Right? Not necessarily.
To maximize the effectiveness of the exercise sometimes you just have to set your ego aside and use assistance. In this case that assistance is the wrist strap. For example:
- The target muscle group is much larger and stronger than your forearms. Your upper back (lats, traps, rhomboids) is one of the largest muscle groups in your upper body. Without assistance, your grip will give out long before you are able to properly tax your back in either volume or weight.
- You are unable to use an alternating grip to prevent the bar from rolling. Unlike the deadlift, where you can alternate your grip (one pronated hand, one supinated hand), when performing exercises with both hands either pronated (overhand) or supinated (underhand), or when performing heavy dumbbell lifts such as the dumbbell row, without grip assistance the barbell or dumbbell will simply roll away from you when the weight starts to get heavy.
As simple as the wrist strap appears, they can be tricky to get the hang of and use properly. Let me show you how:
For a quick recap:
- The mouth of the strap’s loop faces your hand
- When laying across your palm, the strap points in the same direction as your thumb
- Plant your hand on the bar and start wrapping the strap under and around the bar from the base of your pinkie finger towards your thumb
- Hold the strap to the bar so it will roll with the bar and roll it towards you to tighten your straps