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Do I need wrist wraps for Crossfit?

Crossfit wrist wrap

Crossfit is regarded as one of the world’s most popular fitness phenomenons, combining high intensity workouts with functional training.

Crossfit programs with certified trainers are held worldwide, with the majority taking place in well-equipped facilities.

Workouts often include exercises such as squats, press-ups, pull ups, overhead presses and deadlifts.

One of the most common questions that people have when starting out is whether they need wrist wraps to perform these exercises and protect their wrists.

Why would I need a wrist wrap for Crossfit?

Wrist Wrap CrossfitMany Crossfit athletes manage to do Crossfit workouts without wrist wraps.  Others swear they help protect against injury and improve their power-lifting technique.

Damage to the wrist joint, can cause injury, result in failed lifts or compromise lifting capability.

Wrist injuries, caused by over-extension, can result in:

  • strains/tears to the tendons which join the bone to muscle, resulting in swollen and tender wrists.
  • damage to the ligaments, which join bone to bone, resulting in sharp pain and bruising on the wrist joint.

Do I need to wear a wrist wrap throughout a Crossfit class?

Wrist wrap CrossfitWrist wraps are used to protect the wrist from overextending in overhead presses and other pressing movements.

It is only when the joint is under significant load, e.g. close to 1RM, that you really need protection, unless you have a pre-existing injury.

For handstands, push ups and pull ups, and most warm-up exercises you should manage fine without a wrist wrap.

In fact, allowing the wrist joint to go through the full range of motion, without restriction from a wrist wrap, will help improve it’s flexibility.

Performing strength exercises without a wrist wrap will also help you strengthen your wrist flexors and extenders.

Which Crossfit exercises should I wear a wrist wrap for?

Performing maximum/near maximum effort on:

  • Overhead Presses
  • Snatch
  • Clean and Jerk
  • Bench Press
  • Shoulder Press

How do I make sure my wrist wrap fits properly?

You need to make sure it is securely fastened with a tight, but not restrictive tension around the wrist

It needs to sit close to the crease, just below your palm, so the joint of the wrist is truly protected.

This is a great video from Rhino Fitness that demonstrates how to fit wrist wraps properly

What type of wrist wraps are available?

There are generally two types of wrist wraps:

  1.  Thinner wraps that are more flexible.  There are usually made from cotton.  These are better for movements like the snatch & clean and jerk where are little more wrist movement is required.
  2.  Thicker wraps that are more protective.  Often neoprene based, with velcro fastenings.  These are better for positions on the bench or for overhead presses.

Some wraps come with a thumb loop.  This can help prevent the wrist wrap from slipping, but some Crossfit athletes find the thumb loops too restrictive.

Our Crossfit wrist wrap recommendations

Riptoned wrist wraps with thumb loops

These wrist protecting wraps are our favorite and are incredibly popular, helping to eliminate discomfort and pain by securing the wrist in a neutral position. The medium stiff version is recommended for Crossfit as it still allows some flexibility. These wraps are also great for yoga, body weight exercises & manual labor. These are so good that the suppliers offer a MONEY BACK guarantee if you don't absolutely love them! Eliminate failed lifts & protect your wrist joints from injury during heavy or max lifts. The top grade wraps with premium stitching & high end durable extra wide velcro are fully adjustable & machine washable. The strong reinforced thumb loops keep the wrap in place on your hand and wrist no matter the lift. So whether you're recovering from an injury or pushing yourself to the limit, the wraps will brace your wrists and protect them from further injury. Backed by a Lifetime Replacement Guarantee.

Braceup wrist wraps without thumb loops

  • Adjustable hook and loop closure for custom fit
  • Relieves wrist pain through pressure on injured wrists
  • Antimicrobial fabric reduces growth of odor-causing bacteria
  • Durable neoprene-blend materials for extra support, soothing warmth and comfort
  • Fits both left and right wrists

WOD wear cotton wrist wraps

  • INCREASE LIFTS AND GET MORE PRS! Lift more weight while protecting your valuable wrist cartilage from overuse injuries. Look good while training better and safer. What's better than that? PERFECT FOR MULTIPLE SPORTS! Great for many training styles: Yoga, Weightlifting, Powerlifters, Breakdancers, Gymnasts, and just about any sport or training method that uses the hands.