5 Best Chalks for Calisthenics [Great for Sweaty Hands] 2019

If you are serious about calisthenics using chalk can really help with sweaty palms, slippery surfaces because it increases friction and absorbs sweat.

But how to know which is the best chalk for calisthenics which does really work?

There are literally a ton of different products, types, etc. …

It this article I will share my previous experience and help you buy the right option for you and the way of your training. 

You are going to see our recommended list and learn all the really important things that differentiate a good from a bad chalk product. 

So without any further ado let’s see what lays ahead…

Have limited time?

Hey, I get you if that’s the case feel free to take a look at my personal favorite – FrictionLabs Chalk.

Compared to all other products I do believe this one has it all – good price, good friction, stickiness and it lasts for a long time.

Click Here for the latest price on Amazon

Top 5 Best Chalks for Calisthenics

I know how annoying and difficult it can be to find a decent product nowadays. 

And the bad thing is that we are talking about hundreds of different products…

Luckily for you, you won’t have to do a thing because we have prepared everything for you.

All products below are tested and approved by hundreds of people and have all the important characteristics we have a separate part about.

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:

That being said let’s hop on to the first one …

BrandImageChalk TypeMessPrice Range
FrictionLabs ChalkAllAllMedium
Primo Loose ChalkLooseHighMedium
Gibson Block ChalkBlockMediumLow
Primo Chalk BallBallLowLow
Liquid Grip ChalkLiquidNoneMedium

#1 – FrictionLabs Chalk – Best Choice [Winner]

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

Тhe first chalk for calisthenics I’m going to review has absolutely everything you really need to start doing pull-ups and dips without any problems. 

What separates FrictionLabs’s chalk from the rest are all the different textures, sizes and combinations you can choose. 

I mean you can buy a package that has a chalk powder and a ball or some powder and liquid chalk.

I mean people have shared that the best way to get the max out of chalk is to combine the powder with liquid and you have both those options at the same place. 

The overall quality of the powder is very good and doesn’t dry out your skin as many cheaper options do. 

Speaking of pricing this chalk does cost a little higher than the majority of similar products but this is a premium product made in the USA which does actually work pretty well compared to a lot of them. 

That being said I do believe the higher price is fairly justified and if you don’t believe me check out the number of happy customers and you will see for yourself. 

People are very happy with the good friction they get and share that this product does work well with sweaty or sensitive hands. 

It stays fairly good amount of time on your hands and it doesn’t use any dangerous fillers or artificial drying agents that can cause skin problems. 

This product is simple yet effective and it does work.

One thing I want to mention that I like me that they have released a newly alcohol-free liquid chalk for people with very sensitive skin. 

Finally, I want to also mention that all bags are reusable so if you accidentally drop a package you won’t have to clean spilled powder afterward.

Quick Summary:

If you are looking for a company providing big choices in textures and products then you should check out what FrictionLabs has to offer.

Their products are of nice quality, bring good results and people are happy about using them. They have multiple sized packs so you can pick the amount you feel comfortable with. I recommend to check them out. 

Pros
  • Big amount of choice and texture
  • Very good product quality
  • Lasts longer than most brands
  • Provide good friction
  • Works well with sweaty hands
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • May cost a little more

#2 – Primo Loose Chalk – Biggest Quantity

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

If you are looking for a good product you can use for a while while keeping the price down you are going to like our next selection. 

It’s loose chalk that comes in 4 different sizes to choose from depending on how much you really need. 

The quantity is starting from 6 ounces (good for testing) and can go up to 5 pounds. If you are going to go for this product I recommend you to go for the 1 pound option – it’s the best price per value. 

People are very happy with its smooth texture, great smell and the good grip it provides when in use. 

Because it’s made from pure Magnesium Carbonate it does absorb all the sweat very well which is a good thing for people with sweaty palms or slippery equipment. 

In addition to that what I do really like it the fact that Primo has included additional essential oils that actually do help with the skin dryness, other products may cause. 

That is why this is an excellent choice for people with more sensitive skin who have a hard time dealing with dry and irritable skin. 

It works well on any surface (even on 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 a very decent time before it wears off. 

That way you can focus 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 our list. If you are curious feel free to check it out.

Quick Summary:

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 for your calisthenics workout they are going to find very interesting this chalk.

It is recommended by a lot of people and it does an excellent job when it comes to grip and sweaty palms. And the price is not that bad either.

Pros
  • Very smooth texture
  • Smells very nice
  • Has additional essential oils
  • Provides good grip
  • Works well against sweaty palms
  • Last good time before reapply
Cons
  • It’s a little expensive compared to other products
  • Chalk Ball is not included – have to buy separately

#3 – Gibson Block Chalk – Best Value

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

If you don’t have a big budget to play with but are still looking for a decent product that could do the job done then you are going to want to like our third option. 

I know that we very often repeat again and again on our blog to stay away from cheap products because of low quality but if there is a cheaper product with a ton of genuinely happy people then we can’t just skip it. 

With this Gibson chalk, you can have 1 lb for a very low price compared to a lot of the other products. 

