6 Grips To Up Your Pull-up Game (and protect your hands)

Hand health is extremely important to Crossfit athletes. Hand rips are a serious injury that can impact how an athlete performs for days or even weeks. Preventing hand and palm rips can be achieved fairly easily with the use of gymnastic grips. Gymnastic grips are typically a small strip of leather or other materials with finger holes that is attached to the wrist with a velcro strap. Designs can vary between brands, but overall most grips work to protect hands in a similar fashion. 

The following is a list of six of the more popular and well known gymnastic grips on the market today. All of these grips have been worn by local, regional, and games athletes in some capacity.

Let us know if you've tried any of these - or if you have other favorites!

Victory Grips:
Offer the largest variety of grips: 2, 3, 4 and no finger grips in leather and a synthetic material they call stealth. Their stealth material is the more intriguing material that they offer as it has a slightly better grip over a traditional leather grip and also does not stretch out like a leather grip would, making sizing a little easier to gauge. Victory grips run a little on the larger side to allow for the creation of a fold in the grip to secure the hand better on the bar. Victory grips also include a guard on the side of the hand for assistance with false grip for use with gymnastic rings.

Alec Smith Grip by RX Smart Gear:
The Alec Smith grips are similar to the Victory Grip no finger grips. The exclusion of finger holes allows the athlete to go from gymnastic work to barbell cycling in mere moments. These grips include a small elastic grip to tuck the flap of the grips away. They also have added a padded strap which can double as a wrist support for varied metcons. Note that these are leather and will stretch out over time.

Bear Komplex Grips:
Offer both 2 and 3 finger grips in leather and a special carbon fiber material. Their carbon fibers grips are designed to be used on slick bars and any other objects with less grip. Bear Komplex Grips include a contoured shape that is designed to stay on the palm through kipping pull-ups and toes-2-bar.

Rouge V2 Gymnastic Grips:
Standard 2 finger leather grips. Similar design to many generic 2 finger grips. Nothing flashy about these, very basic but functional. Athletes should be advised to buy one size up for extra material to create a fold for better grip. Both grips are identical, so they do not fit both hands as well and the wrist strap can dig into the wrist.

The Baraides:
Tear resistant cloth grips. Very minimal grips that give very good bar feel. Can be reused but will break down faster than the other grips mentioned. More difficult to take on and off during a workout. Also must be secured around the wrist with tape or wrist wraps, no way to secure them by themselves. Least expensive option and good entry level grips.

Woven elastic grips. Much less break in time than any of the leather or other synthetic grips. Attach to the wrist with a strap that can be used for wrist support. Wrist support is useful but cannot be removed for workouts where it is not needed. These give more bar feel but offer less protection. Are machine washable.