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Breaking in Grips and an Update

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M23K's

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DD used grips for the first time tonight. It would be an understatement to say she hated them. Can anything be done to break them in? I searched the forum and someone had talked about folding them a certain way while storing them. Does anyone know how they need to be folded?


BTW, she loves being back on team . She's holding her own and hasn't been sore and they condition a lot more than our previous gym. The girls are so friendly and have really made her feel a part of the team. Now....I know I'm biased....but her skills are really looking good too. Her vault needs some work but it looks similar to most of the other girls who have just started going over the table. In 2 weeks, she's gone from looking like she's doing a front limber over the thing to doing an actual vault but with an archy back.
 

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
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USA
Good to hear she's happy being back in the gym. As for the grips, my gymmie was not fond of them at first either. Not so much the break in, but the bars just felt "different" to her. Since your dd is working on getting her skills back plus getting used to grips she may just need to give herself a little time. The break in doesn't take all that long. Actually, my gymmie(now an expert I guess!) helped several girls get used to theirs. Start off with some glide swings, tap swings etc. Then progress to kips and so on. Obviously, the more bar work done per practice, the faster they will break in. As for rolling them, just have her take them off and keep them in the same shape(you can see where the bar would fit in the grip) and wrap them up with a rubber band.

Another trick is to rub them down with one of the oils used for baseball gloves etc. Many of the grip manufacturers are starting to come out with softer grips that take almost no break in. My gymmie got a pair like that from 10-0 and loves them.
 

Tumblequeensmom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2007
1,453
Gym Law Mom's suggestions are right on. My DD also has those softer grips from Ten-O. We had a "minor" disaster between meets... her grips ripped right up the middle the night before her meet in the middle of March.... her coach taped them up for the meet the next day. I ordered those softer grips from 10-O w/rush shipping (since she had a meet in 3 weeks from that date). She was able to use them just fine within a week of swinging w/them! I can't remember the name, but you'd be able to find them from the description on the website!
 

gym monkeys mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Oct 3, 2007
569
My daughter got a pair of the soft grips llast year and they ripped a hole in less than 6 months. UGH! At which t ime one of the boys team coaches at our gym told me to get DD a pair of new grips then and anther pair in 3-6 months to break in so she is never with out a pair. I am ordering the second pair to break in now that competition season is over. Wish I knew that before. When she first got grips in took about a month before she liked them We had a friend who used to be a gymnast who encouraged her to keep at it. She was glad she did and wouldn't be without them now. Best wishes.
 

gymgymgymnast08

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Former Gymnast
Dec 8, 2007
1,233
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I have two pairs of grips; both the same exact grip same exact size. Just in case one rips or something. One pair isn't broken in. I haven't gotten around to that. I hate breaking new grips in!
 
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GymnastRaeRae87

Guest
The first day I used my grips, I slipped off high bar and under the low bar! My coaches and I got a good laugh out of that one! The way I broke in my grips was doing very small tap swings on high bar and focusing on the re-grip. That really helped. I didn't try anything hard until I felt more comfortable in them. Little swings and other small skills such as pull overs really helped me break them in! I am sure she will get used to them soon, once mine were broken in and I was used to working with them, I love them! :)
 

CoachL

Member
Apr 9, 2007
217
if she's not comfortable after a while with grips there's no reason to really use them. Grips are a luxury not a necessity. I have 4 level 10's that don't use grips and 2 that do. I also have a 2 pre elites that don't wear them. TBH I don't even think they are necessary until a child is doing front giants. Also remember that there are different grips for different hands.
 
My daughter's gym asks them to have 2 pairs (same size etc) on the go all the time - both broken in and used regularly.

This is a good situation as if one ever becomes lost or broken, they don't have the hindrance of competing with brand new hand guards (or grips as you call them).

As their hands don't seem to grow excessively fast, this does not seem to be an exorbitant expense to outlay.

:eek:
Anyway, both pairs still smell appalling!! :faint:

:unitedkingdom:
 
M

M23K's

Guest
Thank you all for the suggestions. It also really helped her to know she's not the only one who struggled with them in the beginning. In her mind she thought she'd never get used to them.

Friday she got a pretty good sized rip on her palm and then bled on her grips last night. I don't know how I'm going to get it out.

Now for some good news.....she got her kip back last night (grips and all)!! She had it last May but hadn't worked on it until the last 2 weeks. It was the ultimate confidence boost for her.
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
Good to hear she's happy being back in the gym. As for the grips, my gymmie was not fond of them at first either. Not so much the break in, but the bars just felt "different" to her. Since your dd is working on getting her skills back plus getting used to grips she may just need to give herself a little time. The break in doesn't take all that long. Actually, my gymmie(now an expert I guess!) helped several girls get used to theirs. Start off with some glide swings, tap swings etc. Then progress to kips and so on. Obviously, the more bar work done per practice, the faster they will break in. As for rolling them, just have her take them off and keep them in the same shape(you can see where the bar would fit in the grip) and wrap them up with a rubber band.

Another trick is to rub them down with one of the oils used for baseball gloves etc. Many of the grip manufacturers are starting to come out with softer grips that take almost no break in. My gymmie got a pair like that from 10-0 and loves them.
I would have to recommend never rubbing oils of any kind on grips...the leather used to make grips is far more porous than regular leather, and any kind of liquid (including water...which a lot of gymnasts don't understand) can fill the holes which makes the grips extremely slick. The grips just need to be used, rubbed gently with a wire brush, and folded properly for storage. They should also be kept in a fabric grip bag, as opposed to a plastic bag, so that the water dries out over night. Water is the worst thing you can put on leather, and yet kids are often allowed to dump water all over their hands before every turn. I have been coaching bars for a long time, and I still don't get it.
 

tumblerK

Member
Feb 8, 2008
349
LO
I'll admit to putting water on my grips even thought you are not supposed to. It's how I was taught, and now it feels funny without it. My teammate always said that the water helps the chalk stick to the grip. Probably not true but it works for me. I have never felt like it made it more slippery. W/O water feels more slippery to me.
 

hunde2

Active Member
Nov 5, 2007
664
My daughter just got grips too.At first she was against it and then saw her teammates grips.So she got excited to have them too.She came home after the first practice with them and liked them alot.She practiced all week with them and does her kips cast handstands and handstand giant flyaway.They are also practicing shootovers and frontgiants.She was mostly sceptic about jumping to highbar.So funny.
 

maddiekate

Member
Aug 8, 2007
303
West Coast
I'll admit to putting water on my grips even thought you are not supposed to. It's how I was taught, and now it feels funny without it. My teammate always said that the water helps the chalk stick to the grip. Probably not true but it works for me. I have never felt like it made it more slippery. W/O water feels more slippery to me.
I agree. Water seems to help the chalk stick. It's not like we have a bucket of water we dunk them in, we just use a spray bottle.
 

blondegymnastxo

New Member
Mar 30, 2008
45
U.S.A
The first day i got my first pair of grips I hated them too. Now I love them. your DD just has to get used to them, and yes there is a certain way to fold them.... i still fold mine everyday when we get off bars!!
 
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