Just like with everything else, there are great gymnastics grips and then there are gymnastics grips that are not so great. Unlike other gymnastics items, like mats for instance, gymnastics grips can cause a whole lot of problems if you do not choose them correctly. If your grips lock up on you while you are on the bar it could make you fall and really hurt yourself.
If you are in too much of a hurry to sort through and to pick your own gymnastics grips, I will take the work out of it for you and will give you my picks for the top 10 gymnastics grips for you to look at and choose from. However, if you are more interested in choosing your own, then a little later I will go into more detail about what you should look for and I will explain some of the different kinds that you will see.
1. Bear KompleX 3 Hole Leather Hand Grips
These are a fairly well-known set of gymnastics grips, and they are not only great for gymnastics but they are also commonly used for other things such as weightlifting and things of that nature. Most of these are made out of genuine leather, with one of the black options being made instead out of a form of suede just in case you don’t want the bother of having to break in the leather.
The leather is quite durable and there are a few different color options that you can choose from in order to help you look more professional as you choose whatever option will best go with your competition leotard. The leather itself is quadruple-stitched so that you do not have to have any fears that it will come apart or anything.
These Bear Komplex grips also come in four different sizes with a sizing chart available to help you pick which one is the right size for you. These grips also come with the option of being 2 hole grips instead of 3 hole ones, ensuring that you will have a better fit if you happen to have hands that are on the narrow side.
Finally, the wrist straps are also very comfortable and are designed so that they will not cut into your wrists no matter what angle your hands are bent at as you rotate around the bars. This is something that is very important for a gymnast to think about.
2. AEOLOS Leather Gymnastics Hand Grips
This is another leather grip option that comes with a 3 hole design. Like the last option the leather will need to be broken in over a few uses, but this helps it to get all the better of a fit to your individual hands. The leather comes in three different colors: brown, black, and white.
There is also another option when it comes to choosing the thickness of the leather that you want. You can choose for it to be one or two layers thick depending on your personal preferences and how much protection you are wanting your grips to have. The two-thick option even comes with its own small bag so that you do not stand as much of a chance of misplacing your grips.
The wrist strap is also quite nice in that it is very wide and is padded as well in order to give your wrists the most amount of comfort possible. These are in fact made to help support your wrist as brace of sorts that still allows your wrists to bend, making them extra nice for helping your wrist joints.
When it comes to price, these are fairly inexpensive, though they do not always have as long of a life as some other leather grips can have. The sizing guide that you can look at in order to choose the right one is equally something that is nice to have.
3. Reisport Hook And Loop Grips
These grips are made solely with gymnastics in mind and from a company that specializes in gymnastics. This being the case, these are a great option for your gymnastics grips. The leather that they are made from is extra durable and is even actually a leather laminate. This helps them to last a long time and to be extra strong.
This also affects the stretching that usually happens when you break in a pair of leather grips. Whereas most grips stretch around 4% when they are broken in, these will stretch less than 1% meaning that the fit that you have when you first get them will be quite close to the fit that you will end up with.
It comes in four different sizes and in two different kinds: a 3 hole option for men and a 2 hole option for women. In addition to this, these grips also have a dowel feature which is where a small dowel rod is sewn into the grips near the holes where the fingers go out.
While the dowel rod is not something that every gymnast likes to have, some gymnasts love having this feature so it is at least something that is worth considering trying out. The last feature that this grip has is the hook and loop design for the wrist strap. While this is not as comfortable as some of the other options, it still does a good job of staying in place and of not cutting into your wrist.
4. Gibson Athletic Double Buckle Just Right Uneven Bar Grips
These Gibson grips are, like the last option on the list, especially made for gymnastics. This is clearly evidenced by the use of the dowel rod feature like the previous grips on this list also had. Also made out of leather, these grips come in only one color: solid white. However, they do come in four sizes along with the always-helpful sizing chart in order to help you pick the right one.
What is perhaps the most unique about these grips are that each grip has two buckles on it to be attached. While these are time consuming to do, and can require the help of someone else to do them for you, these buckles ensure that these grips will stay tight on your wrists without loosening as you are performing your routine.
Because of the buckle, there is also no padding in this design, so this is something that you should take into consideration if you have tender wrists. One the other hand, these grips are perfect if you have hands that are particularly small or narrow since these are designed to accommodate that.
Finally, while these grips are for women’s uneven bars, there are also grips just like these available for the men’s high bars. There are also a couple of options available with only one buckle on each wrist instead of two.
5. WODFitters Textured Leather Hand Grips
These gymnastics grips are another great option if you are looking for a pair that will offer you great grip. This is in part due to the fact that the leather is textured and will help it not to have any unwanted slipping on the bars or anything else that you might want to grip with it. That is because these grips can be used for a variety of things.
