Gymnastics gripBy gymnastic grips, it means small devices that are worn by gymnasts on their hands while performing on different types of apparatus. There are basically two benefits of wearing grips. First it protects the hands of gymnasts from getting painful rips and blisters. Secondly it enhances the grip of a gymnast on the apparatus.

Grips are worn by female gymnasts on the uneven bars, while male gymnasts wear them on the high bar and still rings. World famous gymnasts such as World Uneven Bar Champion and All-Around Olympic Champion Nastia Liukin and World Championship Bar Silver medalist Chellsie Memmel wear grips. In recent times it has been noticed that most of the male gymnasts wear grips.

If you are planning to use a grip, you need to use it early in your career. Otherwise, you will have to spend more time on relearning skills. Grips can really help in performing skills such as front and back giants and other circling skills on the bars. Simple skills like doing kips can be done with grips. Also those gymnasts who have small hands must use grips as it can improve their hold on the bar during circling skills and catching release moves.

There are basically two different types of grips – palm and dowel


Palm Grips

These gymnastics grips are designed with a thin, narrow strip of leather that covers the palms of the gymnasts only while leaving the fingers free. Such grips are popular amongst beginners who are learning the basic skills of gymnastics. This is why it is also known as beginner grips. Palm grips are usually secured by Velcro. It offers protection to the hands from getting rips and splinters. As such grips do not have dowels; they do not help with grip. Such grips can be used by both men and women who are new to gymnastics.

Dowel Grips:

These grips cover the palm and fingers and are generally used by gymnasts for higher level competitions. Such grips have small wooden dowels or pipes wrapped in leather that offer control against the bar or rings. Dowel grips are usually secured by buckles around the gymnast’s wrists. But dowel grips are also available with Velcro. For women gymnasts there are basically two main types of dowel grips for uneven bar – Velcro closure dowel grips and buckle closure dowel grips. On the other hand for men there are different types of dowel grips for different apparatus – high bar grips, ring grips and parallel bar grips.

You can choose between palm grips and dowel grips depending upon your skill level. Both these grips are available in different sizes. So before buying grips you need to measure your hand to make sure you are buying the correct one. 

To conclude, those who are serious about making a career in gymnastics, must use grips.