The advantages of fingerless weightlifting gloves
There is a big debate among serious lifters about the benefits of gym gloves. Some gym goers consider them a vital piece of gear and would never leave home without a pair of gloves in their gym bag, while others feel like they can be obstructive and impede their lifts.
At their most effective, weightlifting gloves are designed to provide protection for your hands and wrists, and to guarantee a good grip on the bar. There are various types of weightlifting gloves but the two main types are full fingered gloves and fingerless gloves.
In this article, we will look at the benefits of different types of gloves and try to identify the best weight lifting gloves available.
We will also look at some of the alternatives available if wearing gloves doesn't fit your training style.
What are the benefits of weightlifting gloves?
The main benefits of full weight lifting gloves are stronger grip, injury prevention, and improved gym performance. They are designed to protect your hands from calluses, blisters and other injuries and to help you lift more by strengthening your grip of the bar.
Despite these benefits, some people prefer fingerless weight lifting gloves, because although they don't provide full coverage, they find there are grip and flexibility advantages.
Weightlifting gloves improve grip
A firm grip is crucial for a serious workout and wearing gym gloves prevents weights slipping out of your hands and potentially causing injuries. Extra grip also ensures that your hands don't give out before your muscles do. There are workout gloves with a variety of different palms to provide a better grip.
The best thing to do is to feel the palm grip of each glove and test them out one by one. Some people choose a leather palm because it feels more durable while others like a silica gel palm for its stickiness.
Most workout gloves will usually have padding built right into them so they offer added cushioning around the palms, making it more comfortable to keep pushing through long workouts without your hands gettings fatigued so quickly..
Fingerless gloves may not always have the same palm protection but they often have added “grip bars” which are designed specifically to help you hold barbells more securely when doing exercises such as deadlifts.
Another benefit of weight lifting gloves is that they protect your hands from calluses. These are tough areas of skin that have been rubbed raw by friction between your hands and the bar. They form due to excessive pressure put on your palms and fingers by dumbbells, barbells or any other training equipment. If these calluses tear open, they can form blisters.
Calluses and blisters can make lifting uncomfortable painful which can affect your form and may even result in missed gym days if you are experiencing a lot of pain. While full finger weight lifting gloves will prevent calluses from forming and prevent existing calluses from tearing, you may not get this same protection from a fingerless or half finger glove. Before you commit to a pair of open fingered gloves, check that they have padding in the areas where your hands tend to get damaged.
Weight lifting gloves are also crucial for providing additional wrist support. The pressure caused by lifting heavy weight can easily result in wrist injuries such as ligament and tendon strains, and even carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that causes numbness in your fingers. Full workout gloves will help avoid this by providing additional cushioning and stability for the weight load during exercise.
With some open fingered gloves, you may have to wear additional wrist wraps to get adequate support. Some people like the flexibility of being able to add extra wrist support for exercises which require it and then leave their wrists free for others.
Weightlifting gloves help you lift heavier weights
The combined result of all these benefits is better performance in the gym. While wearing gloves won't make your muscles stronger, being able to grip the bar tighter and having more support in your hands and wrists means that you will be able to lift heavier and with better technique. The right pair of gloves will help you avoid injuries so you won't miss any lifting days and lose your gains.
What are the potential disadvantages of workout gloves?
Despite the extra protection offered by the right weightlifting glove, some lifters prefer to use their bare hands because it provides a better feel for the bar. Wearing gloves can also make gripping certain objects difficult, notably kettlebells and dumbbells.
In fact, some people find that weightlifting gloves can even cause additional injuries when using heavy weights because they restrict your fingers' natural movement during lifts like handstand push-ups or high pulls from the floor. Moreover, excess sweat accumulation inside of gloves may lead to rashes and skin irritation after prolonged usage.
What are the benefits of fingerless gloves?
For many people who find full fingered weightlifting gloves to be restrictive or ineffective, open finger gloves provide the perfect balance of minimal coverage and non slip grip. They are also more breathable so they are great for people who tend to sweat a lot when lifting. Not having an extra layer of material between the hands and the bar also provides better control over your lifts.
Some people prefer wearing lightweight open finger or half finger lifting gloves as they provide more mobility in their wrists, allowing for a better range of motion so exercises such as bicep curls can be done without any restriction.
