A few months ago, after a hero WOD with a ton of squat cleans, I noticed my right wrist was starting to hurt.
I kept pushing through the pain, doing ring muscle ups, more front squats. Eventually it got to a point where I was in so much pain, I couldn’t do a front rack or overhead position at all.
It was time to rest, take NSAIDs, and modify movements (recommended by my PA friend, and my brother doctor!).
So, for the first time in years, I modified movements, taped up my wrist and took it “easy” for 3 weeks.
During this time I also began evaluating wrist wraps for CrossFit.
I purchased the 8 below, and in this post I’ll cover what I liked and didn’t like about each one. I found a number that I will use again.
Wrist Wraps I Tested
|Product's name||Best Features||More Info|
|Best Budget Wrap||WARM BODY COLD MIND Premium Cotton Wrist Wraps for Crossfit, Olympic Weight Lifting, Powerlifting,...||- Lightweight|
- Easy on and off
|Best Overall Wrap||Rogue Fitness Wrist Wraps | Available in Multiple Colors (Black/Red, 12")||- Best mix of stability and flexibility|
- Size & color Variety
|Check Latest Price|
|Highest Durability||Stoic Wrist Wraps Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Cross Training, Bodybuilding with Thumb Loop....||- Very high quality construction||Check Price|
|Nordic Lifting Wrist Wraps Super Heavy Duty (1 Pair/2 Wraps) 24" Support for Weight Lifting |...||- Comfortability|
|Inzer Iron Z Wrist Wraps (Pair) - Powerlifting Weightlifting Strength Training (20" - Medium)||- Strength And Durability|
|Inzer Wrist Wraps - True Black 24" (Pair) Powerlifting Weight Lifting Wraps||- Strong|
I spent about 3 weeks trying out the wrist wraps below. I found many to be too bulky to want to wear during an entire CrossFit class. Some where too bulky even just to try on. From my most favorite to least, here are the wraps I evaluated:
Best Overall – Rogue Fitness Wrist Wraps | Available in Multiple Colors (Black/Red, 12")Check Price
I got the 18″ version of these wraps, any longer would have been too much fabric. 12″ would work fine as well. They come in three different lengths; 12 inches, 18 inches, and 24 inches and are available in 7 color options, too, encouraging a variety of choices.
These were my favorite because they were easy to get on and off, they felt very stable during all movements (toes to bar, overhead lifts, front squats, push-ups, burpees), and they feel quality. I think these will last for many years. They are pretty affordable as well. I much preferred these over the thin Rogue wraps.
Best Cheap Wrist Wrap- WARM BODY COLD MIND Premium Cotton Wrist Wraps for Crossfit, Olympic Weight Lifting, Powerlifting,...Check Price
These became my go to wrist strap, especially as my wrist pain eased. I found I liked these even with my wrist pain gone. They go on very fast. I made a whole blog post and video about these as a great cheap wrist wrap option, so check that out for a full review.
These wraps have one size, with their width at 3 inches and length at 26 inches.
- Professionally Designed workout wrist wraps by a winner of World and European weightlifting Championships Oleksiy TOROKHTIY.
- Greater Support and Stability: These lifting wrist wraps allow to perform all sorts of movements like snatch, clean, kettle bell exercises, shrug, deadlift, push press, push jerk, split jerk, overhead...
- Ultra-strong & Adjustable: WBCM Weight lifting wrist wraps for men & women are easy to put on and off due to elastic strap and anchor system. Simply slide your thumbs through the thumb loops and wrap...
Best Construction Stoic Wrist Wraps Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Cross Training, Bodybuilding with Thumb Loop....Check Price
STOIC’s wrist wraps are beasts! These are the highest quality material and construction of all the wrist wraps I tested. If you want a wrap that will last a long time and provide tons of support, these are for you.
Nordic- Nordic Lifting Wrist Wraps Super Heavy Duty (1 Pair/2 Wraps) 24" Support for Weight Lifting |...Check Price
Nordic Lifting wrist wraps made of high quality cotton with Velcro closure are one-size-fits all at three inches by twenty-four inches. I liked the construction of these wraps, and appreciated that they marked the Left and Right with a tag, but I wish the tag wasn’t so darn ugly!
