Do your hands and wrists hurt during deadlifts? Are you recovering from a wrist injury? Or do you need wrist supports for boxing, yoga, gymnastics, or CrossFit?
In today’s article, we’re going to discuss the importance of wrist wraps and go through the best wrist wraps you can buy in 2020 for your specific training needs.
Why You Need Wrist Wraps
Let’s address the elephant in the room first.
I talked in a recent article about gym stigma (particularly related to weight lifting).
There seems to be the unspoken rule at most gyms that support gear like gym gloves and wrist wraps are for “sissies”.
This is, of course, ridiculous because there are many benefits to wearing support gear.
I mean, come on, you’re lifting heavy weights. You’re putting your joints, tendons, and muscles through strenuous work 3-5 times a week.
You need to ask yourself the following:
Do you want to be a gym “tough guy/girl” calling it quits at 40 because you have painful tendonitis and early onset arthritis?
Or do you want to wear wrist wraps and increase your weight lifting longevity and quality of life when you get older?
You’ve all (I hope) chosen option B, so let’s move on and talk about wrist wraps benefits!
Wrist Wraps Benefits
There are (surprisingly) many benefits to wrist wraps besides providing support for your wrists. Let’s go through them.
The main benefit though is, of course, wrist support.
Many of you will struggle with weak wrists when you first start weight lifting.
Not because you’re weak but because wrists aren’t something you naturally gain strength in unless you regularly lift heavy weights.
When you start out at the gym you’re probably going to be faced with the problem of wanting to increase your lifts but being unable to because your wrists aren’t strong enough yet.
This is a common problem for exercises like bench press and shoulder press.
But fear not. Buy yourself a good pair of wrist wraps and you can quickly erase this problem.
Try not to be overly reliant on wrist wraps though because you want to want to increase your wrist strength over time. I’d advise wearing them only on exercises that you really struggle on.
Although wrist pain during weight lifting is usually related to weak wrists, it’s also quite common to experience wrist pain for other reasons.
Many of you, for example, might experience wrist pain on bicep exercises like barbell curls or preacher curls.
I had a friend who only experienced pain on those exercises only, even after he decreased the weight he was lifting.
His pain problems were instantly solved when he started wearing wrist supports.
Lower the weight you’re lifting if you experience pain on certain exercises because it might be because you’re trying to lift too much, but you should buy wrists wraps if the pain persists.
Wrist Protection (from pain and injury)
Wrist wraps aren’t exclusively for weight lifting (even though I’ve been harping on about weight lifting for most of the article so far!).
You also need wrist wraps if you train in combat sports like boxing, Muay Thai, or mixed martial arts.
Please don’t be one of those people hitting the punching bag without wrist wraps or gloves. The cringe is overwhelming.
Wrist wraps are essential for combat sports because they offer much-needed wrist protection as well as knuckle protection.
Please don’t hit a bunch bag or spar without them!
Some wrist wraps come with hand grip support as well.
You might prefer liquid chalk or weight lifting gloves for grip but there are some really good wrist wraps that come with grips as well.
They are ideal for exercises like deadlifts and bent over rows.
Improving your technique is a big reason why you should buy wrist supports.
I’m talking about bench press in particular.
If you have sweaty palms like me you’re going to struggle to keep your knuckles facing the ceiling during your bench press.
This is a real problem because when your knuckles slide back, weight is shifted onto your wrists instead of your chest.
I increased my bench press by nearly 10kg the first time I wore wrist wraps simply because I was able to perform the correct technique.
You need to seriously consider purchasing wrists wraps If you’ve experienced muscle injuries multiples time throughout your life.
Don’t be the “tough guy/girl” we talked about earlier. Get yourself some wrist wraps and avoid recurring wrist injuries.
It goes without saying that you should wear a wrist support if you’re recovering from a wrist injury.
Oftentimes people will start weight lifting before they’ve fully recovered and ended up injuring themselves again.
Purchase a good wrist support so you don’t fall victim to injury setbacks.
