When is it time to buy grips? @mayachalker

Posted by Maya Chalker on

Buying new grips can be one of the most confusing, intimidating parts of bars. How do you know what to get? I remember when I was little, still in classes and pre-team, I used to complain about my hands hurting and the occasional rip. My coach suggested that I get these beginner grips, that was basically just a piece of leather with two finger holes and a velcro strap for your wrist. You just slide your middle finger and ring finger into the holes and tighten the velcro and you’re good to go. Those are perfect for a lot of younger gymnasts doing lower level skills. As you become more advanced, I would recommend buying grips with a dowel. It helps you grip onto the bar more easily and reduces the friction so you don’t rip as much. Then, do you get rubber band or no rubber band? I always used my rubber band by pulling it down between my two fingers, then open it up and put each side around my middle and ring finger. As my grips had more wear, the finger holes would stretch out, so the rubber band just helped hold my fingers securely in the hole. But, I know some people don’t like them and just rip them off. Then for the strap, there are velcro and buckle options. I’ve used both, and I like my buckle grips more because they stay tight for longer, and for velcro grips, the velcro wears out over time and it doesn’t stick as well. I just felt more secure with single or double buckle grips, but again, it’s a personal preference. The most difficult part can be sizing. Most websites have diagrams showing what parts to measure, but just know that when you get your grips, they may look a little smaller because they’ll stretch out as you break them in and use them more. Grips are definitely something you’re going to want to break in when you first get them. They may be stiff and pretty slippery, so when you first get them, chalk them up and just swing. I would usually start with tap swings, kips, and other lower level skills so you can get used to the new feel and stretch them out a little. Some people use a grip brush to make them a little rougher to avoid slipping off of the bar, but I don’t think it’s mandatory. As you get more comfortable, you can start doing harder skills. Then, when you take them off at the end of the day, I always folded them because in my opinion, it kept them broken in. You fold the grip over the dowel (hiding it), then in half again so it makes an ‘s’ shape, and tighten the strap (velcro or buckle) around it. Then you put your grips and wristbands away for the next day!


Check how to choose the best grips for you. Our grips selection.


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