CrossFit training is one of the best ways to not only get in shape, but to improve your overall strength, balance, and power. Of late, a large number of people have completely replaced gymming with CrossFit training, given its more holistic approach. The training here involves people working on various aspects of their body strength and fitness. One of the most important things in CrossFit training is your grip, and to enhance a grip, a large number of people prefer using CrossFit hand grips, which are also the subject of our article today.
Over the course of this article, we intend to discuss in detail what hand grips are, how to use them in just the right way – and what are the benefits that they offer. A number of people prefer going ‘raw’ while exercising, i.e., they do not use hand grips. This is something that is damaging your hands and if this is a practice that you follow, you need to stop doing that.
In this article, we shall also take a closer look at some other ways of improving your grip too. We also have a buyer’s guide for CrossFit hand grips, which will help you understand what are the various factors you need to keep in mind while buying these gymnastic grips.
While grips are just one small part of the equipment that you need while working out during a CrossFit session, you would also require some other equipment such as wrist wraps, knee wraps, etc. We shall also be discussing about those elements in detail as we proceed.
Let us first begin by understanding some basic concepts about these grips and why they are important for you:
Why is Grip Important in Gymnastics?
When it comes to gymnastics, or basically any kind of physical activity, your grip is one of the most important things that you must take care of. A large number of these fitness activities (including CrossFit) involve the use of various equipment such as barbells, pull-up bars, rings, etc. If your grip is not right, you might slip and hurt yourself.
Furthermore, if your grip isn’t right and you’re doing something like powerlifting or trying to balance yourself parallel to the ground, you will end up causing damage to your hand and to your wrists. Since a large number of CrossFit training involves holding on to various objects and balancing yourself to improve your strength or pulling and pushing stuff to improve your stamina, you need a good grip.
Another reason why anyone who is into gymnastics or even basic workouts needs to have good grip protection is that unless you are using that, you will end up with blisters or rips, which are both unpleasant scenarios and are quite painful.
Apart from the protective reasons, another major reason as to why hand grips are important for gymnasts is that they help them improve their overall hold over the equipment. Let us now proceed to the topic at hand, which is a very special kind of hand grip – one that is used during CrossFit training.
What Is a CrossFit Hand Grip?
When you look at the larger picture, there are a number of different hand grips available. There are some grips that are specially designed for wrist support, there are others that are designed for powerlifters to improve their hold of the bar, then there are some grips created for other specific kinds of training and exercises. Similarly, a CrossFit hand grip is designed to meet the needs of CrossFit enthusiasts.
Since you will be dealing with rough objects such as ropes and tires, as well as wooden rings and metal hooks and bars among other things, you need a decent protective layer between your hand and the object. There are two things that are common between all these objects – first, they help you attain better strength, power, stamina, and fitness. Secondly, all of them are bad for your hand’s health.
Prolonged usage of these rough materials is bound to cause calluses, blisters, and rips. Hence, you need a hand grip to ensure that your hands are safe. Besides that, when it comes to CrossFit training, getting the right hold determines how long you are going to last. These grips, among other things, help you last longer in the workouts and help you attain better fitness.
Best Crossfit Hand Grips in 2021
What Exercises Can Hand Grips be Useful For?
There are a large number of exercises for which hand grips can be used. Particularly when it comes to CrossFit training, these grips can be used for the following:
These grips are a really good option for pull-ups and muscle-ups. While this sounds too basic, pull-ups actually require you to have a really good hand grip, without which you won’t be able to last for long and you will require frequent breaks. These grips are important not only for your regular pull-ups, muscle-ups, and chin-ups but are of good use even in case of a variant such as the Kipping pull-ups. The best CrossFit hand grips help you improve your grip on the bar and make sure you can work out for longer periods.
2. Kettlebell Exercises
When you are swinging a kettlebell, you need to be extra cautious of the grip because in case of something going wrong, not only can you cause serious pain to yourself, but also to someone around you. Kettlebells need to be used with extreme care and you must always use a handgrip while working with them. Getting a good grip on a kettlebell will help you exercise for longer hours and build better strength and stamina. AEOLOS Leather Gymnastics Hand Grips are a good option for anyone who is into Kettlebell exercises.
3. Toes to Bar
A variant of a regular pull-up where you are also exercising your lower body and your core by pulling yourself up, toes to bar is a rather intense exercise that requires quite a bit of practice. However, one mistake here and you might end up falling on your head. This is why you must always wear a high-quality hand grip while working out on a toes-to-bar setup.
4. Olympic Rings
Olympic rings are a really good option for anyone who is looking forward to enhancing their stamina. However, it isn’t really a good fit for your hands because it can cause calluses and blisters rather easily and can bruise your hands if you use them without proper protection. While these grips play a grip-enhancement role in the case of pull-ups, muscle-ups, and kettlebells, in the case of Olympic rings, they play a more “protective” sort of a role.
