There are certain things that are a given when you enter and fall in love with the CrossFit world. You will learn a new workout language — WOD, AMRAP and EMOM become part of your vocabulary. You find yourself needing non-slip hair bands, lifting shoes, t-shirts with Snatch humor and unicorns, and eventually you will look at your hands and think, “Whose hands are these?”
Search on social media under #CrossFithands and you will find hundreds of pictures of ripped and callused hands. The calluses and tears are signs of hard work and that is something to be proud of. However, not knowing how to properly care for your “CrossFit hands” can turn all that hard work into a vicious rip-heal-rip cycle that becomes an annoying, ongoing WOD-interrupting problem. This is the point where it becomes critical for Box owners and Coaches to educate themselves in hand care — because if you coach, you are a mentor. All Coaches should be able to walk members through a hand-care regimen when a member rips and asks them, “What should I do?”
The key is callus maintenance and staying on top of your calluses before they rip, and when they rip — because ripping is inevitable as you progress in the sport — treat the rip as an injury.
When a rip occurs, the skin should be cut back and the wound should be disinfected, padded dry and treated with a product that protects, soothes and helps the healing process. As new calluses develop, the top layer of the hardened skin should be taken off with a pumice stone or razor, being cautious not too take off too much and leave the callus tender. Using a hand product nightly also helps prep hands for the hard work and the beating they take during workouts like Fran, Helen or Eva. Many CrossFit athletes think that having ‘jacked-up hands’ is just a part of CrossFit, but it’s not and they make a big mistake by not adding hand care to their recovery program.
Teaching hand care should be as important as teaching mobility — both are needed to prevent and reduce the frequency of injuries because injuries require down-time to heal. Box owners that carry and sell products should shelf a hand rip remedy that their members can purchase onsite, thus eliminating the need to wait two to three days for a product to arrive in the mail to help alleviate the pain and heal their rips. There are products with wholesale programs set up specifically for Affiliate owners, making it both easy and profitable to have a solution on hand … pun intended.
By Robin Ribeiro
Owner and Founder of RipFix