From Overhead squats and Hand Stand Push Ups to Snatches and Thrusters, CrossFit athletes know firsthand that the daily WOD can put a strain on the wrists.
With a good pair of wrist wraps you can lift more weight, and go longer and harder, while protecting your valuable wrist cartilage, tendons and bones from overuse injuries.
That’s why I got down to business researching and searching everywhere to create this carefully selected list of the 11 best wrist wraps for CrossFit of 2020.
Plus I include a quick buying guide and a CrossFit wrist wrap FAQs so you can get all your wrist wrap questions answered.
- TOP 11 Best CrossFit Wrist Wraps 2020
- How to Choose the Best Wrist Wraps for CrossFit?
- Wrist Wrap FAQs
- That’s a Wrap!
TOP 11 Best CrossFit Wrist Wraps 2020
How to Choose the Best Wrist Wraps for CrossFit?
Choose Your Level of Support and Stiffness
Wrist wraps come in varying degrees of stiffness which determines how supportive they will be.
Light Support Wrist Wraps
Wrist straps that are more relaxed are good for accessory work. They can be worn continuously during your entire workout.
The support will keep your wrists warmed up, prevent some strain from movements like Burpees and promote circulation, but light support is not enough for moderate to heavy lifting.
Contraband wrist wraps makes wrist wraps with all four levels of support, including a light support wrist wrap.
Medium Support Wrist Wraps
Medium support wrist wraps are good for every day WODs and light to moderate lifting.
This level of support is usually enough to protect the wrists from strain, keep them warmed up and still be comfortable enough for wearing continuously.
Sling Shot Wrist Wraps by Mark Bell are a good example of medium support wrist wraps for CrossFit.
Heavy Support Wrist Wraps
When working with heavy weight most people need support to prevent their wrists from collapsing backward. Heavy support and extreme support wraps are in this category.
Heavy support wrist wraps are quite tight. They are usually too stiff to wear during the entire workout and are loosened, unless you are doing a heavy lift. This level of support is for lifts between up to 300 lbs.
Extreme Support Wrist Wraps
Extreme support wrist straps are for advanced athletes who lift more than 300 lbs. Extreme support wraps are very stiff and are made for maximal work, and feature extreme casting, immobilizing the wrist. These wrist wraps keep your wrist straight and improve your grip.
Obviously, this style of wrap is worn only during the actual lift, as it would be very uncomfortable to wear it for any significant length of time.
See Dave Tate show you how to wrap your wrist using wrist wraps.
Choose Your Length
The length of wrist wraps can vary considerably. I have seen wraps as short as 12 inches, and as long as 40 inches.
Here is the deal…
Generally, the longer the wrap, the more supportive it is. I see a lot of complaints from people who ordered wraps that were too short.
A 12 inch wrap is probably only going to wrap 1 and a half times around your wrist, so you can see that will not offer much support aside from maybe keeping your wrists warmed up.
Choose Your Style
There are two basic styles of wrist wraps for lifting weight.
There is the classic elastic band/Velcro close style, and the cloth band with a strap that ties closed.
Let’s briefly review each.
Elastic Band with Velcro Close
Elastic band wrist wraps with the Velcro close are the most common style. You can get them really tight and stiff, so they can be quite supportive.
They are pretty easy to get on, especially is they have a sewn-in thumb loop.
The downside to this style is they are bulky, the Velcro will eventually wear out, and they may not be as comfortable as the cloth wraps.
Cloth Band with Strap Tie
Cloth wraps are comfortable, breathable, not bulky and they can be supportive if they are adjusted tight enough.
This style of wrist wrap has no stretch, and you simply twist the cloth to make them tighter.
Wrist Wrap FAQs
What are the Best Wrist Wraps for CrossFit?
There are many brands out there that make excellent wrist wraps for CrossFit, and choosing the best wrist wrap for CrossFit also depends on what particular activity you are doing.
For light lifting and accessory work
For WODs that do not include heavy lifting, I prefer the Rogue Wrist Wraps and Sling Shot Wrist Wraps by Mark Bell because they are flexible enough to be comfortable during the entire WOD, but can be adjusted to be more supportive when needed.
For heavy lifting
If the WOD includes heavy lifting, you need a more supportive, stiffer wrap. In this case, the best wrist wrap for CrossFit heavy lifts are Sling Shot Gangsta Wraps or Contraband Heavy or Extreme level wrist wraps, which have more support.
What Size Wrist Wraps for CrossFit?
The longer the wrap, the more supportive, stiff and bulky it will be.
If you lift heavy, you want a longer wrap. If you are doing accessory work, or lifting light to moderate weight, a shorter wrap is what you are after.
I will say this; many who get the shortest, 12 inch wrap, wish they had gotten a longer wrap. You can always wear the wrap looser for comfort, but it’s hard to make a short wrap any more supportive since it only circles your wrist about one and a half times.
What Exercises Should You Use Wrist Wraps for in CrossFit?
Wrist wraps are used for both heavy lifting and other high volume CrossFit exercises that place strain on the wrists. Even bodyweight exercises, if done enough, can strain the wrists.
Your wrists have some delicate small bones and the cartilage can get damages from repetitions as well as heavy lifts, and that damage takes time for your body to repair.
Here is a list of the most common exercises where CrossFit athletes use wrist wraps:
- Heavy Snatches
- Overhead Squats
- Front Squats
- Hand Stand Push Ups
- Clean and Jerk
When do I recommend you use wrist wraps?
For all the exercises listed above, for all Olympic lifts and any time you do an exercise that involves the wrists somehow and you find they are sore afterward.
What is the Difference Between Lifting Wraps and Lifting Straps?
- Wrist wraps support the wrist. They protect the joints and cartilage, prevent the wrist from flexing back, excess flexion and immobilize the wrist during heavy lifts, preventing strain and injury.
- Wrist straps are a tool, used to improve or increase your grip. The strap wraps around your wrist and the barbell allowing you to hold the barbell easier. Wrist straps insure that a weak grip does not prevent you from reaching your max potential on the lift.
If you are interested in seeing more wrist wraps I have a list of the best wrist straps for lifting here.
If you are curious about wrist straps, take a look here, I have put together this collection of the best wrist straps for heavy lifting.
That’s a Wrap!
I hope this list of reviews of the best wrist wraps for CrossFit helps you find the right pair for you.
While we are on the subject, if you are considering building a CrossFit gym in your home or garage, I have just the thing for you.
This carefully chosen list of the best CrossFit equipment to build your garage gym has all the equipment you need to build a fully functioning CrossFit gym.
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