If you do CrossFit for long enough, you’ll eventually do enough reps to earn yourself a blister or a rip. The multitude of lightweight cleans or snatches or even lots of toes-to-bar and pull-ups can be pretty punishing on an athlete’s hands.
Here are a few tips, techniques, and products you can use to make your hands much less susceptible to ripping.
Less is More
For you chalk monsters out there, try to use less! When you rub more chalk on your hands to provide more grip, it creates more friction between your hands and the bar. The problem is when your grip strength starts to decrease you begin to let go of the bar less cleanly. With the additional friction from the chalk and the weakening grip, your hands will begin to rip. The lesson is: don’t overdo it on the chalk.
Reducing the level of calluses that builds on your hands is another way to reduce the ripping. Calluses are essentially dead pieces of skin. When they’re elevated from your hand as you’re gripping the bar during pull ups or toes to bar, it increases the chances of rips.
The callus shaver is a tool that you can use can use to cut down some of your calluses on your hands. The blade is relatively sharp so be careful. The electric callus remover can also be used on your hands to grind down the calluses if you’re not a fan of the cutting into your callus.
Using grips will protect your hands from the bar. It’ll take a bit to wear them in, but once your hands get accustomed to them, you’ll find that the gymnastics movements will be much less punishing on your hands. Victory Grips has some of the best options out there – combinations of 2, 3, or 4 finger grips made from either leather or a unique microfiber.
Victory Grips – from $40 online (We stock the leather 3-finger grips at CrossFit Kanna for $45)
For those workouts with lots of snatches and cleans, thumb tape is really helpful in reducing the friction between the bar and your pinky or thumb. The flexible tape is better than regular athletic tape so it can stretch around your knuckles and move as you bend your thumb.
ABG 2″ MAGIC STRETCH TAPE – $19.00 for 4 rolls (We stock different color rolls of flexible tape at Kanna for $8/two rolls)
There are a lot of other devices like the WODrod, WOD and done, WOD Welder, etc. but you can peruse different options over at Rogue Fitness. None of these items are required for everyone, but if you find yourself ripping, then consider trying some or all of these ideas.
What are your go-to hand care methods?