The Best Lifting Chalk For Sustained Grip, Kettlebells, And More

Sift through the best lifting chalk powders and liquids to discover what works best for you.

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Whether you’re powerlifting, balancing on a beam, or holding on for dear life off the side of a mountain, lifting chalk provides the much-needed grip security so many athletes desire.

Commonly used during long or heavy training sessions, athletes utilize chalk to enhance their grip, whether they’re lifting a barbell or gripping gymnastic rings or kettlebells. Chalk also absorbs sweat and prevents slippage, which may help you avoid an injury or hand tear. 

One issue with chalk though is that it can be very messy, and not every gym allows it. We reviewed the best lifting chalks on the market (including those that aren’t as messy), and picked out a few of our favorites for you to consider for yourself. 

Best Lifting Chalk

Best Lifting Chalk Overall

This chalk is made of the same formula rock climbing chalk is made from — you know it’s going to be reliable if those who are in the habit of hanging off rocks trust it with their life. 

Rogue Gym Chalk

Rogue Gym Chalk is made of a magnesium carbonate formula, which absorbs moisture without dissolving or turning into hand cake. With more contact on the bar, you’re able to have a firm, safe grip through any and all heavy lifts. This reliable chalk comes in eight blocks of chalk at 2 ounces each, which should be able to last individual users months of daily usage. If you’re running a group fitness facility, you can also order up to five packs at once for 40 total blocks of chalk.

Rogue Gym Chalk
Rogue Gym Chalk
Rogue Gym Chalk

This chalk is made of a magnesium carbonate formula that absorbs moisture, and ensures you have a firm, safe grip throughout all your heavy lifts.

Who Should Buy Rogue Gym Chalk

  • Lifters looking for a cost-effective lifting chalk. 
  • Anyone who wants a chalk that absorbs moisture and keeps your hands firmly in place during heavy lifts
  • Group fitness facility owners who need to order chalk in bulk. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Rogue Gym Chalk

  • Those who prefer liquid lifting chalk that doesn’t make as much of a mess.
  • Folks who don’t want their chalk coming in smaller blocks and prefer a large tub for easy distribution. 

The Rogue Gym Chalk is absorbent and won’t create a cakey film on your hands. It’s also great for anyone ordering in bulk and definitely won’t break the bank. 

Best Lifting Chalk for Sustained Grip

Few things are more inconvenient than having to stop your workout to keep reapplying lifting chalk. This solution ensures your grip remains strong throughout your entire lifting session. 

Spider Chalk Lifting Chalk

Made of laboratory grade magnesium carbonate and two bonding agents, this liquid lifting chalk will sustain your grip throughout your entire lifting session without the need for reapplication. It comes in 8-ounce bottles (which contain over 200 applications), or mini 2-ounce bottles (which contain over 50 applications). It’s simple to use as well — just make sure your hands are clean and dry, squirt a small amount onto your palm, and once you rub your hands, you’ll feel the chalky residue ready to work. Aside from its long-lasting properties, this chalk is also far less messy than powder chalk since it’s all contained in a bottle until it hits your palms.

Spider Chalk Lifting Chalk
Spider Chalk Lifting Chalk
Spider Chalk Lifting Chalk

This liquid chalk is made from laboratory grade magnesium carbonate and two bonding agents to sustain your grip throughout your entire lifting session, no need to reapply. Plus, liquid chalk is much less messy than powder chalk. 

Who Should Buy Spider Chalk Lifting Chalk

  • Anyone who needs a long-lasting liquid to assist their lifts throughout their entire session.
  • Athletes who prefer a liquid chalk that isn’t as messy as powder.
  • Folks who want something they can easily grab on the go.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Spider Chalk Lifting Chalk

  • Those who prefer powder chalk.

This liquid chalk is easy to apply and its magnesium carbonate formula allows for a sustained grip throughout your entire lift — just make sure your hands are clean and dry before applying for optimal use. 

Best Lifting Chalk In Bulk

This bucket of lifting chalk delivers in both size and antibacterial features that can last an individual many months, or benefit group fitness facilities. 

Primo Chalk 1 LB Bucket

Sold in a one-pound bucket, this pick provides a substantial amount of lifting chalk, making it a great choice for group workouts, or individuals who don’t want to have to replenish their stash often. Its magnesium carbonate is sustainably sourced and is combined with not only five essential oils, but also Epsom salt, which helps Primo Chalk act as a natural antibacterial. The formula conditions hands and better prevents skin from tearing, but since it’s a loose powder, it can be quite messy — especially in group settings where multiple people are using it each day. 

