I have had a ton of people talking about ripped up hands over the past week or so. I wanted to try and clarify some of the questions I have heard and put a stop to the epidemic of torn hands this summer. To me, having torn hands is like having wet socks while I was in the Marine Corps, you can’t let it happen. Your hands in CrossFit, are like your feet in the Marines, if you couldn’t walk because your feet were hamburger, you were pretty much useless. The same goes for your hands in CrossFit….how many times do you see a workout where you are not picking up a bar or hanging from a bar? Not likely you are going to catch too many of those workouts. It is imperative we start to understand how to take care of our hands. I don’t care how many times you have torn or how long you have done CrossFit, or what grip you use when you are hanging from a pullup bar or picking up a barbell. When it is 100+ degrees outside and the humidity is off the charts, high rep barbell movements or bar movements are going to leave you with torn hands if your not careful. Here are some simple tips to alleviate this:
1. Buy a pair of gymnastics wraps. You can get them here. They even have a handy video on helping you select a size….perfect for my 830am’ers:) These will take a little getting used to but will save you from tearing your hand open. Don’t use them one time and then tell me they don’t work, give it a few weeks…
2. Invest in a gym towel. The simple act of wiping your hands on a towel can do wonders. I see people all the time wiping hands on their shorts….newsflash, your shorts are drenched in sweat, not sure how dry they are going to make your hands dry. Good initiative, bad judgement is what I like to call that. Just throw a towel in your gym bag, don’t have a gym bag….there in lies your first problem. You can probably go 2 workouts before having to wash that towel, maybe 3 but that is pushing it….if you go more than 3, we will need to talk about switching to a different gym because that towel will be pretty ripe:)
3. Sweat Bands. I know, they don’t look very cool and they are similar to what A.C Slater wore in “Saved By the Bell”….but they work. They will keep the sweat from running down your arms and onto your fingers. Plus, if your worried about what you look like while you CrossFit, you have bigger problems.
Bonus Advice: I like to wear wristbands underneath my Gymnastics wraps, it is the best combo I have found up to this point.
4. Be Smart. Every time that I have ripped my hands, I knew when it was about to happen. I made a mental choice that I would rather rip than lose/sacrifice my workout. In the shower that night, I question that choice, but I made it and I had to live with it for the next week or so until my hands healed up. I knew that every time I would pick up a bar or do any gymnastics, it would be uncomfortable for me to grip anything but that was the choice I made. My recommendation would be that when you feel yourself starting to rip, STOP. Scale the movement and live to fight another day. There is a fine line between being HARD and being STUPID. Know when to cross that line and when to not cross that line. The majority of the time, we end up doing the latter and it isn’t worth it.
5. Lastly, using tape to wrap around your hands 30 seconds before a workout WILL NOT work, you will just end up wasting tape and your time. There is a way that you can use tape to make gymnastics wraps but just buy a pair, they will last you 4-6 months at a minimum. Taping your hands is pretty much useless in my opinion and a waste of time, especially in the humidity of North Carolina. The below tape job WILL NOT work, period. Please don’t debate this with me….
Alright, hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions!