How to Make Pull Up Bar Less Slippery

July 30, 2020

There are many products that help make your pull up bar less slippery — but each have their pros and cons. Pull up bar grip is essential for WOD’s which require high repetitions. The reps can be aggressive on hands, creating rips and tears. The best solution to make your pull up bar less slippery is to have something that provides grip, but doesn’t cause greater ripping. The most common ways to make a pull up bar less slippery are to use:

  • Pull up bar wax - WODWAX
  • Athletic tape or grip tape
  • Chalk
  • Gloves
  • Grips

How to Make Pull Up Bar Less Slippery With Pull Up Bar Wax

Pull up bar wax is the most effective way to get better grip on the bar while preventing ripping. Pull up bar wax — like WODWAX — is simple to use and can be cleaned off easily. You’ll need to sanitize your bar less often since WODWAX has antibacterial properties. Unlike chalk, you won’t need to stress about bacteria build up from sweat and the potential transfer from bar to gym member. Want to be overly cautious, given the current environment? We're with you! A Wodwaxed bar can be wiped down with your regular gym cleaners with little to no effect on the wax layer itself.

Applying a pull up bar wax is easy. First rub the wax directly on a clean bar in two 4" - 5" sections where hands will be placed. Next, apply the wax generously on the top half and back of the bar where your hands and fingers will make the most contact. Continue to apply until the wax forms bumps. It’s really important that you reapply a fresh coat of the pull-up bar wax before you begin each WOD. This will increase grip, reduce ripping and keep the highest level of cleanliness as a result of the antibacterial properties of the wax. 

“I have tried grips, gloves, chalk, tape, woddies, you name it. And after no more than 30 pull ups, my hands inevitably rip. I don’t build calluses. My skin sluffs off easily. But someone at my box had used it in a class before me and the residual WODWAX on the bar was enough to protect my hands and give me the grip I needed to hold on to the bar (I have small hands). The real test was this years MURPH. I Rxd it for the first time. Completed all 100 pull ups and did not rip until the 85th pull up. Yes, I ripped, but I call that a major success! I only do 100 pull ups once, maybe twice a year. You’ve got a lifelong customer in me. Great product!!!” -Tania h.

Pull up bar wax is designed to last the entirety of your WOD, and provide you with a comfortable, clean, and enjoyable workout experience. You’ll no longer have to worry about wearing sweaty gloves, re-chalking consistently, or bunching up your bar tape. Apply WODWAX once at the beginning of your WOD and you’re done.

How to Make Pull Up Bar Less Slippery With Chalk

Chalk is the common choice to gain a better grip on the pull up bar and it can be found at most boxes. A member can use chalk by applying it to their hands every rep or applying it directly to the bar. Chalk is often bought for its low cost, convenience, and the fact that it's been used for so long in Gymnastics. 

Unfortunately the way your hands move on a bar in Crossfit isn't necessarily the same way you'd want your hands to move in gymnastics, say on the uneven bars. Gymnasts need their hands to fully rotate around the bar. Crossfit athletes benefit from maintaining their grip. We still like out hands to move a little and WODWAX provides that perfect amount of stick and give.

The downside of chalk is that it is messy, dries out hands and builds up on the bar making it slippery. Pull up bar wax doesn’t leave mess on the gym floor, doesn’t dry out hands and can easily be removed from a bar. Unlike chalk, you don’t need to reapply constantly which helps your WOD continue uninterrupted and will help improve WOD times!

We have designed WODWAX so that you can use a combination of chalk and WODWAX if you desire. It’s simple to do, and we will walk you through the steps. When you first apply WODWAX to the bar, the bar should be clean and chalk-free. Once WODWAX has been applied, you may use chalk however you like. The use of chalk will not impact the performance of WODWAX.

How to Make Pull Up Bar Less Slippery With Gloves

Gloves prevent skin ripping and give a CrossFitter better grip on a pull up bar. They also long lasting and arguably provide the greatest level of hand protection. Another benefit is that they only need to be purchased ever six to twelve months by a member.

But gloves come with costs as well. Gloves can create unnecessary bulk, adding to the circumference of the pull up bar The process of removing gloves and putting them back on during WODs is inconvenient and can be distracting — which can reduce WOD times. They also build up bacteria over time due to sweating, often are bled in, and aren’t hygienic for multiple gym members to use.

Pull up bar wax like WODWAX doesn’t add bulk to the bar, doesn’t require continuous application and is more hygienic than gloves.

How to Make Pull Up Bar Less Slippery With Tape

Athletic tape and grip tape is used by either wrapping the pull up bar itself or wrapping the athletes hands directly to increase the grip and to help prevent your hands from ripping. Tape, especially a taped bar, can accumulate sweat, cells, and other bacteria over time and it's very hard to disinfect and an absorptive material like tape. In a normal gym, athletic tape should be reapplied weekly.

The most common complaint from pull up bar tape users is that it bunches up in the athlete's hands or on the bar itself, changing the bar’s surface and potentially causing one's hands to rip. CrossFit WODs are high rep, high intensity, and time competitive. Bunching tape is not ideal in this situation, and pull up bar wax is an excellent solution to keep CrossFitter efficient.

How do I add grip to my pull up bar?

The most convenient, hygienic, and consistent way to add grip to a pull up bar is to use a pull up bar wax. WODWAX was developed with CrossFit athletes in mind. It is applied directly to the pull up bar, eliminating the need for bulky gloves or grips, tape, or constant re-chalking. The wax is also extremely effective in preventing hands from ripping and slipping, whilst enhancing grip to allow for higher repetitions and an overall better WODs.

“Me and my members love WOD Wax. It wears off after a few uses and it’s simple to reapply as necessary. It also cuts down on chalk use.” - Dawn H.

Pull up bar wax removes the stress of reapplication during a WOD. Once a base is established, you’ll only need to reapply once before every bar-intensive workout.

How do you clean pull up bars?

To clean a pull up bar that has chalk on it, to saturate the area and use a stiff bristled brush to scrub the chalk build up out of the crevices. Soap and water should work, then after that, you can disinfect.

To clean a pull up bar that has tape, remove the tape and disinfect. If the tape leaves a sticky residue on the bar, then put baby oil or cooking oil on the tape and let it soak for a few minutes to break down the adhesive. remove the same and then disinfect.

WODWAX will not rub off immediately on your hands. Over time, the wax layer will begin to get pulled down towards the bottom of the bar from the high torque applied during intense WODs. WODWAX will naturally come off the bar with use. If you ever want to fully WODWAX, simply scrape off with a thick plastic card or something similar.