Not much scientific research has been done.
BUT every coach has opinions and a lot of anecdotal experience.
Most agree on a few points:
- don’t use wrist guards if you don’t need them
- don’t use wrist guards as a fashion accessory
- limit the amount of wrist guard use, especially with growing children
- don’t use wrist guards for conditioning
There are Olympic champions that never once used wrist guards, even on Pommels. That should be the starting goal for every gymnast.
Here’s the conclusion from one study out of the University of Missouri:
Evidence supports the use of wrist guards as protective equipment in the prevention of gymnasts’ wrist pain and injury.
However, potentially negative effects of wrist guards on proprioception and performance were also reported, and critical gaps in knowledge regarding guard design, most effective indications, and application to female gymnasts remain.
Further biomechanical and clinical studies are needed to fill these gaps in knowledge toward making evidence-based recommendations regarding use of wrist guards in gymnastics. …Use of Wrist Guards for Gymnasts – A Systematic Review