I've heard it's a good idea to wear gloves while doing my weight training? Is this true?
It can be. Many people do fine without gloves, especially for body weight or machine exercises, but if you work out regularly with iron barbells and dumbbells or train with heavier weights, gloves can help you avoid several potential problems. Any kind of padded weight-lifting glove can eliminate blisters and calluses, improve your grip, and provide some protection for the nerves that pass through your hands.
The more weight you lift, the more helpful a good glove can be. Heavier weights put more pressure on your palms and the nerves in that area, so a padded glove can help avoid nerve pain or injury. Your wrists and/or hands are often the "weakest link in the chain" for many weight training exercises, and if your grip is loose (or sweaty), you may not be able to hold as much weight as your muscles can handle or maintain proper form throughout the exercise. Many people report being able to handle heavier weights with gloves, and heavier weights can improve the effectiveness of your workout.
Likewise, a glove that also provides some wrist support can enable you to use more weight, and also to avoid potential repetitive use (overuse) problems that can lead to or aggravate conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
There are several different types of gloves available, from the inexpensive, basic fingerless glove with minimal padding (mostly for preventing calluses, blisters, and sweat problems), to more costly and elaborate gloves that include extra padding, wrist straps and ties for heavy-duty weight-lifting. Be sure you consider what kind of support you need, and get the glove that's right for you. If possible, try on the gloves before you purchase them, as a good, comfortable fit is important when using weight-lifting gloves.
Written by Dean Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer
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