If you are serious about calisthenics then buying chalk is one of the best things you can do.
Using chalk can really help you a lot with sweaty palms and slippery surfaces because it’s designed to increase the friction you get while absorbing all the accumulated sweat.
But how to know which is the best chalk for calisthenics that actually works as promised?
As you can imagine there are hundreds of different products, types, and brands and you can easily get overwhelmed and confused.
That’s why I’ve written this article.
If you stick till the end you will find out:
- What is the right product for you…
- What are the main types of chalk…
- What are the things you should avoid
- What are the best products I personally use and why…
- and much more
Hi there, my name is Bozhidar and by the end of this article, I will share with you what are my favorite chalks I use for indoors and outdoors calisthenics.
Yes, I’ve tried many different products but these are the ones that are working the best.
In addition to that, I’m going to help you decide which product is best for you and answer all the questions you may have.
So without any further ado let’s get to the interesting part…
Do you have limited time?
If you don’t have the time to read my entire article or are just looking for the best chalk I highly recommend you check out the one I’m currently using – the FrictionLabs Chalk.
As you can see from the photo I’m currently using the basic powder and liquid from the same company. The powder is for outdoor training and the liquid is for home training.
Compared to all other products I have tried in my opinion this is the best chalk for calisthenics.
It has a good price, good friction, nice stickiness and it lasts a decent amount of time before you have to reapply it.
So far I’ve tested it with gymnastic rings, parallettes, dip bars, pull-up bar, dumbells, and a bar and it works perfectly.
So if you are looking for high-quality chalk that works great I highly recommend you check it out.
With that being said let’s see what are your other options…
Top 5 Best Chalks for Calisthenics for Sweaty Hands and Strong Grip
I know how annoying and difficult it can be to find decent products nowadays.
And the bad thing is that we are bombarded with hundreds of different products most of which are overpriced or doesn’t work…
Luckily for you, you won’t have to do a thing because I have prepared everything for you.
All 5 products below are tested and approved by me and hundreds of other people, have all the important characteristics and work extremely well.
In other words, you won’t go wrong if you decide to go for one or the other.
Here’s a quick comparison table to have a quick look.
If you want to learn more about a certain product please click the image or the button.
Top 5 Best Chalks for Calisthenics:
|1||FrictionLabs Chalk||Type: Loose, liquid, and chunky|
Created Mess: Low to high
Price Range: Medium
|2||Primo Loose Chalk||Type: Loose chalk|
Created Mess: High
Price Range: Medium
|3||Gibson Block Chalk||Type: Block chalk|
Created Mess: High
Price Range: Low
|4||Primo Chalk Ball||Type: Chalk ball|
Created Mess: Low
Price Range: Low
|5||Liquid Grip Chalk||Type: Liquid chalk|
Created Mess: None
Price Range: Medium
With that being said let’s hop on to the first one …
1. FrictionLabs Chalk – Best Chalk for Calisthenics
Тhe first chalk for calisthenics I’m going to review has absolutely everything you really need to start doing pull-ups, dips, and muscle-ups without any problems.
I’ve used these products for a while now and they work wonderfully with my calisthenics equipment and my sweaty hands.
But the thing that separates FrictionLabs from the rest are all the different textures, sizes and combinations you can choose.
From them, you can buy a package that has chalk powder and a chalk ball or buy a combination of powder and liquid chalk just like me. And if you want you can still buy only chalk.
Many people have shared over and over that the best way to get the max out of your chalk is to combine powder with liquid and that’s why I’m using such combination.
That way you are going to have the combined benefits of both options at the same place and you are not going to do a big mess at your home gym.
The overall quality of the powder is very good and it doesn’t dry out your skin as many cheaper options usually do.
Speaking of pricing this chalk does cost a little more than the majority of similar products but this is a premium product made in the USA and it does actually work better than most of them.
With that being said I do believe that the higher price of this specific product is well justified.
If you don’t believe me check out the total number of happy customers and see for yourself. (by the time I’m writing this review they are over 770)
I’m very happy with the good friction I get and if this chalk can handle with my sweaty and sensitive hands it can handle everything. (trust me I sweat a lot)
It also stays a fairly long amount of time on the hands and it doesn’t contain any dangerous fillers or artificial drying agents that can cause skin problems. (beware that many of the cheaper options usually do so always read the ingredients)
I really like their products because they are effective and actually work.
