The Biggest Problem With Lifting Straps Is They Can Make You Weak

Weight lifting straps are gym accessories which certainly have a role to play in most people's gym workouts at some stage or another. They can be a fantastic training aid if used correctly, but they can also hold you back in certain ways if you use them improperly.

Let me explain. The reason why you may need to use lifting straps is because your forearms are not capable of maintaining a sufficient strong enough grip to allow you to perform the desired number of repetitions of a given exercise.

So taking wide grip pull ups as an example, you can not do enough reps to fatigue your back muscles before your forearms let you down. In this case to break down enough muscle tissue doing wide grip pull ups you would need to use weight lifting straps to do the work that the forearms are incapable of doing.

This can be a big help to the larger muscle groups when doing any heavy pulling or lifting type movements, but it does not solve the problem of the weak forearm muscles. In fact following along this path and always using straps to do the work of the forearms will absolutely lead to real muscular imbalances and potentially weak forearms.

The forearms will not have the chance to develop the power and connective tissue strength that they would have gained had they worked without using straps and remember the old saying 'if you do not use it, you lose it' … they could even get weaker!

With that being said it is important to hit all muscles as hard as you can, ideally until muscular failure, but if one muscle group is not allowing you to do that because it is the weak link then bypassing that by using a training aid certainly makes good sense.

However you will still be left with very weak forearms and so will have to try and develop strength in that area separately. This is easy to do by using exercises such as forearm curls, hammer curls and reverse wrist extension movements. These will all help to improve the strength and power of the forearm muscles if done regularly and using increasingly heavier weights.

If you follow the principle of progress with the forearms they too will develop strength over time and then you can begin trying the heavier lifting and pulling movements without using weight lifting straps at all and simply relying on grip strength alone.