All About Gymnastics Grips

JBS

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
6,387
Wisconsin
Country
USA
3A879730-C881-41CD-930E-7DAD721248E9.jpeg


This is the discussion thread for our guide to gymnastics grips seen at the following link.


Please post any questions or comments in this thread. Also post anything that you would like to see covered in the guide.

If you agree or disagree with things in the guide, post that here in the comments as well.

Thanks for reading and making ChalkBucket a better place!
 
Last edited:

JBS

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
6,387
Wisconsin
Country
USA
I'd love to here your thoughts about the "Guide to Gymnastics Grips". Please post your thoughts and comments!

Have a question about grips? Leave it here and I'll do my best to answer. If I don't get to it right away, then I'm sure someone else in the forums will answer as we have tons of very experienced members here.
 
Last edited:

CuriousCate

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2016
606
Country
USA
Is there a quick way to break them in?
They always seem to stretch with use making it tough to know what size to order next. Is there a solid reliable sizing method you like?
 

JBS

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
6,387
Wisconsin
Country
USA
Excellent questions, I'll have to add / expand on that stuff later in the guide. Here are some quick answers below...

Is there a quick way to break them in?
Yes... but you have to know what you are doing to do it as it could easily damage the grips.

The wrist area I fold over back and forth many times both horizontally and vertically as well as forward and backwards.

THIS PART IS NOT RECOMMENDED FROM THE GRIP COMPANIES (DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK):
The actual leather that goes over the palm, I twist it like I am wringing out a rag. Be very careful doing this as you could tear either the threads or the actual leather of the grip. When you twist them like this you can actually feel the leather stretching. Depending on the stiffness / softness of the grip I either do it only one direction, or I follow up the first twist with a second in the opposite direction.

The next thing I do is have the athlete put on the grips. Once the grips are on I physically put their hand over the bar cable exactly like I want it (with the grips grabbing the cable correctly). I have them pull pretty hard several times to get the grip like I want it.

Now I have them grab the bar and I visually inspect the grip as it is grabbing onto the bar. I look at how the grips fit, how the athlete is holding the bar, how they are wearing their wristbands, how tight the grips are, and if they have the grips in the center of their palm.

From their I have them do some spotted swings on the low bar with bent legs if they fit. I spot by holding the wrist area in case they peel off. If that goes well, then we move onto spotted kips. I visually inspect the grips as they are going while being ready to catch them in case they peel.

If everything is going well and the gymnast can do giants, then it's straight to the pit bar for several turns of giants. If they can't do giants, then also the pit bar, but tap swings instead.

Typically it takes our athletes about 15 minutes to break in a new pair of grips if they already have grips. About a practice if they have never had grips before.

One thing to keep in mind is that if they have never had grips before you may not be dealing with breaking in the grips. You might actually be dealing with an athlete that either doesn't understand how to use them or they are just not ready for them yet.

They always seem to stretch with use making it tough to know what size to order next. Is there a solid reliable sizing method you like?
This question is much harder to answer than the last one as there is an extremely reliable method, but you won't be able to do it online.

Yes... I use the sizing chart from the company along with visually inspecting the athlete grabbing the bar with them on and using them on the bar. We have all sizes of grips in stock at our club, this allows us (coaches) to visually / physically size our athletes on the spot, this is what I would recommend.

Many times I do give them the size that their current grips have stretched into.

The thing to understand about sizing grips is that a professional coach should always approve them before the athlete does giants or any 360 degree circling skill in them.

The biggest thing to remember is that it is much better to have to pay for two pair of grips because you ordered the wrong size the first time, than it is to pay for an injury.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PinPin

Short Balding Guy

Coach
Coach
Sep 7, 2010
452
USA
Country
USA
Grips - excellent and informative post.

The pic in the article shows an athlete wearing the buckle grips with the buckles to the inside when not on. I ask my gymnasts to always have the buckles to the outside (or straps to the outside). This prevents dings or cuts from the buckles. Do others suggest other?

BTW: I appreciate the different colored wrist bands. Great idea when working with pirouetting skills.

images.jpg


Cheers, Eric -
 

JBS

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
6,387
Wisconsin
Country
USA
Grips - excellent and informative post.

The pic in the article shows an athlete wearing the buckle grips with the buckles to the inside when not on. I ask my gymnasts to always have the buckles to the outside (or straps to the outside). This prevents dings or cuts from the buckles. Do others suggest other?

BTW: I appreciate the different colored wrist bands. Great idea when working with pirouetting skills.

View attachment 8054

Cheers, Eric -

I actually recommend that the straps go out like in the picture that you posted. I don't make them wear them with the straps a specific way though. The picture of the grip straps in is actually my daughter.

The black and orange wristbands (team colors) are fairly important in our program. As they begin, the orange wristband goes on your first hand the goes down in a cartwheel or roundoff. The black wristband goes on the other wrist.

