The Story of HandBand Pro®

Danielle Pettifor is the Creator and Founder of HandBand Pro® workout gloves

Hi! I'm Danielle - creator and founder of HandBand Pro®. I started working out in my home gym on Feb. 27, 2011 - the day I decided the muffin top had to go. You can read more on that story here. Determined to lose weight and get fit, I combined Crossfit exercises with weights and cardio - 6 days a week.

I never imagined I would ever be able to do a pull up, but I worked at it. I did lots of jumping pull ups and slow release negative pull ups, and it took me 10 months!

Evolution of a pull up!


Months of this pull up progression (and rope climbs, toe to bar and everything else) got me into into the best shape of my life, but my hands were a wreck!

It frustrated me that nothing protected my hands or gave me the grip I needed for pull ups. Everything I used caused blisters or rips.

For close to 3 years, I bought every wrap, tape, pad, glove and grip known to man, and all of them made the problem worse. Gloves were bulky, trapped sweat and created blisters.

Athletic tape bunched up and ripped and stuck to the bar when I released my grip. I wrapped athletic tape onto the bars, but that got filthy, bunched up, and the bar was a sticky gross mess.

Leather grips were too slick, and the stiff leather between my fingers was awful. I tried grip pads that I got for free when I ordered supplements online. Have you tried those things??

Here I am slipping off the bar using those back in 2013:


I've wrapped foam to the bar and secured it with athletic tape. The grip was good, but the whole thing would rotate on the bar. No good.


The Trouble with Tape

I created my own grips out of athletic tape by watching a tutorial on YouTube. Such a hassle. So I thought I'd buy some pre-made ones. Ugh. So tight and restricting, so I tried making them with a softer material.

Here's a picture of the grips I made out of kinesiology tape.

workout grips made out of kinesiology tape

I liked color! They didn't work well. They were pretty comfy, but they lasted only one workout each, and by the end, half of it was usually left on the bar. That was expensive.

I used chalk, and it absorbed the sweat, but it didn't reduce the friction and I'd still rip. Then I'd just have chalk-impacted blisters.

Here are just a few of the things I had tried or made myself over time. I threw away so much more than this, but when I started creating HBP, my husband was like, "You should take a picture of your glove museum":


i tried every glove, grip, and tape known to man to prevent ripped hands, Nothing worked


Trying to find effective grips for pull ups brought me to the fact that they just didn’t exist. I knew what I needed. I couldn’t be the only one. Why didn't someone make something that actually worked?

The day I slipped off the bar and busted my elbow was the day I determined to find a solution.

After years of thinking about what I'd like in a grip, I asked God for help to create something that would work for me. Long story short, He did.

I was instantly inspired with the image of the band that I had in my mind, and I got to work sourcing the right fabrics and grip material to create a working prototype. I never sewed before, but I quickly fashioned my first prototype with thread and lots of tape. Here is the first one! (Again. I like color):

first prototype of handband pro original grips


It was difficult to tell if they would work because they kept falling apart (you know - tape), but I had no doubt in my mind because of where the inspiration came from. So I set out to find someone who could do a better job of sewing than me.

Within 2 months, I had a working prototype! My friend and workout partner, Shawn, and I used them for two months straight, and we were amazed that not only did it give us a great, non-slip grip on the bar, but we didn't blister or rip our hands once!

In fact, we did Murph during this time and AMAZINGLY here's what my hands looked like right after!

HandBand Pro® grips prevent blisters and rips - even on workouts like Murph!

What I created for extra grip and to keep myself from slipping off the bar actually PREVENTED BLISTERS AND RIPS. It was incredible.


We used the prototypes 6 days a week, and in the first two months, our hands looked almost workout-free! We kept our calluses, but they were hardly noticeable. We have not blistered or ripped our hands since March 2014!


Here is Shawn and me doing Murph again with the Original grips in 2015:
Danielle and Shawn doing the Murph workout with HandBand Pro® grips in 2015

I'm so happy to be able to share HandBand Pro® with you and to save your hands from the pain of blisters and rips that slow down your training.

Since the creation of the first bands, I've added the Alphas, the Omegas, the V3, and the ALPHA PowerGrip. They all have unique features, but they all offer total hand freedom and great grip. The reviews and feedback I've received from customers has been incredible, and I'm thankful for your interest and for reading my story! Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions. I'm here to help.



PS - Want to know a bit more? Here are some interviews that feature HandBand Pro®: 

This week our Kit Spotlight shines on Danielle Pettifor, creator of HandBand Pro.


Danielle Pettifor from HandBand Pro® featured on Shopify Masters

How to start a workout gloves business with HandBand Pro® and Shopify