How to Use Resistance Bands Without Hurting Your Hands

How to Use Resistance Bands Without Hurting Your Hands

Resistance bands are versatile, portable, and can provide heavy enough resistance for a variety of exercises, making them a valuable addition to your gym bag. Unfortunately, one of the best styles of band is the long, strong kind that comes without handles — which can mean they’re uncomfortable to grip.

You may be tempted to only buy bands that have handles, but the kind that come without are more versatile: you can use them with barbells, or stretch them across a rack, or use them for band assistance on pullups and dips. So finding a solution that keeps your hands comfortable while using these bands may be a better option than buying different bands. Here are a few things to try:

Use gloves

I’m not usually a fan of wearing gloves in the gym, since you can build your grip strength better with bare hands, but this is one of the cases where gloves really make sense. The fingerless kind may not protect your fingers well enough, so consider a pair of regular work gloves or gardening gloves.

Use a towel

For an even simpler solution than bringing a dedicated pair of gloves, you can wrap a towel around the part of the band you’re going to hold. This can be a little bit fussy, especially if you’re doing a two-handed exercise where you need to wrap two separate areas of the band, but the convenience of avoiding extra equipment may be worth it.

Use a hook-style or fat grip handle

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a handle you could pop onto the band for exercises that need it, and then remove it afterward? While normal resistance band handles don’t work super well, there are products made specifically for this type of resistance bands, like these hook-style handles.

Or use a fat grip. (Fat Gripz is one brand name, but there are other products that do the same thing.) They’re normally used on barbells or on dumbbell handles to make the handle wider and give your forearm muscles more of a challenge as you’re holding on. But since they easily slip onto anything you want to hold, they make a perfect handhold for resistance bands, as this video shows.

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