A strong grip is a critical part of weightlifting. It can mean the difference between completing your set or falling short by several reps.
Many exercises depend directly on grip strength, such as deadlifts, overhead presses, and pull-ups.
Chalk can make the difference between a failed lift or a new PR.
In this guide, we’ll break down the choices and look at the best chalk for weightlifting. Don’t train until you’ve checked it out!
In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:
Quick Answer – The Best Chalk For Weightlifting
- Primo Chalk – Best Overall
- Rogue Gym Chalk – Best Budget Chalk For Weightlifting
- Spider Chalk Powder Chalk – Best For Beginners
- Spider Liquid Chalk – Best Sticky Chalk
- Z Athletic Chalk Ball – Best Chalk Ball
- Rep Fitness Liquid Chalk – Best long Lasting Chalk
- Iron American Liquid Sports Chalk – Best Portable Chalk
- Friction Labs Premium Sports Chalk – Best For Pros
- Friction Labs Secret Stuff Chalk Cream – Best Chalk Cream
- SportMediq Pro Grade Liquid Chalk – Best Liquid Chalk
Reviews – Best Chalk For Weightlifting
Primo Chalk – Best Overall
Here’s our best overall. Primo Chalk is used by teams in the NFL and NCAA. It combines pure magnesium carbonate, essential oils to protect the hands, and Epsom salt. It’s antibacterial, moisturizing, and long-lasting.
Primo Chalk comes in a 1lb bucket. It’s also enclosed in a bag to avoid spilling. This chalk is scent-free, goes on easy, and it’s long-lasting. It provides a great grip and keeps your hands in good shape.
- Combines Magnesium Carbonate, Essential Oils, & Epsom Salt
- Antibacterial – Protects The Skin
- Features High-Quality Ingredients
Rogue Gym Chalk – Best Budget Chalk For Weightlifting
One box of Rogue Gym Chalk provides eight 2oz blocks of chalk. This is one pound of chalk, enough to get you through quite a few workouts.
Rogue Chalk is well known for their superior products. It’s made from pure magnesium carbonate, which is a solid, inorganic mineral that is insoluble in water. This means the chalk will not dissolve due to sweating.
Also, it reduces slipping and helps you maintain your grip. Rogue Gym Chalk doesn’t crumble, is easy to use, and features Rogue quality. Yet it will fit any budget. This is why it’s the best chalk for budget-conscious users.
- One Pound Of Chalk Per Box
- Absorbs Moisture
- Helps Maintain Grip
- Some Users Feel It Breaks Apart To Easily
Spider Chalk Powder Chalk – Best For Beginners
Spider Chalk Powder Chalk is no-frills chalk that’s easy to use, making it our best chalk for beginners. It’s made from pure lab-grade magnesium carbonate.
Spider Chalk uses non-toxic bonding agents, and there are no drying agents or compounds like other dry chalk products may use. Powder Chalk has a sticky feel and helps weightlifters maintain their grip, and helps keep hands dry.
Spider Chalk is USA-made and guaranteed for 30 days.
- Made Using 100% Pure Magnesium Carbonate
- No Inferior Ingredients
- Keeps Hands Dry & Improves Grip
- Some Users Feel Spider Chalk Is Not Sticky Enough
Spider Liquid Chalk – Best Sticky Chalk
Spider Liquid Chalk is not as messy as dry chalk. This chalk dries in 15 seconds and doesn’t come off your hands. This means you can use it in any gym and it won’t make a mess.
Spider Liquid Chalk works well for weightlifters that travel frequently and use hotel gyms. This chalk keeps your hands dry and stays sticky for a good grip throughout your workout. It’s our pick for the best sticky chalk.
Spider Liquid Chalk uses lab-grade magnesium carbonate and does not contain toxic ingredients.
- Dries In 15 Seconds
- Does Not Come Off Your Hands Too Soon
- Stays Sticky For A Good Grip
- Some Users Feel It Doesn’t Noticeably Improve Grip
Z Athletic Chalk Ball – Best Chalk Ball
Our pick for the best chalk ball is Z Athletic Chalk Ball. It can fit in the palm of your hand and is made using premium quality, pure magnesium carbonate chalk.
Z Athletic Chalk is non-messy, scent-free, and used by squeezing the ball to coat your hands. The chalk is inside a sock made from 100% cotton. There are no fillers or dyes.
Z Athletic Chalk Balls last longer than blocks, come in different sizes, and are refillable.
