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Chalk, Grip and Hand Rips

Having ripped has just isn't something to be proud, how can you train 100% if your bloodied, sore hands are getting in the way of doing more reps during your KB swing, deadlifts or pull ups. Hands getting rough and callouses from working on bars, using chalk and continuous friction is a normal thing and it is great to have some sort of protection on your hands...but, hard, dry and super thick skin makes for easy tearing. Get rid of that old school thinking of meths and "hardening up" and train smart.

Here are some great tips from Breaking Muscle:

Prevention during the workout

Chalk: Chalk is a double-edged sword. Small amounts keep your hands dry and help your grip. This means you are less likely to hold the bar too tightly, which is a good thing as far as callus prevention. On the other hand, chronic over-chalkers may actually be creating more friction by having so much chalk on their hands. Be frugal with the chalk and use a towel to dry your hands between sets.

Grip: Think about how you actually grip the barbell, pull up bar, or kettlebell. Are you grabbing it way down in the palm of your hand? Or are you grabbing it more with your fingers? Think about how rock climbers use their fingers to grip, rather than their whole hand. Think about the fact you are hanging on something, not pushing. The bar, or the kettlebell handle, should not be all the way into the meat of your palm. That will only cause more folds of skin to bunch up and increase the likelihood of ripping. Practice hanging onto things with just your first couple knuckles.

Leather Hand Grips: If you have sensitive skin or you work in a profession where you cannot tolerate ripped palms, consider using leather hand grips. These take some getting used to, and it is possible to still rip even while wearing a grip, but they will help tremendously once you adjust to using them. You can also make something similar yourself out of athletic tape, but it won't be as durable.

Also... MOISTERIZE! Keep those hands

What If I Already Ripped?

But now what happens once a rip has occurred? What can you do to heal quickly and safely?

#1: Wash It Out: The first thing to do when your hand rips is clean it out well. It’s going to be painful, but you need wash it out with warm water and soap. Depending on the state of the gym you’re in, you may also want to rinse it with iodine.

#2: Trim Excess Skin: If the skin looks like it might catch and rip further, then use sterilized scissors and trim the excess skin away. If the tear is small and more like a burst blister, than leave the skin to protect the healthy flesh underneath.

#3: Bandage and Keep Moist: The key to healing quickly and minimizing pain is to keep the wound site moist. Use a product with vitamin E, or anything from Vaseline to bag balm can do the trick. But keeping the rip moist will prevent it from drying and tearing further.

A great tip from Mark Holyoake - Use Bepanthen Cream on those boo-boos :)

#4: Bag It Overnight: One trick many gymnasts use is to wear gloves or plastic bags over the hands at night. It keeps your hands moisturized and also helps prevent you from spreading lotion all over your bedding.

How to Train With Ripped Hands

You have ripped your hand, but you want to keep training. What can you do? Three different options are quick and easy:

New Skin: Applying liquid New Skin will create a tough, synthetic layer over your rip. Be aware, New Skin sticks to healthy skin, too, and if it starts to peal off you do not want to pull on it.

Synthetic Skin Patch: There are a number of different brands out there and they work with varying success, so you’ll need to test the out on your own skin and while doing your sport or activity of choice.

Leather Hand Grips: You can always use the same leather grips you wore when you were trying to prevent your rips to begin with. Keep your rips moisturised and bandaged, and wear the grips over the bandage.

But, remember the best way to deal with rips is to prevent them. Take good care of your hands, keep your calluses to an absolute minimum, don’t grip the bar too tight, and use grips if you need to. This simple advice will help you get through your training with less pain and more enjoyment.

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