How to Care for Your Hands
Written by Nuno Costa
There are many ways to take care of your hands so they don’t look like a bloody mess. I am always astonished that people don’t take preventative methods to make sure they don’t rip their hands raw. Don’t get me wrong, its happened to me a few times – but it has most certainly happened a lot less, if at all, when I take good care of them.
Here are a few things I would recommend in order to make sure your calluses are well maintained.
Tip #1: Filers
I have two different ones that I like to use. They are not both necessary but they both serve a function. The one on the left I use to shave the calluses when they get big. You can also use it when a calluses starts to come off to get the loose skin. The one on the right is to file down my calluses when they start getting a little out of control.
Tip#2: Gymnastics Wraps
I don’t use these that often, but I will always have them on me, especially when I travel. Someone once told me “I’d rather have them and not need them, than need them and not have them.” These can take a little while to get comfortable so be sure to practice with them plenty before you decide to use them in a competition. At the 2015 CrossFit Games I used them on gymnastic-heavy “Frantasy Land” workout and they worked wonders. I will usually test them on a new bar to see what feels most comfortable, to use them or not use them, before a competition. You can purchase these at your local sporting goods store like Big 5, Dicks or Sports Chalet.
Tip #3: Natural Grip
As seen on Shark Tank, Natural Grips are another option for protecting your hands. I used these for the first time on the Open workout 15.2 and they were a lifesaver. I hadn’t used these specifically before, but I had always made my own with tape and when needed. Towards the end of the workout they started to bunch up a little bit so I took them off and continued on and was able to complete a high number of chest to bar pull-ups without ripping.
These are just three of the things you can use and have available when you know you are going to be doing a lot of work on a pull-up bar. Make sure you are comfortable using them before a competition. If you sweat a lot, the grip or the gymnastics wraps are a must – the more you sweat, the more likely you are to potentially rip. For tips on how to tape up your own hands, check out this blog post by Coach Calvin. Prevention is key! The better you take care of your calluses the less likely you are to tear which will allow you to keep on with your training.