Get A Grip!

I hate those bitter cold winter days when I’m outside and I have to call or text someone back. And I assure you; it cannot wait until I get back inside. Those toasty warm gloves really impede my requirement to use my cell phone and it makes me most angry. Off come the gloves because I can’t feel a darn thing of what I’m trying to do. (Disregard the newest gloves that actually let you use the touch screen now.) Or when you’re digging through your purse (or man-bag) trying to find something but can’t really feeeeel what you’re looking for. I don’t like those situations.

So why do we wear gloves when working out if they cause that much of a ‘feeling’ disadvantage in our everyday life?

Gloves can protect our delicate, beautiful hands against wear and tear. When we lift or pull heavy loads our mitts can take quit the beating. Having gloves can prevent some callusing, but not all. Gloves can also give us a better grip on some exercises, such as pulling motions (pull ups, deadlifts, etc), where grip is extremely important. Gloves can definitely make a person feel more secure when they are lifting weight.

I, like most, do not like feeling as though I’m about to rip fabric if I glide my paws on it. But I, on the other [manly, construction-working] hand, do not wear weight-lifting gloves, even though it is tempting to keep my hands smooth and supple.

“Oh no! You’re falling off a cliff?? Hold on, let me put on my gloves!”

“Ah! Get off me, man! Fine, I will fight you off. Just wait a sec so I can put my extreme-gripping gloves on.”

“I’m moving into a new home and this item is slipping quickly out of my hands! GET THE GLOVES!”

Are you really going to be prepared for when life calls upon the moments that you need intense gripping for? Such as when you need to help pull a friend, fight off an assailant, move things, change a tire, hold the slippery dinner plate, etc. Wearing weight-lifting gloves can put you at a huge disadvantage because you are not TRULY strengthening your grip; you have supplementary help to lift loads. And maybe it’s because I was always a raging independent child growing up, but I feel a bit more accomplished when doing something all by myself then without the help of something else.

Gloves are a personal choice and I can totally understand if someone wears gloves because they are needed for some specific reason. If you are getting extremely bad, large, painful, or torn calluses, you may not be gripping the equipment correctly and I suggest you ask one of the trainers for help.

To take care of your mangly mitts, I suggest using a pumice stone in the shower or after soaking your hands for a while. I also use my PedEgg on my hand calluses to get rid of some bad ones too, although it is quite hard to do because of the shape of the apparatus and of your hands.

All in all, a callus isn’t going to hurt you; it’s there to protect you. Gloves can decrease your grip proprioception (your sense of position) to your environment and your actual strength.  So leave the gloves at home for your next rollerblading excursion, head to the gym, and get a grip on those weights!

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