Best Gymnastic Hand Grips

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

13 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
148 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best gymnastic hand grips

Last Updated December 2019

When you are working out using any kind of bar, your skin can develop calluses. If you continue to work out, those calluses can dry out and rip off, taking strips of skin with them. Yes, it is as painful as it sounds. Whether you are doing the uneven bars or CrossFit training, your hands need to be protected. A quality pair of gymnastic hand grips is designed to do exactly that.

The best gymnastic hand grips are durable and comfortable. They should fit snugly over your fingers and attach securely to your wrists. Hand grips are textured to provide a good grip on the apparatus. Gymnastic hand grips for beginners may not have a dowel that runs along the top of the grips, but an advanced gymnast will want this feature as it helps you move more easily around the bar.

If you’d like to learn more about gymnastic hand grips, our buying guide has all the details. If you’re already familiar with what makes for an exceptional pair of grips, consider one of the highly rated products we’ve spotlighted in the matrix above.

Women’s and men’s gymnastic hand grips differ in construction and use. Be sure you purchase the appropriate pair for your needs.

Key considerations

Although most gymnastic hand grips are designed for gymnasts, other individuals can also benefit from a little hand protection, such as weightlifters.

Gymnastic hand grips

Hand grips for gymnastics are more rugged than other types of hand grips. You’ll want grips manufactured using thick leather that conforms closely to your hand as you break in the grips. They also need to have a textured surface that won’t slip from the bar when you are doing hip circles or giants. The preferred wrist strap is a buckle. That way the athlete can be certain the grips will have no way of coming undone in the middle of a difficult move. These types of grips can have two or three finger holes, and you’ll want those holes to be a little small so the grips fit snugly and stay on your hand. Lastly, gymnastic hand grips for advanced gymnasts feature a small dowel across the top of each grip to help with movement around the bar.

Other types of hand grips

Although the fit is important, hand grips that will be used for lifting weights do not have to be quite so snug and secure as those needed when rotating around a bar. However, a pair of hand grips that you use for CrossFit training needs to be a little more versatile because you will be using your hands in a wider variety of positions. The ideal pair will absorb sweat so the bar doesn’t slip in your grasp, be comfortable, and have a secure but easily removable wrist strap, usually Velcro. Often these types of hand grips will have two or three finger holes, but some more closely resemble a glove and feature four finger holes.

EXPERT TIP

Always keep a backup pair of broken-in gymnastic hand grips with you in case the pair you are using breaks.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Shape

Gymnastic hand grips are available in three general shapes: skinny, straight, or curved.

  • Skinny: Skinny gymnastic hand grips are the narrowest in design. They feature the least amount of protection because they are just a thin strip that covers the center of the hand. The reason an individual might prefer a skinny hand grip is because it gives the most natural feel when gripping a bar.
  • Straight: Gymnastic hand grips with a straight design offer the most protection as they feature a wide bar that covers more of the hand. The downside is that these grips are the hardest to get used to.
  • Curved: A curved grip is a hybrid. This grip resembles an hourglass shape in that it is a bit thinner in the middle and wider at the top and bottom. These hand grips offer more protection than skinny grips and more of a natural feel than straight grips.

Wrist straps

The two main types of wrist straps are a buckle, which is more secure, or a hook-and-loop design, which is held together with Velcro. A buckle provides more security and support, but a hook-and-loop fastener can be adjusted to a precise tightness and it is easier to operate.

Finger holes

In general, the more finger holes your gymnastic hand grips have, the more they will protect your hands. A grip with two holes is only two fingers wide, but a grip with four finger holes will cover most of your hand.

Moisture-wicking

Some grips designed for CrossFit have moisture-wicking materials, so your hands won’t slip. Gymnasts use chalk for the same reason.

Texture

The surface of your gymnastic hand grips should have some kind of texture to help you get a better grip on whatever you are grasping.

Flexibility

Hand grips used for CrossFit training need to be a little thinner and more versatile so that you can engage in a wider range of activities.

