You may have seen that we have a FREE eBook on the website (here), telling people all about how to choose handguards and grips for gymnastics. I also felt it would be useful to put this information onto our blogs, for those who don't want to download the content.
Chapter One is below, called: "Handguards: Where Do I Begin?"
The world of
gymnastics, and handguards, can be a real mind-bender! Even phrases can be a
challenge, so a good place to start is to explain that “Grips” are just another
name for “Handguards”. “Palm Guards” are a different form of grip, specifically
made for beginners.
Another phrase that might give some parents a confused look is “Uneven Bars”, which are one of the main apparatus female gymnasts use (they’re also known as “Asymmetric Bars” or “A Bars”). Male gymnasts use the “High Bar” and “Rings”.
Many coaches suggest that girls and boys progress from using their bare hands to “ Palm Guards” (handguards without dowels). Generally girls then move onto Ladies Advanced Handguards (with dowels), as they advance in skill level.
Male gymnasts progress onto “High Bar Guards” and “Ring Guards” as appropriate. These different grips (handguards) are designed specifically for their intended apparatus and cannot be used for both. Boys/Mens grips tend to be made from special thick, hard leather due to the enormous stresses applied to the guards in use.
Some coaches recommend that their gymnasts wear grips (or palm guards) from a young age, so they can get a feel for them. Other coaches prefer to wait until their gymnasts are performing more difficult skills and routines. We have a line of “ Manique Mini” handguards which are designed for small beginner/intermediate gymnasts and some coaches recommend these instead of Palm Guards.
Occasionally gymnasts prefer not to wear Handguards at all and they can still perform well without them. Deciding whether you are ready to wear Handguards is a decision that a gymnast and coach should make together.
If performing more complex routines, handguards can help a gymnast stay securely on the bar. Handguards can provide gymnasts with more confidence, helping them progress further within the sport.
Though Handguards don't completely prevent rips, they help protect hands so that less sores and issues occur.
a gymnast or a parent of a gymnast, gymnastics is a wonderful sport than you’ll
get a lot from. It can be confusing at times though, but you’re not alone. Your
coach will be of great support to you, but as you’ll see in future blog posts, or in our FREE
we are too. If we can ever be of any support or help just get in touch – all
our contact info is
You can read part two of this guide on handguards here: "Should I Choose Beginner or Advanced Guards?"
Thanks for reading,