How to Choose the Best Wrist Wraps
Before we get to the main crux of the article (the 7 best wrist wraps you can buy in 2020) I want to explain my methodology.
If you’ve read one of my reviews already you know that I don’t like to do the conventional review tactic that most websites do: the 5 best [insert product] followed by a short list of pros and cons, and an affiliate link.
I review and recommend fitness gear based on your training needs.
Therefore, I’m not going to just list the 5 most popular wrist wraps, I’m going review and recommend the best wrist wraps for your specific training needs.
So, the best wrist wraps for:
- Bench press;
- Squats and Crossfit;
- Sprains and carpal tunnel.
I’m fairly confident that you’re looking to buy wrist wraps for at least one of those types of training!
How Does My Ranking System Work?
I’ve ranked the best wrist wraps for each category by the following benchmarks:
- Wrist support;
- Additional benefits;
- Consumer reviews;
The 7 Best Wrist Wraps to Buy in 2020
Let’s get to it with no further ado!
Best Wrist Wraps for Lifting
Lifting exercises like deadlifts primarily require grip support.
Do you deadlift without grip support? Big mistake.
I’ve talked in previous articles about how I struggled to increase my deadlifts because my grip kept slipping when I reached a certain point. I increased them by 20kg though as soon as I purchased a decent pair of wrist wraps.
Cobra Grips PRO
Cobra Grips Pro are the best wrist wraps for heavy lifting exercises like deadlifts and and bent over rows. Let’s examine why.
Although the main feature of these wraps is the gripping hooks for heavy lifting, they do also deliver decent support for your wrists.
Make no mistake though, there are better wraps for wrist support. Only buy Cobra Grips for exercises like deadlifts and bent over barbell rows.
Many wrist wraps are tight around your wrists which can cause severe discomfort and cut off blood circulation.
Cobra Grips alleviate this problem by resting on the base of your hand and they also feature comfortable padding.
This makes them a great choice of wrist wrap for pain-free support.
Cobra Grips are heavy duty and extremely well made.
You can only get a year or two out of most wrist wraps, but you’ll get a few years out of these.
Cobra Grips are a decent choice If you don’t want to fork out on 2 or 3 different types of wrist wraps because they’re quite versatile.
They provide decent wrist support and fantastic grip, so are suitable for most exercises.
Just be aware that they’re not suitable for boxing (obviously), yoga or gymnastics, and wouldn’t be a great choice for CrossFit.
I personally really like the style of Cobra Grips.
They look pretty badass and have a cool name. You should be able to get away with them if you are concerned about your tough guy gym rep 😛
As first mentioned, Cobra Grips shine when it comes to grip support for lifting exercises.
You simply won’t find a better wrist wrap option for deadlifts or pulling exercises like bent over rows.
They’re also one size fits all which is great considering many people struggle with wrist wrap sizes.
At 4.7 stars based on over 1,500 reviews, they have fantastic reviews across the board.
Here’s what a couple of people have said about them:
“These grips are great! Incredible functionality, cool design, very durable. Overall great purchase!” – BBryant
“I’ve been using these gloves for months now and have zero complaints! I use them almost exclusively for deadlifting. My double overhand grip strength starts to give out around 250 lbs and I really dislike mixed grip, and my baby manlet hands make hook grip very difficult. Also, I don’t particularly enjoy ripping the calluses from my hand and leaving holes behind in my palm, so, enter the Cobra Grips PRO!” – J.H
At the time of writing Cobra Grips are $34.95 on Amazon.
I do put them on the pricer end of the spectrum but, to be honest, they’re a lot more durable than most other wrist wraps so I think they represent good value for money in the long-term.
Best Wrist Wraps for Bench Press
We talked earlier in the article about the type of wrist wraps you need for bench presses.
You’re looking for a strong wrist support so you can keep your knuckles facing the ceiling during the full range of motion.
Contraband Wrist Wraps
Contraband wrist wraps are the best wrist wraps for bench press.
Let’s examine why.
The main reason why I recommend Contraband Wrist Wraps the most is because they come in 24” and 36” sizes and you can choose what type of material you want.