Carrying bag

If your gymnastic hand grips come with a carrying bag, that is an appreciated bonus.

Washer/dryer-friendly

Some gymnastic hand grips designed for CrossFit training can be machine-washed. Most hand grips, however, cannot be machine-washed, so be certain to read the care instructions carefully when you get your new hand grips.

EXPERT TIP

Even if you are wearing gymnastic hand grips, your hands can still develop calluses and tear, so it’s important to keep your calluses smooth and your hands moisturized.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Gymnastic hand grip prices

Inexpensive

If you are looking for a light-duty pair of generic gymnastic hand grips suitable for weightlifting, kettlebells, or CrossFit training, you can find what you need for $5 to $10.

Mid-range

For a more durable, better-fitting pair of gymnastic hand grips, you’ll want to look in the $10 to $20 price range. These grips are designed to be more comfortable, and they may come with a free grip bag.

Expensive

If you want something suitable for competitive gymnastics, you’ll want to look at hand grips that are $35 or more.

EXPERT TIP

Although spraying gymnastic hand grips with water is a common practice for some gymnasts, it will accelerate their deterioration.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • If your gymnastic hand grips are too small or too large, they won’t adequately protect your hands while practicing and performing, and they could become a safety concern.
  • Most manufacturers make gymnastic hand grips in four or five sizes. It’s important to understand, however, that sizing is not consistent between manufacturers.
  • Hand measurements are taken from the tip of the index finger to the bottom of the palm.
  • Consult the sizing chart from the manufacturer to determine which size gymnastic hand grips you need.
  • The finger holes in gymnastic hand grips are designed to be small for a snug fit. If they are too tiny, you can widen them with a piece of sandpaper wrapped around a pencil.

Other products we considered

In the event that you are searching for something a little different, here are a few more highly rated gymnastic hand grips for your consideration. The WOD Nation Leather Gymnastic Hand Grips are designed to protect you when doing any kind of exercise that may damage the palms of your hands. Each pair comes with its own carrying bag. The Fit Vikings Gymnastic Hand Grips are sweat-absorbing lifting gloves with three finger holes that are designed to provide you with a surer grip. These gymnastic hand grips are available in blue, brown, or red. If you’re looking for a pair of grips manufactured especially for the uneven bars, the Reisport Ladies’ Uneven Bar Hand Grips are what you want. These high-end hand grips will allow you to excel in any competition.

Even if you haven’t advanced to doing circles around a bar, if your hands hurt, a quality pair of gymnastic hand grips will make practicing longer easier.

FAQ

Q. Do I really need gymnastic hand grips?
A.
Athletes who prefer to keep the skin on their hands healthy and free from calluses will benefit greatly from wearing gymnastic hand grips. Besides protecting your hands, grips do what their name suggests: they give you a better grip. You may not need grips right away, but as soon as you are performing moves that involve rotating fully around a bar, you will want a pair. The earlier you start wearing gymnastic hand grips, the easier it is to get used to them.

Q. My gymnastic hand grips are stiff, and it’s hard to hold onto the bar. How do I break them in?
A.
Like a baseball glove, gymnastic hand grips need to be broken in before they are comfortable and effective. It’s best to start slowly, breaking your new grips in by doing simple hangs and swings on the rings or bars until they get softer and begin molding to both your hands and the bar.

Q. How do I care for my gymnastic hand grips?
A.
You will want to keep your gymnastic hand grips in a grip bag and remember to brush off any excess chalk before putting them away. A grip brush can help you break up some of that caked-on chalk, plus it will roughen up the surface of your grips so they don’t become slippery.

Q. How do I know when it’s time to replace my gymnastic hand grips?
A.
Any sign of wear and tear can be a signal that your grips need to be replaced. Typical wear spots are overall thinning of the leather, small tears in the sides, holes near the wrist, stitching that is coming undone, and tears in the Velcro. Additionally, hand grips that no longer fit properly need to be replaced.

The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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