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Questions about grips

Gymbugs

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My daughters coach recommended that she get grips to use with the uneven bars. She is trying to get her level 5 skills. She has until the end of July. She still needs her fly away which they haven’t practiced yet and her drop kip (I think it’s called). She also needs a higher cast after her kip. My concern is that bars is the event she needs to get the most skills. She has her other stills. I’ve heard grips are hard to get used to so I’m worried they will set her back. Should we wait until she gets her skills for move ups to actually purchase them? Or, will she still have her skills without them? I don’t want her to lose her kip or something like that. How long do grips take to get used to? Is there a chance they could actually help her?
 

ldw4mlo

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No get the grips now so she doesn't have to relearn the "feel". This is the best time for getting used to grips.

And find out what kind your coach recommends. Our bars coach only wants the buckle kind.
 
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Gym Geek

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If your daughter needs them, I would have her start using grips NOW! They’re a pain to break in during meet season when your skills need to be top notch, and if Coach wants them, then it’s better to start in the Summer. If she rips a lot, that may be why the Coach wants her to have them. At some gyms, grips are required by certain levels to make the girls look “uniform” at meets, and he/she may want them for that reason.

On the other hand, if she never rips, has enough hard callouses, and grips are not required by your gym, I’d say you can wait. There was a Level 10 at my gym who only got grips her second year of Level 10. (Though I would’t wait THAT long...) Consider asking your DD what she wants!

Grips usually take 1-2 weeks of practice to break in. They will be uncomfortable for the first few days, so don’t let her stop using them during that time because of discomfort. Easy skills like casts, back- hip circles, and especially TAP SWINGS are helpful to break them in.

A couple of grip tips:
1). Buy “beginner grips” which have Velcro instead of metal latches around the wrists. They are easier to adjust and are better for first-time grip users.
2). BEFORE she puts them on, designate which one is the left grip and which one is the right grip. It doesn’t matter which one you choose (they will both be the same) but once you break them in they mold to the specific shape of each hand. Use a sharpie to mark an L and an R on each grip.
3). Most girls don’t JUST put chalk on their grips. They spray them with water first and then rub on chalk.

I hope this helps. Keep us updated!
 

skschlag

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Jul 19, 2011
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Our coach absolutely forbids velcro grips. Says the kids spend to much time messing and adjusting the velcro. Buckles only at our gym.
that woudl drive D nuts! He hates double buckle. He only uses the one that have both. He says he has to adjust them so they don't loosen, and that buckles alone don't stay tight enough. glad his coach is flexible with that!
 
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Gym Geek

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Our coach absolutely forbids velcro grips. Says the kids spend to much time messing and adjusting the velcro. Buckles only at our gym.
Wow! Our coach recommends Velcro for younger girls, and the Xcel girls that use grips all use them. Only the optionals at our gym have buckle grips.
 

GAgymmom

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If your daughter needs them, I would have her start using grips NOW! They’re a pain to break in during meet season when your skills need to be top notch, and if Coach wants them, then it’s better to start in the Summer. If she rips a lot, that may be why the Coach wants her to have them. At some gyms, grips are required by certain levels to make the girls look “uniform” at meets, and he/she may want them for that reason.

On the other hand, if she never rips, has enough hard callouses, and grips are not required by your gym, I’d say you can wait. There was a Level 10 at my gym who only got grips her second year of Level 10. (Though I would’t wait THAT long...) Consider asking your DD what she wants!

Grips usually take 1-2 weeks of practice to break in. They will be uncomfortable for the first few days, so don’t let her stop using them during that time because of discomfort. Easy skills like casts, back- hip circles, and especially TAP SWINGS are helpful to break them in.

A couple of grip tips:
1). Buy “beginner grips” which have Velcro instead of metal latches around the wrists. They are easier to adjust and are better for first-time grip users.
2). BEFORE she puts them on, designate which one is the left grip and which one is the right grip. It doesn’t matter which one you choose (they will both be the same) but once you break them in they mold to the specific shape of each hand. Use a sharpie to mark an L and an R on each grip.
3). Most girls don’t JUST put chalk on their grips. They spray them with water first and then rub on chalk.

I hope this helps. Keep us updated!
Velcro grips are not beginner grips, they are just grips. That’s all my daughter used levels 5-10.
 
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GAgymmom

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My daughters coach recommended that she get grips to use with the uneven bars. She is trying to get her level 5 skills. She has until the end of July. She still needs her fly away which they haven’t practiced yet and her drop kip (I think it’s called). She also needs a higher cast after her kip. My concern is that bars is the event she needs to get the most skills. She has her other stills. I’ve heard grips are hard to get used to so I’m worried they will set her back. Should we wait until she gets her skills for move ups to actually purchase them? Or, will she still have her skills without them? I don’t want her to lose her kip or something like that. How long do grips take to get used to? Is there a chance they could actually help her?
There are brands that are easier to break in, like Ginnista or Pixie grips. They can take just 1 practice. Velcro or buckle is a gymnast preference, they are not beginning or advanced grips. My friend’s daughter got them in Level 9, most kids get them by level 4 or 5. Also, grips don’t stop rips, they just help with gripping the bar for certain skills and release moves.
 

