6 Tips on Caring for Your Gymnastics Grips

G514 TEN.O Grip Brush

Gymnastics grips are a relatively expensive piece of gymnast personal equipment, especially when you consider that you should always have a back-up set of grips broken in and ready to go as well as your primary pair. For this reason, you will want to protect your investment by taking proper care of your grips.

#1 – Examine Gymnastics Grips Daily for Signs of Failure

For your own safety, you should examine your grips every day before you use them for any signs of tearing. A grip, that rips while you are using them, especially on difficult skills, can present an increased risk of injury, if the tearing of the grip makes you fall off the bars. Any sign that the grips are beginning to tear means that these grips are no longer safe and gymnasts should switch to their back-up grips and order a new wet of back-ups.

#2 – Store Them Overnight Before Use

Before using your gymnastics grips, you will want to store them, at least one night, overnight wrapped around the dowel grip. Place rubber bands around the grips to hold them in a rounded position around the dowel bar. You will want to continue this process until the grips are broken in and formed to your hands. After that, you do not need to keep doing this.

G514 TEN.O Grip Brush

G514 TEN.O Grip Brush
(from http://www.ten-o.com/)

#3 – Use a Grip Brush

Another gymnastics grips accessory that is useful is a grip brush that should be carefully used to brush any excess chalk build up on the front of the grip. Use a grip brush gently and be careful not to damage the leather. Brush chalk off using a motion that goes with the grain of the leather, usually an up and down motion. Be sure not to brush the stitching of the leather as this can weaken the stitching to the point of tearing.

#4 – Grip Dogs

There are products that help keep grips dry and remove the smell of sweat, that are called Grip Dogs. You will probably want to do this, for sure, if you use water on your grips.

#5 – Water Use on Gymnastics Grips?

To answer the question of water usage on handgrips, without exception, tanneries and grip manufacturers say that water usage is definitely not recommended. Water can cause deterioration, rotting, excess stretching of the leather and potentially cause grips to tear more quickly and more easily and shorten the useful life of your grips. Using water on your gymnastics grips will also void the warranty on your grips from most manufacturers.

Use Water If You Need To – Your Body is More Important Than Your Grips

It seems that every gymnast has their own ritual for preparing their grips to use on the bars, including chalking them in any number of ways, putting water on the grips or the bars or even spitting on their grips. While water use will definitely make grips wear out more quickly, and gymnasts will need to be even more careful when examining their grips, gymnasts should prepare their gymnastics grips in whatever way makes them the safest and feel the safest, even if that means putting lots of water on their grips. While this may mean buying grips more often, it is considerably less expensive than any injury that might come from gymnasts not having prepared their grips in the way that makes them the safest and makes them feel the safest (often the same thing). This is a link to an article about other substances used on grips by gymnasts, like honey, soda pop and even gummy bears.

#6 – Grip Bags

Gymnasts will always want to store their grips in grip bags. This will not only protect them from damage but keep everything else in your gym bag or locker from getting chalk all over them keep the smell of your gymnastics grips from smelling up everything else in your gym bag.

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