In this article, we’re going to take you through our recommendations for the seven best liquid chalk products which are perfect for use in calisthenics.
As well as sharing our top product picks, we’ll also be discussing the benefits of liquid chalk in calisthenics, when you should use it, and what to look for in a good chalk product.
What is Liquid Chalk?
Liquid chalk is effectively chalk powder suspended in liquid to reduce the amount of mess and transfer onto other surfaces.
Traditionally the chalk used in sports was a loose powder that would get all over the user, equipment, and surrounding surfaces.
Climbers and weightlifters commonly use it to improve grip and prevent their hands from sweating. However, it's also very useful in calisthenics exercises where bars and rings are used as equipment.
When applied to the hands, liquid chalk creates a coating that helps improve the grip on bars and reduces the risk of slipping.
What to Look For When Choosing Liquid Chalk
When it comes to choosing liquid chalk, it can be a little confusing because there are many brands that all look fairly similar.
There’s not much difference between the best brands. Most have similar properties, so it’s just a case of knowing what to look out for.
The key things to look for when choosing liquid chalk are:
- Sweat-Free. The main reason people use chalk in calisthenics is to keep the hands sweat-free for good grip and to ensure they don’t slip off the bar as they exercise. This is especially important for those who favor high bars for their workouts.
- No Mess. Although many liquid chalk brands claim to be mess-free, we’ve not found one that’s completely resistant to rubbing off, but they are as close as you can get with something like chalk.
- Long-Lasting. Once you rub the chalk into your hands, it should stay put for some time before you need to re-apply more. This is especially important in freestyle calisthenics, where you want to maintain the flow of movement. Ideally, you should only need to re-apply one or two times after the first coat is applied, and this is what you can expect from a good quality product.
- Quick-Drying. A quick-drying liquid chalk is a must because you don’t want to be standing there for five minutes waiting for your hands to dry. Choose chalk that is quick-drying. These usually contain alcohol, which helps the liquid in the chalk to evaporate quicker.
- Good Value. Check you’re getting value for money by choosing liquid chalk that only takes a small amount to cover the hands in full. This way, your chalk will last for many gym sessions.
Below are our top seven recommended liquid chalks, with a full review on each product to help you decide which will be best for you and your workout requirements.
The following liquid chalk products can all be used for calisthenics and are particularly good for bar work such as pull-ups and dips.
1. Sportmediq Liquid Chalk
*Our top pick
Sportmediq Liquid Chalk is our first and most favorite liquid chalk for calisthenics for the following reasons:
- Because this liquid chalk sticks to the hands well, it’s an excellent choice for calisthenics, especially freestyle where you want to keep moving without stopping to re-chalk.
- It’s reasonably priced, and you don’t need much for good hand coverage. A little goes a long way, and the bottle will last longer.
- Although there’s probably no such thing as mess-free chalk, this one is less messy than most others.
- It’s also antibacterial, which is an added feature that not many liquid chalks have.
- It’s quick-drying, so you don’t need to wait ages until your hands are ready for exercise.
CategorySportmediq Liquid ChalkProduct highlightsQuick dry, less mess, anti-bacterial & long-lastingPrice range$15 - $20Star rating4.7/5
2. Warm Body Cold Mind Liquid Chalk
*Best for less mess
Next on our list is Warm Body Cold Mind Liquid Chalk. We like this one for its staying power and the fact it’s virtually mess-free and won’t rub off on you or your equipment.
This chalk is also an excellent choice for calisthenics thanks to its staying power and the fact you don’t need to keep re-applying constantly.
It’s also quick-drying, and if applied as per instructions, once it’s dry, it will remain until washed off with soap and water.
You can buy Warm Body Cold Mind Liquid Chalk in various sizes, from pocket-sized with a carabiner so you can attach it to your clothes or bag to a larger bottle that will last a long time.
CategoryWarm Body Cold Mind Liquid ChalkProduct highlightsVirtually no mess, quick-drying, and long-lastingPrice range$15 - $20Star rating4.6/5
3. Iron American Liquid Sports Chalk
*Long lasting & excellent value for money
Next up is Iron American Liquid Sports Chalk, which like the others above, is another excellent choice for calisthenics.
This chalk is also virtually mess-free and will remain in place for some time before the hands need to be re-chalked.
When it comes to value for money, this chalk is a good choice because of the uses you can get out of one bottle, with a little going a long way.
At the time of writing this article, the combo kit costs $24.95 and contains enough chalk for 150-200 uses, meaning one use only costs $0.12 - $0.16.
CategoryIron American Liquid Sports ChalkProduct highlightsLong-lasting, virtually no mess, sweatproofPrice range$10-$25 depending on the pack size (multi-packs are also available)Star rating4.5/5
4. Spiderhand Premium Liquid Chalk
Spiderhand Liquid Chalk has all the benefits of the products above, including being long-lasting, quick-drying, and most importantly, the ability to make the hands sweat-free to improve grip.
In addition to all these benefits, with a Spiderhand Combo Kit, you also get massaging rings to massage the fingers after a strenuous workout and a clip to attach the travel-sized chalk to clothing or a bag.
