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Got a rip? Care and conditioning for your hands when weightlifting or kipping

Hand Care – Calluses, rips and tears from Joe's Garage Gym on Vimeo.

There have been quite a few hand injuries clocking up over the last couple of months, mainly blistering and the ripping of callouses.
Sometimes we treat them like a badge of honour but at the end of the day, a rip’s not hard, it’s not funny! and it’s not clever, know what I mean?…. in fact it bloody hurts and it stuffs up your training.

I’m as guilty of this as anyone, we’ve all taken pictures of our damaged hands to show off how hard we go…. I quickly learnt my lesson and it’s been a long time since I’ve had a rip and that is because of how much care I take of my hands.
Rips and blisters are common in Olympic weightlifting, in Gyms when doing kipping pull ups or kettlebell snatches and gymnastics working on bars and rings. It does tend to happen more to those of us not used to manual work, You maybe as strong as an ox but if you’ve spent your life riding a desk and not on the tools you have a disadvantage.
If you are training hard weightlifting, doing our conditioning classes or doing crossfit, you must look after your hands properly to prevent ripping.
So what is a callus, a callus is a thickening of the skin that forms to protect an area from further damage. It’s caused by pressure or repeated friction. We need calluses, what we don’t need is calluses that stick out, are raised from the skin area around them, are uneven. 
Why don’t we want these… well if you’re a chic, you may not want rough hands but more importantly friction will pull a raised callus around eventually separating the callused skin layer from the blood rich tissue below, forming a pocket, this will either blister or fill with blood. Once this has happened the next stage is more friction causing it to tear off.
So how can I protect my hands?

Firstly if your mainly getting blisters on chin ups, check your technique. You may be gripping the bar to tight.
Secondly chalk helps your grip but dries out your hands, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly straight after every chalky workout.
Joe’s hand protection regimen before workout
1. Use a corn plain
2. Rub down with Pumice stone
3. Apply moisturiser – don’t add if to close to a workout….. don’t want you to slip off the bar – use an everyday hardwearing moisturiser such as “tough hands”
Joe’s hand protection regimen after workout
1. When showering after a workout wash hands thoroughly with soup
2. Use a good quality everyday hand cream/moisturiser (tough hands)
4. Just before bed apply a really high quality moisteriser such as Healthy Hoof

What to do if I get a tear?
1. Remove loose skin with scissors or nail clippers
2. Treat immediately with Betadene
3. Apply with Bepanthen cream regularly (cover, keep clean but allow tro breath)

Hope this helps. I’d love to get your feedback. How do you look after your hands? Do you rip regularly?

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