Session: connection failed

Hand Rips: Causes Treatments and Prevention by Phil Savage - CrossFit Journal

In Medical/Injuries

April 01, 2008

PDF Article

Rips of the skin and calluses on the hands are an annoying and painful part of any physical exercise that uses the hands intensively. Anyone can get them, and there's no getting around that fact. You can get them from shoveling snow, playing baseball, throwing the javelin, climbing ropes, or swinging on bars. You can get them from doing just about anything involving the hands. Gymnasts have to deal with them all the time, as do weightlifters and, of course, people who do a high volume of kipping pull- ups.

Hand guards (grips)
There are several ways to prevent or at least minimize rips or tears on your hands. As a gymnastics coach, I encourage my athletes to wear hand guards or grips when they are training on the rings and high bar so they can train longer and harder without worrying whether their hands are going to tear. Gymnasts typically wear these leather hand grips (guards) when training and competing on the rings and the horizontal bar (high bar) or uneven bars. Grips for the rings have two finger holes (photos 1 and 2) and those for high bar have three (photos 3 and 4); all types have a strip of leather that protects the working side of the hands, and some have dowels in them to extend the fingers' reach and help the gymnast lock onto the bar or rings. You can order these grips online from most any gymnastics equipment and supply company. I personally use

Free Download


9 Comments on “Hand Rips: Causes Treatments and Prevention”


Jeremy Stecker wrote …

Anyone try these hand guards for crossfitting. I'm seriously considering getting a pair, but wondering if shelling out the 50 bucks is worth it?


wrote …

I have trained Jun Fan Kung Fu/ Jeet Kune Do for a number of years. My Sifu, Tommy Carruthers, introduced me to Dit Dar which is a Chinese rubbing oil/ ointment. The general idea is to rub this oil on any part of your body which is likely to receive impact -palms, knuckles, forearms, shins etc. It is said to have a conditioning effect and is also said to have healing properties in relation to bruising.

I can't evidence whether it really has these properties and I don't know of any scientific studies in relation to the oil. What I do know is that Sifu Tommy has been using the stuff for years and he knows what he's talking about.

Might be worth a try for anyone who suffers from torn hands.



wrote …

I am 168# 5'10" Female and have started working on the kipping pull-up. Needless to say my hands are trashed. I grew up using bag balm for everything. My first few tears I used neosporin type stuff. The tears still stung and took at least a week to heal to the point of kipping again. I found my bag balm tin and man that stuff is awesome. I put it on that night and by the next morning it felt significantly better. I have used it ever since- give it a try.


wrote …

I have used the gymnist grips but they do cause you to fail on pull-ups a little early due to the extra material between your hand and the bar. That being said they do prevent tears. I no longer use them on pull-ups as my grip has improved but I do use them on high rep kettlebell workouts. Mine are from rage fitness about $10. Leather Hand Grips (pair)&category=grips accessories&subcategory=


wrote …

I stared using "new grip" a few months ago adn I love it. It does not interfere with my pull-ups. It allows me to go a little longer and I dont have to worry about the consistent tears. You can order on line. Its a great investment.


wrote …

Whats the problem with using gloves?


replied to comment from dennis walczyk

I've been using a Football wide reciever type glove for any workout using my hands and really notice a difference. I do have to readjust though every 4 to 6 pullups but I think that is mainly due to poor grip.


wrote …

ive started taping my hands as shown in the article and it works great.


wrote …

Also prevention is key. You can cut down on rips by (as lame as this sounds) keeping your hands moisturized. Nothing too hardcore - just apply a good hand salve 2-3x a day if you can. At least after workouts and before bed. Consider something like Cork Huskers or even a product more tailored like Monkey Hands @

Leave a comment

Comments (You may use HTML tags for style)