There is nothing like the feeling of doing tons of sweet kipping pull ups, chest to bars, or toes to bars. On the flipside there is nothing quite as terrible as tearing during one of these movements. The only thing that might be worse is knowing that you have one, two, or three rounds left of hand torture to make it through. In this post we’ll talk about preventing and caring for your tears.
Ok, let’s start with preventing tears. There are many schools of thought on how to prevent tearing. The most basic prevention method would be a Ped Egg or pumice stone. Use the Ped Egg/stone in the shower or soften your calluses in the sink with warm water and use the Ped Egg/stone to grind down your calluses. WARNING – Careful when using the Ped Egg/stone as you might shave your calluses too low and create a tear.
I’ve seen a video of someone using wire clippers and a dremel to trim calluses. This seems a bit extreme and also may be dangerous.
You can experiment with different files, stones, and callus filers and see what works for you. Lastly, Corn Huskers Lotion will help toughen your hands. Apply in the morning and evening after showering. This lotion is much better then the alternative that bare handed batters have been using for years to toughen their hands (pee). In the end we can only do so much to prevent tearing. If you’re doing lots of pull ups you are bound to tear at some point, but let’s do as much as we can to prevent that from happening.
Alright, now that we’ve addressed how to prevent tears let’s start talking about caring for your tears. First thing to do is complete the workout with the bloody stumps that used to be your hands. Kidding! If you’ve torn you need to immediately clean the cut with soap and water and this is a personal preference, pack it with salt and run warm water over it. Yes, it will hurt, but it helps the healing process. So toughen up buttercup. If there’s a flap of skin still attached try and tear it off or cut it off with a pair of sterile scissors. Next, apply some bacitracin and cover with a band aid. Be smart about your tears, don’t come back the next day and do some pull ups without covering your tear with first, a band aid and second, some type of tape or pre-wrap. The pictures below are everything you need to care for and WOD with a tear.
I find that Band-Aid Tough Strips are the best for covering a tear. Specifically the “H” shaped ones as they will wrap around your finger. Only downside is that Band-Aid does not make a package of only “H” shaped band-aids.
The final step is using tape or pre-wrap to cover the tear. If you find yourself having to get back on the pull up rig before your tear has healed completely I recommend making some tape grips. Here is a link for a video teaching you how to make the grips.
Alright I think that about covers it. Now go out there and enjoy those pull ups, chest to bars, bar muscle ups, and toes to bar…tear free!