Strap Freckles

Sometime last year I lost one of the plain cotton webbing lifting straps I had been using for years and had to get a new pair. These new ones have some sort of nylon polyester synthetic whatever in the weave, supposedly indestructible and blah blah, and I hate them — though not quite enough to overcome my natural frugality and replace them. They give me strap freckles.

The medical term is “petechiae,” for whomever cares to know — pinpoint bleeding into the skin (on the back of my hands, because the straps cinch around the wrists) from increased local pressure. In my case they go away in a day or so, but it’s irritating. You can just see them in the picture.

I certainly don’t deadlift anything like some guys can handle (I once witnessed a powerlifting competitor psych up for a 615-pound triple by banging his head smartly on the power rack, but that’s another story). I do a little more of a straight-leg than this guy (who is not using straps) but not a complete lockout, and I take it down below the level of the platform, so less is more.

I can’t imagine what happens when someone hucks even 200 with these unyielding motherfuckers. Maybe guys have thicker skin. The old straps had that little bit of natural-fiber give and didn’t choke off my wrist circulation to the point of exploding my surface capillaries. Of course I can just see myself calling 1-800-STRAP4U or someplace like that and asking if the straps have a little give in em and does anyone return them because of purple polka dots, because bets no one else cares about this kind of thing.

You know what I mean, right? The design and marketing people get focused on one thing about a product and never notice the really important detail… to you, anyway?

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6 thoughts on “Strap Freckles

  1. So, the watch is not the lifting strap, right? What are lifting straps for anyway? I thought you were supposed to bend your knees and lift heavy weights with your legs, that guy looks like he is going to destroy his back in my humble and unschooled in weightlifting opinion.

    Just another problem I will probably never have to face. If I was you, I’d chuck the synthetic straps and spring for new natural fiber ones. Surely they can’t be that expensive. How much are your capillaries worth to you, anyway?

  2. I only deadlift a couple times a week and it’s gone overnight, so I can live with it. I build capillaries like my lawn grows dandelions.

    I should have taken a shot of myself strapped to the bar but there was a logistical problem with that.

    You’ll notice in the float over the video that there are repeated instructions to “keep the chest proud,” i.e., retain a postural extension in the back muscles. You hoick the weight starting with the buttocks and secondarily with the posterior trunk muscles; these are the targets of the move. Like any lift, you could hurt yourself doing it wrong; that is why people make videos like this one. Belts and straps are another layer of precaution. The strap loops around your wrist and then you wrap it a few turns around the bar before gripping on top of the strap, which means the bar is hanging from your arm as well as being clutched in your hand, and its own weight presses the loops of strap into your palm, sparing your grip.

    If you do this one right, it actually forces a functional symmetry between the lower back muscles that corrects a lot of asymmetrical wear and tear from daily living. You canNOT do it sloppily — you will hear from your back before the weight’s even off the ground. It has a sort of didactic reward, as an imperative instrument of postural education.

    • I stop at about fifty on them things. It’s the wonderful DIY chiropractic effect I get from the deadlift that keeps me coming back. And don’t we all lift partly out of some kind of vanity? I had a guy walk up to me today and tell me I hadn’t aged since he last belonged to this particular gym twelve years ago. Hee hee.

  3. Pingback: 1-800-STRAP4U « Sixteen Tons

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