On my list of top five things that shouldn’t be super painful but make me want to cry like a baby: getting in the shower after ripping my hand. Yeah, maybe you feel like you have proof that you worked super hard, but you won’t feel that cool when you can’t hold stuff normally for a few days. Rips are painful and gross and you have to treat them like an actual injury because, well…. they are!
So let’s talk hand care! I’m not saying that I’m an expert on this topic because I still rip sometimes, but I’ve had some trial and error so I figured I would share some of the things I’ve learned so far.
When I first got my kipping pullups I ripped a lot. Like, every time I did more than 20. This might happen to you if you go from zero time hanging from the bar to a lot of work hanging from the bar. You have to build up your calluses, which can take a while depending on your skin and your experience with lifting or gymnastics. Sorry to say, but it takes time.
Chalk is your friend, but it can also be your enemy. It’s the summer, so we’re all drenched in sweat and it’s hard to hold onto the bar, but beware of using too much chalk, as it can add more friction and lead to more rips.
Find a pair of grips that works for you. Grips, NOT gloves. They take a while to get used to, but they’ve made a world of difference for me- I can get through Angie without ripping now!
Great so you have calluses, now what? I saw Brooke Ence shaving her palms in one of the Fittest On Earth movies and I thought it was so disgusting and now that’s what I do. Yep, I shave my calluses with an actual razor blade because I am a monster. You really don’t have to do this, but knocking your calluses back helps prevent rips because giant calluses create more friction and will just pop right off leaving you bloody and sad. You can also use a corn remover or a pumice stone, and I’m sure there are many other methods out there. Some people don’t do this step and they never rip, so it’s all about the individual.
Even with all these steps, sometimes my hands rip. When they do, here’s what I do: (I follow this loosely. This is just what you’re supposed to do)
- Send a snapchat/IG/photo/whatever kids do these days to all your friends.
- Wash hands with soap and water. Ow.
- Using clean nail scissors/very sharp regular scissors, cut away any skin flaps. Don’t just rip it off because that will just make it worse.
- Stop doing pullups or whatever it was that caused the rip until it heals.
Here’s my night time routine for a rip:
I put a generous amount of something called RipFix on the rip. The ingredients are petroleum, beeswax, camphor, coconut oil, tea tree leaf oil and honey. Good stuff. You could also just slather it in Neosporin or I’ve even just used lotion to keep it moist so it’ll heal faster. Then you put your hand in a sock or a glove to lock in the moisture and save your sheets. You can do the sock hand puppet method or you can cut little finger holes in your socks like I do. My roommates think I’m super cool. I also do this if my hands just feel sad from too many pullups, and some people do it every night to keep their hands nice and their calluses from getting too gross. Find whatever works for you.
Remember, this is different for every person, so find your own routine and keep your hands happy!