These have a reinforced loop and are designed for extra protection, keeping the wrist stable and in check during heavy lifting.
Inzer – Inzer Iron Z Wrist Wraps (Pair) - Powerlifting Weightlifting Strength Training (20" - Medium)Check Price
These are fine. I’m not a huge fan of the thumb hole, but they are easy to put on and take off.
Benefits Of Wrist Wraps
Wrist wraps are starting to become a now popularly used accessory in CrossFit culture, and for many reasons too while some people use them simply for aesthetics, some other people like how they pump the muscles up. Wraps also improve performance and prevent injuries. Listed below are a few other perks of adding them to your CrossFit gear;
Wrist wraps are primarily aimed at preventing any major injuries to the wrist joint, they are for stability and keep the wrist in check if worn with enough stiffness, leading to better weight distribution and guiding against any major injuries too.
The smaller, weaker muscles get fatigued earlier than the larger, prime muscles and this sounds true for the muscles in the wrist area too, wrist wraps help to hold muscles in place during exercises and prevent early fatigue of muscles allowing athletes to push the larger muscles to good limits.
The fingers move and catch a grip as a result of contraction of muscles in the forearm and during weight lifting, wrist wraps provide an additional and comfortable contraction on the forearm muscles that helps with the gripping effect.
Helps engage the muscles even before workouts
Tight wrist wraps already get the neurons fired up through proprioception and the muscles already start to tighten even before any work is done
Prevent and manages injuries
Very minor strains are protected from escalating during workouts if wrist wraps are on, the chances of an injury escalating have been highly reduced, they also prevent the carpal tunnels syndrome which is a serious contraction injury peculiar to wrists
How To Use Wrist Wraps
This might seem sort of tricky for first time wearers and there are a few tips to know beforehand;
Wrist wraps might not always feel comfortable, the wraps aim to limit the range of motion of the wrist during lifts and keep the joint tight, so might not feel as comfortable as when the hands are free.
The hand should be wrapped in a forward motion, during lifts the hand is usually slightly bent forward, and since the range of motion would be limited by wrapping, wrapping the hand in a backward position largely defeats the purpose of a feasible workout.
Ensure to wrap the base of your palm too, this keeps the wrap in check and limits excess extensions at the wrist joint.
As you start to turn the wrist wrap, gradually increase the tightness around the joint on each turn. For a very firm grip, form a fist while wrapping.
Here’s how to put on the wrist wraps.
1. Find the loop
Every wrist wrap has a loop at one end which the thumb goes into, so the very first step is finding this loop facing it upwards, either hand could be done first, and the length of the wrist wrap is based on preference.
2. Align the loop with your hand
Hold the wrist wrap in such a way that the loop aligns with your thumb and the lower fabric part of the wrap aligns with your hand below your thumb.
3. Pass your thumb through the loop to ensure a tighter locked-in fit
4. Wrap your wrist
Pass the wrap over the wrist, one thing to check for is the Velcro part of the fabric is on the outside of the hand while turning and tightening the wrap.
5. Tighten till it feels comfortable enough
The tightness of a strap is usually a factor dependent on whoever is wrapping and can be adjusted to whatever degree of stability or support requires. It is usually recommended that the wraps be tighter for heavier lifts to enhance stability and support.
6. Repeat the process on the other hand
Wrist wraps are essential for overhead lifts and bench presses, and there are tons of advantages with them that outweigh risking a wrist injury. They are a perfect fit for a CrossFitter looking to get some work in with added support and comfortability and reduced risk of getting hurt as a result.
One thing about wrist wrap is how there are a variety and options to choose from depending on however they are preferred by the user. From the cotton-based wrist wraps that prioritize comfort to the stronger rubber wrist wraps and even having a lot of varying adjustable sizes and also different types of Velcro bands.
Whether the priority is safety, strength, support, or maybe even comfortability, there is a wrap that meets the need and helps to achieve more with your CrossFit workouts.