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I started deadlifting with gloves now, and I notice that it becomes harder to grip the barbell with gloves. Is this because of the gloves or did I injur something? I searched online and some posts 1 say that the gloves make the grip worse.

Could someone explain why this would be the case? Doesn't make much sense to me.

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  • Learn hook grip. You will not regret it.
    – Thomas Markov
    Aug 18, 2023 at 3:01
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    Gloves don't make work any easier. They just make it so you can do it again tomorrow.
    – Mazura
    Aug 19, 2023 at 2:31

4 Answers 4

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Gloves can lead to a worse grip in a few ways:

  • It prevents you from developing calluses where you need them for holding the bar.
  • They provide an extra width of material between your hand and the bar, which will widen your grip slightly.
  • Although materials are catching up, they're generally not quite as grippy as your skin. This is exacerbated by that they can't really make the entire glove out of the advanced materials (expense, need for the skin to breathe, durability), so some parts of your hand are often covered by little more than a layer of cotton.
  • The almost inevitable buildup of bacteria and fungi in the gloves can lead to all sorts of skin conditions.

In many ways, it's a bit like the barefoot running debate. Anything you wear will, by its nature, come between you and your workout, so consider carefully what is actually helping you, and what is hindering you.

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    Materials also need to grip the bar on one side and the hand on the other, even if gloves are securely fastened. The hand can be dry or wet once you start sweating, and bar surfaces vary. Getting material to do all of that well is a hard problem
    – Chris H
    Aug 18, 2023 at 12:42
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It opens up your hand a little which widens your grip which makes your grip weaker. You get the same effect if you were to use a thinner or thicker bar. You'd be able to grip the thinner bar better. You'd have a harder time holding on to a thicker bar.

It's generally advisable to use bare hands and learn how to properly grip the bar. You will develop calluses on your palms. If that is not acceptable then you will just have to learn how to grip with gloves. Your grip will get stronger with the gloves, but it will probably be a limiting factor as you go up in weight.

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Gloves create a slip surface. When your bare hands grab the bar, the geometry of your fingers and friction from your palms keep the bar from falling. When you wear gloves, friction from your palms work against the gloves instead of the bar, and friction between the gloves and bar help keep the gloves in place. But the gloves themselves are not infinitely stiff. They stretch. So even though the glove-bar contact point may be very stable, the hand-glove contact point will be much less so, because gloves are generally made with a material designed to be comfortable, not to provide maximum friction. Otherwise, they would be made with sandpaper on the inside. So the gloves both slip down your hands slightly, as well as stretch, both of which combine to make your grip on the bar looser. In addition to the slightly wider radius of the bar, all of these add up to disadvantageous geometry/leverage/mechanics.

If the gloves were made of a non-stretching material, like solid aluminum, and the insides were textured to provide as much friction as the bare bar (knurls carved into the inside palms/fingers of the gloves), then they would reduce your grip strength by a smaller amount (but the increase in bar diameter is inevitable). Of course, gloves like that would all but defeat the point of wearing gloves in the first place. Straps > gloves, but increasing your grip strength is probably best of all.

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  • Gloves are a safety device. Not an, oh man now it's easy device. That's called a lever, +1. Which is the only thing I ever want between me and my work; everything else is a slippage.
    – Mazura
    Aug 19, 2023 at 2:20
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opens up your hand more. you should never really be wearing gloves with any lift, it adds more material between your hand and the weight your trying to move. If you don't want to build callouses just pick them off when they do start to build up and moisturize your hands after every session.

If you're using gloves because you find the bar's knurling to be to painful to grip you should buy a pair of wrist wraps instead, just keep in mind that if you train only with wrist wraps you wont build grip strength.

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