Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Gymnastics Grips

It seems like I have a never ending quest to accumulate more stuff.  My latest goose chase started by watching the "What's in your bag?" series on you tube.  It made me realize that I had never tried using gymnastics grips.  I talked to one of the coaches at my box and she let me try an unbranded pair that looked a lot like wodfitters.  I felt really comfortable using those for pull-ups and decided to get a pair of Da Vinci's based on cost and lack of plastic buckle.

UPDATE:  I used the Da Vinci mobility grips in 19.2 and they worked pretty good.  Without the buckle, they are a little tough to get snug.  They did improve my grip, but in the future I am going to shoot for a larger size as I think I would like to try a grip with more wrap.  I ended up ordering a pair of Wodfitters in size large.  The Wodfitters in a large were much more comfortable and offered me plenty of support.  I will continue to use these until I start getting really good at T2B, Kipping Pull-ups or dare I say my first Bar Muscle Up, then I will consider a set of Victory Grips.
  • Da Vinci Mobility - Medium - $7 on Amazon - no plastic buckle
  • Wodfitters - Medium - $15 on Amazon - plastic buckle, liked these when I tried them at the gym
  • Victory Grips - Large - 3 finger leather grips - $45 from Victory, internet favorite
  • Bear Komplex - $40 from Rogue, sponsor a lot of athletes
  • Jaw Grips - Medium - $33, Australian brand, well reviewed

Grips are measured from either the crease of the wrist to the base of the fingers (4 and 1/8 inches) or the crease of the wrist to the base of the longest finger (6 and 5/8 inches) for me.  After ordering the Da Vinci grips, I decided to size up one when ordering Wodfitters and these were much more comfortable.

Grips have been around forever and there are a lot of variations on the theme.  The consensus seems to be that when properly used, they will improve your grip and protect your hands.  This is a particular issue with kipping pull-ups, toes to bar and muscle ups.  These items will wear out like socks depending on how often you use them and how well you take care of them.

Victory Grips are the hands down favorite on the internet, with nothing but positive reviews.  They are not particularly expensive, but if I am not getting a lot of use from them, I would rather have a $7 pair of grips than a $45 pair of grips.

In between gymnastics grips and gloves, there are also wodies (by Jerkfit) and Jaw cloth grips.  These protect your hands without the bulk and support of gymnastics grips.  I might try a pair of these sometime as well.  They often incorporate wrist support.  They do not improve grip in terms of transfer of load to wrists.

Gymnastics wraps when worn properly wrap around the bar and transfer some of the load to your wrist (similar to lifting straps).  That is why construction is important.  Leather stitched to nylon is prone to ripping.  Similarly hardware on the wrist is prone to discomfort.  The other criteria is material.  Leather is the traditional material and companies offer cow and kangaroo leather with various finishes and colors.  Leather stretches.  Synthetic materials are also available (should not stretch), but they will have a different feel.  Brands differentiate themselves by thickness as well.  It is a personal decision and you have to try a lot of stuff to decide what works for you.

While on this adventure, I have also considered buying 

Jerkfit Nubs - Medium (for 22mm thumb knuckle) - $10 instead of using tape for my thumbs during Olympic lifting

Rep Fitness Nylon Weightlifting Belt - sized TBD - $11.25 for metabolic conditioning workouts (I use my leather belt for weightlifting); Purchased size Large from Rep Fitness on 2/28/2019

Hand care tools - callus shaver, files, sand paper, etc.  I set up a tooth brush with sand paper and it was completely ineffective.  If I start getting troublesome calluses, I will buy a callus shaver.

The "What's in your bag?" series also got me thinking that I should probably keep an extra pair of socks, t-shirt, mobility stuff, nutrition and first aid in my gym bag.

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