The CrossFit Games Southwest Regionals were this weekend here in town, and the three athletes I spent the most time with at the competition (Megan, Juli and Jaelyn) all had EPIC tears on their hands. You may be asking what an “Epic Tear” is… let me show you a picture that Jaelyn posted on Facebook, tagging the other two ladies. The caption that went with it: “this is how I am showering…” Yeah, that bad.

CrossFit, CrossFit Games, CrossFit Games Regionals, CrossFit Games Southwest Regionals, Smashby Training, Jaelyn Wolf, Hand Tear, CrossFit Hand Tear

Do you need to do this just to get in the shower?! Ouch!

So thankfully, our friends at Progenex posted a link to an article today about hand tears! It’s like they knew people were getting crushed lately and wanted to help. Gotta love the Progenex crew. Thanks for link, guys!

The article I’m featuring was written over at this blog, and specifically talks about not only how to HEAL tears, but measures we can all take to prevent them altogether. Very well written, short and to the point. I’ll paste it below here, but feel free to access the entire post by clicking here. Enjoy this incredibly useful info!

Competition Time – DO NOT RIP ~ By Whit

With the anxious environment and what seems like almost everyone preparing for Regionals, I’ve been shocked by the number of people with torn and ripped hands.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made the same mistake in the past and now live by the motto of “never make the same mistake once.”

So…. let’s go over hand care.

First, develop your grip strength!! Don’t skip mixed grip strict pullups, farmer holds and farmer carries with multiple hand grip positions. Second, get used to not using chalk. OMG did I just say that? YES I DID. Use chalk to control moisture, you don’t need if for your first rep. If you do use chalk make sure you wash your hands, WITH SOAP, immediately after. It is the polarity of the soap that removes the chalk, not the water. Then immediately use lotion and rub it into your palms and forearms for a few minutes. My personal favorites are Aveeno and Lumbraderm, but it has more to do with pressure than the exact lotion.

Next shave and pumice calluses regularly. If you have a callus large enough to change your hand placement, all that results in is new calluses and ripping the entire callus off.

Shave and pumice ONLY when your hands are dry and only remove dead shin. If your hands feel swollen, chances are… they are, ice them.

Ok so what if you do tear?

First you need good tweezers and cuticle cutters, some latex gloves that fit your hands and either a cut stop pad or a black tea bag. Trim the edges of the cut, moisten the tea bag and place it inside the glove over the tear over night. It will stain your hand orange/brown for a few days but will help oxidize the tear to allow you to use your hand the next day if you have to.

Next step, get some second skin or band-aide callus covers and keep the tear moist.

For general maintenance use On the Bar from whole earth, or go to and get some hand care aides πŸ™‚

I can’t say this enough. 1 week to heal enough to start doing pull ups again and even a good tear will limit your ability to perform pulling motions. Think about it this way, 2 weeks to use your hands again plus 2 weeks for your skin to toughen back up again.

If you rip consistently, start asking yourself. Is it always the same spot, are the tendons in your hands starting to get tight, does your forearm, especially by your elbow start to cramp? Are you doing strict pullups, farmers carries, farmer holds, hex holds, or rock climbing? It’s often the small details that can make or break all of us. Also, hold your coaches accountable. Scaling IS ok, substituting movements IS ok. Tearing IS NOT ok unless it is a must do during a competition or it is a critical event (ie emergency).

  1. Aaron Thomas says:

    We try to put out info that is relevant and will help with peoples’ training. That, and of course some blatant self-promotion from time to time πŸ˜‰

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.