As part of our new safety standards and protocols, we have eliminated the use of chalk at the gym. The chalk bucket is the perfect place for germs to live as we all put our sweaty hands in there. We aren’t able to let you being your own personal use chalk either, because the chalk gets stuck in all the nooks and crannies of the equipment and again, holds those germs we are trying so hard to avoid!
So, what are we going to do about sweaty slippery hands while we are working out so hard?
First, we could take a step back and really work on all of the movements without the use of anything. You may have to use a lighter weight and go slower, but there is some real value in working on that bare grip strength. We train at the gym for functional fitness. It is rare that an occasion would arise in real life where you would have the time or opportunity to chalk up or put on some grips or gloves before you do what you need to do.
Also, let’s be real honest here…how many times have you walked over to the chalk bucket and chalked up just to get a few extra breaths before you went back to those reps in the workout? I admit I use calking up as an excuse to take a break. Consider a gut check. Do you really need chalk or are you just procrastinating?
Admittedly, sometimes we do really need chalk – and there are 2 cases for that and 2 different solutions.
Chalk for grip on the pull up rig.
Gloves don’t work well for rig work. I have found that people tear more easily wearing gloves. What I recommend instead is gymnastic grips. They come in a variety of different sizes and styles. Most have a leather piece with either 2 or 3 finger holes. The leather piece goes over the palm of your hand and secures to your wrist with a velcro wrap.
You can also make your own quick, easy, and reusable grip with athletic tape. You can customize it for you with 1 or 2 finger holes and make the width and length perfect for your palm.
Chalk for grip on the barbell/kettlebell/dumbbell.
Your gymnastics grips are probably not going to be great for moving weights around. For this I would instead recommend getting some lifting gloves. They are just like regular gloves, but have cut outs for your fingers. They’ll cover all of your palm. Likely these will be made out of some breathable material with leather palms for the grip part.
You can also get single use grips from places like Wod N Done. These look like they would be good for an entire workout. (I get nothing from recommending these, I just think it is a good option.)
As always, protecting your hands is very important – consider Hand Maintenance a priority. Nobody wants painful rips and tears that take weeks to heal. We also don’t want people losing their grip and falling off of the pull up rig or letting go of a barbell or kettlebell! All you need is a little bit or prep before a workout.