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I’ve Got To Hand It To You (Part 3)

Hand Globe

Success in life comes not from holding a good hand, but in playing a poor hand well.

– Denis Waitley

This is the third part in my four-part series on handcare. Please read parts One and Two if you have not read them already. This article discusses how to return to training when you have torn calluses.

It is important to remember that torn calluses are an injury. Whenever you have an injury, you must give it time to heal. Altering your training to focus on lower body exercises is the preferred course of action. However, sometimes competition and personal factors makes it necessary for athletes to train or compete with an injured hand. What are you going to do to protect your hands and keep from aggravating the injury? Wear gloves? No way!

Tape grips. That’s the answer. I learned how to make these from the guys at CrossFit Marin and I think they are the cheapest and most effective way to train with torn calluses. We have all tried to simply wrap tape around our hands and had it bunch up and make a mess. This technique will keep your hands safe and allow you to train even with the gnarliest of torn calluses. You might even decide to use these when your hands are not injured just to protect them.

Making these tape grips is sort of like origami so you will want to practice making them until you get it right. But once you do, you will be able to make them in a jiffy and also be able to keep a stockpile of tape grips in your gym bag in case of emergencies.

All you need is a roll of 1.5″ Athletic Tape and a pair of scissors.

1. Take a long strip of tape about 15 or 16 inches long. It depends on the size of your hands. Experiment until you find the correct length. Do not be stingy with the tape because if you make them too short, they will not work. Start long and eventually you will be able to eyeball the exact length.

First Strip
2. Fold this tape strip length-wise leaving about an eighth of an inch of the sticky side exposed. Having some of the sticky side exposed is necessary for the next step.

folded strip
3. Take your tape strip and fold it over on itself leaving a little pointed end. The exposed sticky sides should hold it together.

Second fold

4. Take another long strip of tape about 13 or 14 inches long. This should be about 2 inches shorter than the first strip.

5. Fold this new strip over the previous strip. This extra strip acts as reinforcement and keeps the original strip from splitting in half. Try to cover as much of the first strip as you can right up to the little pointy bit.

Reinforced
6. This is your tape grip. You will want to practice making several of these. Keep the good ones in a zip-lock baggy in your gym bag. They will come in handy.

tape grip
7. Using your scissors cut just enough of a hole in the top to put your finger snuggly through the little pointy bit. Put the appropriate finger through the hole so that grip covers your torn callus. Usually placing the grip over your middle or ring finger works best. Depending on how bad your hand is, you might need to use two or more on the same hand.

Hand
8. The end of the grip should come down over the palm to your wrist. Take a third strip of tape and secure the end of the grip to your wrist with a few wraps around the wrist. Do not wrap it so tight that it cuts off your circulation.

finished

There you have it. Pretty simple really. I hope you find this helpful. Now go do some pull-ups!

Do you have any great ideas to help train with injured hands? Please post your thoughts to the comments.

Comments

  1. […] a useful technique for patching up ripped callouses using sports […]

  2. […] a useful technique for patching up ripped callouses using sports […]

  3. Ok so what about tears on my fingers, right before my knuckle? for some reason I stopped getting them on my palm and started getting blisters and rips there instead!

  4. […] Keith has a great post on a way to train while healing. […]

  5. Get A Grip says:

    […] to maintain your skin (see #1).  There’s a great tutorial for making tape grips efficiently here. I’ve got a great way that I learned and I’d be happy to teach you if you ask […]

  6. […] louder than any other part of me.    Also, tried my new hand wraps today.  Drea sent me this link and it was a life-saver.  They ended up warping a bit and sticking to the bar, and could not be […]

  7. […] Ive Got to hand it to you Pt3 […]

  8. […] or teaming you may want to bring your own athletic tape for your hands (or pre-make yourself some tape grips.  Click on “tape grips” for instructions.  I don’t tape mine around my wrists […]

  9. […] 1):  Basics of hand care I’ve Got To Hand It To You (Part 2):  Rip management and first aid I’ve Got To Hand It To You (Part 3):  How to train with ripped hands (this is what drew me to these posts!  Step by step […]

  10. […] series on hand care. I’ve Got To Hand It To You (Part 1) I’ve Got To Hand It To You (Part 2) I’ve Got To Hand It To You (Part 3) I’ve Got To Hand It To You (Part […]

  11. […] “I’ve Got To Hand It To You” from CrossFit Virtuosity […]

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  16. […] CrossFit Virtuosity lays out similar taping strategies in photos. […]

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  19. […] your best bet to prevent irritation and further injury. CrossFit Virtuosity put out a good post on returning to training with torn calluses with some other good […]

  20. […] your best bet to prevent irritation and further injury. CrossFit Virtuosity put out a good post on returning to training with torn calluses with some other good […]

  21. […] athlete carries a few rolls in their bag anyhow!). Our friends over at CrossFit Virtuosity have a great tutorial on how to make the grips. I’ll be glad to help you do this the first time or two as […]

  22. […] more tape. The grip itself should be loose across your hand.CrossFit Virtuosity lays out similar taping strategies in photos.They show you step-by step how to go from this: To this: Finally, if your hands are taking longer […]

  23. […] I’ve Got To Hand It To You (Part 3) […]

  24. […] Virtuosity has a 4-part series on taking care of your hands. They have a great tutorial in Part 3 on how to tape up your hands for […]

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  29. […] I’ve Got To Hand It To You (Part 3) […]

  30. […] Virtuosity has a 4-part series on taking care of your hands. They have a great tutorial in Part 3 on how to tape up your hands for […]

  31. […] – Natural Grip is supposed to make awesome grips. Or you can make your own out of athletic tape. (I’ve also heard to avoid weightlifting gloves for use on the bar, as […]