So you've joined the cult and it is awesome, the only downside - your hands look like a bloody massacre and you can't get a manicure without a sideward glance and the nail therapist sees your calluses.
Below are some tips and tricks for looking after your hands (especially in the first few months of CrossFit) and some after care if its too late!
Moisturise often, like always, like carry hand cream and keep some on your desk at work
Dry skin is more likely to crack and rip than skin that's well-hydrated. Take the time to moisturise every night and throughout the day. Go for a heavy duty hand cream (you can't go wrong with The Body Shop's Hemp Hand Protector) or opt for the natural route with some coconut or almond oil.
Keep a Tight Shave
Calluses are common, on their own, calluses aren't bad. It's when they build up and start to peel that they cause problems. There are a few specialty callus shavers on the market, but you can also opt for the cheap route and just use a pumice stone or nail or foot file. Remember to work on calluses after a shower when your skin is clean and soft.
Sometimes there isn't anything more satisfying than watching trashy TV whilst shaving off dead skin. Just remember if you're using a callus shaver to make sure the shaver is parallel to the skin and apply only light to moderate pressure as you shave across the skin.
Fix Your Grip
At CrossFit Central Wellington, Coach Brian recommends athletes use hook grip (thumb tucked under your index and middle fingers) in barbell movements and wrap their thumbs around the bar instead of using a suicide grip (thumb next to your index finger) in gymnastics bar work. This neutral grip better stabilises the hand's movement and reduces friction.
Chalk, Tape, Gloves, and Grips
Gymnastic grips, gloves, tape, and chalk help protect your hands, especially when it comes to workouts with high-volume reps, like Murph or if you're new to kipping movements and working that first pull up or toes-to-bar.
Be sure to keep chalk to a minimum though as excess chalk can dry out the skin on your hands and end up causing tears. Avoid dipping your entire hand into the chalk bucket and apply sparingly to only the parts of the skin that will have direct contact with equipment - your hands will thank you for it and so will your gym owner.
Our fun range of gymnastics grips, gloves and tape can be found here.