You’ll find that most wrist wraps are 18” which doesn’t really provide you with the support you need for heavy lifting.
24” and 36” provide much better wrist support for heavy lifting.
You can also choose different variations of stretch and hard cotton to suit the weight you lift.
This means that each Contraband Wrist Wrap design is customized to suit the amount of weight that you lift on your bench press.
The light and medium variations provide extra comfort because they are medium to high stretch.
The heavy and extreme variations feature harder cotton and less stretch though, so aren’t quite as comfortable as the light and medium variations.
The reality is though that the heavier the weight you lift, the more uncomfortable it’s likelier to be.
Most of you will be within the light or medium range (up to 113kg bench press), so the wraps should be comfortable for you.
The heavy range covers your bench up to 226kg and they still feature some elastic material for comfort.
Overall I think the comfort level is very good unless you bench over 226kg. I’d be surprised (and very impressed) if you can bench more than that!
Contraband Wrist Wraps are good quality but with the type of material they’re made out of you should probably expect to get a year out of them, perhaps two.
The wraps do what they say on the tin.
They provide great wrist support for bench presses in particular and can be used for most bodybuilding exercises for those of you that struggle with weak wrists or wrist pain.
You’re going to be disappointed if you expect James Bond-eque gadgets to pop out of them though.
Pretty standard unless you have a fetish for black and red (why do I get the feeling that one of you is blushing right about now?).
Again, pretty standard.
Contraband Wrist Wraps are great wrist supports for bodybuilding exercises like bench presses.
They have a very impressive 4.7 stars rating based on nearly 400 consumer reviews.
Let’s take a look at what some people have said:
“I have been a competitive lifter for over 30 years. Wrist support while heavy benching is critical. I purchased the 2-Stripe Heavy (BLACK/RED) wraps 24″ and they are exactly as described: they stretch, but they are quite stiff – perfect for my needs.”
“Very comfortable wraps and I definitely notice a lot more stability during my heavy lifts. I do not always wear them because it does reduce the actual strength of your wrists. However, if you suffer from wrist pain or just want to improve those heavy lifts then I would definitely recommend these!” – Joey
At $12.99 (at the time of writing) I think Contraband Wrist Wraps are a steal! There’s honestly no excuse not to buy a pair If you’re serious about progressive bodybuilding!
Best Wrist Wraps for Squats & Best Wrist Wraps for CrossFit
You only need basic levels of wrist support for squats because most of the weight should fall on your back. Wrist wraps are needed to stop your knuckles rolling back because it adds lots of pressure to your wrists, which can cause pain and injury.
You also only need basic levels of wrist support for CrossFit because you’re not pulling or pressing heavy weight. CrossFit is primarily high-volume reps.
Let’s take a look at the best wrist wraps for squats and the best wrist wraps for CrossFit.
Rip Toned Wrist Wraps
I’ve chosen Rip Toned Wrist Wraps because they’re very high quality and comfortable, and they offer surprisingly strong wrist support to say they’re only 18” long.
Rip Toned Wrist Wraps features high grade elastic and quality stitching for comfortable, yet strong wrist support.
I’ve graded them 3 stars for support simply because there are stronger wrist support options, but I’d grade them 5 stars if I was solely comparing them with other mid-level strength wrist supports.
The high grade elastic and reinforced thumb loops make these wraps extremely comfortable.
The high-quality stitching makes these wraps more durable than other brands but they are probably going to go through your washing machine a few times.
Expect to get 1 or 2 years out of them.
I would actually glass these wraps as very versatile because you can use them for most exercises.
I’ve knocked a star off because they don’t offer any grip support.
I’ve already made my black and red fetish joke once, so I’m not going to do it again!
They’re a pretty standard black and red style. I wouldn’t suggest wearing them on a date with your other half!
Many of you might be here because you’re sick and tired of throwing away wrist wraps after they cut off your blood circulation.
Aside from the quality of material, what really separates these wraps from others is that they won’t cut off your circulation.
