Yesterday we talked about Hand Care – how to deal with a rip in case you get one. Let’s back up the gravy train for a second and talk about Rip Prevention.
If you aren’t taking care of your hands between training sessions, you’re asking to rip. We do a lot of work that requires gripping and that place rotational force on our hands, so invariably our hands will become calloused.
This in itself is a good thing. Callouses are tough pads of skin that will form to serve as protection. However, over time the callouses will grow to be very large pads of dead, hard skin. Once they begin to get “puffy”, they are susceptible to ripping off.
What can we do about this? We want to protection of the hard skin, but we don’t want them to rip off, exposing the soft (often raw) skin under them. What you need to do is file or shave them down so they are a single layer of calloused skin again. This allows you to retain the benefits of the callous without the risk of ripping the callous off.
There’s a couple different ways to do this. I use a Ped Egg. Once I can feel my callouses become “pads” (think of a cat or a dog’s paw) I break out my Pedi Egg and I shave the callouses until they are flush with my palm again. It’s painless and quick to do (I used to throw up in my mouth at the idea of shaving off my skin, but it’s not that bad). Some people use a nail file. When I was just starting off, I used to take a long bath and just rip the dead skin off myself (prolonged exposure to water will make the excess skin very easy to just take off by hand) Beware though, ladies – the “ripping them off” technique tends to leave the least attractive looking hands =)
Lastly, you can and should lotion your hands. Yes, you too dudes. Keeping your hands nice and sexy smooth will help tons. Check out this video by legendary weightlifter, Donny Shankle about the finer points of hand care for the badass athlete.
Shankle Shows You
Chalk, Gloves, and Grips
Many people think if you chalk up or throw gloves on, it’ll help with the ripping. Not true. Rips are caused by repeated rotational force on the hands while gripping something. Chalk and gloves generally are designed to increase your grip. So if you can do some simple logic, you might see the flaw in the concept that chalk or gloves will reduce ripping. Ask Puma about that.
On the flip side, if the inside of your gloves are soft, they’ll make a better thing to rub against than a bar. But the frictional forces will likely be greater.
Grips can help – especially in a workout with lots of pull-ups. These are pretty easy to fashion with normal gym/athletic tape, and there’s many styles you can make. We’ll write a post on them in the future, but you can watch this one for a head start:
Workout of the Day
August 1st, 2013
EMOM 10 MIN
1 Hi-hang snatch
1 Hang snatch
*Weight should be heavy but manageable
TABATA HOLLOW ROCK /HOLD
4 Rounds for time
12 Slamball Kayaks (#20/15)
20 Wall ball (with same slam ball) (#20/15)