Thursday, January 15, 2009

Part II: So Your Hands Are Busted

(compliments of crossfit journal issue #68)

" There are several ways to keep the hands from developing blisters and tears. First, if your hands are soft, thin-skinned, or generally unconditioned, you must slowly and gradually build up your calluses to meet the demands of your exercise. Don’t overdo your hand intensive exercise while you’re building up the thickness and toughness of the skin, or you’ll just keep ripping
your hands and not have a chance to develop good healthy protective calluses. Once you’ve developed a tough and thick skin on your hands, it’s important to maintain the quality of the skin by keeping the surface well groomed. This means simply that the overall thickness of the skin on the hand surface is consistent throughout and the surface is smooth. Otherwise, over time, the calluses will have a tendency to get thicker in certain areas of the hand and not in others. You will develop “ridges” of thick skin that will eventually lead to a tearing of the skin. What I like my athletes to do to try to prevent the hands from ripping in the future is to actually shave the calluses down to a level that maintains a relatively thick yet consistent depth of skin throughout the hand (photo 8). Ideally, your entire palm surface should be one thick callus with no bumps or
ridges in any one particular area. In order to do this, groom your hands always after a hot shower or bath (this allows the calluses to swell up). While the calluses are still “swollen,” I take a double-edged razor and very carefully shave the dead callus bumps down a little at a
time until the bumps are about even with the thickness in the rest of the hand. With my younger students, I simply ask them to get a callus stone (you can buy one at any drug store), and gently sand the callus down even with the rest of the skin. Remember, whenever
you groom or shave your calluses, don’t overdo it, since you don’t want to go too deep into your skin. Always leave enough thick skin so to facilitate your workout the following day. The goal is to maintain an even and consistent thickness of hard skin throughout the entire
-Phil Savage-


January 15, 2009

Thursday 090115
Rest Day

1 comment:

Fit In Austin said...

Thanks for the info! And it was nice to meet you last night!