Do your hands blister or rip when doing pull-ups in your CrossFit workouts? Check out our full list of the best CrossFit grips for pull-ups in 2021.
The pull-up is one of the biggest milestones for CrossFit beginners. For seasoned athletes, mastering the pull-up is a key ingredient for fitness and success in CrossFit.
Not only, initially, are pull-ups a strength exercise but with so many variations in CrossFit workouts, they can be a cardiovascular movement too. CrossFit pull-ups can include the strict pull-up, kipping pull-up and chest to bar pull-up.
As with so many athletes around the world, pull-ups can wear your hands and sometimes rip the palms or fingers. To solve this, many athletes use gymnastics grips or CrossFit grips to protect their hands during pull-ups or pulling movements.
The surge in popularity of CrossFit in recent years has meant that there has been an increase in manufacturers making grips for pull-ups. So we've tested and reviewed the best CrossFit grips for pull-ups to make choosing your grips easier.
The Best CrossFit Grips For Pull-Ups
Best overall grips - X Picsil Azor Grips
Best value for money grips - WOD Nation Grips
Best grips for beginners - IsoGrip Grips
Best grips for durability - Bear KompleX Grips
The Best Overall grips
The best overall grips for pull-ups needs to fit well on your hand & wrist, be durable, comfortable, protective and be great value for money.
X PICSIL Azor Grips
Picsil have long be a go-to brand in the CrossFit world for grips but we think the X Picsil Azor Grip is the top pick for the best overall grips for pull ups. We think their light and flexible material the grip is made out of gives superior purchase and is certainly durable too. Not only that but for the price, we think it is great value for money too. We have chosen the 2 hole version of the grip purely because it fits our preferences but we know there is the 3 whole version available at a similar price too.
Best Overall - X Picsil Azor Grips
Made of a special patented material, it offers maximum resistance and softness. Flexible and very light. Double leather cover to offer softness and flexibility. 1,8mm thick and high resistance to friction.
Who should buy the X Picsil Azor Grips?
Athletes looking for a durable pull-up grip that will last a long time
Those who want a comfortable and easy to wear grip
Athletes who require a grip that works with many surfaces
The Best Value For Money grips
The best value for money grips for pull-ups will not only need to be cost effective but also need to perform well too.
WOD Nation Gymnastic Grips
Are there cheaper grips? Probably, BUT the WOD Nation gymnastics grips offer the best bang for your buck. Similar to many other grips, the WOD Nation grips offer a velcro wrist attachment and are made from durable leather and the best thing about them is that they're only $12!
Best value for money - WOD Nation Grips
Great for all surfaces and bars out there, made with durable leather that has the ability to work with as little or as much chalk as you're used to.
Who should buy the WOD Nation Grips?
Athletes looking for a pull-up grip that works with all bars
Beginners who are looking for a great starter grip
Athletes who require a versatile and durable grip for only $12
The Best Beginner grips
If you're starting out on your CrossFit journey, getting your first pull-ups and toes to bars can take a toll on your hands. So when looking for the best grips for beginners, we are looking for maximum comfort and protection
The IsoGrip grips have a few things that make these our top pick for beginners and that set themselves apart from the rest. Number one is the option to have finger loops to keep the grips in place, ideal for those who are getting used to how to work with and use their grips.
In addition to this, the IsoGrip grips have a padded wrist strap to prevent irritation on the wrist as you put the grip through its paces. Not only that, the IsoGrips have a wider face to offer more protection and comfort for you.
Best Beginners - IsoGrip Grips
The unique finger loop holes, wide grip face, padded wrist strap and special rubber material make the IsoGrips our pick for beginner comfort and protection.
Who should buy the IsoGrip Grips?
New Athletes looking to get used to bar work
Those who want elite comfort and protection for their hands
The Most Durable grips
So you want to protect your hands but you go HAM at every turn. These hand grips are our top pick for durability, able to handle almost anything you can throw at them.
Bear KompleX Grips
Endorsed by some of the world's fittest athletes, (Noah Olsen mainly) Bear KompleX grips are well known in the CrossFit world as being up there.
The grips do everything right. perfect size of the grip face, work well with chalk and many bar types, and are made to last. With a unique Carbon Fiber surface and a durable wrist strap, the Bear KompleX grips can take a beating from even the fittest around.
Most Durable - Bear KompleX Grips
Durable quadruple stitching, Carbon Fibre material and available in a 2-hole or 3-hole version, it's easy to see why this is our pick for most durable grip.
Who should buy the Bear KompleX Grips?
Athletes who will put their grips through it's paces
Those who want top quality materials in their grips
Those who want to brag they have the same grips as Noah (we all love to show off!)
How We Decide The Best Grips
When trawling through the myriad of gymnastic/hand grips out there we look at a few different performance characteristics then we assessed each grip on those characteristics.
When looking at a gymnastic grip, there are a few elements that we can take a look at. Number one is of course the material the grip is made from. Usually this is a hardwearing leather or carbon fibre material. Then we look at the stitching between the grip face and the wrist strap, we are looking for a solid stitch here that will last the test of time.
Then finally we look at the wrist strap connector, again this is usually velcro, but whatever it is, it needs to hold the grip in place throughout a full workout, without too much adjustment.
On top of these durability characteristics we look at how the grip performs. In a workout we want a comfortable grip that offers enough grip and purchase on the bar for pull-ups, muscle-ups, toes-to-bar and more.
In addition to this, we want a grip that works well when wet. CrossFitters can sweat a lot during a workout so we need a grip that can handle that. Also, we know CrossFitters use a lot of chalk, so we looked at how well the grip holds up when using chalk too.
Lastly we looked at price. There are some REALLY cheap options out there and we want to ensure that everyone gets what they pay for. In some cases it really is worth going for the most expensive option to prevent wasting your $$$
What to consider before buying a gymnastic Grip for CrossFit
So, you're interested in investing in a pair of grips. Here are some considerations that you can think about before buying your grips.
If you're doing CrossFit style training, the bar is going to be something you get used to fairly quickly. Using a grip to help protect your hands is a great way to ensure your most precious limbs are kept blister and rip free.
You need to take into consideration how often you're using the bar (for durability), how much you sweat and what issues with grip you have currently. If your hands are well conditioned to the bar, you may not need grips at all for most CrossFit workouts.
Let's face it, the most expensive grips out there aren't going to break the bank, but you know what, when you're fully outfitted, the little things often add up. A speed rope here, a pair of Nano's there and you're soon looking down the barrel of a few hundred $$, so keep your budget in mind.
There you have it, there is our top list of the best CrossFit grips out there. Make sure you shop wisely and take your time assessing what you need and what you can use your grips for.
Let us know how you got on in the comments below.
[If you're on the hunt for more CrossFit gear, check out what Mat Fraser uses for arm conditioning here!]