Bars: Grips and Peeling

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I'm a L5 USAG gymnast, and I'm having a problem on my tap swings. When I do more than 2 or 3 tap swings in a row, my hands start to peel off in the back. I chalk up before every turn and the bars are good - no one else has my problem. I wear "junior" grips (no dowels). It's not a problem in my routine because there are only 2 tap swings, but it makes it hard to work on form for tap swings in practice.

Do I need new grips? I got new grips (because I lost my old ones) recently but I can't switch to dowels in the middle of competition season. It's pretty frightening to almost peel off the bars every time I work on tap swings. I wind up gripping the bar by the tips of my fingers. I have a good grip and my coach has watched my re-grip and has pronounced it fine. Are my grips the wrong size? I wear an extra-large, but the finger-holes fit at the very base of my fingers, right next to my palm. My teammates' grips fit around their knuckles.
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Active Member
Former Gymnast
Jun 24, 2008
Are they palm guards or essentially dowel grips without the dowel? I really discourage palm guards because they can get slippery really quickly, and if your grips are meant to make the same kind of "pocket" that dowels do, then you're wearing them too low. If you're in palm guards, you might as well try dowels. I had pretty big hands when I switched to grips mid-L6, and I was able to swing a full bar routine by the second day in dowels.


New Member
Jan 28, 2008
I use dowels but I think even with the regular grips they shouldn't go down that far on your fingers...

slipping off on tap swings aren't fun, and it sounds like your swings are fine. Maybe you're not turning your wrist all the way when you regrip? also, do you pull down on the bar just before regripping??

i don't know if you use water with chalk on your grips but spraying the grips with water and then putting chalk on makes the grip stick to the bar easier.

I hope some of these suggestions help, and good luck!


Mar 29, 2009
North Carolina
are you regripping the bar? that sounds like what the problem is. And my gym requires that you get grips (with dowels) in level 5 because of all the swinging so you don't peel off the bar. Maybe it is time for you to try dowel grips. You will discover, after you've broken them in, how much easier it is to do bars with them! Now that i have had grips for a LONG LONG time, i can barely do anything without them!


Yea maybe try getting the dowel grips. Those things have saved my life a couple times. lol
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