suffer injuries in the muscles that work in the grip. So in any case use loads that are within your reach and that you can control, without exaggerating to please the ego.
Avoid buying headbands that also have built-in hooks, as in addition to being more expensive, they no longer offer benefits, on the contrary they can cause problems, as these hooks do not fit all barbells / dumbbells and could also lead to alterations in the technique.
In short, from my experience and feedback, I recommend you use them!