Whether you love to do resistance training or cardio, the hands are essential when it comes to helping you get the most out of your exercises. This is especially true when it comes to gymnastics! With so many small bones and joints working together, your hands need all of the support they can get so that you can avoid injury and the development of pain. One of the best products that you can use today to protect your hands is the gymnastics grip tape. While this tape is used mainly among male and female gymnasts to help improve their performance during routines, anyone who wants to use bars for chin-ups, lift weights, and use resistance or gym machines can use it.
Curious about how you can use gymnastic grip? Here is what you need to know.
What is a Gymnastic Grip?
A gymnastic grip is a device worn on the hands of a gymnast to help them perform on specific gymnastic courses such as bars and beams. In addition to providing grip and traction support, the gymnastic grip can also be used by performance and endurance athletes to help them avoid serious hand injuries. This is especially important when athletes must lift their entire body weight using only their hands.
By using a gymnastic grip, a layer of protection is created between the surface of the user’s hands and the metal bar or beam. This will help reduce the friction caused by the user’s movement without lowering grip intensity or causing grip slips. By decreasing the friction, the user will be able to avoid unnecessarily straining his or her hands. The grip can also help provide stability since the user can now focus on executing the routine or the exercise properly instead of having to adjust the hands continually.
What is a Gymnastic Grip Made of?
There are many types of gymnastic grips available on the market today. Grips are also made specifically for different genders to help accommodate the size of their hands adequately. There are also gymnastic grips that are specifically made to help gymnasts perform better on different bars and rings. These specialized grips may or may not have dowels depending on the needs of the gymnast. Most of the time, these specialized grips make use of textiles such as leather, to increase traction towards the bar but provide comfort and protection for the user’s palms.
Aside from having complicated designs and materials, gymnastic grips can also be as simple as powdered chalk. Powdered chalk is made from magnesium carbonate. Some experienced gymnasts prefer to use chalk instead of complicated grips because their hands are more used to it. These gymnasts typically have already calloused hands that are used to tears and injuries.
The most common type of gymnastic grip, however, is gymnastic grip tape. These grip tapes are typically used by amateur gymnasts who need to get support and protection for their hands without having to buy expensive grips. The gymnastic grip tapes are much like athletic tapes and are typically made from woven fabric or spandex and cotton. Some manufacturers may also add-in an adhesive, which will allow the users to secure the grip tape to the user’s skin.
Who Needs to Wear a Gymnastic Grip?
People who do competitive gymnastics, circus performers, and even the average athlete may need to wear gymnastic grips to help them avoid injury as well as improve performance. While many experienced gymnasts may prefer not to have any grips during a competition, experts highly recommend that those who are serious about gymnastics wear grips for practice and even during advanced training to help preserve their hand safety.
In most cases, beginners in gymnastics may not need to use a gymnastic grip right away. Depending on the advice of their coaches, they may be required to use grips once they start their training on bars or rings. This is because these advanced most of the routines done on these types of equipment require a lot of swinging. Movements using bars and rings cause the buildup of pressure and friction on the palms of the hands, making protection a necessity.
Aside from gymnasts and performers, having a gymnastic grip may also benefit those who are into athletic activities such as wall climbing, going through rigorous obstacle courses and even parkour. Gymnastic grips may even be used by people who are into CrossFit or by those who are into weight lifting since it can help increase their grip strength applied towards barbells, dumbbells, and even kettlebells.
What are the Benefits of Using a Gymnastic Grip Tape?
There is a reason why many gymnasts would never dare to perform stunts or routines on uneven bars or rings without a gymnastic grip. And it all boils down to the different benefits that using a gymnastic grip can provide. These include the following:
1. Gymnastics grip tapes help protect the users’ hands from friction.
The one thing that many gymnasts of all levels are most concerned about during any routine, especially on the uneven bar, is friction. Since we need to make a lot of swinging motions, we rub intensely our hand palms on the bar. Without any layer of protection, the friction can build-up and cause injuries, which may affect the gymnast’s performance or hinder the gymnast from doing any more similar routines in the near future.
2. Gymnastics grip tape may help increase grip strength.
An adequately made competitive gymnastic grip or even a well-applied grip tape can significantly increase the grip strength of the user. This will allow the user to have more control and stability on the palm of their hands and towards their fingers. The increased grip strength will allow many athletes to have a significantly improved execution of their routines.