One thing I want to mention that I like is that FrictionLabs has recently released a new alcohol-free liquid chalk for people with very sensitive skin.
If you have such problems go check it out.
Finally, I want to add up that all carry bags are reusable so if you accidentally drop one you won’t have to clean spilled powder afterward.
If you are looking for a company providing big choices in texture and different types of chalks that actually work then you should check out FrictionLabs.
Their products have nice quality, bring good results and many people including me are happy with the properties.
You can buy their chalk in different sized packages and all types work great.
I’ve been using them often and from experience I can say that their products are good.
2. Primo Loose Chalk – Biggest Amount of Chalk
If you are looking for a good product that you can use for a while and keep the total cost down you are going to like the next selection.
This loose chalk comes in 4 different sizes to choose from depending on how much you really need.
The quantity is starting from 6 ounces (good amount for testing) and can go up to 5 pounds.
If you are going to buy this product I recommend you to go for the 1 pound option – it’s the best value per price.
People are very happy with the smooth texture, great smell and the good grip it provides when in use.
Because it’s made from pure Magnesium Carbonate this chalk does absorb sweat extremely well which is really important for people with sweaty palms or slippery equipment.
In addition to that what I do really like is the fact that Primo has included additional essential oils inside their formula.
That addition can actually help with skin dryness that other products may cause.
That is why this is an excellent choice for people who have more sensitive skin and have a hard time dealing with dry and irritable skin.
It works well on any surface (even in combination with gloves) meaning you can use it with almost everything in order to improve your grip strength.
One very important fact is that this chalk is ideal for calisthenics because you can wear it for a decent time before it wears off.
That way you can focus more on your workout instead of your grip.
Finally, I want to add up that Primo sells its chalk in well-sealed buckets and resealable packaging that you can close to prevent the mixture from spilling.
Many people are very happy with them and to be honest, that’s one of the main things why it’s on this list.
If you are curious feel free to check them out.
If you want convenience in the form of loose chalk and at the same time are looking for something that is going to stay on your hands during your calisthenics workouts then go for Primo.
It is recommended by a lot of people and it does an excellent job when it comes to securing your grip and fighting against sweaty palms.
And the price isn’t bad either.
3. Gibson Block Chalk – Best Value
If you don’t have a big budget to play with but are still looking for a decent product that could do the job right then you are going to want to see what’s the third option all about.
I know that I repeat again and again on my blog to stay away from cheap products because of the low quality but if there is a cheaper product with a lot of genuinely happy customers then I can’t just skip it.
With Gibson chalk, you can have 1 lb of powder for a very low price compared to a lot of the similar products.
Another thing you have to realize is that you are getting a whole 1 lb of chalk.
That is a lot of powder and it’s going to last for a very long time (it could last even longer than a good chalk ball if you are using it with care).
On the other hand, this is not the most convenient option because you have to manually crush it to make yourself a powder you can use.
But that’s isn’t especially bad because that way you have complete control over the size of the chunks and the texture you want.
Even with it’s lower price, the overall quality of this product is still very good. The whole mixture is made from pure Magnesium Carbonate and doesn’t have any unwanted additives.
I believe in that because a lot of people are very happy with the grip and sweat absorption they receive after they put some of this chalk on their hands.
Because of that, you won’t have to worry that your hands are going to slip while doing explosive calisthenics movements and such.
The majority of people also share that once placed it stays on for a good amount of time so you wouldn’t need to constantly replace it.
The packaging is fairly good so you won’t receive broken or destroyed blocks (like many other block chalk products...) and the customer service is responsive.
So if we compare the pros and the cons to this specific item we can easily see why this it’s a great product to have.
The Gibson Block has beaten a lot of the competition with this great product.
For a very good price, you can get a ton of very well made chalk that is going to last you for a while.
It has all the great characteristics such as improved gripping power, nice sweat absorption, and decent durability when in use.
In my opinion it’s totally worth trying.
4. Primo Chalk Ball – Best Chalk Ball for Calisthenics
The fourth option is pretty different from the previous 3 but in a good way.
As you can see from the photo this is one refillable chalk ball that is filled with very nice powder.
Because the chalk powder is located inside of the ball you are going to get around 5 to 7 times more usage compared to regular chalk.
In addition to that, you won’t have to breathe chalk dust every time you decide to apply some.
Also, the ball really helps so you won’t have to clean chalk powder every time you decide to do a calisthenics workout at home. (trust me it’s really annoying)
The ball comes in a sealable package that you can use to carry it around anywhere you go without leaving everything in fine powder.
