Weight training itself is a purposely arduous task which is meant to push muscles to the max and beyond. Whether a lifter is pushing the maximum amount of weight or lifting lighter weight with more reps, there is a very real strain on the human body. In particular, finger, hand and wrist strain can affect your weight lifting negatively. This is where weight training gloves will assist you. Your glove should meet certain standards depending on the type of lifting you want to perform.
Importance of Weight Training Gloves
Weight training gloves are especially relevant when lifting anything with your hands which is the case for a very large amount of exercise machines and more important while using free weights. Gloves help with calluses prevention, often giving a cushion between skin and hard metal. Excessive training, especially with heavy weights, and poor gripping techniques can lead calluses to tear and get infected.
Finger, hand and wrist strain and injury is a serious concern and can greatly affect multiple aspects of many exercises. When choosing a glove for your personal style, whether it be color, design, or usability based on exercise routines. Various designs will be effective for varying exercises and machines which I will get into some detail about next.
Good Gloves – The Benefits of gloves
One of my favorite exercises, the Deadlift, which puts your lower back to work, is one of the most beneficial for body health. A labor worker lifting heavy boxes every day would benefit from this exercise more than an office worker who is constantly sitting but there are arguments to be made on both sides that support back health using this exercise. An office worker could develop better posture habits while sitting and a labor working can develop better lifting techniques in enclosed spaces. Of course always use proper form when performing heavy exercises to avoid injury.
Specially made gloves will have a strap that extends from the wrist strap towards your fingers and wraps around the barbell to assist the lifter in a few different ways. This greatly reduces finger strain since the grip strap help your fingers hold tight and additionally provides a thick cushion between you and the barbell allowing for additional comfort when wearing gloves. Higher quality gloves of these kind tend to have additional wrist support so if you tend to have wrist pains then these gloves should be more your style.
This is one of my favorite mental filters to add when searching for gloves to buy. The contact between your skin and the barbell or free weight can influence your rep count, max weight and hand fatigue for many exercises. For example, the bench press will push the barbell hard into your palm, bending your wrist back and causing strain over long exposure to the pressure. A thick cushion integrated into your weight training gloves can give you the ability to last longer and lift more weight as well as preventing hand calluses and blisters consistently.
With exercises like the bench press pushing down of your wrists, supporting them is certainly necessary. To this end, a wrist strap made of high quality material and large Velcro pads will remove a ton of pressure on numerous exercises. Many times while performing a tricep pull down late in my routine, notably while using heavy weights, there is an obvious strain of the wrist joint and range of motion that is calmed with a well-made glove. Hand size can affect the fit of the glove and there are different sizes depending on the glove type but as long as the glove is not too small you should still be able to use them easily. When buying gloves for the first time, having the ability to try them on before you buy them will help you decide the correct size and wrist support needed for you body.
Depending on your workout and weight lifting style you may end up sweating. Obviously different people sweat different amounts so somebody who sweats profusely like myself will require adequate ventilation within my gloves. Personally, to this extent, I buy gloves with open backs and wrist straps on them so I can easily and frequently let my hands breath. Other gloves may have full coverage over palm, fingers and back of hands and will usually require ventilation slits cut into the material. Mesh padding is also another ventilation technique gloves makers will use to allow airflow to the skin and cool your hands.
Flexibility of material and stitching is important depending on your budget. The cheaper the material the easier the gloves will fall apart after superfluous movement and the more you will have to replace them leading to high cost over time. Whereas if you were to buy more stable, slightly more expensive glove you might save money in the long run. If you only workout once or twice a week then your gloves will likely last quite longer than someone who works out over 4 days a week and will most likely buy more expensive gloves for the additional longevity.
Bad Gloves – What to Avoid
You don’t have to spend an enormous amount of money on weight training gloves. With that being said, when possible, you should not just buy the cheapest pair out there, there should be some thought and strategy into your purchase based on the exercises you plan to execute, your current budget and any unique designs you might want to show off. With that being said, most gloves these days are pretty cheap to buy for a good quality.
Small straps can be a result of using less material for a cheaper cost but may also modify the effectiveness of the strap. The wrist strap with Velcro should have a large enough area to allow some wrist motion and not unravel itself mid exercise.
In conclusion, there are many uses and types of weight training gloves to assist the user in numerous ways. Gloves should be sufficiently comfortable yet affordable while allowing for full range of motion and proper ventilation. Prevention of injuries, such as blisters and calluses, will prolong exercise activity, allow the lifting of heavier weights and reduce strain on hands, wrists and fingers.
Workout that require you to pull heavy weights like deadlifts or rows are much easier to perform with grip gloves providing an additional strap to assist with finger strain and frequently provide large wrist straps to give further comfort and secure fit. It is my experience that workout gloves add endurance and strength to the user by assisting with movements and add an enormous amount of comfort when lifting excessive weight. All there is left to do if find the right fit for you and start training. Good luck!