Elbow Wraps: A Definitive Exploration of their Uses and Benefits

Shayla Whitter

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Elbow wraps are an important piece of equipment for any bodybuilder. They can be used to protect your elbows from injury, and they allow you to lift more weight than you would without them. 

Knowing how to use elbow wraps is key if you want the best results out of your workout. This blog post will teach you everything that there is to know about this popular fitness tool!

Elbow Wraps: Historical Overview

We’ll start with a brief history of the invention of elbow wraps, so you understand the origins of why people wrap their elbows in order to do their workouts.

Wrapping your arms has been around since ancient times; it was believed that wrapping one’s arms improved performance in battle by strengthening muscles and protecting against injuries like broken bones or sprains.

Alexander the great was one of the first people to utilize elbow wraps in his day-to-day activities. He is widely recorded as wearing cloth wraps around his upper arms to improve his overall strength; he used them regularly when he trained, and on the battlefield.

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, weight training became something that was done to improve fitness levels. 

It was not until then that people began wrapping their elbows for workouts, as this new practice would help them to lift more weight than they would have been able to without wrapping. 

People began wrapping their arms for weightlifting as early as 1891, shortly after it became a popular workout activity.

Some sports are still using elbow wraps today! In fact, many wrestling competitions require wrestlers to wear elbow pads so they don’t suffer dangerous injuries.

What Do Elbow Wraps Do?

As mentioned before, elbow wraps give you extra support while lifting weights. They make your elbows feel like they are surrounded by a soft cushion that allows you to push more weight without straining your joints or tendons.

They also prevent overuse injuries by reducing the amount of pressure that is put on the ligaments around the elbow joint.

While it is true that elbow wraps do protect your bones from injury, the primary reason why bodybuilders wear wraps is to improve performance in their workouts.  Just like any type of workout gear, they can make or break a weight training program. 

Elbow Wraps VS Elbow Sleeves

There is so much confusion regarding elbow wraps and elbow sleeves. We will guide you about the differences between these two for clarity. 

Neoprene Elbow Wraps

Elbow wraps are available in a wide variety, but neoprene elbow wraps are comfortable due to their stretchability. These elbow wraps provide elbow joints with enough support and stability. 

The price of neoprene elbow wraps is slightly higher than the rest. On the other hand, elbow sleeves only provide comfort while its price is lower than the elbow wraps.

Cotton/ Polyester Elbow Wraps

The people who are confused about buying either elbow sleeves or elbow wraps, you must buy these types of elbow wraps. 

Cotton material is comfortable on the other hand, polyester provides stability. The extra padding of polyester holds the elbow joint in place and provides more strength to lift the weight. 

In conclusion, both elbow sleeves and elbow wraps have their specific properties, but it only depends on how you use them. We advise you to buy both, and use them according to your training requirement. 

Benefits of Elbow Wraps

Elbow wraps have modified the weightlifting capacity of the bodybuilder, but let’s see what are the other benefits of elbow wraps?

  • Bare arms and elbows are more prone to injury, whereas elbow wraps protect your elbow joint from workout injuries. Moreover, it enhances your capability for weightlifting. 
  • As elbow wraps work as a shield for your elbow joint, it prevents sudden jerks to your joint and provides better stability during weight lifting exercises. 
  • Weight lifting is not as easy as it seems; it requires a lot of energy and force. You might experience extra pressure on your elbow joint. Elbow wraps help in decreasing pressure on your elbow joint.
  • After any workout, you feel muscle soreness. The same happens in weight lifting, but if you wear elbow wraps before starting weightlifting, you are likely to experience less soreness in your muscles. 
  • Elbow wraps are easier to wear and handle. They can easily get fixed under your gym suit. 
  • You are concerned about how they will look. Your problem is sorted. If we talk about the aesthetic appearance of elbow wraps, they are available in unique bright colors which will compliment your gym gear. 

