The Ugly Side of Workout Gloves
To many weightlifters, workout gloves are just a given. You go to the gym, you strap on your workout gloves, and you get to lifting. Few weightlifters ever stop and think –
wait a minute, are these gloves actually doing what I want them to do?
The answer is a big No.
Here’s why workout gloves are not your best option for your gym routine.
- Workout gloves don’t prevent calluses. It’s as simple as that. Gloves don’t provide the right amount of cushioning against the bar to prevent calluses, and they actually encourage (that’s right, encourage) friction. That’s because workout gloves are made of so much material, that covers every portion of your hand. When lifting, your hand rubs against this material, causing excess friction and, yes, calluses.
- Workout gloves are not good for anyone with skin issues. Here’s a fun fact: more people suffer from symptoms of eczema (or pompholyx) than we realize. Furthermore, this type of eczema is common among people who sweat. Many weightlifters are prone to pompholyx outbreaks on their palms, or in between their fingers, because of the excess sweat and friction their hands encounter. Workout gloves only serve to exasperate the problem. With no room to breathe or to escape excess sweat, your hands become exposed to unneeded heat and moisture, which are the breeding ground for an eczema outbreak – even if you never suffered from this skin affliction before.
- Workout gloves are havens for bacteria. We hate to think about it, of course, but it’s true. Imagine how much sweat pours into your workout gloves even after just one session. Now, if you have ever owned a pair of gloves in your life, think about how many times you washed them. Not often, right? And why’s that? That’s because workout gloves aren’t easy to wash or maintain. They don’t dry quickly, are difficult to fully clean (think about each finger hole), and tend to break down after a number of washes. Chances are you barely wash your workout gloves, meaning your hands are being exposed to the type of bacteria that can cause infections and rashes – both of which can negatively impact your workout routine.
- Workout gloves are fragile. You’d think that something like a gym glove would be durable and long-lasting, what with all that abuse it’s bound to encounter at the gym. But workout gloves are actually pretty fragile. All the added stitching, finger holes, zipper and/or Velcro wrist strap – all of these add to the glove’s vulnerability. There’s a saying that if you like your pair of workout gloves, buy 20 of them, because you’ll need them all to get through a couple of years of dedicated time inside the gym.
- Workout gloves don’t let you maintain grip strength. There are many weightlifters out there who believe in lifting with little more than chalk. Of course, for those everyday lifters, who also partake in seriously heavy lifting, a little more protection than chalk goes a long way. Most people agree that workout gloves seriously impede on your grip strength. This is one advantage to using high-quality grip pads, like the ones designed by Grip Power Pads. These grip pads are made of materials such as Neoprene and rubber, that allow your hands to maintain a high-level of grip strength around the bar. Workout gloves, on the other hand, are restricted on what types of material they can be made from. That’s because in order for these gloves to still remain somewhat comfortable, they can’t be made out of the type of grip-friendly material that a grip pad can be made from.
- Workout gloves are a pain to put on, and a pain to take off. A lot of work goes into putting on, and taking off, a pair of workout gloves. These gloves, by nature, should be tight to the skin (which, as we discussed earlier, can cause bacteria build up, friction, etc.). As such, putting them on takes time, which can really impact your routine and rest periods. But now take into consideration your hand after a routine. That added exercise, blood pumping and adrenaline only work to add moisture and swelling to your hands. Try taking off – or putting on – your workout gloves now. You’ll realize that you quite literally have to stop and take a moment to finish what seems like an easy task. When you combine the number of times you might want to take off and put on your gloves, you’ll realize that your rest periods and overall workout routine is severely impacted.
- Workout gloves smell … bad. We’ve already mentioned earlier how gym gloves are a haven for bacteria. Well, all that bacteria gives off quite the smell. Even after a few rounds at the gym, your gloves will begin to smell so bad that they’ll take on a life of their own. You can try washing them (although that, in itself, is a pain), but the smell will still exist. Why’s that? Because it’s extremely difficult to reach every tiny portion of a glove. There are so many nooks and crannies that you’ll never truly rid your gloves of all the bacteria. Soon, the smell of your gloves will travel to your clothes, your bag, your hands, and the rest of your life.
Forget workout gloves – stick to grip pads
There are at least 7 reasons why workout gloves are not your best solution. But what, then, is a good solution to combat calluses and discomfort? Most dedicated weightlifters turn to lifting grip pads for their routines. These pads – like the latest line from Grip Power Pads – allow your hands to breathe, while providing the type of non-slip grip and cushioning you need to increase your gym performance.
These grip pads are easy to wash, made from some of the most durable material on the planet, and can adapt to any size hand. If you’re in the market for workout gear designed to save your hands from damage and pain, then grip pads are the answer.