Primo Chalk 1 LB Bucket
Primo Chalk 1 LB Bucket
Primo Chalk 1 LB Bucket

With a mix of magnesium carbonate, Epsom salt, and essential oils, Primo Chalk not only delivers a substantial size, but also a valuable option for gyms and gym-goers.

Who Should Buy The Primo Chalk 1 LB Bucket

  • Group trainers and gym owners who need to buy their chalk in bulk. 
  • Anyone who wants conditioning and antibacterial properties in their chalk as well.
  • Individuals who want their lifting chalk purchase to last a long time.

Who Shouldn’t Buy The Primo Chalk 1 LB Bucket

  • Athletes on-the-go who need a more compact option.
  • Those looking for chalk that is just magnesium carbonate and unscented — the essential oils create a noticeable floral scent.
  • Customers looking for a chalk at a lower price point.

Primo Chalk might be a little on the more expensive side, but it’s a great investment given its size and antibacterial features that are beneficial for group activities.

Best Liquid Lifting Chalk

Liquid lifting chalk is great for athletes who are transporting their chalk to and from the gym. It’s also ideal if you’re trying to avoid a big powder mess. This pick does not disappoint when it comes to either of these qualities. 

Spider Chalk Lifting Chalk

Spider Chalk Lifting Chalk is made of laboratory grade magnesium carbonate and two bonding agents that can keep your grip solid throughout any lifting session. You can buy it in 8-ounce bottles (with over 200 applications each), or 2-ounce bottles (with over 50 applications each). Once your hands are clean and dry, all you need to do is squirt a small amount into your palms, and the formula will immediately turn chalky as it makes contact with the air. Liquid chalk is way less messy than powder chalk, as well, so you can rest assured you won’t be leaving a powder trail everywhere you go. 

Spider Chalk Lifting Chalk
Spider Chalk Lifting Chalk
Spider Chalk Lifting Chalk

This liquid chalk is made from laboratory grade magnesium carbonate and two bonding agents to sustain your grip throughout your entire lifting session, no need to reapply. Plus, liquid chalk is much less messy than powder chalk. 

Who Should Buy Spider Chalk Lifting Chalk

  • Athletes who prefer a liquid chalk to a powder chalk.
  • Customers who don’t want to have a mess to clean up after their lift. 
  • Folks who are on-the-go and need something they can easily transport. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Spider Chalk Lifting Chalk

  • Anyone who prefers a powder chalk to a liquid chalk. 
  • Customers who want something they can buy in bulk for a large fitness facility. 

Spider Chalk Liquid Chalk is a great option for anyone who needs to throw their chalk in a gym bag to take on the road with them, or people who just want to keep their gym space clean of powder residue. 

Best Lifting Chalk In Bar Form

Bar chalk is one of the most basic forms of lifting chalk — it can be a little messy but it’s reliable and gets the job done. This particular pick is simple and great for bulk buyers, as well. 

Rogue Gym Chalk

Rogue Gym Chalk is made out of magnesium carbonate, which is great at absorbing moisture without leaving a cakey residue on your hands. You can buy this chalk in packs of eight 2-ounce blocks, each of which will last users months. You can even buy up to five packs if you want to buy in bulk, which would get you a total of 40 bars — easily enough for building out a group facility. Bar chalk may get a little messy, but it’s as reliable as they come.

Rogue Gym Chalk
Rogue Gym Chalk
Rogue Gym Chalk

This chalk is made of a magnesium carbonate formula that absorbs moisture, and ensures you have a firm, safe grip throughout all your heavy lifts.

Who Should Buy Rogue Gym Chalk

  • Gym owners who need to buy their product in bulk. 
  • Anyone who prefers powder chalk to liquid chalk. 
  • Athletes who want a formula that absorbs well and doesn’t cake on your hands. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Rogue Gym Chalk

  • Customers who are trying to avoid leaving a powdery mess behind after their lifting sessions. 

While messy, the Rogue Gym Chalk bars are reliable, fast-absorbing, and easy to buy in bulk — if you’re okay with having a sheen of powder across your gym, these are one of the best chalk buys out there. 

Best Lifting Chalk On the Go

The advantage of chalk balls is that they keep the powder contained, don’t leave behind dust clouds, are great for bringing on the go, and prevent spillage. This pick smells great and is super easy to grab on your way out the door.

