When and How To Use Straps
Written by Cody Burgener
Hank Lopez is a big sissy. Yes, I said it. Why do I call him a sissy? Because Hank uses straps when he snatches. Don’t get me wrong, its ok to use straps; but only in certain situations. Hank uses them all the time. I’m going to explain in this post when you are allowed to use straps and how you should use them.
You are allowed to use straps when you are performing heavy snatch/clean deadlifts or pulls. These exercises are usually performed with 100-110% of your 1 RM weights and for multiple reps. That is a lot of yanking on your thumb with big, sexy weights. So using straps during pulls is totally ok with me.
Another situation in which you are allowed to use straps is when performing multiple reps and multiple sets when snatching. In other words, you’re doing a heck of a lot of snatches at a lower weight for many reps. Once again, there is a lot of pulling on your thumbs, so straps are ok.
What really grinds my gears is what Hank does. He uses straps whenever he is performing single or double reps for the snatch. Oh why oh why do you do this, Hank? I have no idea. The reason I don’t like this is because your hands and thumbs do not hurt when performing one or two snatches. Also, you will never, ever, ever snatch with straps in a competition. So why do something when you know it will never be allowed in a competition?
People might come up with the excuse, “But I can snatch more when I use straps!” Of course you can snatch more! You don’t have to worry about holding on to the bar, and that is a limiting factor for a lot of people. Using straps is equivalent to a basketball player with flubber under his shoes (I really hope you guys got that movie reference). People might also come up with the excuse that their thumbs hurt. The quick fix for that is to just tape up your thumbs. The great thing about taping your thumbs is that it is actually allowed in competitions.
The next thing I want to talk about is how to actually put straps on a bar. I see a lot of people have trouble with this, especially when it comes to wrapping the second hand to the bar. To help you with this, I’ve made this instruction video, demonstrating how to properly set up straps on a bar. This is just the easiest way for me to learn how to put straps on the bar. It is, by no means, the only way to do it. There are many different ways to wrap straps to a bar.
So remember folks, straps are ok to use, if you use them for the right purpose. Don’t use them because you can snatch more weight. Use them to practice picking up heavy weight, so when you actually go to snatch or clean, the weight is going to feel light.