Hand protection, gripping the bar, and taking care of your hands.

Nothing is worse than ripping your hands during a tough workout.  Not only does it hurt when it happens but you’re reminded of it every time you take a shower, use your hands on day to day tasks, and not to mention having to deal with it the rest of the week during your workouts.  So the question is how do you avoid ripping your hands on Pull-ups, Toes to Bar, Muscle ups, etc.  I want to give you my personal opinion and what has worked best for me over the years.

Their are few variables that you must take into consideration. The first one is hand protection.  You have a few options here but the one that works best for myself personally are gymnastic straps. These are the leather straps that velcro around your wrist and goes over either 2 or 3 fingers.  If you use the straps correctly not only will you get a better grip but it will definitely keep you from ripping your hands or slowing down your workout because you feel like your hands will rip if you don’t come down off the bar.  I recently bought a new pair from a new company called www.victorygrips.com.  These have been by far my favorite.  They are very well made and form fit to your hands after a few uses.

The next variable I want to discuss is how to use these grips correctly when gripping the pull-up bar.  The trick is to use the fold of the strap so when you’re on the pull-up bar all the tension goes to the strap around your wrist like in the picture below. This allows you to get the best possible grip and it will take all the friction of your hands so you won’t rip.  If you get any slack built up on the strap before the fold it will feel uncomfortable and also will affect your grip on the bar.The last variable is hand care.  Their are a lot of products our there to help take care of your hands including moisturizers, pumice stones, callous removers, etc.  The trick I use is buy a pack of disposable face razors and about once a week while in the shower shave your callouses down so they are nice a smooth.  This will help keep you from ripping your hands as well.

In the end its up to you and what you prefer but this is what has helped me.  I’ve done a lot of volume of pull-ups, muscle ups, and toes to bar with no issues.  I hope this helps a bit to keep you guys moving in those WODs!

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