Hand Care

CF Ventura owner Colin Jenkins, CF stud and all around nice guy, was in town and trained at CF West over the weekend. Check out the squat clean sequence below.

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The human hand.  Wow!

Stop reading for a moment and take a look at yours.  Wiggle your fingers a little.  Watch the muscles contract in your forearms as you do this.  It’s pretty cool, huh.  Yep, our hands are a marvelous thing.  How much time do you spend taking care of them? 

Probably not a lot.  Sure, you foam roll your glutes and legs.  You carefully stretch your shoulders in various planes everyday.  I know people that never walk outside the box while wearing their fancy lifting shoes.  But how much respect do you give your hands?

CrossFit doesn’t have many downsides, but sore hands and wrists are one of them.  We subject our handses to a lot, a seriously large amount of stress.  O-lifts, kettlebell work, muscle ups, overhead squats, and, of course, the kipping pullup, all combine to tear the hell out of our hands. So how can we take better care of them?

First off, there is the callus. A callused palm is the sign of a CrossFitter, but a big thick callus will tear and a torn or blistered palm is nothing but a pain in the ass.  If you can pinch a callus it is too big.  There are a couple of tools out there that will help you care for your calluses, and I will talk about them, but the key to callus care is a little bit all the time.  You need to be like a little monkey, constantly grooming your calluses.  If you wait and do it only periodically, not only do you risk a tear, but you also risk making them too sensitive.  A little bit constantly will keep your calluses flat and hard.

There are a bunch of ways to trim calluses, but none of them are overly dignified.  You can use regular nail clippers or small cuticle scissors. A butter knife (I would dedicate one for the task that will stay out of the silverware drawer) can be used to scrape down the callus after a hot shower. A dull razor blade is another option and I even know of affiliates that have a Dremel tool at the box that is used to grind them little buggers down.  A fancier approach is a corn shaver from a beauty supply store.  These things look like little cheese graters and are sharp so use with caution.

Lotion.  Get a big bottle and lather up your hands every night.  Nothing dries out hands like lifting chalk and, trust me, your significant other will thank you.  Be sure to stretch your wrists in flexion, extension, and any way they move.  Fingers as well. This will not only cushion your wrists against poor racking on a clean, but will strengthen them too.  And finally, massage your hands.  A little massaging will go a long way towards keeping them healthy.  It will encourage blood flow, loosen little knots, and it just plain feels good.  Actually, it feels even better if you can get someone else to massage them for you.

Go ahead, give your hands a little loving.  They certainly deserve it. 

How do you care for your hands?  Got a tip?  Please post to Comments.

CF West members were especially active this weekend.  Leah ran the Firecracker 5K on Saturday and took an astounding 6 minutes off her previous 5K time, set just a month ago.  In that month, she did only CrossFit, with 2 half mile runs and a couple hikes while on vacation.  Anna also ran the 5K and was 6th overall, 3rd in her bracket. She had her fastest mile time ever in a race as well. Selene T garnered 1st place while playing 13 games! in the EVP beach volleyball tourney.  Vero and Kirsten placed 3rd and Wesley 4th.  Congratulations ladies.  Way to represent CFWSC.

Workout:

5 Rounds

5 Squat Cleans 155/100#

5 Handstand Pushups

10 Pullups (C2B, duh)

Post WOD and score to Comments.