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Should You Wear Lifting Straps or Lifting Gloves?

tuffwraps lifting straps

For those looking to get the most out of their strength training, using lifting straps or lifting gloves is quite common. Both workout accessories are great for getting a solid grip on the barbell. But when comparing lifting straps vs. lifting gloves, which should you buy? 

The truth is, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. Both options can help you achieve your personal best in exercises like deadlifts and rows. Your choice should align with your goals and workout style. To help you decide, we'll provide a detailed comparison of lifting straps and gloves, discussing their unique features and pros and cons. With this information, you can confidently pick the accessory that suits your gym routine and goals, with no sweat.

What are Lifting Straps?

Lifting straps are sturdy, adjustable bands typically made of nylon, leather, or other durable materials. These straps are designed to wrap around your wrists and the barbell or dumbbell, providing a secure grip.Using lifting straps depends on what you want to do. They are particularly useful for exercises that involve heavy weights and more extended sets, such as deadlifts and rows. Lifting straps enable you to lift heavier weights without worrying about grip strength limitations.

Types of Lifting Straps

There are three main types of lifting straps: lasso straps, figure 8 lifting straps, and single-loop straps. In this section, we’ll be going over each type and what makes them unique. 

Single Loop Straps:

  • These straps offer convenience and versatility, fitting both left and right hands.
  • Ideal for weightlifters seeking quick-release options, as they are easy to remove compared to other strap types.
  • However, they provide relatively low bar security during exercises like the snatch, clean, and jerk, making them unsuitable for those with weak grips.

Lasso Straps:

  • Similar to single-loop straps, lasso straps are designed for both left and right hands and are commonly used by weightlifters.
  • They excel in exercises like Deadlifts, Dumbbell Base Movements, and Weighted Pull-Ups, providing additional security.
  • The drawback lies in their limited suitability for clean dishes during weightlifting routines.

Figure 8 Straps:

  • Figure 8 straps offer the highest level of security but are the least versatile among lifting straps.
  • Specifically crafted for Deadlifting, they feature a double-loop design, requiring the wrist to be wrapped twice around the bar.
  • These straps lack a quick-release mechanism, making them less practical for some lifters.

Wrist wraps are often confused for lifting straps. These are not the same thing. There are severaldifferences between wrist wraps and lifting straps, including functionality and design to name two. 

They also share some commonalities. For example, like lifting straps, you can also use wrist wraps for bench press, deadlifts, and squats.

Single loop, lasso, and figure 8 straps all use the same three types of material: cotton, leather, and nylon. The material you use depends on your lifting needs. We recommend you research the differences between cotton, leather, and nylon lifting straps so that you can find which material is best for you.  

What are Lifting Gloves?

Weightlifting gloves are padded gloves designed to enhance grip and prevent weights from slipping, reducing the risk of injuries during workouts. They are often made of leather, synthetic materials, or a combination of both. Popular among individuals who prefer not to use straps, lifting gloves offer a layer of cushioning between your hands and the weight, reducing the risk of blisters and calluses. 

Types of Lifting Gloves

Weightlifting gloves are available in several types, each with its own distinct characteristics. There are four main types: palmless, grip pads, half-fingered wrist pads, and fingerless with an extended pad and wrist support. Below, we’ll go over each type of lifting glove: 

  • Palmless gloves: These gloves cover only the fingers and may not extend to the fingertip.
  • Grip pads: This type of glove only covers the palm of the hand, which may help prevent sweating and slipping. Some products may have additional wrist support.
  • Half-fingered gloves with wrist pads: This is the most common type of weightlifting gloves. They may provide more stability and support to the wrists and reduce calluses. However, depending on the material, they may be less breathable.
  • Fingerless gloves with an extended pad and wrist support: This type offers similar support to half-fingered gloves, but with more flexibility and are open to the back of the hand.

What are the Differences Between Lifting Straps and Lifting Gloves?

The main differences between lifting straps and lifting gloves are the padding, variety of options, and functionality. Below, we’ve highlighted these differences in more detail. Let’s dive into it!

Weight Lifting Gloves:

  • These are full-hand gloves designed to offer added padding for improved grip during heavy pushing and pulling exercises.
  • Various types of weight-lifting gloves are available, including finger gloves with or without wrist attachments, all geared toward supporting heavy compound lifts.
  • Suitable for a wide range of exercises, both pushing and pulling.

Lifting Straps (Wrist Straps):

  • Unlike gloves, lifting straps do not cover the entire hand.
  • Typically, they are intended to be wrapped around the hand and securely fastened to the barbell or dumbbell.
  • Popular different types include the single-loop, lasso, and figure 8 straps.
  • Primarily used to provide wrist support and enhance grip strength during heavy pulling exercises.
  • Lifting straps are exclusively employed during pulling movements and not for pushing exercises.

Weightlifting Straps: Pros and Cons


  • Versatile for various exercises, including both pushing (bench presses, overhead presses) and pulling. Using liftingstraps for deadlifts and rows are both very popular. 
  • Ideal for beginners due to wrist support, improved grip, and enhanced comfort during lifting.
  • Reduce the risk of calluses and blisters, especially when lifting heavier weights.
  • Prevent sweaty palms and potential weight slippage.


  • Inhibits the development of better grip strength, which is crucial for exercises like barbell rows and overhead presses. Weak grip hampers reps and gains, highlighting the importance of knurling (etches) on dumbbells and barbells for grip strength improvement.
  • May compromise exercise form, particularly in powerlifting exercises like the power clean, due to the extra padding material.
  • Not the most effective gear for maximal lifts, as the heavy-duty gloves' thick material can interfere with the performance of heavy compound lifts, such as deadlifts.

Lifting Gloves: Pros and Cons


  • Improved Muscle Focus: They reduce strain on your forearms and biceps, helping you concentrate on muscle exhaustion and enhancing muscle growth.
  • Enhanced Form and Technique: With less grip emphasis, you can better refine your form and technique during heavy pulls, crucial for reaping exercise benefits.
  • Reduced Grip Fatigue: Lifting straps minimize grip fatigue, allowing for heavier and more extended lifts.
  • Safety:They secure your grip on the weight, preventing accidents.
  • Faster Progress: Lifting straps enable faster progress by overcoming grip limitations in heavy lifts.


  • Lifting straps can be less beginner-friendly due to their complexity and specific usage requirements.
  • Gym gloves are easy to use, while lifting straps may need more maneuvering to attach your hand to the weight.
  • Lifting straps are designed primarily for heavy lifting, making them unnecessary for beginners until they tackle heavier sets.

So, Lifting Straps or Lifting Gloves?

If you're aiming to build a more substantial and robust back, lifting straps are the go-to choice. On the flip side, if your priorities include superior padding, improved grip, wrist support, callus protection, and overall convenience, lifting gloves are the better option.

Ultimately, the decision between these two pieces of equipment depends on your fitness goals and your current level of fitness.


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