26 Jan Handcare
We see some pretty brutal pictures of ripped hands across Facebook and Instagram during the CF Open season. 100+ pullups in a short time frame will tear even the most experienced CrossFitter sometimes.
As a rule your hands should NOT rip in class, as we don’t program high volume pullups that often (and we make sure you are scaling appropriately if we do). If they are ripping, you are either not scaling correctly or you don’t look after your hands….. or both!
The worst rips are always going to happen at big comps, or things like the Open, not in class. At comps there is no choice about scaling, if you are unlucky enough to get a high number of reps or a lot of grip intensive workouts back to back, then unfortunately your only choice is to do it or not. You can tape up, wear gloves, or hand guards, but there is a chance it will inhibit performance, and ultimately, they still wont guarantee you wont rip anyway…. I like to wear hand guards or gloves in training, and then I just cross my fingers in competition usually, sometimes I’ll wear tape for minimal protection, but also minimal interference. For a really high volume of work, I will wear guards for the first half of the workout, and then take them off, still minimising the chance of ripping, but getting a ‘second wind’ with the grip strength.
So, your main protection really is looking after your hands in the first place.
When you get out of the shower, get stuck in with a callus shaver, sandpaper/emery board, PediEgg, pumice stone or tool of choice. Then a moisturiser, or something beeswax based like the sticks that come in the Ript Kit.
TTB and CTB have already been, but here are a few other tips for when you come across them in the next workout.
– before your workout, wash your hands in warm soapy water to make the skin more pliable.
– don’t try taping if you’ve never done it before, because you will either hate it, or it will start peeling off halfway through the workout and then you’ll really hate it. Plus it leaves sticky residue on the bar to make someone else’s hands rip, not cool. Make tape guards (no sticky), wear palm guards, or wear gloves.
– your hand shouldn’t be moving all around the bar. Take a firm grip, place the thumbs on top of the fingers for a pseudo hook grip and move at the wrist and shoulder, not the hand. Load up the abs, lats and hip flexors to do the work, not the forearms.
– If you don’t wrap the thumbs, (you should be reasonably experienced if you do this) then be aware of excess hand movement/friction.
– break your sets into smaller groupings to give the skin on your hands a break.
– Don’t overchalk!! Too much equals too dry and too much friction equals rips.
– consider wearing guards for the first few sets, then discarding them. It feels like a new lease of life for your grip, and you’ll minimise the chance of ripping with only a few sets to go.
BY DARREN ELLIS, CrossFit New Zealand