They’re actually the best-reviewed wrist wraps on Amazon at 4.6 stars based on a whopping 3,100 reviews!
Let’s see what some people have said about them:
“Bottom Line – This is a must have for anyone new to CrossFit, Olympic lifting, etc. who find that their wrists hurt during exercise. This product will significantly reduce, or in my case, eliminate your wrist pain during workouts. Without the wrist pain, I was able to focus more on proper form, leading to a better workout and better and quicker results.” – bgallday
“One of my only reviews ever on Amazon. These are amazing and very high quality. I mean REALLY high quality. Was extremely and pleasantly surprised.” – Bryan Bloom
At the time of writing Rip Toned Wrist Wraps are only $12.99. They’re definitely worth it if you need mid-level wrist support for squats or CrossFit.
Best Wraps for Boxing
It’s very important to support your wrists and protect your knuckles when you’re hitting a heavy bag, sparring, or fighting.
You need a great pair of boxing wraps, it’s as simple as that.
I’ve been boxing for several years and I’ve honestly gone through more than a dozen pairs.
I finally tried Pro Impact Hand Wraps and I haven’t looked back since.
Pro Impact Hand Wraps
There are 3 main things you need to look for in boxing wraps:
- Wrist support;
- Knuckle support;
Pro Impact Hand Wraps tick each box and are without a doubt the best wraps for boxing. Let’s take a further look.
Wrist & Knuckle Support
For some reason, most retail shops these days sell flashy looking glove style wraps. They’re absolutely terrible and you should avoid them.
You need 180” length wraps like Pro Impact Wraps so you can fully support both your wrists and knuckles.
Pro Impact Wraps are made out of high-quality cotton and spandex. This is an ideal combination because you need strong material for protection, and you need spandex for comfort and to avoid cutting off your blood circulation.
They also feature oversized hooks and velcro straps to make sure they stay secure during your workout.
You’re going to sweat buckets during your boxing workouts (if you work as hard as you should!) so it’s inevitable that you’re going to need to regularly wash your wraps.
I’ve found Pro Impact to be more durable than most wrist wraps though, probably because they’re made out of cotton. Expect to get 12-18 months out of them. (You’re lucky to get 6 months out of most boxing wraps).
You might want to buy 2 or 3 pairs so you can rotate washing them.
These wraps are actually quite versatile because you can use them for other combat sports like MMA, kickboxing, and Muay Thai.
I’d give them 2 stars but you can choose from several different colors, so I’ll give them 3.
I don’t think style is very important for boxing wraps though, do you?
I recommend Pro Impact Hand Wraps purely for combat sports.
They are one of the best-reviewed boxing hand wraps with a very respectable 4.5 stars based on nearly 1,000 reviews.
Let’s take a look at what some people have said:
“Top-quality wraps. Just the right amount of stretch in them; wide velcro section for fastening; even writing on the inside saying “this side up”. Highly recommended (I’ve been boxing for nearly 20 years and have tried many different brands).” – Sam Mullins
“Best wraps that I have found!!!!! I use them with all my clients, they are thick, provide extra protection and feel so much better than standard wraps.” – Frank J
At the time of writing they’re $9.99, which is perhaps a little more than most hand wraps.
If I’m being brutally honest though, most hand wraps (especially the $2.99-$6.99 ones) are poor quality and a waste of money.
You won’t regret shelling out an extra couple of dollars for superior wraps. Trust me.
If I would have bought them from the get go I would have saved myself more than $30 in wasted purchases over the years.
Best Wrist Wraps for Yoga
Yes, believe it or not, I do actually do yoga!
I didn’t do yoga for many years because I considered myself too macho, but after suffering from tendonitis in my hamstrings through running I can’t say enough about how beneficial yoga is for injury prevention, injury recovery, and dexterity.
Running and weightlifting have become a lot easier for me over the past couple of years because of yoga.
I suggest giving it a go if you haven’t already!
I’m going to throw you a curveball here because I don’t actually recommend wrist wraps for yoga! The best wrist support you can buy for yoga is a product called YogaJellies.
Let’s discuss why!
