Gymnastics Equipment - Getting Grips 101
Getting Grips 101
Every young gymnast looks forward to getting their first pair of grips. The kids tend to identify their need for grips with having arrived in the sport of gymnastics. However, the process of when to buy grips and what type of grips should be used can be a little confusing for parents.
When to buy grips:
Most gyms have a policy about when they’ll allow their team gymnasts to begin using grips. At our gym we have a, “kips then grips” policy. So, once the gymnasts get their glide kips, they can begin using grips. This usually ends up being late in level 3.
If your gym doesn’t have a policy, ask your gymnast’s coaches for their opinions.
Figuring out what kind of Gymnastics grips to buy:
Once your child is ready for grips, your coach should suggest regular or dowel grips. Our gym only uses dowels, which I agree is a good policy. This prevents gymnasts from having to adjust once to regular grips and then again to dowel grips.
The major difference between the two types of grips is that the dowel grip contains a dowel that helps the gymnasts grip the bar and it is a little more rigid in structure. Regular grips simply provide a thin layer of protection between the gymnasts’ skin and the bar.
Sizing for gymnastics grips:
Finding the correct size grips can be tricky. Many gyms trace the palm of the gymnasts’ hands and send the tracing into the grip companies. Other gyms keep a complete set of grip sizes on hand for gymnasts to try on before ordering. Another technique is to measure the gymnasts’ hands from the top knuckle of the middle finger to the base of the hand. Then, using the sizing charts on most grip company websites, select the appropriate size.
If the proper size grip is ordered, it should fit the gymnasts’ hands with the finger holes at the top knuckles of the middle and ring fingers and the wrist guard securely fastened around the wrist with wristbands being used to protect the skin from the rough leather of the grips. The gymnast should almost be able to open her hand all the way if the grip fits properly.
Once you find a pair of grips that fits correctly, it will take a while to break them in and to get used to wearing them, but over time, they will become an invaluable tool to help your child reach her greatest potential as a gymnast.
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