The ball is very affordable and in my opinion, it’s worth every penny because of the great benefits I have explained above.
It’s nice to know that the ball comes filled with quality chalk that people are happy using.
The chalk itself has some great essential oils included for additional protection against skin dryness. It also has good texture and absorbs sweat very well leaving you with a dry and secure gripping surface.
In addition to that, the loose chalk doesn’t smell bad at all so your hands won’t smell like you have touched something bad after every workout you do.
To be completely honest I do recommend you go for a chalk ball instead of chalk block or powder because that way the quantity you get is going to last way longer and won’t leave such a mess.
Of course, you are going to have to refill it at some point so check out the other 3 options above and see what it’s going to work best as a refiller.
The quality of this product is also backed up by a lot of happy customers so you shouldn’t worry about making a mistake.
If you want to use loose chalk but you don’t like the mess, clouds of dust or see how fast it vanishes then you should definitely invest in this solid chalk ball.
In my opinion Primo has exactly what you need.
Their prefilled chalk ball is great quality, can be easily washed if needed and comes with a sealable package that you can use to carry it around.
This chalk ball is going to work perfectly in combination with some good chalk powder and I highly recommend it if you don’t like cleaning fine powder everywhere.
5. Liquid Grip Chalk – No Mess Behind
The final product I’m going to review is designed for people looking for something which is easy to carry around that won’t leave any trace behind.
I highly recommend this product for people doing calisthenics at the comfort of their home or working out in a place where is forbidden to use regular chalk.
What separates this type of product from the rest is that it leaves very little to no residue (marks) on workout surfaces meaning less cleaning and no mess for you.
This product usually comes in a package of 2 bottles – one big and one small.
But there is a reason for that.
You can easily carry around with you the smaller bottle and once all the liquid is used you can refill it back with the help of the bigger bottle.
That way you have a very convenient way to use chalk whatever you go without the need to carry heavy bottles.
For a decent price, you are getting about 9.5oz or 280 ml in return which is a fairly good amount that is going to last you a decent amount of time.
People are happy with how liquid chalk works because it provides an excellent grip, good tackiness and works well with sweaty palms and different surfaces.
In addition to that, the product is very pure and doesn’t use any harmful additives.
It also smells good and works well on people with sensitive skin.
but the best part is the fact that it’s very easy to use -Just put a small amount on your hand and apply to all inner parts of your palms, wait a few seconds to dry and you are ready.
No clouds of dust or spilled powder around.
Even if it’s not very easy to clean off your hands and it’s not as durable as a regular powder Liquid Grip is still a very decent product which I’m sure is going to be very useful for some of you.
That’s why I believe it’s worth the money and it’s a great investment.
I know how messy using chalk for calisthenics can be. That’s why I have included this final liquid-based product.
Despite it’s different form Liquid Grip has still got the same characteristics as the regular loose chalk powder you are all familiar with.
The main differences are that the liquid one doesn’t leave stains, powder or flying particles around.
That’s the reason I believe it’s one of the best chalks for calisthenics you can use in home workouts.
Because of all those things this is a product worth having.
5 Features to Look for When Buying the Best Chalk for Calisthenics
Before we continue I know what you are most likely thinking.
It’s something of the lines:
Do I really need to use chalk for my calisthenics workouts, is it really necessary?
If I have to be completely honest with you I would tell you that you are not really required to use chalk but it’s highly recommended because it does help a lot.
If you have a hard time grabbing the bar because it’s slippery or you simply want to improve your grip strength and hold the bar longer then you are going to enjoy the benefits chalk gives you.
Additionally, it works very well with all kinds of equipment you might have at your disposal. I’m talking about things such as pull-up bar, kettlebells, gymnastic rings, parallettes, power tower, dumbbells, barbells, dip stations, etc.
The main reason to use chalk is because it’s going to improve your grip which will lead to better movements, a longer time under tension, more control and finally – better results.
So after that has been explained let’s move on to the cool stuff…
1. What is the type of the chalk?
Before you open your wallet and buy a product is good to know that there are 4 main types of chalk you can choose from.
They are not very different from one another but each type does have it’s own pros and cons we are going to explain below.
I highly recommend you to get to know them so you can choose the type that fits your needs the best.
In the section above I have reviewed products from all 4 different types so you can have the freedom to pick whatever one you prefer.
