Functional fitness takes a serious toll on your hands. Whether you’re doing butterfly chest-to-bar pull-ups, kipping C2B, muscle-ups, Olympic weightlifting barbell work, or even throwing around a dumbbell or kettlebell, your grip is really going to feel the wear and tear. Let’s talk about how to keep those hands fresh and strong, from managing any rips you have now to preventing getting new ones.
Managing a Fresh Rip
These are the four steps to managing a new rip or tear.
Step 1: Stop! Do yourself and your fellow athletes a favor and hit pause. You put yourself and others at risk of infection if you continue to use equipment and possibly spread blood around.
Step 2: The Wash n’ Dry. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap, pat them dry with a paper towel, and survey the damage. Any loose skin flapping around? Get rid of it! Rather than peel it off and risk the good skin, grab a pair of sanitary scissors and ask a friend for help.
Step 3: Keep her clean! Cover your wound for the moment, especially if it’s bleeding or leaking any other fluid. Try keeping the area moist with Polysporin or Neosporin. These are analgesics to help reduce pain and maintain a barrier between your wound and the world. An old gymnastics trick is to tape a used (and cooled) black tea bag directly onto the rip. The tannic acid in the tea is a natural pain reliever and helps with healing.
Step 4: Maintenance and prevention. If you head back to pull-up bar too soon, you run the risk of re-opening the sensitive area. Just like a torn up muscle, your skin needs time to heal.
Maintain your skin by filing or shaving down calluses. You may have heard this over and over, but the truth is that the extra tough thickness of skin that forms on your hands is just going to come off as an even bigger chunk. Protect your skin to prevent tearing with one of the many products out there designed to maintain tough but healthy skin. Callus blades are one excellent option.
Regardless of if it’s a fresh rip or not, keep your hands moisturized with something like Wodwelder. This stuff is a game-changer.
Gear That Prevents Tearing
Instead of managing fresh wounds, let’s avoid them in the first place! The main suggestions out there for preventing tearing are:
- Tiny grip gloves
- Gymnastics grips
Choosing between these is often a matter of individual preference. Products have been fine-tuned, adapted, and reinvented to suit WODs.
Try classic high-end athletic tape from a more reputable brand, like TWL finger tape. You can adapt the taping style to your workout, adding layers as needed around your fingers and even palms.
View this post on Instagram
Hang onto the bar for 19.4 with the help of TWL Lamb Tape. Lamb Tape is made with high grade adhesive to provide protection and support through the nastiest, sweatiest of workouts. . Express shipping available. Buy now and pay later with AfterPay and zipPay. Link in bio to shop.
Standard Gymnastics Grips
This is the most commonly used grip, usually offering options of two or three fingers, covering the palm and attaching around the wrist with Velcro. These are soft grips (offering added comfort), and they mold to your hand from their first use. They also hold chalk very well and don’t absorb much sweat. This feature helps keep them soft and fresh.
You can find them in various grades and qualities of fabric. Pictured above are leather. They tend not to stick to your skin but also offer enough grip. They’re easy to use and adjustable, and they come in a variety of sizes. They are known to work great all the way from gymnastics movements to barbell work.
3-Hole Karbon Grips
These three-finger grips with full palm coverage promise high durability and quality and also support your wrists. Their soft material makes them comfortable straight from their first use.
These hypoallergenic grips fight odors as they are 100% washable and reusable. Their material is latex-free woven elastic, and they are slightly padded. The grips use “grip-ridge technology,” which has grooves that hold chalk, so you don’t have to make multiple trips to the chalk bucket.
As they are made from cloth, the thin material won’t get in the way of your grip. These grips provide wrist support, and you can customize their finger holes.
RooGrips are made from quality kangaroo leather — a highly durable material, with a set of special oils, to make them stronger than regular leather. One of the advantages of this material is that it’s thin and will mostly act as a protective layer of skin, providing a safe grip in gymnastics movements and barbell lifts. They will also withstand washing when required.
They have three sizes you can choose from, and two pre-cut finger holes, with a Velcro strap to adjust it to your wrist.
Bear Komplex Carbon Grips
Skip the chalk bucket! Bear Komplex Carbon Grips are made to stick to the bar. They’re lightweight, comfortable, secure, and durable — perfect no matter what your WOD throws at you.
Which method of hand protection is best for you? With so many options to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Keep your hands protected and in one piece as you train — they’re your most valuable tool.
Ready to stock up? Shop our full selection of hand grips and care.