How To Protect Your Hands In Gymnastics | Grips GL

Gymnastics Grips


Almost all high level gymnasts wear grips on their hands. While they are worn by female gymnasts on the uneven bars, males wear them on the high bars and the rings. There are two types of grips: dowel and palm. Palm grips are composed of a strip of leather that covers the palm of the hand. Dowel grips incorporate a dowel rod, which creates a sort of bump on the outside of the grip. This serves to control the gymnasts hold on the bars and ease hand pressure and reduce the risk of slipping off the bars. Both types are secured at the wrist by either a buckle or a Velcro strap.

When Should A Gymnast Start To Use Grips?

As gymnasts grow, their increasing body weight will begin to put stress on their hands. I suggest starting with grips between a level 4 and 6. While many low level gymnasts often use palm grips to help avoid blisters and calluses, I recommend starting them right off with a dowel grip.  This will get them adjusted immediately. If the gymnast waits till they get to the circling stunts to use a dowel grip, this will create a delay in their training during the adjustment period.


It is of great importance to select the correct size when purchasing grips. Also be sure to buy a pair of wristbands to wear underneath them to prevent the grips from slipping up and down on your wrist, and to avoid irritation and chaffing. All grips will require some time to be broken in; for this reason many gymnasts own more than one pair. If they feel too stiff, you can try rolling the leather part around the dowel to simulate the shape of the bar. Some gymnasts use a grip brush to prevent their grips from becoming too smooth. Others spray them with water to improve their grip.


Talk to your coach before buying gymnastics grips. We recommend Reisport or U.S. Glove gymnastics grips which are known for their protection and durability. You can find them in our store at

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