weightlifting straps vs gym gloves

Many avid gym goers like to use workout gloves or straps, but do they provide the same benefits?

Let’s talk about lifting straps and workout gloves in detail, and then compare the two to see which piece of equipment is best for you.

Weight Lifting Straps

Weightlifting straps or wrist wraps can help you exhaust your larger muscles, by reducing your reliance on your grip strength. Many bodybuilders and powerlifters will utilize lifting straps to lift heavier weights easier.

lifting strap around barbell

This improves their progress to get stronger quicker. They are particularly useful when you are working to increase your deadlift or other pulling exercises.

Since lifting straps mitigate the use of your grip strength, some powerlifters might stay away from using them.

If you want to get stronger and have to not worry about your grip giving up before your muscles do, then lifting straps should be a tool that you utilize in your training.

We recommend you use lifting straps if you are lifting heavy and you feel that your grip is impeding your strength training progress.

They can be used on exercises such as:

  • Deadlifts
  • Rows
  • Lap pulldowns
  • Leg exercises with dumbbells

When utilized correctly, they can help you to get past a plateau that your grip may have been keeping you on.

What Do Weight Lifting Straps Do?

A lifting strap loops around a barbell or a dumbbell handle, which allows you to hold onto the weight without sliding out of your hands. When you hold onto a heavy weight, gravity causes it to roll out of your hands. But when you loop around the straps, it keeps it in place and reduces friction.

The lack of friction and having the strap attached to your wrist will make it easy to hold onto the weight for a longer period. This will give you enough time to complete your set.

deadlift with straps

Straps are only useful when lifting heavier weights, if you are warming up or lifting lighter weights, you should not use weight lifting straps.

Types Of Weight Lifting Straps

Basic Straps

These are usually made from nylon and are around 12-16 inches in length. A basic lifting strap allows you to perform most exercises without issues. They come in 2 types:

  • Single Loop Strap- Good for a little help and are very easy to use. They are quick release but they are the least secure.
  • Lasso Stap – Provide extra security as they lasso around the wrist and can wrap around the bar multiple times.

If you can only buy one type of lifting strap, we recommend you go with a basic lifting strap.

Figure 8 Straps

These are often used by powerlifters and is the most secure type available. They are longer and tend to loop around the wrist, under the bar, and then back around the wrist again for added support.

Figure 8 straps are usually used for heavy deadlifting but there is no quick release. They are unsuitable for many other exercises.

You can’t use figure 8 straps for many isolation exercises or for high repetition exercises.

Hook Grip Straps

These straps usually have a small hook but are very convenient to use. All you have to do is loop the short strap around the barbell once, and you are ready to go. They are useful for pull ups.

The only downside with these straps would be that they don’t work as well as the basic straps.

Many people say that hook grip straps don’t hold up when weights get heavy, but some really like them for their ease of use.

Workout Gloves

Workout gloves have a number of functions and come in different varieties. They reduce the pain in the hands from weightlifting and are used by people who don’t want to get calluses. Many beginner gym-goers or people who don’t like their hands to feel rough will use weight lifting gloves.

gym gloves on floor

The only downside with workout gloves is that it can reduce your capability of building tougher hands and holding on to heavier weights. Some weight lifting gloves are made out of leather so they can slip when wet. For these reasons, some people simply apply chalk to their hands instead.

What Do Weightlifting Gloves Do?

Gym gloves act as a protective layer for your skin. This layer is open a hard wearing but cushioned material to reduce stress and improve the comfort of the hands when working out.

Most gloves feature wrist straps that provide additional support to the wrist when under a heavy load. If you get sore wrists after performing bench press in your workout program, these wrist supports will help.

Weight lifting gloves also help to protect the hands from bacteria.

A big benefit of wearing gloves is that they help to prevent calluses. Calluses can be dangerous, especially if you don’t take care of them. Women’s weightlifting gloves can be a big help for female lifters who don’t want rough hands.

Types Of Workout Gloves

Regular workout gloves

These gloves are similar to an average glove. Traditionally, they are half-fingered but protect your palms fully. More recently, full finger workout gloves have appeared on the market.

workout gloves

Regular weightlifting gloves are ideal for prolonged use and if you don’t need to remove them for each set or between sets.

Once you wear these gloves, you can keep them on as long your workout lasts. They are made from leather and provide excellent protection from calluses during strength training.

Minimalist Workout Gloves

Minimalist workout gloves are quite new on the scene. These only cover the area of the hands that take the brunt of the work during exercise. Because they cover a smaller area of the hand, they are ideal for the prevention of sweaty hands.

Minimalist gym gloves don’t support the palm or wrist.

They are popular for CrossFit enthusiasts as they often perform a range of exercises that require and don’t require gloves.

Uses For Lifting Straps Vs Gloves

Straps and gloves are used for different reasons, and they can enhance your workouts regardless of your goals.

Uses For Lifting Straps

  • Used for heavy weights
  • Often used in powerlifting
  • Prevents the weight from falling during a set
  • Support the wrist

Straps are a great tool to have if you want to exhaust your larger muscles without relying on your smaller hand muscles. Please note straps will give you minimal protection from calluses, which means you can get calluses if you use straps.

Uses For Workout Gloves

  • Used for lighter weights
  • Versatile enough for many exercises
  • Reduces pressure on the hands
  • Support the wrist and palm

Gloves are commonly used by the more casual weightlifter (when compared to powerlifters). People who want to be as hygienic as possible also use gloves. The only downside with workout gloves is that they can make the hands sweaty in hotter conditions.

Conclusion

Straps and workout gloves have their use in the gym, but they are not the same.

One will help you lift heavier weights, the other will make workouts more comfortable. Based on your goals both can be an excellent tool for your workout routine.