Whether to wear workout gloves at gym or not has been a common question among expert or beginner level lifters.
I have seen people bullying other lifters for wearing gloves while workout, this is something that concerns me allot. While rock climbing most of the climbers will never take chance by going without gloves, reason? It could be deadly, so why not follow the same rule while training at the gym?
Whether someone should wear a workout glove should depend on personal preferences and comfort levels. Looking into the benefits and limitations of wearing gym gloves can help you make a wiser decision.
Ahead in this article, we are going to cover the gym gloves benefits and its drawbacks too.
9 Reasons to wear gym gloves:
1- Lift heavier
Whether you are doing deadlift or pullups, a glove will secure your grip and wrist to exert more pressure to complete the movement.
Someone might say lifting straps are the better choice for heavy lifting, not really, Lifting straps are not for everyone, they require different levels of expertise to properly use them. Gloves do help in lifting a heavyweight by eliminating the stress from the grip and allowing the target muscle to do all the lifting work.
Bigger muscles groups are generally stronger than your grip strength and wearing a right glove can make those target muscle do all the work.
2- Go additional reps
Do your forearms start to get the burning sensation whenever following the high reps, drop sets, giant sets or supersets? Wearing a lifting glove can certainly help.
Every experienced lifter has encountered this issue, sometimes our forearms and grip strength reach fatigue way before our target muscle. This kind of situation appears when the lifter is following a shorter rest period or intense training protocol.
Your forearms and wrist are not strong at your traps, lats or pecs, that’s the reason they reach fatigue faster. Lowering down stress from grip and forearms can help you push harder for extra repetitions.
3- Sweaty hands are not issue anymore
Sweaty hands is a big issue for many lifters which can be easily overcome by wearing good quality workout gloves.
No one wants to accidentally drop the weight while doing heavy deadlifts or benchpress, that can severely injure the lifter. A stronger grip not only help in holding the weight more efficiently but also helps you achieve far better muscle contraction.
4- Wrist protection
Are you someone who is genetically gifted with a smaller wrist? Small or weak wrist is a common problem. You need a strong wrist support while heavy bench press, over head presser, upright row.
You can either use the wrist wraps to protect your wrist or can choose a more versatile lifting gloves that comes with wrist wraps.
Some might ask, does wearing a wrist wrap leave the wrist weak and undeveloped? Yes, wrist wraps will divert the stress from wrists which might leave them weak but they also protect them to possible injury. So what’s the best solution? Wrap your wrist while heavy lifts only and use your bare hand while lifting light or moderate weights, additionally, train your forearm three times a week to develop a more resilient grip and wrist.
5- Stronger grip
Workout gloves definitely provide an edge for better gripping, by providing additional stabilization and sweat reduction.
I am always worried about accidentally losing a grip while heavy bench press or dumbbell press, a good gym glove allows a skid-proof surface.
Additionally, choosing a gym glove with silicone padding can help you achieve added grip.
For a while, it’s okay to keep your pride aside and wear a glove when its absolutely necessary.
6- Prevents Calluses
Calluses are those small rough patches of dead skin just before the fingers that are earned by every lifter because of heavy lifting.
Calluses are not dangerous, actually, they are the price possession to many young lifters but sometimes they can be quite painful and annoying.
Although calluses can make the palm look strong, it is not so attractive to many people. One of my client who is a massage therapist could not bear to have calluses, because of obvious reasons.
No matter what your reason is, wearing gloves can prevent calluses.
7- Chalks can be messy
Chalks are loved by serious lifters, even I love training with chalk but that’s not always an option. Chalks are more common at hardcore powerlifting gyms where lifters are training to get bigger and stronger.
Undoubtedly, chalks do create a mess and some of the commercial gyms are too sophisticated to allow the use of chalks. I have encountered gyms who forbid the use of chalks because of many reasons.
In short, gym gloves can surely help you replace chalk.
8- Improved muscle Isolation
Muscle isolation is a very important aspect of bodybuilding, it allows you to target a specific muscle to do the work for superior hypertrophy gains. The problem is grip is one of the most powerful neurological stabilizers in the human body which is beneficial for compound strength, but BAD for isolation work.
How do gloves help in muscle isolation? If you workout with an elite trainer, he will always ask to use your hands as a hook to hold the bar or dumbbell to allow the target muscle to do all the lifting work. Squeezing the bar tight will surely help you lift heavy weights by recruiting more muscle fibers but that doesn’t help in muscle isolation.
By wearing workout gloves, you can shift your attention from holding the weight tight and pay more emphasis to the muscle isolation. Wearing workout glove can play a big role in isolation by limiting the role of biceps.
9- Prevents overuse and additional stability
If you workout 5-6 days a week then what makes you believe that your grip and wrist doesn’t needs rest?
Just like any body part, your grip, wrist, and forearm goes through a constant process of damage and repairs. If you are lifting heavy on a daily basis then your palm, wrist, and forearms are at high risk of injuries.
Wearing gloves or straps while heavy lifts not only prevents damage but also prevents unnecessary injuries. Gloves with added padding and wrist support works really well in the longer run.
Drawbacks of wearing gloves at gym
Limits grip strength
Yup, that’s true, you will definitely develop higher grip strength and stronger forearms while lifting bare hands. But the problem is injuries.
That’s the reason I suggest using gloves while heavy lifting and you can go bare hands while moderate lifting.
If your grip can cope up with your bigger lifts then there is no issue in training without gloves. If you have a weak wrist then you can wear gloves while training but dedicate 3-days a week for wrist strengthening drills.
It might feel a little unnatural in the beginning, but if you allow yourself a time of 1-2 weeks, your hands will adapt and train with gloves.
Are gym workout gloves worth it? Yes, it’s worth every penny. There are more benefits than drawbacks, Good workout glove will save you from injuries, provides additional padding, wrist protection, stronger grip, and better strength gains. In the beginning, It can be a little hard to train with gloves but you will adapt to it.
Best workout gloves to choose from:
Gym Gloves FAQ:
1- Are Gym Gloves Necessary?
No they are not necessary to wear gloves while workout some lifters are perfectly fine with lifting bare hands.
If you get too much sweat while workout or if your wrist is not strong enough then there is no issue in using gloves.
2- What Are Gym Gloves For?
Gym gloves are primarily developed to provide added protection to your palm and wrist.
They are developed to prevent calluses, firm grip, support heavy lifting, and injury prevention.
3- Gym Gloves Or Wrist Support?
If wrist is the problem area then you should buy wrist straps but if you experience excess swear or calluses while training then gloves are a better option.
Wrist support only prevents excess stress from the wrist but gym gloves will help you lift heavier by allowing stronger grip.
4- Gym Chalk Vs Gloves?
Chalk helps in avoiding excessive sweat but does not have wrist support and chalk is not allowed in many commercial gyms.
Chalk is used by hardcore lifters to gain monstrous strength but gloves are a more preferred option for bodybuilders.
Bodybuilding is not about lifting heavy weight every day, instead it’s about muscle isolation and mind & muscle connection.
Thanks for reading. Questions are welcomed in the comments as always. This site contains affiliate links as well as general health and fitness information. Please read my Medical Disclaimer and Writing Disclaimer for more information.