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Take care of the hands that take care of you

January 20, 2012

Lots of pull-ups in the WOD today, information pills and taking care of your hands is essential.  You will develop calluses on your hands as they toughen and you do more work.  You need to ensure your calluses stay even and not overly large, or you run the risk of hand tears.

Hand Care from CrossFit Park City.  This is coming from Chris Spealler, and he can do 100 pull-ups in a row, so he must know something about hand care.

I can sum up hand care in one word: Ped-Egg.  The Ped Egg is basically a cheese grater for your feet, but it does amazing things for a CrossFitters hands.  I prefer to have my hands dry when use the Ped Egg: when they’re wet you can over do it.I buy a pink Ped Egg at Target and I whack down my calluses.  The one I have a has a fine sanding board on the bottom to even out rough spots.

I have been doing CrossFit for over 5 years, and I have torn my hands several times.  It happens.  I almost never tear now (I can’t remember a tear in over 2 years).  There are several things you can do to protect your hands from tears.

Use chalk sparingly.  Chalk is great, but too much can cause uneven spots.  If you have uneven calluses, this can exacerbate the problem.  Think of a light dusting, just enough to make your hands feel dry.  No caking or clumping.

Keep your hands dry.  Not an issue in the winter, but in the summer, your hands will get sweaty.  Sweat will run down your arms, into your hands.  If you’re chalking a lot, chalk and sweat may mix, and become like a paste.  Gross.  I’ll keep a towel by my pull-up station to wipe my hands before, and even after I apply chalk.

Try to hold the bar closer to your finger tips.  If you hold the bar in your palm, gravity will pull the bar, and all that hand skin with it, to your fingertips.  This is what causes calluses, and hot spots, in the first place.  No one has explained this to me better that Rip:

And probably the most important: Develop a strong grip.  As your grip improves, you won’t have to hold on the bar as tight.  This will reduce friction, lessen skin being pinched and more.  I ignored grip strength for years.  I try to improve my grip in a simple way: I walk with weights.  After WODs, I pick up a heavy KB, DB, a plate, and walk with it.  Maybe to the short fence, maybe to the 400m point.  I use different grips.  Sometimes I carry heavy stuff, sometimes light.

Workout of the Day

Run 400m

Then 3 rounds of

25 Wallball Shots 20/14

25 Pullups

Finish with 400m run

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