Getting the right grip for gymnastics

Coach/Teacher, General, Official/Administrator, Participant/Parent

March 31, 2023

Before taking on the high bars, a gymnast might reach into their equipment bag and pull out some dowel grips. Dowel grips, which look like gloves, help the gymnast to hold onto the bars and are a recent topic of research.

When using dowel grips, there is a risk for injury. A new systematic review highlights a few risk factors for grip-lock injuries, which involve the fit between the dowel grips and bars. A gymnast, for instance, might walk over to the bar and not check the gripping surface, or another gymnast might decide to use the dowel grips on different bars. Both are at risk of injury, as an improper fit could lead to wrist movements that cause injury. So, after pulling out their dowel grips, gymnasts should check to ensure they have the proper grip.

Learn more in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Learn more about injuries in gymnastics and how to prevent them on the Gymnastics page.