Many professional athletes have used chalk for years. Just look at gymnasts, olympic weightlifters and rock climbers. All the sports mentioned rely heavily on grip for their performance, so it’s no surprise that they need to keep their hands as dry as possible.
During our workouts, many of us will do the exact same exercises as the athletes mentioned in the above sports, so why not use chalk also? Let’s look at the pros and cons…


  • It does what it sets out to do. It improves your grip by absorbing the sweat from your palms to create a dryer surface.
  • It’s portable. Chalk can be bought in little pouches, making it easy to put in your sports bag.
  • It’s really cheap! You can get a decent sized pouch for under £5 and a lot of companies offer multi-buy deals.


  • It can be messy. The main disadvantage of using chalk is the dust it creates. Any equipment that you use will get chalk dust on it, including your shoes and clothing. Due to this, some gyms have a strict ‘no chalk’ policy, so it isn’t an option for everybody.
  • Allergies. Some people can be allergic to chalk and chalk dust, although this is rare.

So for which exercises would I recommend the use of chalk?

  • Any kind of Olympic bar exercise (deadlifts, cleans, bench press, shoulder press, squats, rows, etc.)
  • Any bodyweight/hanging bar work (pull ups, chin ups, dips, bodyweight rows, etc.)
  • Heavy dumbbell exercises (rows, shrugs, etc.)
  • Any gymnastics style training.

Have you tried using chalk while exercising? Did it benefit you? Let us know in the comments below!