Welcome to our Gymnastics Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

Grips- why and when?

Status
Not open for further replies.
B

Billy

Guest
Do all gymnasts eventually use grips? If so, why? At what level should a gymnast start using them?
 

Imat3

New Member
Jan 10, 2008
48
When mine started doing tap swings, they got grips. They say it is easier to hold on to the bar with the dowel to help out. Before the grips one daughter peeled off the high bar while working on her tap swings.
They didn't have trouble with skills when they started using the grips, in fact their kips improved...they say easier to keep arms straight. One problem has been more rips with the grips. Not sure why, but I'm sure it will get better as their hands get used to them.
I think there is a lot of persoonal preference involved here. Whether to use grips...when to start...what kind to get...and so on.

Imat3
 

Geoffrey Taucer

Former Admin
Verified Coach
Coach
Proud Relative
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Fan
Jan 21, 2007
3,880
Baltimore, MD
Country
USA
On the women's side, there are some elite gymnasts that don't use grips. There have been successful olympians that didn't use grips. However, this is getting less and less common, and the truth is that grips do make a lot of things easier.

The dowel acts as an extension of the fingertips, making it much easier to grip the bar. For some (but not all) girls, it also makes rips happen less often.

Most of my girls start using grips around L5 or L6.
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
Some coaches say when gymmies start the bigger skills. Some coaches say the minute they start working on bars. Some say by x level. Some leave it up to each individual. Many differ in their opinions LOL! :D Most US elite gymnasts where grips now, but there are some from other countries that work/train/compete without them.

Our girls do all of their conditioning with no grips, but our coaches (that did not grow up using grips) insist on them for pre-team on up. They prefer the buckle grips. Our girls start tap swings almost immediately and this helps the girls transition to all of their L5 on up skills well, and allows for more bar time.
 
Last edited:
F

flippymonkeysmom

Guest
All the gyms we have been at had them start using grips between L5 & L6. My dd adjusted to them with no problem and is one of the ones thats gets a lot less rips.
 
C

CoachCat27

Guest
i honestly started using the beginners grip (no dowel) in like level 3... i had real sensitive hands that would rip real easily, especially doing all those back hip circles so i wanted grips!! then in level 6 i got the dowel grips... it wasn't very hard to get used to them since i was already used to grips, but i know a lot of my teammates had trouble getting used to them
 

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
Country
USA
Both gyms we've been at start with grips when the girls are really working on giants--end of L6 or L7. Coaches I've talked with are not all that enthusiastic about little ones getting the palm guards. They like their hands to toughen up a little by just swinging on bars and since many have very small hands, feel that adding a layer of leather between the hand and the bar makes things harder than needed. Just opinions I've heard. Of course, the younger ones always seem to like getting things they see the "big girls" using whether it will help them or not.
 

Aussie_coach

Moderator/Coach
Staff member
Verified Coach
Coach
Proud Relative
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Fan
Jan 4, 2008
3,140
Country
Australia
Our kids are all using grips from level 3, and they are using the dowel grips not the beginner kind. But in Australia things are a little different and the kids do tap swings in their routines in both level 3 and 4 aswell as continuous glide swings and the kids tend to get very sore hands.

It depends on a lot of things. Kids will need grips earlier if they are spending a lot of time on bars. Our ones and two's might to 15-20 minutes on bars where as though three and above need to last as much as an hour or so. Also how frequently your girls train bars.

Body weight plays a role too. Heaver gymnasts may need them earlier as there is a lot more pressure on the hands.

Having said that, getting grips too early can be nagative (our girls got them too early I think). They may not learn to grip the bar correctly if they go straight to dowel too soon, and some of our girls I have seen struggle with this. Grips also have the potential for causing damage to the growth plates in the wrist if used to young. But then again they are much harder to introduce later on when the girls really start to need them more and can be easier to get used to early on.

In my opnion kids should wait until they have a strong and confident kip aswell as good strong tap swings before using grips and should be introduced around level 5. But, this rule needs to be flexible, if a girl rips a lot or is quite heavy get them earlier. If your gym requires more time on bars than your daughter can cope with without grips go for earlier aswell.

A girl may choose never to wear grips and thats fine too but most will find that they are invaluable when they do get used to them.
 
J

Jojogymgirl

Guest
I learned front giants, straddle backs, double tucks, and blind changes all without grips. I was even working jaegers and full-outs. I think, however, that the grips really help to blind change and to catch release moves. If your dd is younger, you need to consider these things:
-is she doing front hip circles in her routines? grips make front hip circles hard
-if she does, is she ready for a dowel? if too early, this could damage her hand/wrist
-does she want them or need them? if she has a rip, grips don't always protect your hands against them. you start to get them on your wrists
-LET HER GET HER SWING FIRST!!! make sure she is able to swing bars before even considering grips...if she muscles everything grips will make this harder, but if she swings they will help her out
-it's one more responsibility and more money-is she really ready?
 
B

Billy

Guest
My DD hasn't even asked about them. She's just starting level 4, loves bars and has no trouble with them and has never had a rip. She's also only 6 years old. I'm in no rush to get her grips and her coach hasn't mentioned them, I was just asking for my own knowledge. CB is a great resource for that! Thanks, everyone, for the information!
 

mygirlflipz

Member
Apr 11, 2008
52
NY
My daughter tried grips in level 5 and really did not like them. She struggled with her skills and kept taking them off. She competed the season without them and ended up having a ton of rips and pain throughout the season. When she moved to Level 6, her coaches had her work with them during part of every practice and she got used to them. Now she loves them. She trains in Japan and the majority of the girls here do not use them...even the elite gymnasts that train at her gym. They get rips, but not as bad as I remember my dd getting. Maybe their hands are used to it.