Another thing you have to realize is that you are getting a whole 1 lbs of chalk. That is a lot and it’s going to last a long time (an even longer in you use a good chalk ball). 

On the other hand, this is not the most convenient option because you have to manually crush it to make yourself a powder if you want to. 

That’s isn’t especially bad because that way you have complete control over the size of the chunks and texture you want. 

Even with cheaper price, the quality is still very decent and the product is made of pure Magnesium Carbonate without any unwanted additives. 

That is to be true because a lot of people are very happy with the grip and sweat absorption they receive after they put some on their hands. 

That way you won’t have to worry that your hands are going to slip while doing so explosive calisthenics movements. 

Customers share that it stays on for a good time so you shouldn’t need to constantly use 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 cons we are going to see easily why this is a good product to have. 

Quick Summary:

Rage Fitness has beaten a lot of the competition with this great product. For a very good price, you can get a ton of very decent chalk that is going to last for a very long time.

It has all the great characteristics such as gripping power, sweat absorption, and decent durability when in use. 

Pros
  • Very low price
  • Great value for the price
  • Improves gripping
  • Helps with sweaty hands
  • Doesn’t contain any additives
  • Good packaging
Cons
  • You have to manually crush it
  • May break too easily for some cases

#4 – Primo Chalk Ball – Best Saver

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

The fourth option is pretty different from the previous 3 but in a good way. 

As you can see from the photo this is an easy refillable chalk ball that is filled with very nice powder. 

Because the chalk powder is inside the ball it’s going to last around 5 to 7 times longer than just using regular chalk. 

In addition to that, you won’t have to breathe chalk dust every time you decide to apply some and you won’t make a huge mess that you would have to clean every time you complete a calisthenics workout at home. 

The ball comes in a sealable package which 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 comes filled with quality chalk people are very happy about using. 

The chalk itself has some great essential oils build in it for additional protection against skin dryness, good texture and absorbs sweat very well leaving with an effective way to help with the gripping. 

And in addition to that, the loose chalk doesn’t smell bad at all – so your hands won’t smell 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 it’s going to last way longer and it 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 the best for you. 

The quality of this product is also backed up by a lot of happy customers so you shouldn’t worry about making a mistake. 

Quick Summary:

If you want to use loose chalk but you don’t like the mess, clouds of dust or how fast it goes you should definitely invest in a solid chalk ball.

Primo has exactly what you need – their prefilled chalk ball is made of great quality, can be easily washed if needed and it comes into a sealable package that you can use to carry it around. It’s going to work perfectly in a combination with some good chalk powder.

Pros
  • Saves you a ton of chalk
  • No more mess
  • Works great with dry skin
  • The ball can last a very long time
  • Good friction and works well against sweat
  • Nice texture and smell
Cons
  • It doesn’t come with additional chalk except inside the ball
  • Little more expensive than most products

#5 – Liquid Grip Chalk – No Mess Behind

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

The final product I’m going to review is designed for people looking for something that is easy to carry around that won’t leave almost any trace behind. 

I highly recommend this product for people doing calisthenics at the comfort of their home or working out in a place that is forbidden to use regular chalk. 

What separates this type of product from the rest is that it leaves very little or no residue on workout surfaces meaning less cleaning afterward for you. 

It does come in a package of 2 bottles – one big and one small for a reason. You can easily carry around with you the smaller one and once the liquid is over you can easily refill it from the bigger one. 

That way you have a very convenient way to use chalk whatever you go. 

For a decent price, you are getting about 9.5oz or 280 ml in return which is fairly good value. 

People are happy with how good it works – it gives excellent and solid grip, good tackiness and works well with sweaty palms. 

In addition to that the product is very pure and doesn’t use any harmful additives, smell good and work well on people with sensitive skin.

It’s easy to use – just place a small amount on your hand and apply to all inner parts of your skin, wait a few seconds to try and you are ready. 

No clouds of chalk dust or powder around. 

Even if it’s not very easy to clean and it’s not very durable it’s still a very decent product and I’m sure it’s going to be very useful for a lot of you. 

I believe it’s worth the money for what you are getting in return.

Quick Summary:

I know how messy the usage of chalk for calisthenics can be. That’s why we have included this final liquid-based product. Even if uses different form it still has the same characteristics as the regular loose chalk you are all familiar with.

The main difference is that it doesn’t leave stains, powder or flying particles around. That’s the reason I believe it’s one of the best chalks for calisthenics for home workouts. Because of all that it’s something worth using. 

Pros
  • Convenient to carry around
  • Doesn’t smell
  • Fast dry
  • Leaves little to none residue
  • No mess or powder flying around
  • Good drip and works well with sweaty hands
Cons
  • It may need soap and water to remove afterward
  • Does not last very long

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 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 for longer then you are going to enjoy the benefits it gives you. 

Additionally, it works very well with all kinds of equipment you might have such as pull-up bar, kettlebells, gymnastic rings, parallettes, power tower, dumbbells, barbells, dip stations, etc.