The finger holes are also a unique feature in that they have square holes instead of round ones. But this can be an advantage to have if you happen to have thick fingers or simply like to have plenty of room for your fingers to go through since the squares are much more open.
The wrist strap is not as wide or as comfortable as it could be and you may wish to wear something on your wrist underneath it for added comfort, but it does stay securely on at the wrist without any problems. The hook and loop strap is very simple to use and allows these grips to be quickly put on or taken off.
It only comes in three different sizes, but it does come with a small bag for you to keep your grips in. There are also two different designs that it can come in one with gray and the other being an off-white color.
6. Mava Sports Cross Training Gloves
These grips may not be specifically for gymnastics, but they are still a good option for grips that are worth considering. Unlike the 2 hole or 3 hole options, these grips instead wrap all the way around the first segment of your four fingers by having four loops quite similar to the fingers of a pair of gloves.
These can feel quite strange at first if you are used to wearing regular gymnastics grips, but other than this unique design these grips are actually quite comfortable. Part of this is due to the wide wrist strap that has plenty of padding and is easy to secure and even has an anti-sweat layer in order to give you the most amount of comfort possible.
Even the palm portion of these grips have padding, being made from neoprene and reinforced with a layer of split leather with another layer of silicone that has a design in the palm in order to help you grip without slipping. The anti-sweat layer here does a great job of keeping your hands dry too, which is why you may find that you need less chalk with these.
While the center of the padding is black on all of them, there are six other color options for the edges that you can choose from in order to have something that goes with what you are wearing. It comes in five different sizes compared to most other kinds which only have four size options available.
7. Epic MAA Gear Youth Gymnastics Hand Grips
This option for gymnastics grips is very nice and is especially made for younger gymnasts. Many of the other options on my list can be too big even in their smaller sizes, but in this case the largest of the four sizes that are offered are only for up to a 3 3/4” hand. The smallest size is specifically up to 2 5/8” which makes it great for hands that are even smaller and can be a really good fit for kids who are gymnasts.
These are fairly inexpensive and they come with a few different color options with two colors of leather and different color wrist straps. The leather is a soft leather that is not really long-lasting, but it is made to be comfortable and to allow beginner gymnasts to get use to the feel of wearing their gymnastics grips.
The strap on the wrist is neither very wide nor very padded, but it is made of a soft fabric that doesn’t have much in the way of rough edges that could cut into the wrists or cause discomfort. Finally, they look quite nice and are an overall great option for a kid’s first pair of gymnastics grips.
8. Element 26 Hand Grips
These grips are not made of leather unlike the other options on my list. Instead they are made with Isoprene Palmer and they do not need to be broken in like leather does and yet they can last just as long. The fact that is doesn’t need to be broken in means that you can use them as soon as you get them.
Like one of the other options that I mentioned on my list, this one does not have holes for your fingers to go through. Instead it has elastic loops that your fingers go through and this helps to protect the part of your palm all the way into your fingers which can sometimes get blisters around the holes of other types if they do not have just the right fit.
Another nice feature about this is the strap which is designed to be cut shorter so that you don’t have to keep it unnecessarily long which can be annoying at times. It comes in three different sizes, but only comes in one color, and it is a great grip to consider getting for gymnastics.
9. ProFitness Leather Cross Training Grips
While these do come in leather, they also come in suede as well if you prefer that instead of leather so that you do not have to break them in. They are well ventilated so that they will not slip on you even if your hands get sweaty.
The wrists are wide and are well padded for your comfort when you are wearing them and to help you support your wrists as well. There are two holes for the fingers like most gymnastics grips have, and the leather is triple stitched for added durability.
It comes in three different sizes and in a few different colors. Best of all is the fact that they offer a lifetime warranty on their grips, even extending this to if you simply wear out the leather they are so confident that their grips will last you.
10. WOD&DON Custom Hand Protection Athletic Grips
While most of the grips on my list have featured leather or something else, these grips are entirely different and are a great option if you dislike grips in general for any reason and yet know that your hands need to have some protection. This is because these are a 1-time use adhesive grip which you quite literally stick onto your hands.
There are of course some pros and cons to this. One the upside this means that the grips are simply like wearing athletic tape on your hand and let you have a really good feel for the bar without having to worry at all about your grips tearing or slipping off or anything else. On the downside is that you have to apply them just right and on perfectly dry hands in order to get the right stick.
If you do not apply them correctly then the most likely result will be unpleasant bunching or sliding on your hands a little. However, once they are on your hands good they are perfectly compatible with chalk and sweat resistant, giving you the feeling that you have nothing on your hands.