Primo Chalk Ball

The Primo Chalk Ball is 2.5 ounces and comes in a refillable stretchy pouch for easy and clean storage. When you’re using the ball, remove it from the pouch to apply to your hands, then place it back in when you’re done to keep your gym space clean. This pick provides great grip, and its formula is blended with five essential oils for scent and skin conditioning. While chalk balls aren’t as clean as liquid considering you still have to take them out of the pouch to use, they do keep your gym space cleaner than blocks or loose powder buckets. Plus, it’s easy to throw the pouch in a gym bag, and bring it with you wherever your next workout may be taking place.

Primo Chalk Ball
Primo Chalk Ball
Primo Chalk Ball

This ball is 2.5 ounces and comes in a refillable stretchy pouch for clean storage. It provides great grip, and its formula is blended with five essential oils for a nice floral scent. 

Who Should Buy The Primo Chalk Ball

  • Athletes who need to take their lifting chalk on the go with them.
  • Anyone who’s trying to keep their gym space clean of tons of powder residue. 
  • Users who prefer powder chalk to liquid chalk. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy The Primo Chalk Ball

  • Anyone who wants the cleanest option on the market, which is liquid chalk. 

Since powder chalk can get pretty messy, this pick is great for keeping the mess contained — just throw the pouch in your bag, take the chalk ball out when you need to use it, and then put it away for less of a lingering dust cloud. 

Best Lifting Chalk for Kettlebells

When you’re working with kettlebells, a strong grip is key in keeping yourself and those around you safe. This chunk style chalk is made for competition and will keep your hands in place through any kettlebell swing.

VIKN Performance Chalk

This resealable bag contains 450 grams of 100 percent magnesium chalk. This competition grade chunk style chalk is made for athletes who favor kettlebell workouts and need a strong, precise grip for safety purposes. This non-toxic and long-lasting formula will keep you gripped no matter how quickly you’re moving through your HIIT kettlebell workout. While the VIKN Performance Chalk keeps your hands dry and increases friction, it can get messy since it is a chunk powder sitting loose in a bag.

VIKN Performance Chalk
VIKN Performance Chalk
VIKN Performance Chalk

This chalk is 450 grams of 100 percent magnesium chalk. It's made for athletes who love kettlebell workouts and need a strong grip for precise movements. 

Who Should Buy VIKN Performance Chalk

  • Anyone who’s working consistently with kettlebells, which require a solid grip for precise movement. 
  • Those who prefer a powder lifting chalk. 
  • Those who want a loose chunky powder for easy application.

Who Shouldn’t Buy VIKN Performance Chalk

  • Folks who want their powder contained in a ball or bar form. 
  • Users who prefer a liquid formula to keep their space clear of dust clouds and powder residue. 

While this powder may leave your gym space a little messy, it’s one of the most reliable when it comes to keeping your grip steady for safety purposes during kettlebell movements. 

What is Lifting Chalk?

All of the chalks in this list are made out of magnesium carbonate, which is standard for lifting chalks. This type breaks apart easier than your standard chalkboard chalk, and sits in the ridges of the hands better.

During training, our hands and fingers are usually the first to sweat. Magnesium carbonate is an inorganic salt that acts as a drying agent, so once your hands make contact with lifting chalk, moisture is absorbed, and grip control increases. Its composition also withstands hot and humid weather for those who prefer to exercise outdoors

Lifting chalk is beneficial for athletes for many reasons. Chalk can help prevent skin injuries such as tears, calluses, and blisters, but it also decreases the chance of muscle strains as it assists athletes to secure the proper hold for lifts and deters equipment from dropping. 

With the added grip control, strength athletes and lifters also benefit from using chalk as they can train for longer periods of time and can confidently challenge themselves to lift heavier weights.

Lifting Chalk vs. Climbing Chalk Differences

Lifting chalk serves the purpose of improving grip and keeping hands sweat-free. Because of this, chalk used for these functionalities is primarily composed of the same main ingredient — magnesium carbonate. While some brands mix in moisturizing additives or sanitizing solutions, it is crucial for chalk used for lifting, climbing, and gymnastics to be predominantly magnesium carbonate. Generally speaking there really isn’t a difference between lifting chalk, climbing chalk, and gymnastics chalk.

If there is a difference, it relies mostly on your personal preference and the chalk’s state of matter. For instance, if you tend to have drier hands, liquid chalk might not be the best option as many brands include ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. The combination of alcohol acts as another drying agent, which is great for keeping your grip but will only dehydrate and irritate dry hands even further.