When we teach a regular pirouette, the hand with the orange wristband is the one that flips and they turn the pirouette over the bar just like a roundoff.

When they do a reverse pirouette or blind or swing half, the hand with the black wristband stays on the bar. The arm with the black wristband is the post arm.

As they progress to the full pirouette, they post with the black wristband and then pirouette out on their "good" hand which feels just like a roundoff.

This means that we are teaching them to spin their pirouettes on bars opposite of their front and back twisting direction. We have found that their is no relationship to pirouetting and twisting.

Now with bails or overshoots or anything with flight and flipping rotation, we do try try to teach them in the direction of their twist. If they want to turn a bail into a Bhardwaj, then it is easier to be spinning in the twist direction.

Something to note, none of these things are "set in stone". If we have an athlete that just ends up doing things differently, then we just tell them to switch their wristbands.

The wristbands really help the coaches spot all their pirouetting skills more effectively without remembering the direction of each and every kid.

Much of this is information that Al Fong has helped us discover over the years. Thanks Al!

Wow, lots of info to add to that article and possibly a whole new article to write up.
 

Short Balding Guy

Coach
Coach
Sep 7, 2010
452
USA
Country
USA
Thanks for the RSVP JBS.

+1 on pirouette. I do like the colored wrist bands idea. Yesterday I used some Mueller Tear-lite tape in colors on the flipping hand during the ground drills. It helped my more novice gymnasts. Good stuff.

Cheers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PinPin and JBS

ReluctantGymMom

Member
Proud Parent
May 11, 2020
92
31
Country
USA
Oh my gosh, THANK YOU for making this article! My daughter competed a kip for level 3, then scored out of level 4 and scored out of 5 one month apart - so she has managed to refuse to wear grips in the name of not relearning skills.

BUT she has super sweaty hands and in the bar warm up at the meet, she peeled off the bar (and the only other girl without grips flew off during her actual routine - coach caught her midair) so we’re insisting she REALLY has to try to use them for optional skills. But I have questions I can’t find answers to!!!

What is the purpose of the rubber band??? How does one use the rubber band? Her coach said to use the rubber band (and I think told her how to use them) but she’s like my fingers are suffocating, and she says the rubber band is supposed to be attached to the dowel.. not... her fingers? I realize this probably sounds stupid - there’s a language barrier with her lovely coach as well as him being seriously spread thin so I’m not understanding anything lol and a 9 year old is not a reliable narrator.

Also - where is the dowel supposed to sit on their hand/fingers? My kid says it’s harder for her to grip onto the bar right now but the finger holes def weren’t right before.

She can do all her skills but she’s apparently changed her form on them which is confusing her coach, he’s asking her what is she doing with her body right now - I’m guessing this is a side effect of feeling like she’s not gripping on?

You said that grips help shift the weight off the wrists? That would be such a relief

I’ve written a novel, sorry I’ve been looking for answers everywhere
 
  • Like
Reactions: JBS

JBS

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
6,387
Wisconsin
Country
USA
What is the purpose of the rubber band??? How does one use the rubber band? Her coach said to use the rubber band (and I think told her how to use them) but she’s like my fingers are suffocating, and she says the rubber band is supposed to be attached to the dowel.. not... her fingers? I realize this probably sounds stupid - there’s a language barrier with her lovely coach as well as him being seriously spread thin so I’m not understanding anything lol and a 9 year old is not a reliable narrator.
I do not have any of my athletes use the rubber bands and they all do just fine. First thing I do is snap the rubber bands off. If the finger holes are too big we just wrap the center of the finger holes with a bit of tape.

To answer your question. The rubber band helps hold the grips on. Here is a video from US Glove...


Also - where is the dowel supposed to sit on their hand/fingers? My kid says it’s harder for her to grip onto the bar right now but the finger holes def weren’t right before.
The dowel basically forms and addition digit on your finger tips that allows you to hang on to the bar easier without using the wrist (wrist should stay straight as you swing through the bottom). That video above shows how it works.

She can do all her skills but she’s apparently changed her form on them which is confusing her coach, he’s asking her what is she doing with her body right now - I’m guessing this is a side effect of feeling like she’s not gripping on?
Hard to say if this is a good or bad thing. Do you mean form like straight legs and pointed toes... or form like the way she moves and flows through the skills? She may feel as if she is slipping off... or she may actually have more grip power and not understand it.

You said that grips help shift the weight off the wrists? That would be such a relief
No... they actually transfer some of the force to the wrist. Just like how you grab in the picture below... much of the force is transferred to the wrist/arm area...

forearm-grip.jpg


Also from the article... this is just my opinion...
  • Does their hand measure 5 1/2 inches or more from the base of the palm to the tip of the middle finger? Many times athletes with small hands find it hard to swing with grips.
 

Trending Threads