By Wolfgang Henry
Hands, we all use them, and we all rely on them to get us through that next workout and beyond.
Now, unless you’re completely new to the Crossfit world, you’ve probably realized that your hands can get sore from time to time, or even rip on the odd occasion. Whilst its cool to show off your ripped or blistered hands to your mates, they can be pretty inconvenient and can certainly impact your training for a few days or up to a week.
First things first, how do you prevent rips, tears, and blisters?
Well, my first tip to you is that you’ll need to build up a bit of a layer of callus to protect those
supple babies from the harshness of the barbell, the kettlebell and the pull-up rig. However its
important not to let them get too out of hand…Pardon the pun….
Its super essential to maintain that callus layer and no let it get to tick, to the point where it gets a little scratchy to the touch, or where bits start to peel away.
How do I maintain my hands you ask?
Use a regular razor (yes, like the one you use on your face, or your legs) to shave them down a wee bit when they get a bit scraggly. It's really easy to do this just after the shower when your skin is a little bit softer. However, this step is only necessary once in a while when they get thicker than usual. Your razor will get a bit clogged up but just run it backward along your hand to get it all out. After you’ve gotten rid of a bit of bulk, then its really important to use a pumice stone to keep them nice and smooth. Get rid of all of the sharp edges, especially around the site of old tears and such that might be still hanging on.
Moisturise your hands before bed. Using all that chalk in the gym which aside from helping you to
grip the bar a little easier can cause them to dry out a little and therefore rip easier because of they tend to crack and flake away more often.
Be sure to do these steps fairly regularly. Look after your ands and they’ll take care of you.
What happens if I feel a rip/tear/blister coming on mid-workout?
Often torn hands aren't treated with the respect that they deserve. After all they are an injury in
them selves and can put you out of certain types of movements for a little while.
So, try to avoid this injury at all costs. If that means subbing out one movement for another during a workout, then so be it. It's better to sacrifice a little bit of your training in one or two sessions than not be able to use your hands properly for a week or more and consequently sacrifice your training for this entire time.
Speak to your coaches if you feel like something is about to happen, we’ve got an entire plethora
of effective movements to substitute and keep you training strong.
Ouch! I’ve just torn my hand, what do I do?
Firstly, wash your hands with good ol’ soap and water to remove any bacteria from the open
Then, pack that sucker with antiseptic cream and cover with a bit of gauze and some tape, or a
bandaid. keeping this injury clean and free from infection is your best bet to a prosperous recovery.
Does this mean that you have to stop training?
As mentioned above, there are a multitude of movements that can be substituted or
scaled to make training possible, no matter how awesome your tear!
What should I do with a blister? Pop or not?
If you can leave it, don’t pop it. That natural layer of skin and liquid help to heal the skin
underneath and with preventing infection if left covered.
If you really need to train and it's in the way, then you might consider popping it but be sure to
sterilize whatever it is you’re using to prick it with and be sure to tape over it as advised below.
How can I train with a tear?
Long story short, sometimes you’ve just gotta tough it out and train through a tear or a blister. If this is the case, then are some effective strategies to help with this one.
Tape your hands:
Now I’m not talking about just running a single tap of tape around the palm of
your and calling it a day. This will almost certainly move and half come off during any movement.
For good ways to use athletic tape to tape your hands then either speak to your coach or simply
google ‘taping hands for CrossFit’ and there are some awesome how to’s that’ll run you through it.
Hope these tips have been helpful.
Happy Training folks!