Have you seen the new Asian World of Martial Arts commercial? We’re pretty excited about the spot, which features Charlotte Potter demonstrating one of her favorite exercises on the traveling rings while sporting a pair of ProForce® Fitness Workout & Weight Lifting Gloves.
While this blogger doesn’t currently have the upper body strength or the coordination to pull off moves like Charlotte’s above, the video does have us thinking about what other exercises you can do with the support of a good pair of fitness gloves. These kinds of training accessories aren’t for everyone. Judoka and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters, for example, would probably want to avoid anything that could get in the way of developing the particular calluses and grip strength needed to properly manipulate the gi for chokes and attacks in competitions. But for the rest of us who might have different concerns, the right pair of fitness gloves is a great way to keep your hands soft and your wrists safe while doing a wide variety of strength and conditioning activities.
Here are three examples of exercises that you can do with fitness gloves, complete with details about how and what they can do to support you while you execute the moves.
The Move: Place your hands shoulder-width apart, with your palms facing away from you, on a pull-up bar (or other weight-supporting bar). Hold on to the bar as you take your feet off the floor, so that all of your weight is supported by your hands. Pull upwards until your chin reaches the level of the bar. Slowly return to the starting position.
How gloves can help: Grip strength and stability.
The pull-up is never going to be easy. It’s all about lifting your entire body weight with your back muscles, with some assistance from your chest and arm muscles. Even if you’re doing a modified version of the move, with the use of equipment like a Gravitron machine, it’s still a challenging part of any workout. There might be nothing that a pair of gloves can do to make the move itself easier to do, but there is one way in which it can make novice lifters feel more comfortable. If you’re not 100% sure of your grip in a move like this, even attempting to pull yourself up can be terrifying. What if you slip and fall? A pair of fitness and weightlifting gloves can help you feel less slippery and more solid when you grab and hold onto the pull-up bar, leaving you more confident and able to focus on the task at hand.
Dumbbell Chest Press
The Move: Lie face up on a weight bench, feet planted firmly on either side. Holding your dummbells in both hands, with your wrists secure and neutral (don’t let them bend backward under the weight of the dumbbell), bring your arms out to your side, and keep your upper arms parallel to the floor. Bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle, and align your wrists over your elbows. Press upward until your arms are straight, being careful not to lock your elbows in the process. Slowly lower the weights to return to the starting position. Repeat for the appropriate number of reps.
How gloves can help: A free weight dummbell press doesn’t just test the strength of your pecs and shoulders, it also challenges the stability of your entire body. So if you happen to have any issues with wrist strength, or any previous injuries to the area, a quality pair of weight lifting gloves can give your wrists that extra bit of support that they need to allow you to execute this move – or any weightlifting move – more safely.
Seated Cable Rows
The Move: Attach the appropriate handle (you’ll have a few choices for grip) to a low-pulley on a cable station with a bench. Sit on the bench with your feet planted firmly on the floor (or on the angled foot pads if they’re available on your machine) with a slight tension in the cable and a soft bend in your arms. Your spine should be upright in a neutral position and your shoulder blades should be relaxed. Initiating the movement with your back muscles, gently squeeze between your shoulder blades to activate the rhomboids, then start to bend your elbows and pull the handle toward your torso, keeping your elbows close to your side as you go. When the handle has reached your navel (or your sides, depending on the shape and function of your specific handle), slowly release and return to the starting position.
How gloves can help: They can help prevent pinching and calluses.
The seated cable row is hardly the only move that’s hard on the palms of your hands in weight training. Most moves will build up a certain amount of calluses and can be incredibly uncomfortable for the novice lifter. But this blogger has always found this particular move the most uncomfortable of all, which is why we chose to focus on it here. If you find the move too painful in bare hands, a pair of gloves can be a great way to put some padding between the hard grip of the handles and the sensitive skin of your hands and distribute the weight a little differently across your grip, which can cut down on pinching.