Active Hands Grip Aids | Working out with Little or no Hand Function

Having a spinal cord injury changes a lot about life. So many things that you used to do now seem impossible. Over time we learn different ways to do things. We create or learn about special gadgets, utensils, and aids to help us invent new ways to again do the things we love.

I know a lot of us love to work out. Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries often affect our ability to use our hands; some of us cannot use our hands at all. This makes it incredibly difficult or impossible to grip handles on workout equipment. Something we love - literally out of grasp.

Luckily, Active Hands makes several different grip and exercise aids to help those with no, poor or weak grip and hand function get back to working out! Even better, they are letting me offer you a great discount on their products (read on to get the special code)!


People all over the world use Active Hands grip aids in rehab facilities, specialized gyms, physical and occupational therapy programs, and at home. They easily make the best grip aids out there!

Here are a few of their incredibly well-made, durable, versatile aids that you can use in the gym and at home to help you get back to doing something you love! ❤️️ 

What are Grip Aids

There are a lot of different types of grip aids available for a lot of different things. The grip aids we are talking about give those of us with weak or poor grip or hand function the ability to tightly hold or hook onto something.

This blog post is focused on how to use grip aids in the gym or for working out but they certainly can be used for many other functions as well including cooking, gardening, home repair, etc.

Here is a video starring Rob Smith, a wheelchair rugby and track racing athlete displaying how to use a few different Active Hands grip aids. Below the video is a description of each type of aid Rob uses. 

Even if you don't need any grip aids this video is a great introduction on how equipment at a "regular" gym can be used if you have a disability.

Grip Aids

All of these Active Hands gripping aids are made from a super soft neoprene fabric that provides great comfort and padding. The neoprene protects your wrists (and hands if applicable) and eliminates the worry of any rough or hard edges causing damage to your skin.

These aids are made to be used so they are super durable! I do therapy at Courage Kenny in Minnesota and they have several pairs they use multiple times a day. They hold up like a boss! On top of that, they are machine washable!

General Purpose Gripping Aid

Active hands general purpose gripping aid

These general-purpose gripping aids are great for anyone with weak or no grip and are available in adult and pediatric sizes.

They are perfect for using in the gym on anything that has a grip such as rowing machines, weight machines, free weights, EasyStand Gliders, NuStep recumbent cross trainers, resistance bands, and much, much more. 

The uses for these general-purpose gripping aids are limited only by your imagination.

I have no hand function or grip and I use the general purpose gripping aids when:

  • using an EasyStand Glider
  • using a NuStep
  • holding a straight bar for assisted resistance training
  • gripping handles on resistance bands
  • holding a Wii controller
  • hand cycling
  • gripping battle ropes
  • holding free weights

Gripping Wrap

Wrapping your hand around a bar or weight that is rough, hard, or too small can cause your hand to get chafed, blistered, or even develop pressure sores.

Securing this gripping wrap around the object will add padding as well as make the object easier to hold onto without slippage. The neoprene material holds securely to the object as well as your hand to prevent twisting and potential damage to your skin.

Looped Exercise Aids

Active hands looped exercise aid

The looped exercise aids are designed to slip over the end of an open bar handle. The loop stays firm, rigid, and will not collapse as you reach to place the loop onto and off of a handle.

Being able to get your hand on and off a weight machine, rowing machine, etc. independently at the gym can be great for the self-esteem!

Here's a photo of Paralympic, world champion wheelchair racer Michelle Stilwell training on her handbike using the looped aids.

Female wheelchair racer active hands loop aids

D-ring Aid

Active hands D-ring aid

D-ring aides are great for hooking directly onto a cable or pulley machine or a carabiner.

Placing the D-ring on the palm side of your wrist you can hook directly to a piece of workout equipment. These workout aids enable you to pull from the wrist and use the strength of your arms and shoulders, leaving your hands free.

Hook Aid

Active hands hook aids are new to their collection and are great for just slapping over the edge of a bar.

The two hooks are made from strong stainless steel which gives stability under tension. They are designed to mimic the feel of a real grip when you use them.

The hook aid also has an elastic loop that goes around a finger to prevent the hooks from flopping downward when in use; when your arms are forward or at rest.

Working Out

These Active Hands gripping aids give us the ability to work out again!

Honestly, you can find lots of different gripping aids out there on the Internet. But, when you go to rehab facilities and specialized gyms you will find Active Hands. I would call them the gold standard.

I purchased my own pair and bring them with me everywhere. They are great for when I'm working out at Courage Kenny and Fit 4 Recovery and you just never know what situations you might run into during the day where they could come in handy.

Have you used Active Hands?

What product do you have and what do you use it for?

Share your stories with others!

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