The Best Gloves For Calisthenics Beginners

Confess it!

You’ve done the unthinkable. You’ve tried calisthenics without gloves and your hands hurt.

You’re bugged that even the most simple exercises feel like lava running down your soft and delicate skin.

 

After those first chin ups you felt the guilt of letting yourself down and even worse, now your hands are missing a patch of skin.

But before you throw in the towel of defeat, know this – it’s never an easy road to a place worth going.

If it were, you probably wouldn’t want to be there.

 

So don’t hold up the white flag.

You can build a layer of indestructible skin on your hands that will make any glove obsolete.

Want to know how?

 

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The Only Glove You Need For The Rest Of Your Life

 

Did you know that you actually have the ability to make your own glove?

I know it sounds weird, but the reason why you need ‘gloves in the first place’ is because your natural gloves are made of ‘cheap’ skin.

Yes, the skin on your hands.

As with every part of your body, if not used consistently it becomes ‘fragile’.

So how can you improve the ‘strength of your natural glove’?

 

Just like with muscles, the skin needs progressive overload to adapt. 

This means that over time you increase the demands you put on it. 

Initially this might be doing a simple form of hanging which requires just a small amount of load.

Over time this can transition into muscle ups, which generates a lot of load on that same skin.

 

By now you might have come to the realisation that I’m not a fan of gloves.

They actually create a weak link in your body. The skin on your hands. 

Toughening up that skin does not only allow you to grab things without being afraid of ripping it, it also increases your grip strength.

There might be situations in which gloves can be a useful tool, but if you really want to train EVERY part of your body, the skin should not be left behind.

 

Keep in mind that just like you can end up with sore muscles, you can also end up with a ripped skin. 

Even the more advanced calisthenics practitioners still rip their skin every now and then.

It’s part of the game. 

The secret is in stopping when you need to, because if you rip your skin too much it might end up preventing you from working out. 

It might give you some Instagram likes, but it doesn’t benefit your training ;).

But what about sweaty hands?

 

Key Takeaway: Instead of getting and relying on gloves, develop a layer of extra skin on your hands by NOT using gloves. Be smart in the way you develop this layer by applying progressive overload while at the same time giving your hands enough time to recover.

 

 

 

A Simple Tool Against Sweaty Hands

 

What can you do when you keep sliding down the bar, because of sweaty hands?

In order to have a stronger grip, make sure you use magnesium chalk. 

This prevents you from sliding down the bar or the rings.

 

It’s cheap and still allows your skin to develop an extra layer of callus.

That way you kill two birds with 1 stone.

You allow your skin to become thicker while at the same time giving you more grip by using it against sweaty hands.

 

Key Takeaway: Use magnesium chalk to prevent yourself from losing grip due to sweaty hands.

 

 

Gloves for bar brothers

 

The Simple Callus Toolkit To Prevent Your Hands From Ripping

 

When your calluses are thick enough another problem occurs.

They now rip because of the thickness. 

The reason? The built up calluses become a very hard and inflexible top layer. 

 

This is exactly the opposite of what you want, because that top layer rips off easily with enough friction.

That’s why you want to have strong and calloused hands, while at the same time keeping the skin flexible.

Flexible and strong vs strong and inflexible. 

 

What can you do to manage your calluses?

First use a callus stone to scrape away the really hard parts and then cream or oil your hands to hydrate the skin afterwards. 

Do this every few weeks or whenever your calluses become thick and inflexible.

 

Overall Takeaway: How to build and maintain natural gloves? The 4 short steps. 

  1. Don’t wear gloves when you train, especially when you are a beginner. 
  2. Apply progressive overload and allow the skin to slowly adapt. 
  3. Use magnesium chalk against sweaty hands and for more grip. 
  4. Manage the thickness of your calluses by using a callus stone and oil the skin after scraping away the excess top part to keep it flexible and hydrated every few weeks or when deemed necessary. 

 

 

Ready To Get More Skin In The Game?

 

The idea of getting back on those bars hurts.

Following the path of ‘resistance’ is a painful one, but turning your back on it doesn’t make it easier.

Nobody would notice, but you would care.

 

You would notice, and it would gnaw at your soul.

You can do this. Really, you can.

It just takes a healthy dose of patience and preparation. Perhaps a bit of grit and a teeth-grinding effort.

 

But your hands will be stronger than they’ve ever been. You won’t need extra gloves, you’ll build a layer of protective skin.

So go on – jump on that bar, rip the skin.

The next time jump on it again, rip it again, but a little less.

Then again, until you don’t rip your skin anymore.

You rip the bar.

 

Beast mode ON!

 

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12 thoughts on “The Best Gloves For Calisthenics Beginners

  1. Great article! This makes me feel better about constantly forgetting to pack my gloves. My girlfriend isn’t so keen on the callouses but never mind.

    I’ve found it difficult to train without gloves when it’s raining (or freaking freezing). Would you recommend packing a towel to dry the bar when it’s raining or just wear gloves for these days?

    1. Hey Drew,

      Thanks for your comment!

      Haha, I know that one…it doesn’t make you more attractive indeed, BUT it’s a price I’m willing to pay ;).

      Definitely an issue, yes, you can use a towel to dry off the bar and then use some chalk after that or in more sever cases use gloves that just provide you with some extra grip or find an indoor place to train.

      Keep up the good work my friend! And if your calluses get thicker and your girl gets annoyed by them, just blame it on me ;).

      Beast mode ON!

  2. Hi Rich, great and timely article. My hands look lke they have run through a meat grinder; however, I get tons of compliments on my handshake and gripping strength!
    Like yourself, I stay away from gloves as I find them to be a hinderance in my training anyway.

    1. Hey Jeremy,

      Thanks for your comment! Appreciate it.

      Haha, well…it’s the price you have to pay sometimes ;). Just make sure you don’t give someone a ticket to the emergency room with that handshake of yours.

      Keep up the good work my friend!

      Beast mode ON!

  3. Man just at the right time thank you.
    People scream when we shake hands hehe 🙂
    Great website btw.But a little complicated.
    Keep on!

  4. Now this is really a useful idea ! and comes right at the exact time as I am just facing the same issue now!

    I have been training calisthenics for a year now and I start to do more L sit leg raises and this strong movement really rip my hand skin tremendously. I was thinking whether to buy a hand gloves this few weeks and your article comes in. Really appreciated the tips and the idea !

  5. I totally agree, many of my friends go to normal gyms and they say I should use gloves, but I always tell them that I need to make my grip stronger and they don’t understand…sigh…

    This article makes me feel I’m doing the right thing! hahah thanks!

    1. Hey Fernando,

      Haha, thanks for your comment!

      I guess going to the gym and lifting weights, goes hand in hand with having ‘soft silky baby hands’ ;).

      Having ugly calluses will not get you the girls on the beach (the opposite actually), but it will make you more adaptable to different environments.

      Keep up the non-glove workouts.

      Beast mode ON!

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