Avoiding Hand Rips in 5 Easy Steps
Whether it has happened to you or another athlete, you have no doubt witnessed someone cleaning their bar after a gnarly rip. Many times athletes can celebrate the victory of a hard fought CrossFit battle with an Instagram photo of an especially nasty tear, but the truth is, no one enjoys to have chunks of skin ripped from your hands.
Ripped hands really only means two things.
- You’ve just begun your CrossFit journey or
- You’re not taking proper care of your hands.
The good news is, there’s help! The best way to take care of rips that could keep you from training is to prevent them.
HYDRATE YOUR HANDS
A great way that you can prevent rips is to moisturize your hands. You are more prone to the wrong kind of calluses if your hands are dry. You ideally want to have an even amount of callusing that builds up on the hand over time. When you have bulky calluses in specific ridges on your hands, that can cause ripping. This leads to the next tips...
FILE, SHAVE, REPEAT
Shaving and filing down large and dominant calluses is in an excellent preventative measure for rips. This is one of the MOST important aspects of hand care for CrossFit. You can purchase a wide variety of callus shavers from Amazon for next to nothing. These shavers are intended to level your callous out and prevent friction rips. I recommend using these callus shavers after getting out of the shower, while your calluses are the most soft and easiest to eliminate.
GRIP IT, DON’T RIP IT!
Grip is very important when it comes to preventing rips. The better your grip, and the better your hands are maintained, will drastically reduce the likelihood of injuring your hands. When you’re jumping on the rig, you ideally want to have your grip on the bar start at the base of your fingers. The skin on that part of the hand compresses less, and you will be able to move on the bar easier. So, take a look at where your fingers meet the bar - be mindful of wrapping your fingers over the bar and your thumb under the bar to really lock in the perfect grip for you workout.
Who among us doesn’t like CrossFit gear? One of the last tools we can use to keep our hands healthy and from repeatedly tearing is wearing gloves and grips with plenty of chalk. You can pick up some great handgrips from WOD Nation, JerkFit, or Bear Complex on Amazon. The prices range anywhere between $15-39. The CrossFit Store is also a great resource.
Ok, so you ripped anyways. That’s ok. The best way to avoid future rips, or long lasting damage to your hands, is to heal your rips and heal your hands. The day after a tear is not a good day to come in and work through a movement requiring significant time holding a bar. It is a day to put RipFix by Winnies on your hands and let them heal. Keep them clean and take care of them. CrossFit is all about scaling, and there is always an alternative to damaging your hands if you’re not wanting to miss a workout due to a rip on the mitts.