mommyof1

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As a parent, here is what I’ve learned about grips:
-Proper fit is essential for safety. Don’t try to fit them yourself—have an expert do it. Note that sizing can vary by brand and style.
-If your child thinks she’s outgrown her grips or if you suspect that they are wearing out, insist that she have her coach look at them. My kid is forever thinking she’s outgrown her grips because she still doesn’t understand how they are supposed to fit.
-Some coaches and gymnasts view the acquisition of dowel grips as a sacred rite of passage. As a parent, do not appear to be interfering with the coach’s decision as to when to grant this coveted privilege.
-If Coach prefers buckles, do not even think of getting Velcro or you will risk making Coach think your child is incredibly annoying as she repeatedly fiddles with the Velcro, including while perched atop the bar on her belly with no hands.
-Some kids prefer narrower leather on the palm so they can better feel the bar, double buckle instead of single, etc. If your child is new to grips, it is unlikely that she knows what she will really like best, and therefore easiest to go along with the coach’s recommendation.
-There is always the possibility of an adjustment period, and Coach knows that, so let her choose the time that she thinks makes the most sense.

Bottom line: If Coach recommends grips, get them now, in the exact brand, style, and size that she recommends.
 

ldw4mlo

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that woudl drive D nuts! He hates double buckle. He only uses the one that have both. He says he has to adjust them so they don't loosen, and that buckles alone don't stay tight enough. glad his coach is flexible with that!
Wow! Our coach recommends Velcro for younger girls, and the Xcel girls that use grips all use them. Only the optionals at our gym have buckle grips.
I guess like most things it’s what you get used to.

Our kids only have to get used to one type, rather then compulsory then optional.

I guess further back then any of our current gummies, some had Velcro and apparently they spent entirely to much time messing with the Velcro.

Any one currently in our gym either uses buckle grips or no grips.
 

ldw4mlo

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-If Coach prefers buckles, do not even think of getting Velcro or you will risk making Coach think your child is incredibly annoying as she repeatedly fiddles with the Velcro, including while perched atop the bar on her belly with no hands.

Bottom line: If Coach recommends grips, get them now, in the exact brand, style, and size that she recommends.
This is our coach excessive fiddling makes him nuts.
 

MuggleMom

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The adjustment period wont be as long as you think my daughter was able to do her kip first day with her grips and it was maybe a week before everything looked and felt like it did before for her. Some kids it may take longer but once it clicks I feel like they are right back where they were before grips so its not really any "lost time".

Good luck with flyaways and drop kips! My daughter loves flyaways I hope yours will too!
 
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mls529

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It really depends on the kid for how long it takes to get used to grips. Bars is my DD's favorite event and she was training levels 6/7 without them (including giants) because "she didn't like how they felt." Then she moved to another gym where everyone was required to have them above a certain level. She HATED them, and after every practice, there was at least 10 minutes of complaining how she "lost" her high casts/CHS, etc. But then, magically, after about a month, the grips were broken in and all skills plus some were coming easy.

The irony is that she forgot her grips for a meet this year. I reminded her that she can absolutely do the skills without grips, and she told me now that she is used to grips, she literally can't even kip without them (she borrowed a pair and all was good). So, I would jump in now - don't worry if any skills go away for a short while, I promise they will come back. And then in a year, your DD will be complaining that she can't do any skills without her grips!
 

Gym Geek

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Velcro grips are not beginner grips, they are just grips. That’s all my daughter used levels 5-10.
I know people use Velcro grips that aren’t beginners, but at I’ve seen them labeled on the package as “beginner grips”, and the buckle ones were labeled as “advanced grips”. I don’t know why.

I would go with the coach’s recommendation on buckle vs. Velcro. If he or she has no preference, I know the younger girls at my gym think Velcro ones are easier to fit, so that is why I suggested it. Either way, grips are not life or death. Your DD will be fine with either one.
 

profmom

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Adjusting to grips is really an individual thing. Some kids do it in a day (my son as a L5), others take a month or more (two of my son's teammates). I think a week or so is more typical (my DD). If your DD's gym has a strap bar or an accessible boys' high bar, both of my gymnasts swear to swinging on that type of bar to break in new grips more quickly.

Buckles/velcro shouldn't matter at this stage and most coaches have very clear opinions and justifications for one or the other (or both for upper optionals). As she gets bigger and does more advanced skills, encourage her to keep an eye that the velcro doesn't get gummed up with chalk or that the leather doesn't stretch to make the buckle hole she routinely uses too loose.
 

profmom

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3). Most girls don’t JUST put chalk on their grips. They spray them with water first and then rub on chalk.
OMG, you have just inflicted some PTSD on me from having to listen to one of the worst, most bitter, and stupidest sibling battles my two have ever had. One night in the car on the way home, they went after each other about spraying water on grips in and around the chalk bucket, which devolved into a horrific battle over "the way the boys/girls do things is SO MUCH BETTER."

I now need to go off into my quiet corner and clutch a fluffy pillow.
 

MILgymFAM

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Oh man, my DD hated that everyone else at the gym sprayed water. On the topic of breaking them in, she did it in a day each time. Her first pair was Velcro but never since- she was adjusting them every three seconds.
 
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mom2newgymnast

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At my dd's gym, they started using grips when training level 4 and they all start with ten.0 pixie grips, single buckle. Velcro wasn't allowed as per their coaches (who I think also hate the girls adjusting them, lol). Now they have all transitioned over to Ginnasta double buckles. They are really easy/quick to break in (literally take only a practice or two) and my dd likes them a lot. They come in both narrow and regular width, which can help depending on how much they like to feel the bar I think..
 

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