This photo might be all you need. Explanation follows:
I was trying to remove a heating element from this water heater. Unfortunately there was some corrosion and the element was stuck. The only tools I had for this were a tubular water heater element wrench to engage the element and a pipe wrench to apply torque. I couldn’t get enough torque with the pipe wrench because the element wrench kept slipping off the element. My solution was to use a ratchet strap wrapped around the water heater to hold the element wrench to the element. This allowed me to apply enough torque to break the element free. Once the element was free (after a quarter turn or so), I removed the ratchet strap and was able to completely remove the heating element.
I hope this helps if you find yourself in a similar situation.