How to Care for Your Hands by Coach Nuno Costa at CrossFit Invictus San Diego

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.

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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.

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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.

Sam's Hand - Natural Grip

Natural Grips

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.

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Will Chou
Will Chou
April 3, 2018 9:43 am

thanks

Marita Gjerland
Marita Gjerland
February 2, 2017 1:51 pm

We have a discussion going on at our box, about if it is OK to do pullups on a taped bar, or not. Are there any rules around this? As a coach i try to tell the members that tape only rips our hands, and also takes away training of the grip strength. Some people use tape everywhere! Rings, bars, kettlebells… what is the right thing to do/say?

RoseMary Walsh
RoseMary Walsh
March 24, 2015 3:14 pm

Laugh if you will,
but after trying everything over the years i found shaving, filing, and a pair of cotton socks i doctored into mitts work best for me

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Michele Vieux
March 24, 2015 5:51 pm
Reply to  RoseMary Walsh

I use socks for high rep kettlebell snatches/cleans workouts.

Will Chou
Will Chou
April 3, 2018 9:44 am
Reply to  RoseMary Walsh

pictures? interesting

Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson
March 24, 2015 11:08 am

I tried using the #1 solution for a while but my hands still kept ripping. I now use WODies by Jerkfit. LOVE them! No more rips. https://jerkfit.com/product/wodies/

Kyle Blackman
Kyle Blackman
March 24, 2015 1:04 pm

I’ve been thinking about trying these. I have the gymnastics wraps right now. I decided not to use them last night and got my first tear in a while. lesson learned.

Karla Nicole (NorthWest)
Karla Nicole (NorthWest)
March 24, 2015 9:52 am

Have you ever used the Rocktape version for the hands? They are awesome!

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Michele Vieux
March 24, 2015 2:46 pm

Thanks for the tip! We’ll look into that and have someone give a full report. What is the most awesome part of them?

Kendall Vincelette (NW)
Kendall Vincelette (NW)
March 23, 2015 9:36 pm

Micro-pedi electric callus shaver:
http://www.amazon.com/Emjoi-Micro-Pedi-Battery-Operated-Remover/dp/B005BG5CK6

Greatest thing ever, haven’t torn since Last August. Bought mine at Costco.

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Michele Vieux
March 24, 2015 2:46 pm

Woo hoo! Great news.