Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Review: Blast Straps

This review is for the Elite FTS Blast Straps.

What are they? Basically, a pair of rolling-grip handles on straps. Not rings - the handle is straight, not curved - but they cover a lot of the same ground.

What are they used for? A lot, actually.

Over on the Elite FTS page there is a PDF of exercises called the Blast Strap Report.

What I use them for, for me and for my clients:

Pushups (regular and band-resisted)
Inverted Rows (no rack for a barbell? No problem, hang the straps from anything overhead and adjust the height)
Scarecrows (a rear delt exercise)
High rows (another rear delt exercise)
Drags (click it onto a weight, drag it - it'll work with a sled too I'll bet)
Dips (one of my clients has knocked a few off on these, pretty impressive).
Strap-assisted single-leg squats and flying lunges

For those things alone, it's worth the price. There are a lot of other exercises you can do.

How are they built? The straps are solid, the buckles stand up to a lot of punishment, and the handles seem nearly indestructible. They rotate smoothly but not loosely, the straps bite into place well, and the rings and clips are heavy duty. When I strap them on, I'm worried the supporting beam, hook, or rack won't take the weight, not that the straps won't.

Anything else? Yes, they are portable. I can throw them, some grips, and some bands in a duffel bag and bring a whole-body workout with me anywhere. They come with a clip that is sufficient for heavy bag hooks and other heavy eyelets, and a pair of clip-on straps to loop around beams (2 x 4s, for example), tree branches, goal posts, monkey bars, rack crossbeams, etc. That makes it a very versatile piece of gear.

Utility: 5 out of 5. They have a very wide range of use, and are ideally suited for their intended use.
Quality/Construction: 5 out of 5. The blast straps are very, very solidly constructed. Nothing cheap here.

Overall: For the variety and portability and construction quality, it's hard to match. Well worth it. If you're debating a set of rings or these, debate carefully - rings can duplicate most of this. But if you like the rotating handle, go with the blast straps. Highly recommended

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