As CrossFitters, we’re hard on our hands. With pull-ups, toes to bar, all the barbell work, rope climbs, there’s plenty of opportunities for hand tears. I remember the first time I ripped a callus - I felt like a badass. I wore that rip like a badge of honor. I think I even posted a picture of it. Sorry to my followers who didn’t want to see a picture of my bloody hands…
Here’s the truth though - ripping is no fun. Have you tried washing your hair with ripped hands? It’s horrible. And it makes the few days after pretty bad as well. While ripping can be inevitable, there are steps you can take to help prevent it!
✖️ - keep calluses filed down! Run your fingers across your palm - thick skin is ok - but any ridges need to be filed down!
✖️- there are a few tools you can use to file down calluses - a pumice stone, razor, or a callus shaver all work well. You can find these at your typical pharmacy store. Tackle your calluses after a shower when they are soft.
✖️ - moisturize! Remember to lotion up your hands every night - especially if you’re a chalk monster. Rough hands and calluses are more likely to rip - so aim to keep your hands soft and supple!
You can follow all of these rules, and you *still* might rip. If you do -
✖️- wash your hands with soap and water asap! Remember to clean up the barbell or pull-up bar too.
✖️ - cut away any loose skin. You can use scissors or nail clippers to do this. Try to get as close to the tear as possible.
✖️ - throw some antibacterial ointment on the wound and keep it moisturized. There are a bunch of hand rip products out there (check Rogue Fitness) but plain old Vaseline will work as well.
✖️- keep it covered with gauze or a bandage for the first few days. You want to make sure it doesn’t dry out so continue to moisture and apply salve.
✖️ - it’ll take a few days at least for it to heal up. Try to take it easy on your hands and allow them time to repair.
Rips will happen, but let’s be smart (not like me when I first started CrossFit…) and do what we can to prevent them.