I have to agree with the earlier post that said there is a lot of personal preference when it comes to grips. My daughter is young and has very small hands. Her coaches found her a kind from US Glove that are designed for small hands. These work better for her even though most of her teammates in the US used 10.0.
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
Having said that, getting grips too early can be nagative (our girls got them too early I think). They may not learn to grip the bar correctly if they go straight to dowel too soon, and some of our girls I have seen struggle with this. Grips also have the potential for causing damage to the growth plates in the wrist if used to young. But then again they are much harder to introduce later on when the girls really start to need them more and can be easier to get used to early on.
I am curious about this... I wonder if the issues are really grip related. All of our gymansts get their grips early - my dd when she was 5, with very tiny hands. They all learn their basic bar skills to advanced bar skills in dowel grips. Our gymmies ALL have great bars - and never any wrist or hand problems. I wonder if you have any info to back it up, and if so could it be grip "brand" related?
 
Last edited:

bogwoppit

Former Admin
Coach
Proud Relative
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Fan
Feb 26, 2007
16,512
Country
Canada
I know that if my girls (who do not wear grips) take a long break from gym, like a month or so. When they go back, they have very sore hands for a few weeks, blisters, the odd rip and very hot hands. I tell them to cool down their hands between turns on the bars, they sleep with handy balm and socks on their hands. After a month or so back in the gym their hands don't hurt any more and they hardly get rips etc. They do rub down the callouses a bit before their bath though.

Older DD has tried grips on and off, in fact she owns 3 pairs, she just hates them and really does not want to use them. The coach doesn't care as long as she doesn't complain about time on the bars. She is working giants, has kips etc.

In Canada girls are doing baby giants and tap swings from the lowest levels, but I don't see most girls wearing grips. In our club very few wear grips and we have good bar workers.

There is no right or wrong with grips, I think a lot of it is coach preference. I am sure in another club my girls would be wearing grips and would be fine with them, whatever works I guess.
 
G

gymnaSTICKs

Guest
i started using "beginner" grips in level four. but there really isn't any reason to have them at that level... i really am not even sure why i had them in the first place haha. but i got my first pair of regular (dowel) grips in level five. they help my hands not become sore because they're not rubbing directly against the bar. no, not ALL gymnasts eventually use grips. most do though - i see very few gymnasts lvl 7 or up without them. it's sort of a personal preference. i'd say just wait until her or her coach brings it up.
 

azgymrats

New Member
Apr 11, 2008
18
My dd doesnt use them and the gym doesn't encourage them until 5-6. One of the coaches used to coach elite gymnasts and he says its good to allow the girls to toughen up their hands without grips. Sometimes during practice if one of the girls gets a rip, the coach will wrap their hand and make them a "grip" out of tape.
 
B

Billy

Guest
Wow, thanks for all the info, guys! I have no interest in starting my DD on grips until absolutely necessary. She's doing just fine without them for right now. :)
 
A

awposey1

Guest
When my daughter got hers it was when she got her kip. The kip was the key to grips!
 

gymgymgymnast08

Active Member
Proud Relative
Former Gymnast
Dec 8, 2007
1,233
Country
USA
Shoot im not about to do bars without grips. I'd be scared to do even like a free hip. One team I compete against like doesn't even have level 9s wear grips. I'd be so scared.
 

Aussie_coach

Moderator/Coach
Staff member
Verified Coach
Coach
Proud Relative
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Fan
Jan 4, 2008
3,140
Country
Australia
I am curious about this... I wonder if the issues are really grip related. All of our gymansts get their grips early - my dd when she was 5, with very tiny hands. They all learn their basic bar skills to advanced bar skills in dowel grips. Our gymmies ALL have great bars - and never any wrist or hand problems. I wonder if you have any info to back it up, and if so could it be grip "brand" related?
Actually it was mentioned to us at our latest coaching seminar, we were told that putting the kids in grips too young can damage the growth plates. I'm afraid I have no info on this yet, but I think I'll do a bit of research.
 
B

BlairBob

Guest
From a MAG perspective, Jeff Robinson, head of the Men's JO program here in the states, warned about getting little guys into grips too soon.

If they're swing sucks mechanically and we put them into grips and they swing harder and bigger with poor form, we are asking for injuries since things are out of alignment. We can also be encouraging poor grip strength before swinging big and using grips as a crutch.

I have one friend who occasionally will hop on apparatus and still swing giants on high bar, front or back, without any big deal. However, he is 5'3 and maybe 145. I don't see a guy 5'8 165 or 170 doing this when it comes to the big moves.

As for the girls, I think too many of them, especially when they are itty-bitty sized and still are too weak to swing right are getting grips too soon. Once their form is decent and they are being limited from their swing creating too much force for their grip strength ( the other route would be going into extreme grip training, being able to grip 3-5 times their BW in say a DL or MA similar grip training ).

Many other countries don't use grips simply because of the expense. Some use homemade tape grips or the fact comes they are teeny tiny besides being elite strength in shape.

Say we have a teenage girl, hitting 5'5" going though compulsory or L7/prep-opt. She is really going to tear her hands up besides just creating a lot of force through her swing.

Grips make release moves much easier.

Gals like Sacramone are a lot bigger than Shawn Johnson and Liukin or any of the chinese/romanian gals. Or most elite gals period.

Getting back to it, I'd say get the girls into grips come L6 when they start learning giants or swinging big. Most L5 do not swing big enough to need grips. Nothing in their routine requires it.

As for the guys, many could do everything in L5 without grips. It could go either way. I wouldn't start doing big swings on rings without grips or giants.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads