For Parents Level 4 and grips

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Proud Parent
Feb 16, 2008
Just wondering how many of those that have DD doing level 4 are in grips. DD is a cross between a repeat level 4 and a first year level 4. WI is a state in which the state meet in in Dec. DD started competing level 4 in Jan of this year, so she has yet to go to the state meet as a level 4.

Plans are for her to do level 5 starting in Jan so since last April she has been using grips on the bars. Since she and the majority of her teammates have been in grips for so long they will be competing as level 4 in grips. Not the norm around here. Just wondering what other areas do.




Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
2 of our L4s compete in grips, they are both repeating L4. I have seen whole teams in grips at L4. I know at DDs gym, once you are officially in grips, you always use them. If they forget them, they don't do bars.

I wouldn't worry about it. :)
At our gym, it really depends on the girl. My DD started using grips in her second year of level 4 but then her coaches realized she did the routine better without them. They had her compete without grips for that meet season. My step-DD is a little older, taller and has bigger hands. She used her grips for her meet season (second year level 4). This year, they both are using them all the time.


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Proud Parent
Club Owner / Manager
Jan 4, 2008
Pretty much all our level 4's have grips.. The base level 4 routine in Australia is 2 glide swings on low bard, pullover, cast to horizontal, back hip circle, squat on jump to high bar, three swings to long hang pullover on high bar and toe shoot dismount. many of the kids get very sore hands from all the swings (2 glides on low and 3 long hangs on high), not that its a lot but when you are doing an hour on bars it can get very painful. Probably the majority of level 4's in my state wear grips.


Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
North Carolina
Our girls are not allowed to wear grips until after they have their kip / L5. Most of our L5's don't wear them either. We have a L7 that is throwing giants who still does not wear grips. I have seen L3's at meets with grips though.


All our team girls wear palm guards as soon as their hands are big enough - usually around age 7. They move into dowels after grade 14 if their hands are big enough. Girls who come from other clubs have to get them straight away. I have been told it is because rips can be taped under grips more successfully for competitions and it reduces the number of rips younger gymnasts have. Also at national level the bars are usually chalked up for grips and if your gymnast doesnt use them they need the bars different and it is difficult to sort that out in the limited warm up time. I know some clubs never use them.


The girls in our gym can't wear grips until level 6. Actually, as soon as the Level 5 season was done they were fitted for them so they start breaking them in over the summer. I guess it depends on the gym.


Proud Parent
Feb 16, 2008
So DD wore grips all summer working skills, when they went back to routines I know that she complained she did not like the mill circle with grips on, but now is used to it.

She did forget her grips the practice after she returned from Lake Owen and in a short bar period ripped on both hands. So now I could not imagine her without her grips.

Just need to remember another thing to have in her gym bag for meets.


Boo got grips as a level 4 because of the jump to high bar (AAU, not USAG).
Sep 9, 2008
In dd's gym, the saying goes.... "get your kip, then you'll get your grips". It is a BIG deal too. They can not wait to "earn" those grips. This all happens in Level 5 for dd's gym.
Sep 8, 2007
My dd got grips a few months ago and does not like them has yet to finish breaking them in. At her gym they do not have to get them till L8 most girls have them by L7.


Our gym wants the girls to have a consistent straight arm kip on low and high bar before they get grips. That said, my dd has been told she will have to wait until her hands get bigger before she gets grips even though she has her straight arm kip and is working free hips, kip/chs and giants. I have a feeling she may be in Level 8 before she gets grips!


Proud Parent
Mar 7, 2008
Region 7
With oldest DD the rule was you had to be training L6 to get grips. After her group they got a bit lax and L5's were getting them because "they wanted them". Little Monkey is competing L6 now, just got her grips but has not started to use them yet. Coach wanted her to have them to train giants but right now she is still struggling with other skills. She's ok with being the only one without them.


Proud Parent
Feb 16, 2008
In dd's gym, the saying goes.... "get your kip, then you'll get your grips".

That is how it goes in our gym, what is happening is the girls are not quite ready to move to level 5, but because they have been using grips since last srping/beginning of summer they are using them for level 4. Not all of the girls have grips, only about half that are projected to go 5 in the winter.


our gym typically has girls start with grips at Level 5 but not always. In fact, Cait will be competing level 7 this year and has not used grips at a meet yet. This will be her first year with grips...



The girls in our gym can't wear grips until level 6. Actually, as soon as the Level 5 season was done they were fitted for them so they start breaking them in over the summer. I guess it depends on the gym.

This is what our gym does too.


She's ok with being the only one without them.

GMM, my dd feels the same way. She is okay with it despite the fact that almost every other girl in her group (save one small L5) wears grips. I'm fairly certain she will be the only kid at L6 meets not wearing grips. I don't want her in them at all until the season ends, though, because I worry about the adjustment that she will have to make.
Jan 22, 2008
DD got her grips in July. She trained Level 5 most of the summer and is only allowed to use her girls for Level 5 practice. Her coach said that DD is NOT to use her grips at all for level 4 or meets unless she has a MAJOR rip. Then the exception will be made.

DD does really well going back and forth she can do all her skills about the same with or without the grips. She has her grips broken in. She does complain after working bars that her hands sting more now that she got used to the grips. Her coach says she is turnig wimpy now she has her grips. Her hands aren't as tough missing that one practice with her grips.

I will say this I will throw her grips in her gym bag for meets just incase we get that freak rip to give her something.

Our gyms rule is our Level 5's are not allowed to do bars without their grips. It is a requirement. Even when DD trains with them she is REQUIRED to wear her's and she is not allowed to take them off.


Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2007
My DD got her grips when she started level 5

I did just want to add though, that grips do not necessarily PREVENT rips. DD has had some MAJOR rips over the last year working Level 6/7 skills. And yes, she wears her grips all of the time.

Not only do they still get rips on their hands, once you start really working bars hard (giants, etc.) then you get rips on your wrists!!! I just bought DD the "EXTRA LONG" wristbands...

Her latest rip (in the middle of her palm, no less) came about because of a switch in gyms. She said the first night that the new gym's bars felt different, and sure enough, she came home from the first practice with a literal hole in her hand. Here it is a week later, and it's still cracking and bleeding after each practice!

... and these are prep optional practices... can we imagine what they'd look like with the J.O. practice schedule for L7??? YUCK.
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