Hand Care Tips to Prevent and Heal Rips

One of the most annoying things is ripped hands – it hurts, it forces you to modify workouts and it sometimes forces you to take a break from progressing on certain movements. After years of CrossFit, here are a few tips and tricks that I’ve come to rely on. These aren’t foolproof, but they’ve helped me out.

Shave the Calluses!

Talking about calluses here, people. As we grip bars, dumbbells, rigs, our skin toughens up and forms calluses. The problem with these is as we move around the bar, there is a chance that these calluses get caught and the friction will rip them off. My favorite tool to use is a good old callus shaver. If that scares you a little, there are a few other tools out there, like a pumice stone.

Moisturize Your Hands!

Most important thing, I think, is to moisturize your hands. Especially if you’re prone to use a lot of chalk, your hands will dry up and increase chance of rips and cracks. While hand cream is great, my favorite product has been w.o.d.welder. I usually keep this on my desk as I work/watch TV and apply as needed. The cream is great for preventing and the salve is useful to speed up healing if you do rip.

Wrap it Up!

A little bit of athletic tape on your thumbs, and possibly your index fingers, can help protect you as you hook grip or hang from the bar. Goat tape is a great option. I’m also a fan of WOD&DONE’s to help protect your hands if they’re feeling tender or healing up. As far as grip options go, they allow the most real feel and provide protection.

Should I Use Hand Grips?

There are a number of grip options out there, ranging in price. I’ve had great success with Victory grips and am a huge fan of the tactical ones. If you choose to go the grip option, just know they will feel weird at first. To have success with any of them, you need to commit to using them and be patient as they break in.

So You Ripped Anyways…

Unfortunately rips will still happen, but knowing how to properly take care of them will speed up healing and allow you to get back to your workouts. Here’s what I do (I’m not a medical professional, but this works for me)….

  1. Clean it! Use ice cold water and then move to warm. It will sting, but the cold water less so. Use some soap to help clean or an antiseptic wash of some sort.
  2. If they skin is still there, I don’t cut it off. Instead I will gently pull it down to cover up the open wound and then use gorilla glue to tape it down. Yes, you heard me right. Super glue that skin down to help seal up your rip. You can also use liquid skin or something similar.
  3. Keep it covered for a day or two. Most of the time after 48 hours I am able to remove the skin and the wound is healed up enough that I can use my hands.
  4. Keep moisturizing. Use that salve on the new skin to help it heal faster.

There you have it. Hope this helps out.

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