It is also important to factor in where the chalk is being utilized. For example, if you’re indoors, a very fine powdery chalk might not be your go-to as it’s messier and leaves residue behind. You might gravitate towards buying block chalk as it is more compressed and easier to clean off mats and equipment.

Lifting chalk is by and large the same across the board. The difference depends on preference and where the chalk is being used. 

Before Buying Lifting Chalk Consider

Since lifting chalk comes in various forms, it’s important to consider your individual situation before buying any of the picks on this list. How much of a mess are you willing to make? Are you buying for just yourself or a large group? Let us expand a little. 

Mess

Lifting chalk comes in various powder forms, or in liquid form. The powders are either loose in a bag or bucket, or they come formed into a ball or bar. No matter what form of powder you use, powder will always be the messiest kind of lifting chalk — though balls that come in pouches provide a little more containment than other powder forms. 

Liquid lifting chalk is going to be the cleanest chalk you can buy. It’s contained in a bottle and doesn’t turn into a chalky form until it makes contact with the air after you squirt it onto your palm. 

While all formulas are useful tools, you’ll want to consider how much of a mess you are willing to make before deciding which form to buy. If you’re lifting at home and want to keep your space generally clean, a liquid chalk may be best for you. If you’re supplying a group facility, buying large tubs of loose powder may be the easiest and most efficient way to go, making the mess more of a moot point. 

Individual or Group Training

Though all forms of chalk last for many months (if not years) of individual use, if you’re supplying a group training facility with chalk, you’ll obviously need to buy more. An individual block can last for a year if a single individual is using it, but if you’re throwing it into a group training facility, that same block may last a fraction of that time. 

If you’re buying for groups, it’s going to be more beneficial to buy lifting chalk in bulk — loose powders and bars are best for this. However, if you’re just buying for individual use, you can get away with a liquid or ball that sells in smaller amounts. 

How We Decide the Best

Since most lifting chalk is primarily made of magnesium carbonate, much more consideration was given to the convenience of the chalk type and how it matched the needs of the athletes using them when it came to making selections for this list. Here are a few of the main things we considered. 

Mess

For the sake of this round-up, comparisons were made to see how messy chalks were relative to one another. Aspects such as transportability and overall mess were evaluated to decide which chalks would be better for certain demographics. 

If you train in a gym that does not permit the use of traditional chalk, then liquid chalk is often the best bet. If your ym does allow traditional chalk, but you just want to stay generally clean, a ball that comes in a pouch is also a good option. If you’re not concerned about mess and just need a chalk you can buy in bulk, a tub of loose powder or bars may be the way to go. We’ve included both clean and messy picks on this list that will accommodate all of these demographics. 

Convenience

Another factor considered was the convenience of the product — how easy can the chalk be transported? Can this product be used easily at home? Is this product good for group facilities? We wanted products on this list that fell into all of these convenience categories. 

Larger quantities or blocks are better for public gyms, and multiple lifters that need chalk regularly compared to smaller chalk balls or liquid chalk that run out quicker. However, if you’re traveling to and from a gym with your chalk, you’ll need something compact and contained like a liquid or ball that you can bring with you in a gym bag. We’ve included high quality picks with all of these convenience factors in mind that should be able to satisfy most buyers. 

Final Word

In the gym, there aren’t many things that can provide as much grip security on equipment as quickly as chalk can. Lifting chalk is a great tool for promoting overall grip control on lifting equipment. Before investing in chalk though, it’s a good idea to check in with your gym to see if they allow its use. 

From there, consider how much of a mess you are willing to make, how much chalk you need, and which form you prefer. Once you’ve got your thoughts organized, this list can help with the rest. 

FAQs

Why do I need to use lifting powder?

Lifting powder is beneficial for the safety of those who lift often — it keeps skin in tact and allows for a firm grip on the bar when your hands may get a little sweaty.

Is powder lifting chalk better than liquid?

Not necessarily. Both are made of magnesium carbonate, so they provide the same gripping qualities. Powder is easier to buy in bulk, but liquid is going to be less messy. It really depends on which properties you’re looking for in your lifting chalk — only you can decide which one will be better for you.

Which lifting chalk is the least messy?

Liquid chalk is going to leave the smallest mess. Since it’s contained in a bottle, it only turns to chalk once it makes contact with the air after you squirt it onto your palm. While you may leave a slight residue on the bar, you won’t leave dust clouds or powder trails everywhere you go like you would with a powder formula.