As the weather heats up, it’s time to talk about how to take care of your hands!
With increased humidity means more sweating and possible hand tears when you spend a lot of time on the pull-up bar. There are a number of things you can do to help prevent tears, because let’s face it, when you rip your hands, it hurts.
Your hands rip when you get moisture (sweat) between your hands and the pull-up bar; if your grip weakens (as it will through the WOD), the more friction there is between your hand and the bar. The combo of friction and moisture causes your hands to rip.
So how do you keep your hands tear-free?
First, get the proper grip on the bar. You don’t want a death grip on the bar. Try to keep your pinky knuckle on top of/in front of the bar as you pull. The more tired you get, the further back your pinky knuckle gets, and the more your hands move. Watch this video with Carl Paoli and Kelly Starrett that talks about proper pull-up mechanics and create a better, more efficient pull-up.
Second, keep your hands dry! This does not mean cake your hands in chalk (though I do love some chalk!). More chalk isn’t necessarily the answer – you want to bring a small hand towel and dry your hands off throughout the WOD. Keeping your hands dry will allow you to have a better grip on the bar, more so than a bunch of chalk will.
Third, keep your calluses on your hands filed down. You want to keep your callus beds shaved down because the more they build up, the more likely they are to rip. One of the best products is the pedi-egg, available at Target and online. (There is a pink version of this that Revlon makes that is cheaper and works just as well – you can get it at Target too.)
If your hands do rip, a few things that help:
1. GET OFF OF THE BAR. Continuing to do pull-ups after your hands rip just makes it worse and will take much longer to heal. If they rip, stop and clean your hands with soap and water to get any germs out.
3. Make a bowl of warm salt water and soak your hands the first day. It will help dry out and clean the tears.
4. Dry your hands completely, and that night, put a blister band-aid on the tears (apply them vertically on your hand – they tend to stay on better that way). The box claims these band-aids can stay on for days, but they will slowly peel off the next day. Once it peels off, use neosporin and regular bandaids -keep the tears covered and neosporin-ed so that they will heal faster.
5. As hard as it is, stay off of the pull-up bar until your hands heal.
CF7 OG’s – any other advice?