3. Gymnastics grip tapes help to provide a layer of comfort for the hands.
Beginners in gymnastics are required to do a lot of repetition until their whole bodies can adjust and maneuver the right way. In most cases, this will put a lot of strain in their hands, especially as they do certain routines. By using a gymnastic grip, these newbies may be able to get a layer of comfort and protection for their palms. Although this may mean that they will only be able to do one or two repetitions more than those who are not wearing any grips, the slight increase may help them perform better in the long run.
4. Gymnastics grip tape may help to prevent blisters.
The swinging motion involved in most routines on the bar, gymnastic rings, or even the pommel horse can cause a lot of friction. The increased friction on the hands may cause the separation of your skin cells that will eventually form blisters. And while they say “no pain, no gain,” these blisters may actually cause a lot of pain, and they may also take a lot of time to heal. Taking into consideration that most blisters caused by gymnastics can be quite large and severe, it might be wise to use a gymnastic grip before injuries occur.
5. Gymnastics grip tapes help to prevent rips.
Aside from developing blisters on their palms, perhaps the most painful thing that may happen as gymnasts do certain routines with their hands is a rip. A rip is a tear on the skin, which may result in bleeding and a lot of pain. Rips will take a lot of time to heal, and it may continue to cause pain after it closes depending on their severity. But by using a gymnastic grip, the friction caused during the execution of the routine will be mediated. We mostly will find friction on the grip instead of going full blast on the skin.
6. Gymnastics grip tape may help gymnasts stay on track of their training.
While some say that rips, blisters, and calluses can make better gymnasts, it tis important to understand that it is not necessary for newbies, especially kids, to go through injuries to get better at it. While blisters and rips can frequently happen to gymnasts, these injuries may hinder them from continued training, and it may cause them to lose interest in the sport. Some injuries will need to heal for several days, and this may even put fear in their minds, making them hesitant towards doing certain routines. It would also be wise to take note that callouses do not guarantee that the hands will not get ripped again. Calloused hands tend to have even bigger rips than those that are not.
7. Gymnastics grip tapes may improve athletic performance.
By providing a layer of protection and comfort on the hands, gymnastic grips may help athletes focus on performance and execution. With the help of gymnastic grips, even simple gymnastic grip tapes, newbies can focus on their training. This will allow them to have the endurance needed to progress properly in gymnastics and in other sports that focus on the use of gripping with the hands. Competitive athletes can also benefit from gymnastic grips by improving their stability, by helping to focus their hand strength on their grips, and by lessening hand strain.
How to Tape your Hand using a Gymnastic Grip Tape
Applying a gymnastic grip tape on the palm of your hand requires a bit of skill and careful placement. You have to understand that without the proper application of the tape, this tool might end up doing more harm than good for your hands. To help you apply the grip tape properly, you may do the following steps:
Cut the correct length of the grip tape. Make sure that the length of the tape is twice the length of your hand from the wrist to the top end of your middle finger. Now add two more inches to the whole length then cut the grip tape. This tape will be used to wrap around one of your fingers and over a rip or over a specific area where you might experience friction the most.
Fold the tape into itself lengthwise. This will allow you to have the same length, but this time, the grip tape will be much thicker.
Located the middle portion of the whole length of grip tape and fold that middle section lengthwise once more. This folded section will be placed over your middle finger so that it will serve as an anchor for the gymnastic grip tape.
As soon as it is fitted snuggly around the finger, wrap the tape around it by crossing both ends on the palm of your hands. Make sure that the tape can cover any rip or blister. The tape should also include as much of your palm as possible as one end overlaps the other. Allow both ends of the tape to go down towards the wrist.
Tape both ends securely by wrapping the ends to the wrist with more gymnastic grip tape. Make sure that the tape around the finger is not too tight and that the tape will still allow the proper movement of your wrists.
Gymnastic grips can come in many shapes and sizes. These grips are essential when it comes to helping both beginners and experts alike avoid injuries such as blisters and rips in doing gymnastics as well as in other sports or activities that require the hands to do a lot of gripping.
We commonly use grip tape for gymnastic grip, as the rest is challenging to use and mantain. Since it is readily available and because we can customize it to fit our needs or injuries, we highly recommend this product for those who train a lot.
Aside from helping to prevent injuries, we also use gymnastic grip tapes to help athletes focus on training and execution. By adding comfort and protection, competitive athletes and beginners alike may have increased endurance and athletic performance with the help of grip tapes.
If you are interested in reliable and durable grip tape, we highly recommend that you try out our Gymnastic Tape that is specifically designed to increase performance, minimize excess friction, and prevent hand injuries.