Typically grippy and fingerless, workout gloves first and foremost provide an extra protective layer to your hands. "They decrease your chances of getting calluses that can be caused by the friction of your hand rubbing against the weight bar, for instance," says DeBlair Tate, personal trainer and owner of 8Figured. "Depending on the type of gloves, some offer added security for your wrist protection." They can also help prevent blisters while stabilizing your grip.
You've probably seen people wearing workout gloves most often while weight lifting or using kettlebells. "Workout gloves help with grip strength and prevent your hands from getting sweaty and slipping off your weights. Gloves will help you lift heavier weights and boost performance, as you're not distracted by your hands sliding around," says Holly Roser, a personal trainer and owner of Holly Roser Fitness. The gloves help you lift the weight by evening out the pressure on your hand against the dumbbell or bar.
Using workout gloves with weights is only the beginning. A good pair can help you out in any workout that requires grip strength. That means using them with a pull-up bar, when you're on the rowing machine, or even when you're cycling. "Workout gloves help prevent slipping—especially while you're indoor or outdoor cycling. They work much better than wrapping a towel around your handles," Roser says. "Wearing gloves will ensure your hands aren't losing their grip while you're pushing to your fastest pace. Hands slipping off of your bike is not only distracting, but could be dangerous if you're outdoor cycling and you slip off of your handles."
Here are the best gloves to shop for a better grip, less calluses, and an overall better workout experience.
The best workout gloves for every type of movement
Roser loves these workout gloves for three reasons: They're affordable, provide a nice amount of cushion, and give you a secure fit. Use them when you're lifting, using kettlebells, or using dumbbells.
Shop now: Harbinger Pro Non-Wristwrap Weightlifting Gloves, $20
Try these gloves during your next kettlebell workout:
These gloves are just as great for your wrists as they are for your hands. "I've always been a fan of workout gloves that provide not only good grip support, but wrist support as well," Tate says. "These are ventilated and provide perfect wrist support, thick padding for palm protection, and a more stable grip."
Shop now: RIMSports Weight Lifting Gloves with Wrist Support, $20
3. Women's UA Light Training Gloves, $23
These workout gloves are lightweight, breathable, and offer extra protection and grip on the palm. "They're excellent for sweat wicking, and they're great for cycling," Roser says.
Shop now: Women's UA Light Training Gloves, $23
4. Hornet Watersports Rowing Gloves, $20
Don't get blisters from all the time you spend on your rowing machine. This pair protects your hands, prevents calluses, and offers a strong grip so your hands won't slip off the handles.
Shop now: Hornet Watersports Rowing Gloves, $20
Whether you're working up a sweat on your indoor spin bike or cycling indoors, these gloves will keep your hands feeling good. They're padded with gel foam to relieve pressure on your nerves when riding, are breathable, and provide a good grip.
Shop now: PEARL iZUMi Women's Cycling Glove, $33
Gloves can come in handy during this dumbbell workout, too:
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