While finger massagers might not be useful to some, this is just an added extra that some users might find helpful.
CategorySpiderhand Premium Liquid ChalkProduct highlightsCombo kit includes travel grip and finger massagers, long-lasting & good valuePrice range$20-$25Star rating4.5/5
5. NOVU Fitness Liquid Chalk
NOVU Fitness Liquid Chalk was developed by fitness fanatics who were looking for premium chalk that could be used by anyone for various kinds of sports.
This chalk is a great choice for all kinds of calisthenics workouts—it’s low-mess and will last for some time before it needs to be re-applied.
This brand provides good value for money because you don’t need much per application, and if you choose a larger bottle, it should last for many gym sessions.
CategoryNOVU Fitness Liquid ChalkProduct highlightsLow-mess, quick-drying & excellent for gripPrice range$8-$20 (various sizes available)Star rating4.5/5
6. Secret Stuff Liquid Chalk Cream (by Friction Labs)
Secret Stuff Liquid Chalk is a popular brand that’s a little different to the chalks we’ve looked at so far in that it’s available in a cream or gel, with or without alcohol.
Although it might appear to be a little pricier than some others, you only need a small amount for good coverage, with a 75ml bottle of Secret Stuff containing 100 applications.
As well as being long-lasting, this chalk also has a no-mess formula, which leaves little to no mess on you or the equipment you’re using.
CategorySecret Stuff Liquid Chalk CreamProduct highlightsAvailable in a cream or gel, long-lasting & no messPrice range$20Star rating4.4/5
7. Pullup & Dip Liquid Chalk
Last but not least in our list is Pullup & Dip Liquid Chalk, which is specifically designed for calisthenics workouts.
This chalk has an extra-strong long-lasting formula that makes it an excellent option for bar exercises in calisthenics.
As well as it being great for grip, Pullup & Dip Liquid Chalk is our top pick for value, with a 200ml bottle costing under $20, which will last for many gym sessions.
CategoryPullup & Dip Liquid ChalkProduct highlightsExtra strong, excellent value & virtually no messPrice range$15Star rating4.4/5
How to Use Liquid Chalk in Calisthenics
Once you’ve chosen a good liquid chalk and you’re ready to use it for a workout, here’s how to apply it to ensure you get a good coverage that will last for as long as possible during your session:
- Squeeze a small amount of liquid chalk (nickel-sized) onto one hand (for some products you might need a little more chalk for full coverage).
- Rub both hands together to ensure even coverage all over the palms and underside of the fingers.
- Hold your hands out so they can air-dry for around 30 seconds (providing the chalk is a quick-drying product), and then you’re ready to go.
In time, and as you work out, the chalk will start to rub away, leaving bare patches. Once this starts to happen, reapply another coat to patch things up.
To remove the chalk, wash your hands with soap and water, rubbing them all over, and it should all rinse away easily.
When Should You Use Liquid Chalk Calisthenics?
The main reason why people use liquid chalk in calisthenics is for bar work, such as pull-ups, chin-ups, and dips. It’s particularly helpful for freestyle calisthenics, where a range of moves are performed without rest.
Liquid chalk isn’t usually required for other kinds of more floor-based calisthenics workouts.
As well as using liquid chalk for calisthenics, it can also be used for other forms of exercise and sports, such as weight lifting, rock climbing, or gymnastics.
The Benefits of Using Liquid Chalk in Calisthenics
The main benefits you can get from using liquid chalk in calisthenics if you generally focus on bar exercises are:
Better Grip. Using liquid chalk for this kind of exercise helps to maintain and improve grip on the bars for some time before the chalk needs to be re-applied.
Reduced Sweat. Sweat is also a big problem when you’re performing calisthenics; the harder a person works, the sweatier the hands become, which can cause the hands to slip from the bars, which could lead to injury.
Healthier Hands. Regular calisthenics can lead to sore hands due to the friction from the bars. Using a good coat of liquid chalk can help prevent this friction and reduce the risk of sore hands after a workout.
Why Liquid Chalk is Better than Powder in Calisthenics
As well as liquid chalk, you can also get chalk in powder form or blocks, or you can use cloth balls that hold powdered chalk.
The downside to using powdered chalk is the mess and the fact it transfers onto everything you touch, including your face, clothes, equipment, and furniture.
Although the block or ball option is less messy than powdered chalk, it’s still fairly messy when compared to liquid chalk.
The other downside to powdered chalk is that it doesn’t stay on the hands for long, which isn’t always a major problem for weightlifters. However, for calisthenics freestylers that need to keep moving constantly, re-chalking frequently isn’t possible.
Liquid chalk is a much better option for calisthenics for lasting power and less mess.
To summarise everything we’ve covered here:
- Liquid chalk is the best kind of chalk for calisthenics, but make sure you look for a quality product that is (virtually) mess-free, good for grip, sweat-resistant, and long-lasting. (We recommend one of the products above).
- Using chalk in calisthenics helps prevent slips and sore hands after a workout.
- Liquid chalk is mainly used for bar work in calisthenics and is particularly useful for freestylers.