Workout gloves have become a functional sports accessory in the fitness sector. They make fitness and strength exercises much more pleasant and improve the grip of the hands on the equipment. Sports gloves prevent the formation of blisters and calluses and provide sufficient support to minimize the risk of injury.
A further aspect before buying gym gloves is the consideration of which training activity we should practice with the gloves. There are also different training gloves for different areas of application. For example, an integrated wrist support gives the joints good stability during bodybuilding or weight and strength training.
The material of the glove is also decisive and increases wearing comfort. High-quality weightlifting gloves rely on a balanced material mix of leather, neoprene, and textile. It should also be breathable and offer a pleasant, not too thick padding, which allows an optimal grip feeling.
The right fit is crucial for a good fitness glove. Most manufacturers offer an individual size chart with an additional explanation of the measuring method.
If you don’t wear gloves, you like “rough”. So it is above all a matter of taste whether one appreciates the direct contact with the steel. Many strength athletes perceive gloves as superficiality or “stylish bells and whistles” that interfere with training and good weight control. Usually, gloves are used with weight training equipment or while performing weightlifting, for e.g. deadlifts.
When do training gloves make sense?
If you train with free barbells, dumbbells or kettlebells, gloves can provide a better grip. This is no longer the case with naked hands, which become damp because of sweating during training. This can increase the risk of injury.
Gloves also fulfil a hygienic purpose. In the gym, the same weight grips are lifted by hundreds of members. Before they are (hopefully) cleaned in the evening, countless germs have accumulated on them. With your own gloves, they protect you from direct contact.
Important: Also clean your training gloves regularly, since germs and pathogens can multiply quickly. This can lead to unpleasant odor development and cause skin reactions in the long term. Models made of synthetic material may be washed in the machine without the risk of loss of function. Leather gloves should be carefully cleaned with a cloth and a mixture of water and glycerin.
Gloves protect against calluses
The most common reason to use gloves during training is to protect the skin. When dumbbell grips repeatedly rub against the palms of the hands, this quickly leads to the formation of hardened skin. This prevents the areas where the weight rests, from hurting or tearing during the next training sessions. From an aesthetic point of view, however, calluses are rather undesirable.
Considerations when buying fitness gloves
It depends on the personal taste whether the gloves should be very airy or better padded. Some fitness enthusiasts have rather sensitive palms and there are also athletes, who hardly feel any pain even after longer training periods. Therefore, some people appreciate the comfort of thicker gloves while others prefer thin ones. Thin models have a more direct contact with the equipment.
The training gloves are beneficial for beginners into strength training because they can accustom their hands slowly to the load. Heavy dumbbells or weights feel much softer in the hand with padded and thick gloves. Bodybuilders training with the barbells will also like the gloves. For walking sticks, home trainer grips and work-outs with small dumbbells, it is important that a comfortable grip is available even with sweaty hands. The airy, thin gloves are ideally suited for this.
The cycling gloves are especially advisable for longer tours, and this is also the case when free-riders or mountain bikers experience strong impacts from stones and rocks. Also, for stunts, a good hold is needed. When cycling with a racing bike, there is an inclined sitting position and thus there is a big pressure on the palms. This pressure is reduced by thicker padded gloves and they increase the riding comfort. When performing stunts or going downhill, a firm hold and necessary handlebar control is achieved with leather gloves or with thin gloves that have rubber studs. It is important when buying that the gloves adapt optimally to the movements and they should be anatomically shaped. Different materials are specifically arranged and the right size is also important.
Training gloves made of leather look “cool”. If they are genuine leather, they are also particularly robust and breathable. They are therefore particularly suitable for heavy weights. The disadvantage is that the material hardens because of the absorbed sweat. This is not the case with artificial leather, which wears out more quickly. Synthetic gloves made of polyester or elastane are popular. They are light and permeable to air and can easily be washed in the washing machine. Perfect for athletes who lift light weights.
Training gloves are available from most manufacturers in five different sizes from S to XXL. You can determine the size with a measuring tape. Place the tape at the level of the knuckles once around the whole hand.
There are different models of lifting gloves. And they not only differ in style but some of them have straps, so-called “wrist wraps”, which function like a kind of wrist band. Such gloves are more suitable for bench presses that lift heavy weights to keep the load on the joints as low as possible. Classic gloves without “wrist wraps” offer more freedom. Exercises where the weight is integrated into an arm movement and the wrist is bent work better without a band or strap.
Use grip pads if you want less restriction
Adaptable and non-slip grip pads cushion the load of the hard dumbbell grip without intervening in the arm or hand position and thus reliably protect against callus. Grip pads are relatively inexpensive and have a comparatively long life.
The training gloves offer a better grip, better protection, and a better hold. The athletes use gloves in multiple sporting activities in different ways. Strength athletes use them to prevent calluses and blisters. They also provide a better grip if the hands are slippery and damp because of perspiration. Those who have already lifted weights know of their importance. Some gloves have special padding with non-slip elements. The equipment handles, kettlebells and dumbbell bars thus feel much more firmly in the hand.
We can wear the training gloves during any activity. The gloves are also popular for functional training or cross-fit workouts. They are also used with hiking and trekking poles or while doing aerobics using small dumbbells. With any grip, there is thus a better hold.