You wear gloves to protect your hands for many tasks such as yard working, dish washing, floor scrubbing, auto repairing, house painting and hair coloring. So why wouldn’t you would wear gloves to protect your hands during weight-lifting activities as well? Weight lifting requires extensive use of your hands as you slide weight plates on and off, grasp barbells, move dumbbells or swing kettlebells. The enjoyment of these activities should not be dampened by an injury or irritation such as an abrasion. You may choose to wear lifting gloves to avoid calluses, but weight lifting gloves offer many benefits beyond protecting your hands and can even help you burst through workout plateaus. The right pair of gloves for you fits easily into your gym bag, absorbs sweat, slides on and off with ease and provides odor protection. If you are evaluating your need for weight lifting gloves, consider these seven advantages:
1) Weight lifting gloves protect your fingers
Lifting heavy weight loads on unexperienced hands may stress the tendons of your fingers. Typically, the middle finger takes the brunt of the force and if the tendons are overstressed, you may experience symptoms of tendonitis. These include swelling, pain, inflammation, tender to the touch or an inability to bend your finger. Even a small injury or feelings of pain affect your workout progress. Wearing workout gloves provides extra support for your hands and fingers. Instead of the weight load making complete contact with your fingers, the gloves provide a protective barrier. Although the gloves will not give you the ability to lift heavy weight loads, weight lifting gloves protect your fingers from undo stress and help you increase the weight load gradually.
2) Workout gloves decrease calluses
Calluses are small rough spots on your hands that accumulate from friction. Friction occurs during weight lifting when the handle of the bar repeatedly rubs against your palms. Although calluses are not dangerous, if you continue to exercise without protecting your hands, the calluses may become painful, crack or rip open. These injuries may delay your fitness progress as you will be unable to use proper form while lifting. Weight lifting gloves prevent the development of calluses by providing a layer of protection between your hands and the rough workout bars. You do not have to spend hours caring for the calluses or waste energy worrying about tearing one open. Instead, your mental focus can remain on your workout session.
3) Gloves eliminate the need for chalk
Fitness participants may use gym chalk to enhance their grip and decrease sweat. However, many gyms discourage or forbid the use of gym chalk as it is difficult to clean. Plus, some people are sensitive to breathing in chalk dust and may sneeze or cough when exposed to it. If you previously used chalk for movements such as the dead lift, but your gym has changed the policy or you are developing an allergic reaction, try a pair of gloves instead. Weight lifting gloves eliminate the need for chalk by absorbing sweat and supporting grip strength. Plus, unlike chalk, gloves are not messy so you do not have to clean up the floor after using them.
4) Weight lifting Gloves decrease the risk of dropping weights
If you are working out intensely, you are sweating. It’s unavoidable. Sweat is your body’s way of regulating your internal temperature. Some people sweat on their hands or may use their hands to wipe away sweat from a forehead or face. When your hands are wet, you have an increased chance for a barbell or dumbbell to slip. The weight may slip onto your foot, leg, chest or head depending on the exercise. Contact in any of these areas can cause minor to severe injuries. Wearing a weight lifting glove reduces the chances of the weights slipping, especially if the material, such as neoprene, absorbs sweat. Your workout is safer with less risk of dropping the weight and injuring yourself when you wear a protective barrier. If you are using a spotter, wear gloves to prevent your friend from having to catch a slipping weight. Choose a glove that does not add to a sweaty situation. For instance, full-handed, leather gloves may increase sweating which makes you uncomfortable and smelly. A small glove that covers your palm and finger pads allows air to flow, absorbs excess sweat and provides a firm grip on the training tool.
5) Workout gloves increase stability
Weight lifting gloves provided stability for your hands and some types even have added security for your wrists. If you have previously injured your fingers, hands, or wrists, you may need this extra protection. Even without injuries, gloves provide a strong base of support for your lifting movements. The gloves add a thin but stable platform around your hands to increase your grip stability and help you hold onto the weights for a longer duration. This leads to increased strength improvements, improved muscular endurance and enhanced grip strength. If you pair gloves with wrist straps, your forearms are also stabilized to help you control the weighted movements and maintain proper technique.
6) Weight lifting improve your workout technique
Weight lifting is as much a mental exercise as it is physical one. If you are not focused on the movements, your technique suffers and your results are reduced. Wearing lifting gloves is one way to improve your workout technique by bringing your mind/body connection together. For example, if you are lifting a heavy weight load and are worried about calluses, sweaty hands, or aggravating a previous injury, your mind is not fully present in the moment. However, when you slide on a pair of weight lifting gloves and know these issues are no longer a concern, your mind and body are free to concentrate on your technique. For example, instead of adapting for calluses or sweaty hands, you are able to grasp the bar as needed for the best results. When you use proper technique you also avoid injuries in other places such as your shoulders, elbows, and knees.
7) Gloves provide a cushion to reduce hand pain
Hand pain may come on suddenly or appear after years of weight lifting. You may also be dealing with a chronic physical condition that affects your nerves. If the nerves are overly sensitive or overused, the pain in your hands prevents a healthy and strong workout session. Weight lifting gloves offer a cushion to lessen this nerve pain and allow you to continue with your workout session. Select a weight lifting glove that is adaptable for a variety of movements. For instance, a small pad that slips onto your fingers provides an easy platform for push-ups, a non-slip grip for pull-ups and hand protection during barbell arm curls. The best selection is a thin glove that will not alter your grip. In other words, if you select a thick, bulky glove that adds a half-inch of protection, the shape of your grip is altered. In contrast, a thin pad that protects contact areas will not add bulk or change the way you grasp the bar.