Review | Gorilla Grips!
Let’s start off by saying I am generally against the wearing of gloves for kettlebell training. Gloves for weight training purposes are a slightly different matter as the knurling on some bars is just ridiculous, especially on cheap gym kit.
With kettlebells however, if you care for your hands appropriately and modify your form to a degree when snatching, your hands should be just fine.
So, why do I have some Gorilla Grips in my gym bag and are they any good?
As to the why, I only use them for emergency measures and for this they are superb! During a high volume snatching session just the other day, I had to call upon the Gorilla Grips in the final third of my workout. Without the pads, the workout would have had to end prematurely. I had the start of a tear forming on my palm just above my fingers. Most kettlebell users will know what this looks like. Blood starts to fill under the skin as a result of a bunched up callous pulling down on the skin above it. Initially the skin remains unbroken but it’s only a matter of a few more sets before there is an actual tear and you have the horrible sensation of something wet and sticky on the handle of the bell, Not nice!
By preventing the tear, you give the skin a chance to heal underneath. Once healed you simply tear away the loose skin on top. If you rip the skin off completely during the session, you end up with a raw bit of skin underneath which will certainly mean a delay in getting back to kettlebells.
The Gorilla pads will certainly prevent any further tearing but there are a few issues.
They are made of leather and quite thick. You therefore haven’t quite got the grip of bare flesh. When your hands are bare, they have a very close and ‘wrapped round grip’ on the handle. A slice of thick leather in between your palm and the handle of the bell will certainly hamper your grip strength.
But is this necessarily a bad thing? When you want to increase the loading on your grip, working with Gorilla grips will certainly cause your forearms to take a bit of a pounding.
Please note though that as your grips age, this will become less of a problem. I’ve no doubt that if I were to wear my grips constantly for training, they would be softer still and as a result be less of a compromise on grip strength!
Comfort wise, they are pretty good but I do find that they can dig into your fingers a little.
Some people may choose to use them all the time but for me they will always be an emergency measure. But this is a very valid reason for me to always have them close at hand. There is nothing worse than cutting a workout short due to a tear on my palm.
Quality wise, so far they have certainly been up to the task. They are available in a variety of sizes. The actual pad size is consistent but the size of the finger loops will vary according to whether you go for small, medium or large.
I wouldn’t be without my Gorilla Grips as they have come to my rescue on numerous occasions. They are certainly a better option then wearing a weight training glove for kettlebell training. They are very simplistic in their design but as a result only minimally take away from the bare hand sensation that you require. They are available in a variety of funky colours so you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding a pair that suits.
In the UK Go here
In the USA Go here