Type 1: Chalk Blocks
They are famous and well known because they are the cheapest option you can get. In addition to that, they also come in big quantity.
This type of chalk usually comes in big block or blocks which you have to crush manually in order to make the right texture and size you want. That, on the other hand, can get really messy and requires additional time and work.
A good side of this process is that you have complete control over the texture and size of your chalk and are not dependant on what you are being sold by different companies.
That is something to consider because most companies don’t offer more than 1 texture option and some people like the texture to be a little rough while others prefer smooth powder-like form.
Buying chalk in blocks does come with a little advantage over loose chalk.
Because you have the ability to crush the blocks into larger pieces you can use them to rub against your hands. That way you won’t make such a big mess and end up with flying powder everywhere.
Of course, that is really depending on how you are going to use them.
Type 2: Loose Chalk (Chalk Powder)
This is the most common type of chalk you can find on the market.
It’s more convenient than chalk blocks because it has already been grinded to powder by the company that sells it. That’s why it’s ready to use right after you receive it.
Some negatives about loose chalk are that if you want to get premium quality which does work very well you are most likely going to have to pay more than chalk blocks.
Even with that price increase I still find chalk powder to be a very effective and affordable way to improve your grip.
As you can guess because of its powder-like form this is the messiest type. If you are not careful it could get everywhere – floor, clothes, equipment and even hair and face (yep, I know…).
If you apply it without a chalk ball (more on that next) you are going to waste a lot of it and you would have to resupply more often compared to using it with a ball.
If you are working out in local gyms and similar places then it’s good practice to become familiar with their policy because most closed places forbid the use of loose chalk because of how much mess it usually creates.
That’s why I don’t really recommend it for people wanting to use it in their homes.
Well, if you don’t mind cleaning every time after your workout then loose chalk won’t be such a big problem.
Type 3: Chalk Balls
A chalk ball is a cloth ball that contains chalk powder and in most cases has a refillable top you can loosen or tighten in times you have to refill it.
Using a chalk ball is usually a lot better option than just using chalk powder or big chunks of chalk because it releases only tiny fractions of the powder at once.
That way you are going to keep everything a lot cleaner and your chalk powder supplies are going to last longer.
Most chalk balls come prefilled with chalk which is going to last a fairly long time.
In addition to that, you also receive a reusable storage bag which you can carry around with your ball so you won’t have to make a big mess every time you want to use it.
If you are going to buy this type I highly recommend you to buy additional loose chalk which you can use to fill the ball with once it’s empty.
You can check the first product from our list because it offers both the powder and the ball as a separate set.
Type 4: Liquid Chalk
Liquid chalk is made using Magnesium Carbonate (MgCo3) and alcohol.
When you apply some amount on your hands and wait for a few seconds, the alcohol starts to evaporate leaving your hands only with the Magnesium Carbonate or also called – chalk.
That way you are going to get prepared for your workouts without making any mess.
Using liquid chalk is the least messy option of all 4 because you are only getting it on your hands meaning no spilled chalk everywhere or clouds of dust flying around.
That is the main reason why it lasts significantly longer than the standard loose chalk or chalk blocks.
One very big plus is that many of the liquid products don’t leave any marks on the equipment you use so you won’t have to clean it after every use.
That’s why I also believe this is the best option for your home calisthenics workouts or public gyms or training rooms where the regular powder is forbidden.
Liquid chalk is contained in a fairly small and lightweight bottle making it very convenient to carry around with you wherever you go.
Unfortunately rubbing alcohol doesn’t work very well with dry skin but the good news is that there are companies developing liquid chalk without the usage of alcohol (check out product #1 from our list).
The price of this chalk is usually more expensive than loose chalk or blocks but on the positive side, it’s going to last a pretty decent amount of time. That’s why I believe you get very decent value for the price you are paying.
It’s always a good thing to carry liquid chalk with additional protection – a ziplock bag for example. The reason behind this is that on very rare occasions the bottle may leak which may leave quite a big mess in your bag. Better be save than sorry!
Which one is the best type?
So after you know all 4 different types and see what are their pros and cons now you are probably asking that question…
In my opinion I don’t believe there is a certain winner because we all have very different needs and wants.
Depending on your budget, how often you are going to use it and where you plan to do so, pick a type you are going to enjoy using.
Because they are all good, you can’t go wrong whatever one you pick.
If you want to get the best possible anti-sweat layer you can use a combination of liquid chalk and chalk powder via a chalk ball.
