Weightlifting gloves provide a variety of benefits to both novice and expert lifters including comfort, support and assisting in the lifting process. A wide variety of styles, colors, fabrics and features are available at your local sports store to fit any size hands. Choosing the best glove for your style of weightlifting depends upon your lifting style, personal preference in fabrics and color combinations.
One of the biggest benefits of wearing weightlifting gloves is hand and joint protection. The padding in the gloves absorbs pressure taking some of the strain off the hands. Gloves also protect the hands from getting callouses, which can cause blistering and give you rough palms. Wearing weightlifting gloves can prevent wrist injuries. About 12 percent of sport-specific weightlifting injuries affect the wrists, according to a study by Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Sportmedizin in Switzerland. Exercises that cause the wrist to bend backward stress the wrist joints and cause injury or strain.
Better Gripping Ability
Weightlifting gloves improve your ability to grip weights. During an intense workout, your hands can become sweaty and slip. Weightlifting gloves give you better gripping ability by absorbing sweat and, depending on the glove material, can grip and secure the weight in your hands.
Weightlifting gloves protect the hands, which improves your overall comfort while lifting and may improve performance because you are not focusing on how your hands feel. Some barbells or dumbbells have grip marks cut into the bars, which can feel rough and uncomfortable during a lift. Wearing weightlifting gloves keeps your hands comfortable even over grip marks. Gloves also wick the sweat away from your hands, keeping them cool and dry.
Choosing a Glove
The most common styles in weightlifting gloves are those that are fingerless and gloves with wrist wraps. Full-hand gloves are available, but fingerless gloves allow for more tactile uses of the fingers and keep hands cooler. If you have weak wrists, an injury or are performing multiple exercises that force the wrist backward, gloves with attached wrist wraps will help support and protect your wrists and hands. Get a snug fit when trying on gloves for the first time. Your gloves will have some stretch from the sweat and give of the fabric. Leather or neoprene gloves will provide more gripping power on the weights, but cotton gloves or other natural fiber gloves will absorb sweat better.
- NIH: Corns and Calluses
- PubMed.gov: Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Sportmedizin -- Sport-specific Injuries in Weight Lifting
- University of Iowa: Wrist Injuries
- University of Gothenburg & Sahgrenska University: Prevalence of Joint-related pain in the Extremities and Spine in Five Groups of Top Athletes
Caroline Thompson is a professional photojournalist who has been working for print and online publications since 1999. Her work has appeared in the "Sacramento Bee," "People Magazine," "Newsweek" and other publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in photojournalism from California State University at Hayward and a personal trainer certification from the university's Health and Fitness Institute.