Grips are pieces of leather sewn together with buckles or straps that cover a gymnasts hands while they practice and compete on the uneven bars (for the women) or the high bar and rings (for the men).
There are a few different kinds and sizes, and certainly the grips vary for men and women. When it comes time for your gymnast to start using grips, ask the coaching staff to help determine the kind needed – then you can place an order.
At What Age Should Grips Be Purchased
Young gymnasts won’t need grips right away, so don’t see them as a barrier to entry into the sport in any way. Once your gymnast reaches a level of difficulty at which they need better grip on the bar, or rings.
Here’s a good “first” pair of gymnastics grips for young girls Nastia Liukin Beginner Hook & Loop Grips.
We all probably remember Nastia Liukin as the 2008 Olympic All-Around gold medalist.
Here’s a reasonably priced “first” pair of grips for young men Beginner Grip (Large, Black Velcro).
Grips Allow For Better Control
Grips cover the hand and wrap around the wrist, protecting the hand from friction and also creating a fold of leather that allows a gymnast better control of the bar or rings.
Wrist bands are worn under the grip on the wrist to protect the skin and add a layer of padding under the buckle.
They Will Wear Out Over Time
Grips do stretch out over time, and even rip sometimes, so they do need to be replaced eventually. If your child is a competitive gymnast and plans to be in the sport for several years, plan on ordering new grips a few times – perhaps once a year.
Since you don’t know when the stretching or a tear might occur, it’s always a good idea to have an extra pair ready that the gymnast has broken in already – you don’t want to be at a meet facing a bar routine or ring routine without a back up pair of grips!
For the the more advanced gymnasts these are highly recommended grips that you can’t go wrong with (girls): US Glove Women’s Dowel grip w/Buckle
or these for men: Reisport Men’s High Bar Grips – Double Buckle – Medium
Top Blog Photo by Rick McCharles