Sometimes though the glue that keeps it on your hands does not always want to come off easily when it is time to take them off. These come in packs of either 10 or 20 with each pair being individually wrapped and in a few different color options so that you can pick the one that you like.
Some Of The Different Factors Of Gymnastics Grips To Choose From
One factor that you have to choose from is what you want your gymnastics grips to be made of. The most common thing to have is leather, but there are different leathers out there with varying thicknesses that you still have to choose from even if you are going with this option.
Beginner gymnasts do not tend to need grips until they really get to working on the bar circling elements and then are best suited with grips that are specifically for beginner gymnasts. These do not tend to last long since they are usually made of a soft leather, but they are great at getting young gymnasts used to wearing the grips.
When a gymnast reaches the intermediate level, she is usually better suited for a thin yet durable leather that will not take too long to break in and will still let her “feel” the bars as she works on learning new skills on them.
Gymnasts that are at the elite level or are at least close to that level tend to need the extra thick leather grips. These can take a little longer to break in and offer less feel, but by now the gymnast does not need the same level of feel on the bar and instead need durable grips that will last through the increased movement on the bars that the higher levels involve.
Sometimes the leather is very narrow, sometimes referred to as skinny grips, while others can be wider to protect more of your hand. This, again, is a matter of preference. If you like to feel the bar then a narrow one will let your palms contact the bar on either side of the grip. However, if you tend to get rips on the sides of your palms you will want to have the wider option that protects more of your palms.
Another thing for you to take into consideration is your wrists. Some gymnastics grips offer support for your wrists by having wide wrist bands, and if you feel that you wrists could use this support then you should definitely consider getting grips that have this feature.
Different grips can also have different ways of attaching around your wrists. There are kinds like Velcro that are easy to do even on your own wrists, but these can loosen sometimes if they are not the best quality. Other kinds like the buckle option that I included in my list can be almost impossible to put on by yourself, but there is no slipping to them whatsoever.
Generally speaking, lower level gymnasts like the more comfortable loop strap attachments, while more advanced gymnasts who are doing all kinds of things on the bars often prefer the buckles to avoid any chance of slipping.
Oftentimes the grips that are made to fit tightly can tend to cut into your wrists at times. However, this is fairly easy to remedy if that is the only thing about a pair of grips that you dislike since there are gymnastics wrist cuffs that can be worn around your wrists underneath the strap of the grips.
Then there is also the use of the dowel that is built into some gymnastics grips. As mentioned, not every gymnast likes to have these, and beginners do not even really need to have them anyway, but they are a nice feature to have as you move on to the more difficult skills.
Some dowel rods grips come with a rubber band that can be placed around one or two of your fingers to help hold it still if it is not sewn into a fabric sleeve instead. If you do not like the rubber band, however, then you can cut this off.
How To Pick The Right Size Of Gymnastics Grips
This is one of the most important things for you to consider when you are choosing your own gymnastics grips. While you might think that it is no big deal if your grips are a little too small or a little too large, this is actually not the case at all. Out of a study that was done on a group of gymnasts who all suffered injuries due to grip lock there were a few things in common in most of the cases.
Grip lock is something that happens when the grips that the gymnast’s hands stick on the bar for whatever reason, resulting in the gymnast’s hands being stuck as their body continues whatever motion it was doing. This is never a good thing. The most common thing that they had in common was that their grips either did not fit right or were worn out when their injuries happened.
That being said, good hand grips should help your grip the bar without interfering in any way with the movement of your hands. In order to get the right measurement that you need in order to pick the right size you should measure the area from your wrist down towards the line at the end of your palm which shows where you middle finger starts.
Once you have this number you should look and see the sizing chart for the specific gymnastics grips that you are looking to buy. Each company and brand has its own sizing chart with often completely different sizes than each other. Just as often even the same company can have different sizing for each of their grips that they offer, so it is vital that you verify this.
How To Care For Gymnastics Grips
There are only a few simple things that you should keep in mind when it comes to caring for your gymnastics grips. The first thing that you will need to do when you get them is to break them in. This should be done slowly and by doing simple things like chin-ups to the bar that do not require a lot of movement in order to help them mold to your hands as much as possible when you are breaking them in.
Also, try not to get your grips either too wet or too chalky, though some of this is unavoidable. Over time the chalk plus any sweat or dampness from your hands will form a caked layer on the grips. This will not only make the grips feel slick, but it can also make them wear out faster. To avoid this you should take a grip brush and scrub away the layer which will also help to roughen up the leather again and give you better grip.