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 balm, we suggest The Big Salve or take a look in the home kitchen 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. We suggest the FxD callus shaver kit. You can also use a pumice stone or nail or foot file. Remember to work on calluses after a shower when your skin is clean and soft.
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.
Help - my hands are a bloody mess
Ok, you missed the memo on hand care and it's too late. You're not sure how to get out of your gym gear let alone wash your hair.
Our hard and fasts:
- Wash your hands, it sucks but you just got to get onto this
- Cut away any loose skin with a pair of sharp scissors
- Apply an antiseptic cream
- Cover with Compeed Blister Strips, these can be found at most supermarkets and pharmacies. They stick well and keep the wound protected so you can go back to using your hands like normal
- Following the first 24 hours, air out your hands, reapply antiseptic as needed and recover if you need otherwise look to balm and allow them to dry out.
Our fun range of hand care can be found here.