October 20, 2021

It’s not a rare sight to see people at the gym or outdoors wearing weightlifting gloves.

As it turns it, it’s not just to complete an outfit ensemble.

These gloves are often worn when doing rigorous activities like kayaking and most notably during bodybuilding workouts for physical protection.

So, if you are weightlifting, wearing weightlifting gloves is highly recommended. There are tons of pressures involved in lifting heavyweights. Therefore, having your weightlifting gloves on is a surefire practice to protect your hands from blisters and other substantial damage.

Nevertheless, this practice is not exactly flawless. This means that some disadvantages may discourage you from wearing weightlifting gloves.

But the good news is that there are other alternatives you can choose from. 

Learn more about these options as you read on.

What Is the Point of Weightlifting Gloves?

Weightlifting gloves are workout accessories intended to prevent your hand from injuries, blistering, or callus formation.

They are also referred to as workout gloves, exercise gloves, or gym gloves. But their use extends even outside the gym.

Weightlifting gloves are also used when performing outdoor activities and sports like water skiing, cycling, and kayaking. In short, during strenuous activities that require a firm grip.

The standard design for weightlifting gloves doesn’t have any coverings for the fingers. They also have some sort of padding on the palm side. This is to ensure optimum cushioning while maintaining a firm grip when the fingers clasp the weight bars.

On the other hand, several designs cover the entire hand, including the fingers. Those who prefer this type of weightlifting gloves seek more comfort over lifting efficiency.

Furthermore, weightlifting gloves are made of materials that prevent slipping, such as neoprene rubber, microfiber, leather, silicone, or spandex.

Should You Wear Gloves When Weightlifting?

Blistered hand from gym fitness workout

Yes, you should consider wearing gloves when weightlifting.  However, if you’re not comfortable with the standard weightlifting gloves, you can choose another hand protective gear.

Nevertheless, wearing gloves when you are lifting dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, and weight plates can protect your hand and wrists from injuries as well as your skin from damages.

What To Look For When Buying Weightlifting Gloves?

Comfort is a significant factor when choosing suitable weightlifting gloves for you. It is utterly useless to wear gloves only to find yourself struggling when working out or doing outdoor sports.

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So, here are practical considerations you can use as a reference when buying weightlifting gloves.

  1. Make sure the material is breathable for you. Different skin types respond to various kinds of fabric. Find gloves that don’t cause any allergic reaction or too much sweating in your hands.
  2. Your weightlifting gloves should fit just right in your hands.Don’t settle for gloves that are too loose or too tight. Otherwise, you’re simply wasting money.
  3. Choose gloves that don’t have unnecessary inner linings.These weightlifting gloves can become intolerable for long hours.
  4. Look for weightlifting gloves that guarantee a firm but comfortable grip. Avoid the ones that have thick paddings. They could diminish hook clasp.

Is It Better To Lift Weights With or Without Gloves?

While it is generally recommended to use gloves when lifting weights, you would find a narrative or two suggesting that they are unnecessary and can cause more harm than good.

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Nevertheless, it is always best to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of wearing weightlifting gloves.

Pros

  • They prevent blistering and calluses.

There’s no doubt that weightlifting gloves are worn for protection.

The prolonged pressure between your hands and the handle of weights can develop painful blisters, which can eventually turn into harden calluses.

Beginners, most significantly, are prone to this condition since over-gripping is a common rookie mistake.

Therefore, if you’re still working your way around the proper grip, wearing weightlifting gloves can save you from these excruciating effects on your skin.

  • They provide wrist support.

There are plenty of weightlifting gloves that provide added wrist support through a thin stable material that encloses your wrists. This way, you can improve lifting as it adds more strength and stability to your grip.

  • They prevent accidental dropping or slipping of weights.

It is pretty common, especially for beginners, to drop weights. 

Unfortunately, this accounts for one of the most dangerous injuries developed during working out.

Sweaty hands are probably one of the culprits for these incidents. 

This is why a lot of weightlifters either rub their hands with chalk or simply wear gloves. While the former is also a good option, wearing weightlifting gloves can stray you away from the breathing hazards caused by chalk while ensuring grip stability.

  • They protect you from tendonitis.

Your fingers are subjected to a lot of stress during weightlifting. As a result, they become prone to tendonitis characterized by pain, swelling, and failure to bend the fingers. 

Your middle finger often takes the strain causing the tendons to become inflamed. 

However, when you wear weightlifting gloves, the pressure is relieved as the gloves form a protective barrier and distribute the force uniformly among your fingers.

Cons

  • They give limited grip control.

Despite the comfort and protection of weightlifting gloves, one drawback they have is limited grip control. 

It may take some time before your grip feels natural while wearing gloves. 

Moreover, it becomes even worse when you buy weightlifting gloves that don’t fit well. 

Your gloves should feel like your second skin. So, when they are loose, it feels awkward, which is a tad inconvenient.

  • They make your hands prone to bacterial growth.

With all the sweat trapped inside the gloves, it’s no wonder why weightlifting gloves often stink

The constant moisture that sips right down to the crevices of the gloves encourages bacterial growth, causing an undesirable stench. 

This is why weightlifters often change gloves frequently because even with constant washing, the bacteria can still thrive in the inner folding of the gloves.

Furthermore, if you have skin problems, it can be aggravated when wearing weightlifting gloves primarily because sweat is trapped and concentrated inside the gloves. 

So, if you have eczema, it is best to explore other options.

  • Wearing weightlifting gloves becomes a habitual practice.

Once you get too comfortable with weightlifting gloves, there’s no going back – at least that’s what a lot of people claim. 

Wearing gloves has become a lasting habit that can have some disadvantages in weightlifting. 

For starters, you lessen the chances of improving your natural grip as you become too dependent on your gloves. 

It could also induce the impression that you can only do successful lifting and exercises with your gloves on.

How Else Can I Protect My Hands When Lifting Weights (Aside From Wearing Gloves)?

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Not everyone is comfortable with wearing weightlifting gloves. 

Fortunately, there are other ways you can protect your hands and wrist aside from wearing gloves. 

Try to explore these two best alternatives:

  • Gym Chalk

It comes as no surprise that many weightlifters and gymnasts use gym chalk made of magnesium carbonate. 

The chalk enhances grip by reducing moisture on your palms and between your fingers. 

If you’re not able to achieve grip strength and stability with weightlifting gloves, don’t be afraid to try using gym chalk.

  • Palm Protectors

Palm protectors are sometimes considered gym or weightlifting gloves. 

However, you can say that they are modified to limit coverage to the palm and fingers, which means the back of your hand is exposed, making it extra breathable.

While chalk is a good option for grip, some people experience breathing problems with too much exposure. 

Therefore, if you’re not suited for the standard weightlifting gloves or gym chalk, consider wearing palm protectors.

Summary

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Indeed, there are cases wherein wearing these gloves can lead to some levels of discomfort, but it doesn’t exactly erase the fact that they are, first and foremost, designed to protect your hands.

Wearing weightlifting gloves allow reducing the pressure and pain of lifting heavyweights. By doing so, you can continue improving your skills, leading you closer to your fitness goals. 

And if you’re looking for gloves that feel comfortable and natural to your skin, look no further as STKR® Sport Skin Gloves do the job well.

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