5. Rope-Based Workouts
Rope-based workouts are very common in CrossFit training. Ropes can be particularly harsh on your hands and can cause many problems if used without the protection of a proper hand grip. In addition to that, ropes also require you to have a good grip over them because if you don’t, the chances of you slipping and hurting yourself are high. This is why CrossFit hand grips are really important when working with ropes.
6. Regular Barbell Exercises
Last on this list but not least, regular barbell exercises are also a part of CrossFit training and you need to wear a grip for them. This is because using these grips improves the friction between your hands and the barbell and ensures you can lift it safely. Using a grip while lifting also helps you improve and increase your overall strength, which is why most competitions don’t allow it to be used, but if you are doing it for your own fitness inside a CrossFit center, totally go for them.
What are the Benefits of CrossFit Hand Grips?
There are two major benefits that these hand grips offer you:
1. Hand Protection
As mentioned above, CrossFit workouts usually have you work with a number of very rough objects which aren’t usually nice to your hands. Calluses, blisters, rips, and cuts are very common. Anyone who has been attending CrossFit training for some time now must have noticed that these things are very common and your hand is no longer as soft and nice as it used to be.
This is one of the biggest reasons why one needs to use hand grips. They help protect your hands against these unwanted skin abrasions.
2. Improved Grip Strength
Grip strength matters a lot while you work out in a CrossFit environment. It needs to be ensured that your grip strength is strong because if it is not, you might end up falling, or even worse, have the equipment fall on you. Both of these are rather dangerous scenarios and can put you out of action for a long time. Having a good grip strength ensures your hands do not slip off the bars or that things don’t end up falling on you while you are working out. Using a grip such as these leather hand grips from RooGrips help you get a better grip.
Two-Hole Hand Grips vs Three-Hole Hand Grips
While there are many ways to differentiate different hand grips, one of the most common ways is by the form factor – is it a two-hole grip or is it a three-hole grip? Let us quickly take a closer look at this and try and understand the differences between these two kinds of hand grips.
1. Two-Hole Grips
In the case of a two-hole grip, you will be getting a grip that is worn on the middle and the ring finger of your hands. These grips protect your hands against calluses that appear below these two fingers and protect a large portion of your palm as well, but keep your sides exposed.
2. Three-Hole Grips
A three-hole grip makes sure that your first three fingers (index, middle, and ring) are covered by the grip and leaves your pinky and ring fingers exposed. Some people find this a little too much cover, but this is a good option if you find calluses appearing on the sides or below the index finger. Bear KompleX 3 Hole Leather Hand Grips are among the best such grips you can get!
How to Choose the Right Number of Holes in Your Grip?
In order to know if a two-hole grip or a three-hole grip suits you better, you will need to either know where you get more calluses, if yours are focused specifically around the middle two fingers, then we’d advise going for that, but if your sides and index finger also get these abrasions frequently, we’d strongly recommend you go for the three-hole variant in that case.
CrossFit Gloves vs CrossFit Hand Grips: What is the Difference
While our primary focus in this article is on CrossFit hand grips, it will only be fair to take a look at hand gloves as well and to understand what is the difference between the two products. Many people often get confused between hand grips and hand gloves so this should act as a clear guide to help understand the difference between the two:
1. CrossFit Hand Gloves
The primary difference between grips and gloves is the amount of coverage they offer. A hand glove is going to cover your entire hand while a grip largely protects your palm and wrists, while your fingers are open. A glove ensures that there is no part of your hand that remains uncovered. This means that you get more protection. However, this also means that your hands can still move inside the glove and the grip that you get on the object might be adversely affected.
2. CrossFit Hand Grips
As the name suggests, a hand grip enhances your overall grip over the object that you’re holding on to. A grip might not provide protection that is as wide as a glove, but it helps you get the right amount of friction between you and the equipment and makes sure that you can hold it better and do not slip.
Since the gloves add a couple of millimeters between you and the object you are holding on to, and the grips actually let you hold it as you normally would, a hand grip proves to be a better alternative when it comes to holding something firmly. Hence, crossfitters generally prefer using grips over gloves.
Another reason why people who undergo CrossFit training prefer using grips over gloves is that a grip offers better wrist support, which is essential while working on your strength and power. Having better wrist support also aids you in lifting objects and reduces the stress from your wrists. For anyone who is considering what an ideal hand grip could be, you need to take a look at Cross Training Fitness Grips by Emerge to understand the product better.
Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Best CrossFit Hand Grips
Now that you know what these hand grips are, the kind of exercises they allow you to perform, and the benefits that they have to offer, you also need to know how to choose the best CrossFit hand grips that suit your needs. There are a number of factors that are to be kept in mind while making this purchase.
Here’s a comprehensive list of these factors: a buyer’s guide, which will help you get the best possible hand grips.