- These Chalk Balls Come In Different Sizes & Are Refillable
- Made Using 100% Pure, Lab-Grade Magnesium Carbonate
- No Mess – Lasts Longer Than Chalk Blocks
- Some Users Feel It Doesn’t Last Long Enough
Rep Fitness Liquid Chalk – Best long Lasting Chalk
This liquid chalk combines magnesium carbonate for grip and alcohol for its antibacterial properties.
Rep Fitness Liquid Chalk improves grip and prevents slipping while keeping your hands free from bacteria. The container seals tight to prevent leaking while keeping the chalk fresh.
Rep Fitness Liquid Chalk requires a pea-sized amount and will last your entire workout. There’s no need for constant reapplications. It’s our pick for the best long-lasting chalk.
- Combines Pure Magnesium Carbonate & Alcohol
- Acts As A Hand Sanitizer
- Improves Grip & Prevents The Bar From Slipping
- The Alcohol Can Dry Out Your Hands
Iron American Liquid Sports Chalk – Best Portable Chalk
One of the sizes Iron American Liquid Sports Chalk comes in is a 1ml size. It includes a travel clip for easy carrying and can be attached to your gym bag, backpack, or other accessories.
One container supplies over 50 applications. This makes it our pick for the best portable chalk. It’s designed to stick better and last longer than other chalks.
Liquid Sports Chalk resists moisture, sweat, and can even be added to dry chalk. Iron American Liquid Sports Chalk is the ideal chalk for weightlifters that travel frequently.
- Includes Travel Clip – Attach It To Your Gym Bag
- Lasts Longer Than Other Brands
- Improves Grip & Resists Moisture
- Some Users Feel It’s Too Thick & Too Hard To Wash Off
Friction Labs Premium Sports Chalk – Best For Pros
Here’s a brand of dry chalk that’s used and endorsed by pro athletes across multiple sports. It’s the chalk of choice for so many weightlifters and other athletes, it’s the best chalk for pro use.
Friction Labs Premium Sports Chalk was originally designed for mountain climbers. Now it’s used by weightlifters and athletes in any sport that requires a strong grip.
This chalk is made using pure magnesium carbonate. It does not contain any fillers or artificial ingredients. Friction Labs Premium Sports Chalk keeps your hands dry and maintains your grip on your heaviest exercises.
- Used By Pro Athletes In Multiple Sports
- Contains Pure Magnesium Carbonate
- There’s No Artificial Drying Agents Or Fillers
- May Be Too Clumpy For Some Users
Friction Labs Secret Stuff Chalk Cream – Best Chalk Cream
Friction Labs Secret Stuff Chalk Cream is our best chalk cream. It is less messy than powders and liquid chalks. It’s free of odors, contains no toxic ingredients, and is gentle on the skin.
Secret Stuff combines pure magnesium carbonate with alcohol. This provides a good grip as well as hand sanitizing benefits.
Friction Labs chalk is weightlifter and athlete-endorsed. Secret Stuff Chalk Cream contains 100 applications. It can be used as a base layer with dry chalk or as a complete dry chalk replacement.
- Thick, Non-Messy Cream
- Combined With Alcohol
- Improves Grip & Sanitizes Hands
- Some Users Find They Have To Use Several Applications
SportMediq Pro Grade Liquid Chalk – Best Liquid Chalk
This is our best liquid chalk. This is thick enough to feel like weightlifting gloves. SportMediq Pro Grade Liquid Chalk is non-messy. It can be used in small applications to provide a good grip. Designed to have a lotion-like texture, SportMediq Liquid chalk has a light scent.
Also, it does not contain any toxic ingredients. It’s made using magnesium carbonate, alcohol, honey, a thickening agent, and a light fragrance. It also comes with a travel clip that can be attached to your gym bag or any accessory.
- Features A Lotion-Like Consistency
- Fast Drying
- Improves Grip & Acts As A Antibacterial
- May Become Flaky After Drying
Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Chalk For Weightlifting?
Why Use Chalk For Weightlifting?
During heavy barbell or kettlebell exercises, your grip is almost always your weakest link. Chalk is used by weightlifters to improve their grip during their heaviest lifts. Nothing is worse than your grip giving out during an exercise. This is especially true if you could have kept going otherwise.
Using chalk during your workout means better grip security. Chalk also absorbs moisture and sweat, preventing any chance of the bar or kettlebell slipping out of your hands. Chalk can be used for any style of weightlifting. This includes bodybuilding, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, or CrossFit.
Why Is Chalk Good for Grip?
Chalk is manufactured using magnesium carbonate, a hygroscopic compound. This means it absorbs moisture. Additionally, it means it’s not soluble in water, so it won’t dissolve when it absorbs moisture. It helps your hands stay dry for a better grip, even if they are sweating.
