Finger Wraps

A noncontroversial option in the lifting game is the wearing of gloves. Weight-lifting gloves, which typically cost around $10, have padded palms and cut-off fingers for ventilation and dexterity. Gloves are good if you look at calluses with disdain, and they can come in handy during certain abusive exercises like chin-ups and lat pull downs, which you'll read more about in later chapters.

When Deidre started lifting 10 years ago, she used gloves until she realized that her feel for the weight improved without them. What does "feel for the weight" mean? Many experienced lifters feel that the greater the contact they have with the bar, the easier it is to lift the weight. Try both and see for yourself.

Like Deidre, Jonathan and Joe go gloveless. A kayaker whose hands are usually cal-lused and cracked from gripping a paddle hours a day in salt water, Joe finds that the calluses he's built from lifting help fortify his mitts while paddling.

If you decide to don gloves, try to find a pair that have a grippy texture on the palms, and make sure they fit your hands snugly without restricting your movement.

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