You’re putting a lot of pressure on your wrists with certain yoga exercises, and while wrist wraps can support your wrists, most of them become tight and will cut off your blood circulation.
This is especially the case for core-based yoga exercises like the Bakasana (crow pose).
YogaJellies are a better option because they cushion your body weight and take away the pressure from your wrists during hand balancing poses.
YogaJellies are all about comfort and pain relief.
I’ve done bodybuilding, boxing, MMA, and running for nearly 15 years. I can honestly say that yoga is up there with the worst on the pain meter.
Those of you who’ve done yoga before know what I’m talking about!
I can’t express how relieved I was when I started using YogaJellies! Some (not all) exercises actually become bearable!
Unless you let your dog chew them, YogaJellies will last a very long time.
This article is purely about wrist supports but it’s worth mentioning that YogaJellies are great for knee, shoulder, hips, foot, back, elbows, and forearm support too!
They’re extremely versatile for yoga practitioners.
You can buy them in 6 different colors but I wouldn’t exactly class them as a fashion piece!
I’ve given YogaJellies 3 stars for additional benefits because they’re very beneficial for those of you who suffer from carpal tunnel.
This little niche product is very well reviewed at 4.4 stars based on nearly 200 reviews.
It’s worth noting that most of the negative reviews (less than 20 overall) were from people who bought them for knee support.
The vast majority of reviews were positive from people who purchased them for wrist support.
Let’s take a look at what some people have said about them:
“I have weak wrists, have had them ever since I had a repetitive stress injury. Downward dog etc. are always difficult. These really solved it for me! I was worried the shape and firmness was not exactly right, but they work great.”
“I have to say I was genuinely impressed with these! I was super hesitant to spend the money on something so simple but after epic failures in the past, I gave this a try. They are amazing! I have carpal tunnel and terrible pains in my hands from my fibromyalgia. Granted these were not a solve all but my downward dog was a lot less painful!” – Jaclyn H
At $55, there’s no doubt that YogaJellies are at the pricier end of the spectrum.
You’re probably going to get about 1 or 2 years out of most high-quality wrist support products, so you’ll end up spending more than $55 over the course of your lifetime.
But with YogaJellies you’re getting something that will last a lot longer, so you’ll spend less in the long-term.
They also provide great value for money because they solve a key problem with many yoga exercises and because they’re so versatile.
Definitely worth the $55.
Best Wrist Wraps for Gymnastics
Gymnastics includes exercises like rings, pull-ups, and dips, so you’re looking for something with good grip support as well as wrist support.
You see many gymnasts using chalk. And I’ve got to admit, I’m a big fan of chalk as I used to use it for my deadlifts for many years.
The problem with using chalk though is that you get pretty badass calluses.
There are superior options.
Cobra Grips are the best wrist wraps for gymnastics because they provide both solid grip and wrist support.
Let’s take a further look!
Cobra Grips have built-in wrist support that rests on the base of your hand, not on your wrist. This is beneficial because the wrist support won’t dig into your wrists and cut off blood circulation.
While there are better options for pure wrist support, Cobra Grips are very solid and deserve 4 stars.
One of the things I really like about Cobra Grips is the 3 finger holes options. The holes ensure that the grips stay in place during your workout.
The velcro wrist straps are also very easy to secure in place for the duration of your workout.
These wrist wraps are made with genuine leather so they are very durable.
I’ve knocked a star off because they’re going to get a lot of wear and tear (if you do gymnastics regularly) so I think you should expect 1-2 years out of them.
They’re more durable than most other wrist wraps and grips though for sure.
Cobra Grips are quite versatile because they support your wrists and grips, and can be used for many bodybuilding exercises as well as gymnastics.
I have to say, I think Cobra Grips are very stylish! They come in black, navy blue, green, white, and red, and are designed very well.
They’d be a great choice If style is important to you.
I’ve given them three stars for this category because they are quite versatile and can be used for other exercises outside of gymnastics.
This version of Cobra Grips is quite new so they don’t have many reviews. Having said that, they do have a very impressive 4.7 stars rating so far.
