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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

Lifting Wrist Straps by Rip Toned (Pair) - Bonus Ebook - Cotton Padded - For Weightlifting, Bodybuilding, Crossfit, Strength Training, Powerlifting, MMA (Black/Red) Review Summary:

  • IMPROVE YOUR GRIP & LIFT MORE WEIGHT OR WE'LL SEND YOUR MONEY BACK! -If you don't love your neoprene padded wrist straps, return them. Unleash your inner beast. Order now and try them risk free. You'll literally wonder how you ever worked out without them. These high performance "no slip grip" straps for weightlifters enhance and boost your workout performance for more challenging advanced lifts and routines.
  • GRIP LIMITATION HOLDING YOU BACK? HIT YOUR FITNESS GOALS FASTER - You paid good money for your gym membership, get the most out of it! Order yours; easily target specific muscle groups and watch your body transform once you see how much your weak grip has been holding you back. Whether recovering from an injury or pushing yourself to the limit, the strap wrap aids to achieve goals securely and effectively.
  • BEST PAIR OF WEIGHT LIFTING WRIST STRAPS (SET OF 2) - The only training straps endorsed by 2014 World Champion Powerlifter Kevin Weiss & As Seen on CBS, FOX, NBC and ABC! Instantly eliminate grip strength fatigue from getting in the way of your progress. These heavy duty durable cotton straps are fully adjustable & machine washable. Excellent stitching prevents fraying. Great for barbells, bumpers plates, kettlebells & lifting platforms without sacrificing comfort.
  • WANT TO QUICKLY & SAFELY IMPROVE YOUR LIFTS & MAXIMIZE YOUR GAINS? -With your weight lifting grips, you'll throw up the most reps with the most weight of your life! Build strength evenly and optimum muscle appearance. Easy to apply or remove during exercise, super soft and comfortable. Best straps on Amazon.
  • PERFECT FOR MEN OR WOMEN, POWERLIFTING, CROSS FIT, XFIT, WOD & BODYBUILDING. -Imagine the looks & respect you'll get with these. Hit new PR's in deadlifts, pull-ups, chin-ups, lat pull downs, shrugs, or rows. Backed by a Lifetime Replacement Guarantee. Order now and receive in a follow up email a Free Exclusive Bonus Report - Buy 2... One For You and One For Your Work Out Partner.

Braceup wrist wraps without thumb loops

BraceUP® Wrist Compression Strap and Support, One Size Adjustable (Black) Review Summary:

  • 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

Wrist Wraps For Cross-Training, Fitness, Exercise, Bodybuilding, Olympic Weightlifting - Colors for Men and Women - Once Size Fits All - 100% Guaranteed (Diamond Pattern) Review Summary:

  • 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.