If you’ve seen people wearing gloves – and others who don’t! – at the gym, you may have wondered: should I get a pair? Wearing gloves while lifting weights is really a personal choice and will depend on what you’re comfortable with and whether you think they’ll help or hinder your workout. Take a look at these pros and cons before picking up a pair. We’re here to give you a hand!
Why Wear Weight Lifting Gloves?
1. Gloves protect hands from calluses and blisters
When lifting weights, you can develop calluses, or small rough spots on your hands, from the friction of the weights repeatedly rubbing against your skin. Calluses aren’t unsafe, but they can be unsightly, rip open, crack or become painful if you continue exercising without protecting your hands. If your hands are hurting, this could also delay progress in your fitness program. Wearing gloves helps keep your hands protected so you can stay focused on your workout.
2. Gloves provide grip – no need for messy chalk!
Sweaty hands can make it tough to keep a good grip on a dumbbell or barbell, and that can be dangerous. Wearing workout gloves helps keep your grip strong so you don’t accidently drop weights or workout bars. Some gym goers like using chalk to help lessen sweat and help with grip. However, chalk can be messy and tough to clean, and when chalk dust gets in the air – it’s tough to breathe. For a good grip, and less mess, try wearing gloves.
3. Gloves provide stability and wrist support
Workout gloves can create a strong base of support around your wrists. Ultimately, this helps with your lifting movements. A good workout glove adds a thin stable platform around your hands (think of it like an extra ligament and tendon) which helps to increase grip stability and the ability to hold onto weights longer. This can lead to an enhanced grip strength and increased strength movements.
4. Gloves relieve pressure
When lifting heavy weights, gloves can help relieve the pressure that is placed on your hands. Wearing workout gloves will help increase the amount of pressure your hands can handle. This means you will be able to lift a heavier weight than you might with just bare hands.
1. Gloves can be stinky and bacteria can grow
No one wants to be noticed in gym because they stink! Workout gloves can develop odors because of bacteria growth resulting from sweaty hands. Besides creating a stink, the bacteria can cause skin irritations and rashes. Unfortunately, washing gloves doesn’t seem to help much (it’s hard to clean inner creases and crevices). Plus, washing often tends to break down the fabric. If you go with gloves, you might find yourself buying replacements often.
2. Gloves can aggravate skin issues
If you suffer with skin issues, wearing workout gloves isn’t the best idea. Eczema is a common skin issue that’s aggravated by sweating. With no room to breathe, your hands may be affected by sweat-moisture trapped between the fingers and palms of the gloves – and eczema can worsen.
3. Gloves can be habit forming
Once you start wearing gloves, you could become dependent on them. If you always feel that you need gloves to work out, you may never increase your grip strength naturally. Mentally you may also feel you can only do certain exercises with your gloves, when in reality you can get through your workout on your own.
4. Gloves can be inconvenient
Workout gloves should be tight to your skin (like a second skin). When you wear them at the gym, you’ll need to take them off and put them back on a lot. This can be a pain because they’re tight (and remember, your hands will be sweaty and a little puffy from increased blood flow). This process can break up your routine and rest periods. Depending on how often you do this, you may want to consider if it’s really worth it to wear them.
5. Gloves are not long-lasting
If you decide workout gloves are for you, be prepared to buy a lot of them. With all the finger holes, stitching, Velcro, zippers, and sweating, workout gloves are pretty fragile. And with constant use, they tend to not last very long.