Calluses… Good or Bad?
If you’ve been hanging from a bar, swinging on rings, lifting a barbell or even using a shovel, your hands will be feeing a little tender! Seasoned CrossFitters, gymnasts and weightlifters will have learnt early in their athletic career that a hand care routine is essential .
How many times have you torn your hands? I remember tearing during the 4th round of Barbara, which is a CrossFit benchmark workout. Did I stop… nope! Should I have stopped? Absolutely! I should have stopped before tearing when my hands were feeling tender. All too often we get lost in the competitiveness when racing against the clock, that’s when hand injuries are seen as collateral damage. But stress not, there is a way to avoid it!
But first, why do we tear? Calluses form over time when doing a repetitive movement, i.e. hanging from a bar, or lifting a barbell. These calluses are more often than not the cause of the skin tear, despite common belief that calluses will protect you from tearing. The hardened skin catches on the bar and creates friction between the epidermis (outer skin layer) and dermis (middle skin layer). This friction creates a separation between the skin layers attracting fluid (blister) then, if you continue to train it will inevitably tear. Now with the boring stuff over lets look at the take home tips!
Ever heard the phrase “Prevention is the best cure”? This is absolutely the case when avoiding injuries to the hand. I have read many different methods to maintain our hands, I’ve taken the best from them all and this is my routine in 3 steps;
Practical tip 101 from Aaron Osborne JAW athlete, “Washing your hands following a workout is something that’s often neglected! The chalk used is lime based and absorbs water, which leads to dehydrated skin. So wash your hands kids.”
This routine is something that I do once every 2-4 weeks depending on the amount and type of training I’ve been doing. But since adopting this routine I haven’t torn my hands once!! Believe….
But what should you do if with a hand tear? Being a Box owner hand tears are something I see too often. Once you tear there are a couple of things that you need to do immediately;
Grips ’n’ Gloves
What else can you do to avoid these troublesome skin tears!? Well funny you should ask, there are a couple of gloves and grips on the market that protects your hands from tearing. But do they do what the claim?
Firstly the gloves. Disclosure, I haven’t used these gloves, so I’m taking the word of my athletes that use them. The gloves used here are Rocktape G-Loves. These boast a few features worth noting, false-grip ribs to help you muscle up, thumb protection for hook grip, vents, and sweat wipes. My athletes who wear these gloves haven’t torn, and trust me they push hard. Grip isn’t compromised when hanging from the bar, or when on a barbell, in-fact I’m told that it improves grip.
The grips are great for any kind of bar work, toes to bar, pull-ups, muscle ups etc. My weapon of choice here is the JAW Hand Grips which are brilliant during any high repetition workout. I’m sure these grips have saved my hands countless times from tearing or blistering. Once you’ve worn then a couple of times you won’t even know that they on your hands. In my opinion these are an essential to any CrossFitters workout bag.
In summary, get yourself in the routine of maintaining callus free hands. If you can manage this you’ll enjoy tear free hands that won’t compromise your training schedule!
Train Hard, Train Smart.
Craig is the Owner and Head Coach of Crossfit Sunshine Coast. He is a level 1 Crossfit trainer, registered nurse and knows how to get the best out of his athletes.
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Author - Ellie Bowden, Coach @ CrossFit Wandsworth
I recently visited a box in America bearing the slogan ‘changing lives through CrossFit’. Simple, yes. Cliché, yes. True, absolutely.
I’m lucky enough to be in a coaching role where I can not only reflect on the change CrossFit has made in my own life, but also the change made in the lives of the 100 or so people who walk through the CrossFit Wandsworth doors every day. It’s also intriguing to me to see a beginner progress, knowing that there are so many different facets to CrossFit and wonder which part it is for them that they find most worthy of the title ‘life-changing’.
Author: Ellie Bowden - Coach Crossfit Wandsworth, London
What’s holding YOU back - Top 5 Common Misconceptions Preventing People from Starting CrossFit
It’s easy for us all to forget after a few months or years in CrossFit that taking the plunge to start can be very daunting. Like any other sport, there are plenty of people who simply aren’t interested in giving it a go, which is fine, but there are also a large number of interested people who hold back as a result of these common misconceptions. If you know someone who is hesitant to join because of any of the following, assure them they are not alone:
Author: Tristan Enright - Owner CrossFit 3018 - Altona, Melbourne.
When I talk about 'controllables' what I'm really referring to are the things or the factors in life that we have immediate and direct control of.
What happens when you live your life controlling the controllables is you feel empowered, responsible and grateful for the outcomes you create and generally happier about life and your part in it. This is due to you taking charge of what you can, focusing only on what matters and what you can do to move you towards the things you desire and value.
What happens when people rely on the uncontrollables is they have expectations of others to fulfill their needs and desires. If you are stuck in a rut and focusing on the uncontrollables, you probably expect the world to provide for you and serve you and when things don't magically fall into place, you blame other people for your lack of direction and results.
It's a trap that we all fall into at times.