The main reason is that it’s going to improve your grip which will lead to better movements and 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 well 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 then can choose the that fits your needs the best. 

Above we have reviewed products from all 4 types so you can have the freedom to pick whatever one you prefer. 

Chalk Blocks

They are famous and well known because they are the cheapest option for all of them and do come in big quantity. 

This type of chalk usually comes in big block/s which you have to crush manually in order to make the right texture and size you want. That, on the other hand, can get messy and requires additional time and work. 

A good side of this process is that you have complete control over the texture and size and are not dependant on what each company uses. 

That is something to consider because most companies don’t offer more than 1 texture and some people like the texture to be a little rough while others prefer smooth powder-like.

Buying chalk in blocks does have a little advantage over the loose chalk. 

Because you can crush it into larger pieces that you can use to rub against your hands you won’t make such a big mess and flying powder everywhere.

Of course, that is really depending on how you are going to use it. 

Loose Chalk (Chalk Powder)

This is the most common type of chalk you are familiar with. 

It’s more convenient than chalk blocks because it has already been grinded to powder by the company and it’s ready to use right after you receive it. 

Some negative is that if you want to get premium quality which does work very good you are most likely going to have to pay more than chalk blocks. 

Even with that price increase I still find it a very affordable and effective way of improving your grip. 

As you can guess because of its powder-like form this is the messiest type. If you are not careful you get in 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 the next 2 types that come next. 

If you are working out in local gyms and places you have 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 that won’t be a big problem for you. 

Chalk Balls

A chalk ball is a cloth ball that contains the chalk powder and in most cases has a refillable top you can loosen or tighten whatever 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 a time. 

That way you are going to keep everything a lot cleaner and your chalk powder supplies are going to last a lot 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 go for 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. 

Liquid Chalk

Liquid chalk is made with a combination of 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 Magnesium Carbonate (chalk). 

That way you are going to get prepared for working out without doing 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 them after use. 

That’s why I also believe this is the best option to use chalk for your home calisthenics workout or public gyms/training rooms where the regular powder is forbidden.

The bottle is fairly small and lightweight 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). 

Speaking of the price it’s usually more expensive than loose chalk or blocks but on the side, it’s going to last a pretty decent amount of time and I believe you get very decent value for the price you are paying.

Quick Tip:

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 leaving quite a big mess in your bag.

Which one is the best type?

So after you know all 4 different types and see what are their pros and cons now you have a real look at what’s there. 

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 to pick a type you are going to feel comfortable using. 

You won’t go wrong whatever one you choose. 

Quick Tip:

If you want to get the best possible anti-sweat layer you can use a combination of liquid chalk, let it dry and then apply chalk powder via a chalk ball.

[#2] – What it is made from?

If you are going after loose chalk/blocks powder aim for products that are made with 100% purity. 

That is meaning that they mainly should 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 improve friction and grip power by removing unwanted slipperiness. 

Some companies add essential oils to the powder mix which is always a good thing to have because it helps with dry hands, etc. 

Beware of loose chalk/blocks that contain additional drying agents or ingredients such as Calcium Sulfate or Calcium Carbonate because they do not tend to do a very good job of absorbing sweat. 

Тheir presence 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 – a good option to that is to check our favorite #1 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 exact properties and benefits. 

The first chalk may provide better sweat absorption while the other may have better friction and stay longer, etc.

So in order to find out how good truly a product is read our 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 and 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 most important because the longer time it stays on my hands while I’m doing calisthenics the better I can focus on the workout. 

It saves me both time from putting again for every single set I have to do 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 it 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 in the case go for any product and brand you like. 

I know that some of you do care about such things so it’s good for you to know that big 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

Quick Tip:

It’s good to know that some products do come in a combination with powder and small chunks which you can crush back to powder or use as it is. 

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 is reusable and sealable

Trust me, that 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 you want to 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 bring its perks.

Paying a little extra will most likely provide you with a better grip, stickiness and better protection against sweat. 

That way you shouldn’t have any problem holding the bar for longer 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 the chalk staying longer on your hands which is going to results in less wasting and more working out. 

That choice will eventually lead to you even spending less money than you would have to buy a lot cheaper option.

That’s why I recommend you to buy something in the middle price range which is going to have very good holding abilities.

Final Thoughts 

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 does the best chalk for calisthenics has to be made from and what it should provide you with. 

I know this is not rocket science but many people learn all of that by the hard way that is going to cost them additional money and time. 

That’s why I really like to say that decision made with proper knowledge is a lot better than a blind decision. 

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 taking a look at what FrictionLabs has to offer. 

I’m very confident in their product and whatever size and combination you choose you can’t really go wrong.

It’s working fine for a lot of people so there isn’t any reason why it shouldn’t work for you. That being said give them a try if you want.

Click Here for the latest price on Amazon

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,

– Bozhidar

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Bozhidar Karailiev
Bozhidar Karailiev
Hey there, my name is Bozhidar and I have created this site to share with you my experiences and knowledge from over 7 years of training using my home gym, public gym and calisthenics. I have some experience into gymnastics too. Hope my articles are useful to you!

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