I’ve never liked wrist straps, knee sleeves or belts. And before I start, there is nothing wrong with any elite level lifter or strongman that uses them. If you want to break records and win competitions then you want to be as safe as possible when you’re pushing your body to its maximum limits.
My beef is with the warm up guys. If you look like your overprotective mum has just bought you your first skateboard for Christmas and you’ve got the elbow pads, glow in the dark helmet and all the trimmings for your warm up sets…. then I’ve got a problem.
Our body has the capacity to do a lot of stuff, then do it better…. then do it EVEN BETTER. If you feel the need to strap yourself up every time you train then my question to you is: why is your training making you feel weak?
Any time I ever felt that I was losing my position in a movement, I went back to bracing. Maybe my awareness had slipped, maybe my position needed readjusted, maybe I missed something the first time I was shown the movement. When that happens to me it’s time for video analysis, asking a coach for assistance and research. Saying I’ll just use a belt and straps from now on is a bit of a cop out. Again, unless you’re a competitive strength athlete doing god-like sets.
When we get a niggle or something doesn’t feel right, one of two things happen:
- You look for a quick fix and just carry on, but that will do nothing for your long term development. Plus, what if you’re only masking an issue and the damage is still happening? A simple hip opener could completely fix the problem.
- Number two is even worse “Oh, I’ll just not do that then” emmmmmm, what? You’re willing to just give up something you love because you’ve had a bit of a setback? Good luck with relationships!
Time and time again I say it, if you get a cut, it scabs over, it heals, why would inside your body be any different? Because refusing to work on how to move better is like you getting that same cut and constantly picking at the scab so it can’t heal. You should devote time every session to see if the movement you’re doing can be made better. What you can squat a few hundred kilos? Well can you make your air squat look as if you have that same solid tension as you do with the weight? No? So….. you can’t even squat your own bodyweight? What business do you have with weights then?
This is not a life to wrap yourself up in bubble wrap. Learn how to be stronger unassisted, you should be able to wrestle a bear in the nude …… or something like that! The more aids you use the more reliant you become on them, and why would your body work efficiently if you’re giving it aid?
Save the straps and suits and belts for the big boys, if you build a solid foundation on awareness and movement then by all means you too could become a big boy and EARN the right to wear the armour when going into battle.