Let’s take a look at what some people have said:
“I’m using these for my Olympic rings (or I’d shred my girly office job hands) they look and feel excellent quality, and you get the little thumb protector with them.” – Jaime
“I’m tired of constantly shredding and ripping the calluses on my hands from bar work. I decided to give these a try… and I’m glad I did! I wouldn’t say they prevent calluses and tender spots, but they definitely do prevent tearing and shredding caused by dynamic bar work.” – Drew
At $19.95, Cobra Grips are a little more expensive than other brands.
They’re definitely worth the extra few dollars though because they’re very durable and provide great wrist and grips support for gymnastic exercises.
Best Wrist Wraps for Sprains and Carpal Tunnel
Last up is wrist wraps for sprains.
You’re primarily looking for extra strong wrist support here because you’re either recovering from a wrist sprain or suffer from a wrist condition like carpal tunnel.
Mueller Wrist Brace
What can I say? You don’t need to look any further than the Mueller Wrist Brace. There simply isn’t a better option out there.
Let me explain why!
The Mueller Wrist Brace covers all of your wrist and loops around your thumb.
It features two adjustable straps to secure the brace in place and a contoured rigid stay for added support.
Suffice to say your wrist is very supported!
Most rigid wrist supports are pretty uncomfortable but not the Mueller Brace.
It’s made out of breathable materials to avoid sweat build up and features soft (but durable) outer fabric.
The brace is made of out durable materials and, because it’s so breathable, you won’t need to wash it as regularly as other wrist braces.
Expect the brace to be a one-time long-term purchase.
The Mueller brace is purely for injury recovery and wrist conditions.
It’s versatile in the sense that you can wear it all day for daily tasks and when you sleep, but it’s not versatile in the sense that you should be wearing it for workouts or other strenuous tasks.
The brace is a fairly simplistic and neutral in design. Style isn’t overly important for this type of brace I don’t think though.
I’ve given this category 4 stars because the brace is mainly made out of environmentally friendly non-petroleum materials and recycled PET bottles.
This might be an important buying factor for some of you.
The brace can also be used to support your wrist for most tasks throughout the day, which I think can be classed as an additional benefit.
Consumer Reviews (4.3 stars)
The Mueller Wrist Brace has a very solid 4.3 stars based on an epic 6,000+ reviews! It’s by far the best reviewed rigid wrist support.
Let’s take a look at what some people have said:
“I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel and was advised to do several things, one of which was getting a wrist support for my right hand. I did a lot of research before making the purchase and decided to try this product. It is exactly what I wanted. Something that did the job, day and night, of supporting my wrist at work (lots of typing) and that I could actually wear easily with an outfit that looked as “unnoticeable” as possible and was not “bulky””. – Lyn Pusztai
“The best purchase I have ever made. Every night I would go to sleep with a numb feeling in my arms. Several times throughout the night I would wake with my hands and wrists in severe pain. I knew it was carpal tunnel syndrome and I needed to do something about it. I do not think a product has ever changed my life for the better as much as these have.” – WEDisney
The price of the Mueller Wrist Brace is amazing.
At $11.60 (at the time of writing), you’re getting an absolute bargain!
So there we have it! The 7 best wrist wraps to buy in 2020!
Let’s do a quick recap before we finish.
#1) Best Wrist Wraps for Lifting – COBRA GRIPS PRO
#2) Best Wrist Wraps for Bench Press – CONTRABAND WRIST WRAPS
#3) Best Wrist Wraps for Squats and best wrist wraps for Crossfit – RIP TONED WRIST WRAPS
#4) Best Wrist Wraps for Yoga – YOGAJELLIES
#5) Best Wrist Wraps for Boxing – PRO IMPACT HAND WRAPS
#6) Best Wrist Wraps for Gymnastics – COBRA GRIPS
#7) Best Wrist Wraps for Sprains – MUELLER WRIST BRACE
Thank you for reading!
Did you find this article helpful? You might also enjoy my article on the best weight loss supplements to buy in 2020!