Gear Spotlight: How and When to Use TRX® Wrist Wraps
Gear Spotlight: How and When to Use TRX® Wrist Wraps
Wrist wraps are a premium upgrade for your fitness routine. Like seat warmers in a car or more leg room on an airplane, wrist wraps aren’t required to get the job done, but they certainly make it more comfortable. Let’s talk about how wrist wraps work, when to use them, how folks wear them, and why TRX® Wrist Wraps are the only set you need.
How Wrist Wraps Work
Most wrist wraps employ the same basic design: a long strip of fabric with Velcro® backing and a thumb loop to secure the wrap’s position. A wrist wrap can provide support and stabilization of the wrist during exercise, and help reduce the risk of hyperextension.
To wear a wrist wrap, start by holding the wrap with the thumb loop facing upward. The wide, fabric band should naturally fall toward the forearm. Slip the thumb loop over your thumb, and wrap the fabric around your wrist, securing it with the Velcro closure. (Pro-tip: the soft side of the Velcro should face up, instead of touching your arm, allowing the coarse strip of Velcro to secure the wrap.)
The wrap should overlap the wrist bone (or, if you prefer the technical name, the “pisiform”), and the fabric should be wrapped snugly around your wrist, without cutting off your circulation.
Athletes like weightlifters, CrossFitters, and gymnasts are most commonly seen wearing wrist wraps, but TRX® Wrist Wraps are designed for anyone who wants a little extra support.
TRX Training Club℠ pro Niko Algieri has been a wrist wrap advocate for years. When he first opened his London-based gym, Equilibrium, Niko noticed the toll that his own TRX workouts plus all-day private coaching sessions took on his wrists. The non-stop demonstrations of planks, combined with the weight work he was doing, was putting too much strain on his wrists. “The wrist wraps provide a bit of protection from that,” Niko said. “ I tighten it up and it creates a bit of a capsule, a bit of space, in between the radius and the ulna on the wrist and that on the palm, so that I can actually press my hand into the floor.”
Plus, he likes the way it looks.
“The second reason why I wear them is I like the look. To me, it's almost like a fitness fashion statement. I've accidentally cultivated that look because I always wear them. It doesn't matter whether I'm doing biceps or triceps, doesn't matter if I'm doing legs; I've always got them on because it makes me feel like I'm in fitness mode. It keeps me motivated.“
Why TRX® Wrist Wraps?
It takes a certain level of expertise to appreciate the differences between types of wrist wraps, but Niko—with years of experience and dozens of wrist wraps in his gym bag—has opinions on the subject.
Niko says he’s probably had about 40 different sets of wrist wraps over the years, in a range of sizes and colors, but the TRX® Wrist Wraps rank with the best. And they should, since he helped hone the design.
TRX® sent the original wrist wrap prototype to London for Niko’s feedback and modified the design with his suggestions. The final product is soft and comfortable, with ultra-durable Velcro that can stand up to be fastened and released multiple times each day.
And if those wraps absorb too much sweat from your workout? No problem. Toss them in the washing machine. (Though you might want to put them inside a mesh back so that extra-sturdy Velcro doesn’t cling to your other clothes.)
Getting Started With Suspension Training™ and Wrist Wraps
Newcomers to Suspension Training™ often have the same feedback when they attempt their first TRX Plank. “It hurts my wrists.” While it’s always acceptable to downgrade a TRX Plank by lowering to your forearms, Niko says that wrist wraps have helped many of his clients feel more stable and progress back up to their palms.
“They always end up loving [the wrist wraps]. All of our clients, in the end, become wrist wrap users. You see quite a few TRX Livers doing that, too,” he said..
Niko’s advice when you’re starting with TRX® Wrist Wraps? “Do the move, feel the support.” Then release [the wrap] and re-tighten it.
There are lots of opinions about when to use or forego wrist wraps. It really comes down to a matter of personal preference. Beginners may choose to wear wrist wraps through a full workout, and more advanced athletes might turn to them just for extra-challenging exercises like pendulum swings. It’s all about what feels right for you.
Niko has been wearing his wrist wraps non-stop for training for about six years now, though he acknowledges that not everyone is as enthusiastic about the practice. “There are trainers out there that would disagree with me and say, don't wear them all the time because you start to rely on them,” he said.
According to Niko, wrist wraps make sense for intense TRX workouts.
“It's support for when you're smashing your hands into the floor. It's really that simple. It's like people who wear knee supports when they're doing heavy squats, or elbow supports when they're doing presses or a heavy bench press. You think about how many times during a TRX session, you will be on your wrists. It's longer than most other workouts. There's a lot of pikes, planks, tucks, knee tucks. burpees; your hands are constantly holding those handles. And, for those with weak wrists, it's a magical little tool. It just gives you a little bit of support.”
How tight is too tight?
This is one of those you’ll-know-it-when-you-feel-it determinations.
“You'll know,” Niko said. “Your wrist will tell you. If you tighten the wrist wrap perfectly—for me, it's almost like you don't feel the pain, but then you don't know the wrap is there. When it's too tight, you know instantly because the blood stops rushing to your hand and you feel real pressure. But if you're doing something extremely heavy, like a barbell press or a shoulder press, which could potentially damage the joint, I would go extra tight just for that 10 seconds and then release it.”
When in doubt, cut yourself some literal slack in your TRX® Wrist Wraps.
Just like Suspension Training™ is a discipline that can be modified for any body, any where, TRX® Wrist Wraps can support a wide range of athletes through their workouts. Whether you’re using your TRX Suspension Trainer™, snatching a TRX® Kettlebell, or pressing TRX® Dumbbells, TRX Wrist Wraps can offer an extra boost of confidence in your workout routine. And if you’re wearing yours for TRX Training Club Live with Niko, don't be surprised when he gives you a virtual fist bump in class.