If you have an injury or are trying to prevent further injury, then it’s a “no brainer” to wear supportive gear. Supportive gear is designed to support and protect, but what is it doing to the muscles or other parts of your body?
When you wear wrist straps or ankle braces, the body learns to lean on the assistance and doesn’t have to work as hard. For instance, when you wear wrist straps, your grip strength is lessened by the straps, as the strap holds the majority of the weight, and therefore the gripping muscles and other normally recruited muscles are being used less. On the other hand, straps allow you to lift more weight and perform more repetitions, so whether or not you use them depends on what your goal is. (Plus, if you are worried about your grip strength, you should be doing grip strengthening exercises on a weekly basis anyway). (more…)