The term CrossFit has become an everyday word in almost all households. Even if you have not participated in a CrossFit workout, you likely know someone who has or you have heard about the intense fitness programs at a local CrossFit gym. CrossFit workouts are challenged and varied—you never know what you’ll be asked to do next. With that in mind, you want to protect yourself so you can also function for work and home without torn up hands, inured wrists, or dead arms. Knowing that you’ll be expected to perform many different exercises, it is best to keep lifting wrist wraps available for your protection.
CrossFit barbell exercises are some of the foundational movements for this workout program. Wrist wraps secure your wrists in a stable alignment to avoid injuries. When performing exercises such as the Front Squat, Overhead Squat, Shoulder Press, Clean and Press, Deadlift, and Push Jerk, your wrists need to provide a stable base for a heavy weight load.
To challenge the muscles of your legs and upper body, you should to be able to control a loaded barbell. A secure wrist wrap provides support for the nerves and bones in your wrists. A wrist wrap with thumb loops to prevent slipping is ideal for barbell exercises in which the bar may rotate in your hands. You would not want to use a wrap with a hook for these movements as the hook keeps the bar in place. For instance, when you transition from the clean to the press, the barbell may rotate slightly as you maintain a comfortable hand and wrist position.
One way CrossFit workouts challenge your body is through hanging exercises. Hanging from your hands is not something you do on a typical day, but you will be expected to hang and perform pull-ups or toes to the bar exercises. Wearing a wrist wrap for hanging exercises supports your wrists in this challenging position. Your wrists remain stable and steady as you focus on your back, arms, or core to complete the exercises. You do not have to worry that your wrists are the weak link and will give out before your larger muscles do. Instead, a wrist wrap that easily slides on for hanging exercises eases your mind and helps you stimulate your body to make changes.
CrossFit incorporates dumbbells into your training sessions for exercises such as burpees and snatches. Your wrists need to be straight, strong and secure to maintain control of your movements. Throughout dumbbell burpees, your hands on the dumbbells are supporting the weight of your body. Wrist wraps help stabilize your movements and strengthen your forearms so you are able to complete your maximum number of repetitions. Wrist wraps also protect your wrists from injuries due to the dumbbell weight. Instead of buckling under the load, which is the pathway to an injury, your wrists remain secure from the added support of a wrist wrap.
You see gymnasts wearing their wrist wraps when performing exercises on the rings, so why wouldn’t you follow suit? It only takes a minute to wrap your wrists before beginning a CrossFit ring exercise routine. In doing so, you potentially save yourself weeks of pain from your wrist giving out or slipping out of place while supporting your body weight on a small ring. Exercises such as push-ups, muscle-ups, and body rows are all enhanced when you wear wrist wraps for your CrossFit ring workouts.
CrossFit incorporates a variety of workout tools into your training sessions. You may be expected to climb a rope, flip a tire, hit a tire with a sledge hammer, swing a kettlebell, throw a medicine ball, or walk on your hands. The ways your body maneuvers throughout a CrossFit workout is designed to challenge each muscle group. Your wrists, however, may need support during these challenges. For example, as you swing a sledge hammer, your wrists provide the power and stability of this motion. A wrist wrap positions your joints to avoid injuries and give your swing the most power so you see results.
Why You Need Wrist Wraps for CrossFit
Wrist Wraps for CrossFit training benefit all fitness participants. Due to the demanding and various nature of the workouts, your body uses the extra support and protection from wrist wraps to help you challenge your muscles while protecting your joints. You may also benefit from wearing wrist wraps if:
1. You feel any pain or discomfort in your wrists during your CrossFit workouts, which means you may be damaging the joints or the nerves.
2. You have had a previous wrist injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Wrist wraps will help protect your wrists from further injuries, especially for exercises that stress the underside of your wrists such as front squats or thrusters.
3. You are new to CrossFit training and your wrist strength is unable to support the various movements without buckling, straining or hurting.
4. You have impinged nerves in your wrists that will get relief from the compression of wrist wraps.
5. Your wrists are hyper-flexible and tend to easily move out of position. A secure wrist wrap will immobilize your wrist for improved form and joint protection.
6. You have reached a workout plateau and feel that wrist weakness is the culprit. Wearing wrist wraps provides extra strength for this small joint and can move you beyond your limits.
Selecting Wrist Wraps for CrossFit
Your wrist wraps for CrossFit training should be easy to wrap with one hand. A quality pair will be made of durable material that will not over-stretch with time, but will also provide some flexibility so as to not cut off the circulation in your hands. Choose a pair that remain securely in place with a thumb loop, for example. Select wrist wraps that are washable to reduce odors or skin irritation. Wrist wraps pair well with workout gloves for complete hand and wrist protection as you strengthen your body through CrossFit workouts. Keep wrist wraps in your gym bag or your car so they are available when you need them. CrossFit workouts vary on a regular basis and you need to be prepared for those heavy lifting or wrist-stressing days at a moment’s notice.
Wrist wraps for CrossFit are a small change in your routine, but the benefits are noticeable. You will feel more stable, strong, and comfortable. If you are hesitant to try wrist wraps or if you worry that wearing wrist wraps may limit your wrist strength, keep in mind the joint protection benefits. One way to avoid this limitation is to wear the wraps for some exercises and then slip them off for others. A quality wrist wrap provides years of joint protection to keep you CrossFit strong for the duration.