We’ve all seen someone on our Facebook or Instagram feed proudly display ripped, bloody hands with way too many filters and a caption like, “Guess I just want it that bad”
**cue the eyeroll*
Seriously…this exists. Search #rippedhands on Instagram.
#NoPainNoGain #RIPPED #Dedicated #RoadToRegionals #CrossFit #IWorkHarderThanYou
People sometimes flash the pictures as badges of honour, I’ve posted some before (I was young and foolish). It used to be the “no pain, no gain” mentality of CrossFit. If you didn’t leave the gym bruised, bloody, or with something to complain/brag about to your co-workers… why the hell did you even workout that day?
RIPPING YOUR HANDS IS NOT COOL. IT’S SILLY AND DEBILITATING.
Ever try to do pull ups the day after ripping your hands? Probably not. No matter how much of a hardass you think you are, that shit hurts… and it hurts A LOT.
Ever try doing barbell work the next day? I’m sure you have. I’m ALSO sure you have had to try and play it off to your coach and your workout buddies. “Nah.. it’s ain’t that bad” you say while smiling and gently wiping away a single tear down your cheek.
Ever try doing handstand work? Ring dips? Burpees? Carrying groceries? Shaking people’s hands? Helping your friends move? Picking up your kid?
Ripping your hands can make the rest of your life really, really, annoying. You essentially use your hands for everything… so let’s take care of them! Here are a few tips.
1. Shave/grind your calluses the night before your rest day
(And if you think rest days are for the #Lazy, re-evaluate your life.) Run your hands under some hot water until they get soft (or while you’re in the shower). Take a normal shaving razor or a pumice stone, and GO TO TOWN ON THOSE BAD BOYS. Not until you bleed or see the bone… but just until the dead skin is off, and you no longer have speed bumps before your fingers.
Why before your rest day? You want to give your hands some time to recover. If you’ve ever made the mistake of shaving your hands, and then doing high volume pull up work the next day… you know why.
2. EASY ON THE CHALK, LEBRON
Chalk is going to provide a LOT more friction between your skin and the bar. This is what gives people the false sense of “added grip strength” from the magic dust in the bucket. More friction = better possibility of tearing. Seriously… you don’t need that much chalk. Bring a small towel with you to wipe your hands off before sets, and you’ll be just as successful as you would have been with a kilo of chalk on your hands.
3. Grip the bar ON your calluses… not under them.
When you grab the pull up bar, try to place the bar directly on your calluses. This will keep you from twisting around your calluses. The more and more and more you twist, the more likely you are to rip.
4. Know when to stop
Ever have that workout where you rip your hands on literally the LAST pull up of the set? Damn, that sucks. Can’t even really get mad at you for that one…. But have you ever ripped in the middle of a workout? I can get mad at you for that. You can FEEL when these rips are coming, people! I know you can! You start to feel the skin break in your hand. You develop small hot spots below your calluses. You’ll even see some of the dead skin fall off. HELLLLLOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Maybe you should cut your losses here, switch to strict pull ups or a different movement entirely, and save your hands for another day! Nobody will ever shame you for stopping a workout before your hands rip. RIPPING YOUR HANDS SUCKS. I would much rather you scale today’s workout and be able to workout the next day rather than you rip your hands to kingdom come and be out for a week. If somebody questions your decision to scale, you should question their life choices.
5. Protect your hands with gymnastics grips or Natural Grips
Buy some fancy grips. You can get JAW Pull-up Grips from the box, or you can buy some REALLY sweet grips made from tape from Natural Grips. They’re great products that really protect the palms of your hands, as well as your calluses. Definitely worth the investment.
So the next time someone throws their hashtag DEDICATED post with their bloody, grubby, paws on your feed, go ahead and send them this article.