Some chalks, such as Primo Chalk, add essential oils to prevent your hands from cracking or drying out. Others, such as Rep Fitness Liquid Chalk, include alcohol to act as an antibacterial. This allows you to train in a more sanitary environment.
Types Of Chalk
Dry chalk is the original chalk. Many users still prefer it over other types. It can come in several forms, from bags of powder to blocks or chalk balls. However, there’s one issue with dry chalk. It can be messy, and for this reason, some gyms don’t allow it. Also, most hotel gyms don’t allow it for the same reason. This means if you’re a weightlifter that travels a lot, you won’t be able to use dry chalk.
An advantage of dry chalk is that it’s a budget-conscious product. An average block of chalk will last several weeks to a month. Dry block chalk usually comes in packs of at least 4. Rogue Gym Chalk comes in bags of 8, and each bag is 2oz. Other dry chalks come in buckets, but it’s important to move the chalk you want to use into something smaller. This is because a knocked-over bucket of dry chalk is more common than you might think. Not to mention it will make a big mess.
Some weightlifters feel dry chalk provides a better grip than liquid chalk. This comes down to personal preference.
As noted, dry chalk can be messy. No matter how careful you are, it tends to end up everywhere. This might make liquid chalk a better choice.
Liquid chalk has more of a lotion-type texture. Friction Labs Secret Stuff has a cream-like texture. Liquid chalk will last longer than dry chalk. This is important because nothing is worse than stopping several times during a workout to reapply chalk. Dry chalk may need numerous reapplications. Liquid chalk usually only needs one or two.
Additionally, liquid chalk provides a sticky grip and is not as messy. This means it’s easier to use. Also, you can use it in gyms that may not allow dry chalk. This includes hotel gyms, making liquid chalk the best choice for travelers. Also, it usually includes alcohol, which acts as a hand sanitizer. A drawback of liquid chalk is that it is not as budget-friendly as dry chalk.
Benefits of Weightlifting Chalk
Improves Your Grip
As noted, a good grip means you can lift heavier, and push through your reps and sets. If your grip is secure, you can push your loads to new PRs. Chalk also prevents spinning, which in turn helps you maintain form. This in turn will help prevent injury.
Keeps Hands Dry
When you engage in an intense workout, you sweat. This will impact your grip. Since chalk is magnesium carbonate, it will absorb moisture. It will also keep your hands dry, keep your grip secure, and prevent the bar from slipping.
Since some chalks include alcohol, chalk has antibacterial properties. This means you can use equipment without fear of germs that may cause illness, such as a cold. In this day and age, this is also an anxiety-relieving benefit.
How Do I Use Weightlifting Chalk?
Check the label for product-specific instructions. Otherwise, here’s how to apply dry or liquid chalk:
- Sprinkle or squeeze a small amount of chalk on your palm. Some products suggest specific amounts, such as a pea-sized drop for liquid chalk.
- If you’re using chalk powder, dust off your hands over the container. This helps cut down on the mess.
- Keep your hands closed when not performing your exercises.
- If you begin to see bare skin, reapply.
- Chalk washes off with soap and water. You can also use white vinegar to help dissolve the chalk.
Which Exercises Benefit From Using Weightlifting Chalk?
Pulling exercises, such as deadlifts and bent rows, demand a solid grip. Also, pushing exercises such as power cleans and overhead presses depend on your ability to maintain your grip. Weighted carries, like farmer’s walks, directly depend on your grip strength. But, key exercises, such as bench presses and squats, don’t need a solid grip. Yes, you have to grip the bar, but it’s not going to slip out of your hands. Still, you can use chalk on any exercise that you feel needs a good grip and you have problems with.
As noted, weightlifters depend on chalk to maintain grip for their heaviest lifts.
If you have never used chalk, or want a change, Primo Chalk is our pick for best overall. This chalk is used in the NFL and NCAA. It has an exclusive combination of pure magnesium carbonate, and essential oils. It also contains Epsom salt. It’s moisturizing, antibacterial, and long-lasting.
If you want to use liquid chalk, SportMediq Pro Grade Liquid Chalk is the best choice. It’s not as messy as dry chalk and has a lotion-like texture. It’s a combination of magnesium carbonate, alcohol, honey, and a thickener. It also has a light scent. It goes on thick and provides a good grip.
Before choosing the best weightlifting chalk for your needs, check with your gym to make sure they allow chalk. Then all you have to do is get ready to set some new PRs!