2. What it is made from?
If you are going after loose chalk or blocks aim for products that are made with 100% purity.
That means they should mainly use only Magnesium Carbonate (MgCo3).
The reason behind this is because one of the best features about Magnesium Carbonate is that it does absorb sweat fairly easily making it the ideal option for people with sweaty palms.
MgCO3 does also improve friction and grip power by removing unwanted slipperiness.
Some companies add essential oils to the mix which is always a good thing to have because it helps with dry hands, etc.
Тheir presence on the ingredients list will result in slippery and poor experience during your calisthenics workouts.
If on the other hand, you decide to go for liquid chalk I would recommend you to watch for alcohol if you have very dry skin.
Instead, go for a product that uses an alternative to alcohol – a good example you can check is my personal favorite – the 1st product from the list above.
3. How well does it absorb sweat, improve friction and stay on your hands?
Even if two different companies have pretty similar ingredients and prices that doesn’t mean their products would have the same properties and benefits.
The first chalk may provide better sweat absorption while the other may have better friction and stay longer on your hands.
So in order to find out how good truly a product is to read my reviews or go investigate for yourself by reading what people who have previously used it have to say.
A good thing to remember is to focus on what the majority of people have to say about a certain product. Use that information as a stepping stone that is going to lead to your final decision – to buy it or not.
See how well does a certain model manages to work with very sweaty hands, how well does it improve friction and most importantly – how long does it stay on the hands.
I find the last part to be the most important because the longer time a certain product stays on my hands while I’m doing calisthenics the better I can focus on the workout.
It saves me time because I don’t need to reapply during every single rest I have and it also saves me material.
That way a bag or a bottle of chalk is going to last longer which is going to result in some savings which are always a good thing to have.
If you are training at home the fewer times you have to apply chalk, the less mess you are going to make.
There isn’t anything better than keeping everything clean and neat.
4. Product Texture and Packaging
If you are like me and most people you shouldn’t really care about texture size and you would probably ignore this feature but not all of us are like that.
I know that some of you do care about such things so it’s good to know that the vast majority of the companies don’t offer any texture choice.
If that’s the case then you should either go for a chalk block which you can crush to your desired size or go for a company that does offer different types of textures.
It’s good to know that some products do come in a combination from pure powder and small chunks which you can crush back to a certain texture size or use as it is.
But what about packaging?
Do I have to really care about packaging?
Actually yes you do!
If you don’t want to make a big mess every time you have to refill your chalk ball or carrying bag make sure the packaging you get is reusable and sealable.
Trust me, that little detail is going to save you a lot of headaches along the way.
5. What’s the value per price?
Before you jump in and buy the cheapest chalk you can find read this!
Like many other products buying the cheapest chalk option doesn’t always mean that you are going to be satisfied with what you get in return.
I personally and many other people can confirm that using a little more expensive chalk does have its perks.
Paying a little extra will most likely provide you with better quality. That is going to result in a better grip, more stickiness, and better sweat absorption, etc.
That way you shouldn’t have any problem holding the bar for long periods of time and doing some epic calisthenic movements without the constant fear of slipping and falling down.
Buying more premium products is also going to result in chalk staying longer on your hands which is going to results in less wasting and better workouts.
That choice will eventually lead you to spend less money than you would have if you bought the cheapest option you could find.
That’s why I recommend you to buy something in the middle price range which is going to have very good holding abilities.
I do really hope you have read everything that was written because if you have done that now you have a true understanding of what is the best chalk for calisthenics for you and what it should provide you with.
I know this is not rocket science but many people learn all those details the hard way.
Doing so is ineffective and is going to cost you additional money and time.
So depending on what you really want and need, pick a product you would enjoy using.
If you still are having a tough time deciding which one to go for then I would recommend to check out my personal chalk I use almost daily – the FrictionLabs chalk.
I’m very confident in their products and whatever size and combination of products you choose you can’t really go wrong.
It’s working great for me and a lot of other people so there isn’t any reason why it shouldn’t work for you.
That’s why I highly recommend you give them a try if you want.
And that was everything!
Thank you for the time it took you to read my article.
If you believe it was useful please share it around and leave a comment below.
I’ll see you in the next one,
Hey there, my name is Bozhidar and I’m a certified online personal trainer with University Degree in Sports and Nutrition.
With the help of my knowledge and over 8 years of workout experience, I can help you get on the next level. I own a home gym, do calisthenics, little gymnastics, and love to ride a bike.