Hand Care for CrossFitters

Ok, now let’s talk about our hands.

We’ve seen the social media posts before… The bloody hands with a caption saying something like, “Murph for the first-time. Hands destroyed! Rite of passage complete!”

I will fully disclose that I’ve done it before, too. My first year of CrossFit and I tore in Fran when I did it the first time “Rx” and I was so proud of myself. My coach at the time, though… Not so proud of me. I remember it like it was yesterday. I showed him my hands with a silly grin on my face, and all he said to me was, “And now you have an injury to deal with that you could have easily prevented.” At the time, I was disappointed by his response, but today, I totally get it.

You DO NOT need to rip and tear your hands! Not even in “Murph.”

Ripping and tearing is NOT a rite of passage in CrossFit. It does NOT make you badass. And, no, ripping and tearing is NOT normal and should not happen often.

Just say no to ripping and tearing.

Alright, now we have to cleared, how do we take care of our hands?!

  1. Keep them moisturized DAILY - The worst thing for your hands is to let them get super dry and cracked. This is especially challenging during our winter months, so you have to be diligent. One trick I learned from my mom long ago is to rub good ol’ fashioned Vaseline on your hands (and anywhere else you need lotion) right after you shower, and BEFORE you towel dry. So, yes, while you are still wet, rub the Vaseline on like lotion, and then gently towel-dry.

  2. SHAVE YOUR CALLUSES - This was something that I just didn’t know to do until I randomly saw a guy doing it one day at a competition. You don’t know what you don’t know. He showed me his tool and how to do it, and it’s changed my life! You can get them at almost any CVS, Walmart, or Walgreens, or any drug store, and most definitely on Amazon. Shave your calluses about once a week. You want it so that your hand is smooth when you rub your fingers across your palm (no bumps).

  3. “The Chaser” - Pedi Egg - If you still have some bumps on your hands after shaving, the Pedi Egg is pretty awesome to follow with.

That’s it. It’s pretty straightforward. And, simple. You just have to be consistent with it, and keep your hands healthy, and you won’t rip. I haven’t ripped since 2010, and I don’t wear any hand protectors or tape.

And, if you are about to tear in the middle of a workout, while it is certainly your choice to take the chance or not, I would encourage you to modify and save your hands. If you’re doing pull ups and your hand is about to rip, then switch to ring rows. Consider the risk vs. reward factor. Is it worth ripping your hands?! Or, do you need your hands to be able to do other things later on?!

Now… If you do happen to rip, then be sure to carefully remove any excess skin and skin flaps, and then wash your hands in warm water with salt. Yeah…it hurts…but, it helps a lot. Don’t cover up the wounds with bandages. Keep them open and just rub a little bit of Neosporin on them. Keep it lubricated. Keep it clean. And, obviously, don’t do any movements that irritate the wounds!

Happy Hands! :-)

Kara PurvesComment