Make sure you are getting a grip that is made out of good material. These materials are generally either durable leather or neoprene. Leather grips, especially the ones made out of genuine leather, are generally the ones that last you for the longest time, but adjusting to them can take a while and they can cause some amount of sweating too.
However, while getting a hand grip for CrossFit workouts, you need to make sure that you are getting the thinnest ones possible. While they may not last you for a long time, they will be the best options to enhance your hold over the bars. Carbon fiber grips are also a good option. These Bear KompleX Carbon hand grips are a good fit for anyone looking for basic grip support.
You need to know the exact measurement of your hands before you buy a hand grip for yourself. Hand grips for CrossFit need to be of just the right size, as getting anything bigger or smaller might not be beneficial.
In order to get the correct numbers, start measuring your hands from the base of your palm all the way up to where your middle finger begins. This will give you the correct measurement and will ensure that you get a good grip.
3. Wrist Support
One more thing that you need to keep an eye out for is the wrist strap on your grip. Your hand grips need to have a wrist strap that can be adjusted with ease and can allow you to tighten or loosen the grip. Most hand grips usually make use of a wrist strap that features velcro or a buckle-based locking mechanism. Getting hand grips that have a larger wrist strap provides a greater degree of wrist support.
A word of caution here would be to be on the lookout for hand grips that do not feature wrist straps. In our opinion, avoid buying those grips because they do not provide proper wrist support. Talking of great wrist support, do take a look at these JerkFit WODies hand grips, which provide you just that!
There are two options when it comes to buying CrossFit hand grips – a two-hole grip and a three-hole grip. It is essential for you to understand the location of your calluses. If you get calluses on the index finger, go for the three-hole CrossFit hand grips. However, if you don’t, you should go for the two-hole grip as that is generally considered to be more convenient.
Always be on the lookout for dowels in your CrossFit hand grips. Dowels are a controversial addition as they are a good option for anyone who is looking forward to improving their grip, but they aren’t really considered legal for those people who wish to participate in CrossFit competitions.
So basically, if you are working out just to improve your overall health and fitness, you might want to go for it. However, if you intend to participate in a professional event, we’d strongly suggest against getting them. Furthermore, dowels can actually restrict the natural movement of your hands and wrists, so you might want to avoid them altogether.
The lifespan of your gear is quite important, especially when it comes to rigourous training such as CrossFit. Most people who have been into these exercises know that unless you get high-quality gear, it is going to get tattered very quickly. Hence, you need to go for a hand grip that can last you for a long time.
This is why people generally prefer buying leather grips as they usually tend to go on for a long time without getting damaged.
7. Cost and Warranty
Last but not least, cost and warranty are two factors that are always to be considered. Just make sure that the cost justifies the lifespan and you should be good to go. As always, make sure to carefully check the warranty details before you buy these hand grips.
Is It Possible to Work Out Without Using Gymnastic Grips?
Technically speaking, the answer to this is yes. It is possible to work out without using these grips. However, hand grips for CrossFit provide you with greater benefits and it is something that is strongly recommended. Most CrossFit centers around the world would not allow you to work out without using these grips because by not using the grips, you would be putting yourself as well as others at a major risk.
There are some old-school gymnasts who put forward the argument that grips are not as good as a natural hold and that they are not comfortable using them. However ‘old school’ is exactly what they are and in today’s day and age, we strongly recommend the use of hand grips. These grips help you protect your hands as well as keep people around you safe.
Best Hand Care Tips For Working Out
Hand care is extremely important when it comes to CrossFit training. In fact, it is essential for any form of workout or after an activity where your hands are stressed. CrossFit involves holding items that can be quite rough and it is particularly harsh on your hands. Here are some hand care tips that you might want to follow while working out to ensure that your hands remain soft and smooth:
First off, make sure that you are using hand grips. While we have been talking about it all this while, we can’t stress enough about how important hand grips for CrossFit are. Not only do you get a better grip, but they also keep your hands protected against abrasions.
Besides that, make sure you are properly washing your hands after your workout is done, and then applying hand creams and moisturizing your hands well. In case of cuts, bruises or blisters, make sure you are getting in touch with a medical professional and applying the ointment suggested by them.
In case your hands start to bleed because of any cuts, blisters, or bruises, make sure that you stop working out immediately and tend to it. This is the biggest red flag when it comes to working out and needs to be immediately addressed.
In case calluses develop, it is best advised to either get them shaved or to use a callus shaver and shave them off yourself. We’d strongly recommend you do it with professional help rather than doing it on your own.
These are some things that you should keep in mind while undergoing CrossFit training. You need to keep the fact in mind that in CrossFit exercises, hand rips, calluses, and bruises are very common and they are going to happen to everyone at some point in time. It is only with time that your hand toughens up and these things reduce. However, every small abrasion needs to be tended to and the better your hand care, the softer and smoother your hands will remain.
