Definition: Hand Guards

Hand Guards: Also called Grips.  Designed to help gymnasts on the bars, P-bars and rings. They are usually made up of a strip of leather and a wrist strap and held on with either a Velcro strap or a buckle. The strip of leather has finger holes up the top. The gymnast’s fingers should go down to the first knuckle and the number of these holes in the grips depends on the apparatus. On women’s uneven parallel bars and men’s high bar, the grips only go over the third and fourth fingers, but men’s rings grips go over the index finger as well. Wrist guards are normally worn under grips and are cotton or foam padded bands. Some coaches and gymnasts make simple grips out of athletic tape. Gymnasts use varying amounts of water, spit and chalk to prepare their grips just he way they want them. In general, with dowels produce a better grip on the bar and grips are used to help reduce friction between the bar and as the less friction that is generated, the less likely that rips (torn open blisters) will occur.

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