Ask Atomic Iron: Do I Need Gym Chalk?

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Patrick from Townsville, QLD asks:

“Hey guys, I’m loving the gymnastic rings, but I have a quick question. I am beginner to intermediate level on the rings and live in relatively hot and humid environment in north-east Australia.

When I work out I constantly sweat and also find that sometimes my grip begins to loosen near the end of each set. I also see a lot of professional gymnasts online are always using gym chalk.

So just curious, should I start using gymnastic rings chalk when I work out and also, what is the difference between regular chalk and liquid chalk?”

Atomic Iron Says:

Thanks for getting in touch and great to hear you’re enjoying your Atomic Iron gymnastic rings experience.

Let’s start with your second question, the difference between regular, dry (or powder) gym chalk and liquid gym chalk. Essentially, they are very similar, as liquid chalk is just dry chalk that has been suspended in alcohol. The differences are in the application and use-cases, as liquid chalk has numerous benefits over traditional dry chalk, these include:

  • Easier to carry and store in a bottle
  • Antibacterial - with 70% alcohol our liquid gym chalk kills 99.9% of germs
  • Much less mess when applying to your hands
  • Liquid state makes it easier to evenly coat your hands
  • It doesn’t form a powdery cloud when applied which can be harmful to inhale
  • Actually lasts longer during a workout
  • Sticks to your hands better
  • Washes off in seconds in water

We recommend that most beginners use liquid gym chalk due to the overall ease and convenience.

Now to your original question, do you need gym chalk? Firstly, let’s be really clear about what gym chalk does, which is decrease moisture to improve overall grip. It will come as no surprise that clean and dry hands, devoid of all moisture, will grip gymnastic rings better than dirty and sweaty hands.

So despite your hot local climate, your first step to make sure your hands are clean and dry before starting your gymnastic rings workout. We recommend a thorough washing and drying of both hands across the palms and fingers. The presence of sweat causing your weakened grip may not actually be caused by your local climate, but rather the conditions of the skin on your hands before you begin.

However, if you’re still finding excessive sweat and moisture which is decreasing the friction level between your skin and the wooden rings, and this is having a negative impact on your workout, yes, you should invest in some liquid gym chalk.

The reason you’re seeing so many professional gymnasts, cross-fit athletes, and other fitness coaches using gym chalk on-line is because it works. The improved friction generated from keeping your hands dry so that you can complete your sets with full repetitions and range of movement makes it both beneficial and essential for safe and progressive training with gymnastic rings.

However remember, you don’t need to be at all excessive with your application. The benefits to your grip and performance will be realised with a minimal amount of chalk that is evenly spread across your hands.

You can grab a bottle of Atomic Iron liquid gym chalk here. Best of luck!

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