Is it Safe to Use CrossFit Hand Grips for Lifting Weights?
Many people get confused about this and think that these hand grips are only suitable for CrossFit training. However, one of the best things about them is that they can be used for lifting weights as well. This is something that a large number of people aren’t really aware of and they go for a different grip for lifting weights and a different grip for CrossFit. You can use the same grip to achieve both purposes.
This is even more important if you are someone who develops calluses or blisters easily. In that case, we strongly recommend you make use of grips to lift weights. However, just ensure that you are using the kind of grips that are permitted in gyms and competitions as grips with a dowel are usually not permitted, so just keep an eye out for that. WOD Nation Barbell Gymnastics Grips are a good fit for anyone who wants to use hand grips for lifting weights.
How to Improve Overall Grip Strength?
While we strongly recommend the use of hand grips for CrossFit exercises, we also recognize the need to improve grip strength in other activities. This can be attained by following some simple exercises and equipment. Here’s a closer look:
1. Using Chalk
Chalk can be quite useful when it comes to improving your overall grip. Made of magnesium carbonate, chalk reduces and absorbs sweat and ensures that you don’t end up losing control of what you are holding because of sweaty palms. You can choose powder chalk or liquid chalk and get a better grip.
2. Grip Improvement Equipment
There are a large number of gym equipment that deal specifically with grip improvement. These are nutcracker or plier-like instruments that allow you to improve the strength of your hands. Using these can help you improve your hold of things.
3. Grip Improvement Exercises
A number of grip improvement exercises can also be followed, such as just clenching and unclenching your wrist tightly, or twisting a wet towel multiple times a day that can help you attain a better grip. You might also want to get the help of a Yoga trainer or a Physiotherapist to help you with some of these exercises that can help you improve your hand grip.
Pros and Cons of Using CrossFit Hand Grips
Now that you know what CrossFit hand grips are and what is the use of these grips, let us also take a closer look at some of the pros and cons that they have to offer:
The biggest benefit that these hand grips offer you is that of keeping you safe from injuries to your hand. Problems such as blisters, calluses, and rips can be significantly reduced if you use good-quality gymnastics grips to protect your hands.
Your technique, too, gets a major boost if you use the right kind of grip. Especially if you are just starting off and need help gripping things the right way, you might want to consider using a grip with a dowel.
Thirdly, using CrossFit hand grips help you improve your grip. Be it a pull-up bar, or be it Olympic rings, or any other equipment where grip strength is of importance, you need to make sure that you are holding on to things in the right way. These grips help improve your grip on the bar or the rope or the equipment that you are holding up. Take a look at these JAW Pullup Grips, as they are the perfect example of a CrossFit grip for pull-up bars.
Wrist support is another benefit of using these hand grips as they help you add an extra layer of padding to your wrist with the help of a wrist strap. This is beneficial in the long run, and specifically in exercises where the wrist is at a risk of an injury.
These grips can be expensive, especially when it comes to high-quality leather hand grips and they add to the overall cost of gear.
Not all competitions allow using all types of hand grips. There are certain restrictions and rules such as using dowel-free grips that need to be known and followed by anyone participating in these events.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About CrossFit Hand Grips
Here are the answers to some of the most common and frequently asked questions about CrossFit hand grips:
1. Are Bear Komplex Grips the Best Option Out There?
Bear Komplex makes some of the best CrossFit hand grips and are undoubtedly the leading brand in the markets. They offer you a large variety with 2 and 3 finger holes, they offer genuine leather products which are among the best in the business and basically guarantee you a long-lasting performance. Most of their products also offer you full palm protection which is another major benefit.
2. What Happens if I Don’t Use Grips for Workouts?
If you don’t use grips for workouts, you’ll end up getting blisters, rips, or other similar skin abrasions that are going to be quite painful. Hence, it is strongly recommended that you make use of grips during workouts.
3. Where to Buy CrossFit Hand Grips From?
CrossFit hand grips can be bought from any store that sells cross-training equipment, or from a place where you get fitness supplies in general. These can also be purchased from Amazon’s web store where you get a really large collection of hand grips.
4. Should I Rather Use a Glove for Working Out?
Most cross-training experts would advise against using gloves for working out because they increase the distance between your actual hand and the bar. Besides that, these gloves can also cause sweating as well as allow the hand to move inside which can cause problems in the grip. Gloves, especially the ones made out of genuine leather can be quite sweaty to use. If at all you are to use one, we suggest you to go for a carbon fiber variant.
To sum it up, we strongly recommend using hand grips while working out on a CrossFit regimen. Not only will this keep your hands soft and safe, but it will also help you get a better grip and a better technique. If you have any more questions about these hand grips, feel free to send us a mail or let us know in the comments below and we shall get back to you as soon as we can! Till then…
…Happy working out!