When Should You Use an Elbow Wrap

Most people are pretty good at lifting weights without elbow compression wraps, but they can still be a useful tool in your weight training arsenal.

Here’s how you should use them –

It’s a good idea to wear elbow wraps when you are first starting out with an exercise program, so your joints can get used to working under stress.

When Recovering From Injury, Conditioning, Or Getting In Shape

If you are coming back from an injury or just trying to regain your strength after taking time off from working out for a while, then elbow compression wraps will help stabilize your joints and prevent further injuries as you build up muscle mass again.

They can also be worn during other types of exercises that don’t put stress on the elbow joint. For example – after doing leg workouts with barbell squats and lunges, it’s important to wear compression wraps on your knees so they won’t swell up too much afterward.

When Lifting Heavy Weights

If your workout calls for using weights that exceed 50 pounds of resistance, then elbow compression sleeves and elbow wraps become necessary to prevent injury.  

Even if you don’t plan on moving half a ton of weight, sometimes extra support is needed.

For Instance

If you are using heavyweights on one arm and then switch arms to lift with the other, compression wraps will help stabilize your joints as you transition from lifting with one arm to the next.

When Working With Light Weights

If the weights you are using don’t exceed 40 pounds of resistance, then elbow sleeves or wraps aren’t necessary to protect your elbow joint. 

You can get the same effect by wearing elbow pads underneath your workout shirt or using a piece of cloth to wrap around your elbows.

Whenever You Need More Elbow Support

If it feels like your elbows are working too hard or getting sore during an exercise session, try wearing elbow compression sleeves or wraps and see if they can take some stress off of your muscles and stabilize the joint while letting you move freely.

Also Read: 4 Essential Neck Strengthening Exercises for Boxers

How to Put on Elbow Wraps

You might not have to wrap your elbows at all while lifting weights, but it is important to know how to do it if you decide that elbow wraps are necessary for protecting your joints during an exercise session. Here’s how you can do the job right –

  • Hygiene comes first. Always check your elbow wraps are clean and fully dry before applying them. Otherwise, it can cause itching or rash while you are working out. 
  • There are two ends of the elbow wraps, one end is wrapped around your wrist, the other end to your elbow. You can adjust its tightness according to your comfort. 
  • One wrap of elbow wrap is not enough. Elbow wraps are long enough to be wrapped multiple times. So make sure the elbow wraps have the proper grip when wrapped multiple times.
  • If you are not sure that you have firmly tied the elbow wraps, you can use athletic tape to secure it in place. This is a double safety element that elbow wraps won’t loosen during weight lifting. 

How Much do Elbow Wraps Add to Bench Press

One of the most common fitness-related questions is – “Do elbow wraps help me lift more weight on the bench press?”

The answer is, yes they do. If you are doing standard bench presses with 45-pound dumbbells and your elbows start to hurt during your set, taking a few seconds to slip on some elbow sleeves or elbow wraps can make a big difference. 

The extra support makes it easier to get the last couple of repetitions completed without having to take a break and recover your strength.

If you substitute in a heavier weight, then elbow wraps become necessary for keeping your elbows healthy and strong – if you are lifting weights over 60 pounds that put a lot of stress on your joints, then wearing elbow compression wraps is a must.

You may not be able to lift as much weight without the added support, but you will get better results.

Also Read: Booty Goals Unleashed: The Ultimate Kas Glute Bridge Guide

Final Words

Elbow wraps do help take the stress off of your elbow joints and stabilize them to prevent injuries, but they aren’t always necessary if you are lifting weights that don’t exceed 40 pounds. 

If the weights you lift are heavier than this, then elbow compression sleeves or elbow wraps can provide more support for your elbows without getting in the way of exercising.

Keep in mind that you should take care not to wrap them too tightly, which can create its own injury problems. And make sure your elbow sleeves and wraps are clean and dry before putting them on to avoid infections or rashes.

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