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Why do some gymnasts wear straps on their hands?

These straps, called grips or hand guards, are often worn by gymnasts who perform a lot of swinging elements on the uneven bars, high bar, or rings to help them grip the bars or rings more easily. By helping the gymnasts stay securely on the bars or rings, the straps allow gymnasts to perform swinging skills more confidently. Grips can also help protect the gymnasts’ hands from getting rips or sores, but cannot completely prevent this injury. (This answer provided for NATA by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.