Support those big lifts with these great workout aids.
For those who lift big or who seek the most protection out of their hands, weightlifting gloves have grown in popularity as a beneficial piece of equipment to do that. In practice, we wear gloves all the time. We wear gloves when its cold outside, if we are painting a house or a shed, and with certain cleaning products, so why should your workout be any different? An activity where grip strength and hand protection are so important, totally disregarding weightlifting gloves would be a disservice.
It should be said that for some, weightlifting gloves interfere with their workouts. That’s a personal choice and everyone knows what works best for them. Sometimes a more natural feel is the best way to go. But for those who feel they need more wrist support, palm protection, or better grip strength, a good weightlifting glove can work for your overall benefit when it comes to lifting more with added protection.
Knowing the benefits and finding the right lifting gloves are only half the battle. Actually getting up and committing to a hard workout will make those gains really grow. Weightlifting gloves are not the end-all be-all answer to big gains, but they can support you in your efforts to get there.
Benefits Of Weightlifting Gloves
One of the more obvious but important benefits of weightlifting gloves is their ability to improve and support your grip. During that grueling workout, sweat starts to build up on your hands really making that grip elusive. Weightlifting gloves will keep that grip sharp and allow for better positioning on the bar ensuring you have a safe, injury-free workout (1). With a better grip, you will also feel empowered to load on more weight and really increase those gains and overall performance.
Provide Wrist Support & Protection
The wrist is a vulnerable joint, and while it is resilient and quite strong, one wrong mistake and you can suffer from a terrible wrist injury. Many gloves provide an added feature of a wrist wrap to provide for better stabilization and support of the wrist joint to keep you from an unfortunate injury or unwanted pain (2). Typically, this consists of a Velcro strap that you can wrap around to adjust for tightness and comfort. As a result, your wrist remains stable so whatever the lift or movement may be, no extra movement exists to hurt your goals.
Avoid Calluses & Blisters
No one enjoys calluses or blisters. If you have ever tried to shower with fresh blisters on your hands, you may be very attracted to weightlifting gloves. Over time, lifting and other exercises can cause calluses and blisters to form as a result of the constant grind we put our hands through. This can make our hands feel very tough and seem unattractive from an aesthetic point of view.
Having too many blisters can also affect future lifts, because no matter how willing you are to tough it out, trying to grip a bar with fresh blisters only causes blood and pain, both of which do not support a productive lift.
Aside from the added bonus of enhancing grip to support more weight with no slippage, weightlifting gloves can increase your lifts by distributing the weight across your forearms so it doesn’t all go to your fingers and palm. They also work to improve technique and with a solid, stable wrist, and pain free hands, you can really focus on mind-muscle connection (3) while also having increased weight on the bar.
Reduce Hand Pain & Pressure
One feature of a weightlifting glove to consider is the added padding that may exist on the palm. This will help alleviate pressure and pain (4) for a more comfortable and enjoyable lift. Everyone has the ability to work hard, some just prefer to be more comfortable than others. By relieving pressure on your hands, you allow the muscle being worked to be more effectively engaged to really start the process of seeing those gains.
Disadvantages Of Weightlifting Gloves
It is only fair to mention the disadvantages of weightlifting gloves, which may be exact counters to the advantages, but again, it is all a matter of personal preference. Some prefer a more natural grip and feel that weightlifting gloves can hurt their ability to properly and effectively grip a bar or dumbbell. A thicker bar, for example, may be harder to grip especially with added padding. That extra layer may provide for harder grip and cause your technique to slack off as a result of you trying to physically perform the lift at all costs. This may create that unwanted pressure that no one wants ultimately working against you.
You may become dependent on weightlifting gloves and that isn’t a problem but if you forget your gloves, you best be sure to get the lift done without them. If you rely too heavily on your gloves then its easy for excuses to pile up for reasons to not do it. While we do wear gloves for many other activities outside the gym, for most everyday functional tasks we do not. When carrying the groceries, you don’t put gloves on. While this may seem like a silly reason, working on functional grip and strength will prove to be effective for your everyday life and learning to lift with weightlifting gloves and without can be more than beneficial overall.
Check out our list of the Best Weightlifting Gloves here.
Weightlifting gloves are really a personal choice. Some people swear by them while others scoff and prefer a more natural grip. But using them for some exercises and not for others is a most likely a happy medium to ensure you get all of the gains of your lift. Check out some weightlifting gloves and find the pair that works best for you to see if these pieces of workout equipment will turn your overall strength and performance goals around.
*Images courtesy of Envato
- Hamilton, George F.; McDonald, Carolyn; Chenier, Thomas C. (1992). “Measurement of Grip Strength: Validity and Reliability of the Sphygmomanometer and Jamar Grip Dynamometer”. (source)
- Lee, Ju-Hyun; Kim, Tae-Ho; Lim, Kyu-Bong (2018). “Effects of eccentric control exercise for wrist extensor and shoulder stabilization exercise on the pain and functions of tennis elbow”. (source)
- Calatayud, Joaquin; Vinstrup, Jonas; Jakobsen, Markus D.; Sundstrup, Emil; Brandt, Mikkel; Jay, Kenneth; Colado, Juan Carlos; Andersen, Lars Louis (2016), “Importance of mind-muscle connection during progressive resistance training”. (source)
- Buhman, Dion C.; Cherry, Jennifer A.; Bronkema-Orr, Lisa; Bishu, Ram (2000). “Effects of glove, orientation, pressure, load, and handle on submaximal grasp force”. (source)