Hand Care for Athletes

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Hand care for athletesBadge of honor, I don’t think so


Most new Crossfitters have experienced the excruciating pain of ripped, torn and bloody hands after their first high rep bar work WOD. Many have also been told “welcome to the club” or “wear it as a badge of honor”.  Sounds good until you make your way to the bathroom sink to wash off the chalk and blood and the stinging and burning has your questioning if you will ever be able to hold onto anything again.

Soft, virgin skin hands are going to rip and tear and unfortunately until you build up a thicker layer of skin on your hands tearing will be a part of your WOD life.  But the good news is that you can make hand maintenance a part of your grooming routine with little extra time or effort

I asked Keegan Pafford, inventor and owner of WOD Welder Hand Care if he had any recommendations for athletes in keeping their hands in workout shape. "We've found that the best hand care routine is ANY hand care routine. Of course we believe our 3 step system will keep athletes hands in peak condition at all times, but by simply putting the time in to maintain your hands in any way possible it will help."  

What about thick calluses after the tear has healed?

"Making sure that calluses remain at a functional level and don't become too rounded on top of the skin is key. Shaving them down with a callus shaver or sanding them with a pumice stone we've found to be the most efficient".

Remember chalk is great for creating a barrier between your skin and the bar but is also very drying to your skin

"Hands rip from a lack of moisture in the skin along with a huge callus that gets caught up in the knurling on a bar. To combat this lack of moisture, use a deep penetrating lotion that replenishes the natural oils and water into the skin. Try to avoid products containing petroleum jelly as this is one of the worst things you can put on your skin. It doesn't penetrate through the outer layers and just sits on top of the skin trapping in bacteria and not allowing air to pass through the surface."

What should an athlete do when they do rip?

"Clean the wound. Take off any dead flaps of skin with a sterile pair of medical scissors. (embroidery scissors will work as well, make sure they are clean). Apply a natural skin healer to speed up the regeneration process if you are anxious to get back in the gym. Otherwise, let it sit. If having to use your hands in an unclean area for work or what have you, apply a sterile bandage."

Train smart

Remember: Your goal should be getting back to the box tomorrow and crushing your WOD not posting another bloody palm pic on Instagram.

If good hand maintenance is a workout priority for you, check out our large selection of Athlete Hand Care Items from WOD Welder, Climb on, SKINouishment, and RiptSkin Systems.

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  • Bridgett Chandley
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