If you hang-out in the free weight room, you might have heard someone opine about the glory or frivolity of workout gloves. People with biceps of all sizes have been known to passionately chime in on the debate. Maybe this makes you wonder; does it really matter that much what you wear or don’t wear on your hands in the weight room?
The quick answer is, it depends on the equipment being used, the movements, your technique and your goals. Your best bet is to ignore over-the-top opinions and take a look at the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself.
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Things to Consider When Thinking About Getting Gloves
Reasons to Wear Gloves:
– Since most gyms don’t have chalk to keep hands dry. Gloves can help you have good grip while hanging on a bar or while lifting slippery metal weights and kettlebells when things get sweaty.
– They can help distribute weight load on your palm, which might make certain lifts or pull-ups more comfortable and do-able if grip strength is currently holding you back when working certain muscles.
– A pair of gloves can prevent blisters or allow you to push hard when you have hand injuries that might otherwise stymie your effort.
– You can protect the ring you never take off by wearing gloves. Perhaps more importantly, a glove can prevent your ring from catching on gym equipment which can cause a serious injury called ring avulsion …like Jimmy Fallon experienced (…shudder).
– Gloves allow you to loosen your palm and wiggle your fingers more easily. This can be a key way to deal with joint and tendon issues, like tennis elbow, that are aggravated by clutching tightly.
Reasons You Might Not Want to Put on Gloves:
– Grip is an important strength to have. Using gloves might not help you improve grip strength as much as working without gloves since gloves allow you to loosen your palm a bit during certain movements.
– It’s another piece of equipment, which means if you forget them you might use it as an excuse to shirk your workout.
– If you wear gloves to avoid blisters, your hands will not develop callouses. Toughening up your hands can be beneficial if your end goal demands hands that can take on the world without caution.
– Some gym-goers shun gloves because they view the accessory to be like a brace that masks grip weakness or deficiencies in other parts of the movement chain.
The bottom line is- working out is a chance to build more than your muscles. It’s a time to strengthen self-confidence and develop your knowledge base. When it comes to workout gloves, make an informed, intelligent choice that gets you closer to your goals.
Anyone who thinks wearing hand protection makes you weak should watch this montage of high bar routines and talk to those guys about grip strength, muscles and mobility. If gloves give you the ability to soar, strap those babies on!