Which exercises favour open fingered weightlifting gloves?
Fingerless weightlifting gloves are often the best weight lifting gloves for free weights and for crossfit when you are switching between different equipment. Open fingered weight lifting gloves are also useful when friction isn't an issue such as during push ups, pull ups, and other body weight exercises. You can always keep a full finger pair in your pocket for when you need some extra padding, so that you can switch from one type to another depending on what the best workout gloves are for the session you are doing.
What is the best material for weight lifting gloves?
As with all exercise apparel, you need to choose weightlifting gloves made from the right material. You can find leather gloves, vinyl gloves, and gloves made from neoprene material. The most important thing is to check the material on the wrist strap to make sure it is durable and the material on the palm side of the gloves to ensure that they will protect your hands when weight lifting.
As noted above, some people prefer a glove with a leather palm because they tend to be more resilient and won't wear away as quickly, while others like the stickiness of a silicone gel surface. If you choose full finger workout gloves you will need to make sure that the fingers also have decent grip and that they are flexible enough for different exercises. Look for a pair that is made from a breathable material or that has mesh sections, especially if you are prone to sweaty hands.
How do you clean your weightlifting gloves?
One of the most common questions people ask about workout gloves is how to clean them. There are a number of ways, such as using soap and water or spraying them with disinfectant spray. Thorough cleaning is incredibly important because otherwise your weightlifting gloves will start to stink out your gym bag. Never machine dry your gym gloves because it the high temperatures can melt certain materials, burn the stitching,
or ruin the grip on the palms. Leave them to air dry and your gym gloves will be ready for your next workout.
What are the other alternatives to weightlifting gloves?
As well as full finger and open finger weightlifting gloves, there are other alternatives which can help you hold onto the weights and maximize the effectiveness of your workouts. The most popular are wrist wraps, grip hooks and pads, and good old-fashioned chalk.
Straps are used to help take the weight and pressure of your hands and spread it along your forearms. They are very popular for when you are tackling big compound lifts like deadlifts and bent over rows. All you need to do is tighten each wrist strap around the bar and twist it so that it is tight. You can then grip the bar as normal and smash out those lifts. In other words, you can keep going until your target muscles fail, even if your grip has already gone.
While wraps and straps need to be tightened around the bar, grip hooks are super easy to use because you just need to hook the bar onto them. Hooks will take much of the strain off your fingers and hands and spread the weight along the length of your forearms. They are particularly good for crossfit and powerlifting where you are doing a lot of different exercises and need to move between stations quickly.
Grip power pads
Grip power pads provide protect the palm but without any extra wrist support. Some people find that this is enough to increase their performance, especially for Crossfit, calisthenics or other training styles where extra wrist flexibility is useful. One major advantage of wearing a pad rather than a full workout glove is that it will keep your hand cool and provide plenty of air flow so that you won't sweat so much.
This is old school way to but some people still find it the most effective way to absorb sweat and improve grip. All you need to do is rub chalk into each sweaty palm and it will ensure the weights don't slip out of your hands. One issue with chalking your hands is that it can be very messy and many gyms and fitness centres won't even allow it at all.
What other training gloves do people wear?
As well as workout gloves, there are other types of gloves that people wear for different sports and fitness activities:
Fight sport gloves
If you are into martial arts like Muay Thai, boxing, or MMA, you will need to purchase specialised gloves to be able to train effectively. Boxing and Muay Thai gloves provide wrist and knuckle protection and have closed, padded finger sections for pure striking. MMA gloves, on the other hand, have open opens so that fighters can clinch, grapple, or wrestle. Fight gloves come in many different sizes and styles including specialised gloves for women and children.
As well as fight sport gloves many people also wear gloves for cycling and cycle-based fitness classes like spinning. A lot of pressure is put on the wrists during cycling but wearing gloves can offer more support especially on difficult roads and terrains. There are both fingerless and full finger cycling gloves depending on whether you want to need to keep your hands warm or cool while cycling.
The final rep...
If you're looking to improve your grip strength and flexibility a, fingerless weightlifting gloves are the perfect fit. While they provide less hand coverage and wrist support, the pay off comes as more freedom and bar control. Fingerless workout gloves come at many different price points depending on the brand and the material, but remember that the most important thing is the benefits in the gym, not the logo on the glove or how cool they look.