Many of you are still recovering from ripped hands from kipping toes-to-bar or kipping pull-ups. There are many things you can do to avoid these rips everything from gloves, tape, to gymnastics grips. However this blog is going to focus solely on those things that you can improve with your technique to reduce the probability of ripping.

1. Get stronger. Your ability to do dead hang pull-ups will directly translate into improved kipping pull-ups. If you need a big kip or swing to do a pull up, you are more likely to rip.

2. Reduce the swing. The video below shows the impact on your hands when you swing too much. If you are jumping off a box to swing to your pull-up, you are just asking to rip your hands. To further improve your technique, focus on a nice tight gymnastics kip. Also in order to stay on the bar with a wild swing, you have to squeeze the bar harder … leading to more rips. I wish all of our pull-ups looked like this, Carl Paoli is awesome!

3. Reduce the friction. A week or two ago we were doing chest-to-bar pull-ups and I kept piling on the chalk. The chalk wasn’t really helping me do better pull-ups, but I kept adding more and more. I knew better, and needless to say I ripped. Find the right balance between enough friction to hold onto the bar and too much. If your palms are sweaty, try using a towel to dry them off instead of chalk.

4. Don’t squeeze the twinkie. It is important to build that grip strength. How do you do this? Lift heavy things, and hang from the bar. If you are squeezing the bar too hard, it increases the friction = ripping your hands. Don’t squeeze the cream filling out of the twinkie!

5. Grab the bar correctly. Here is a good free CrossFit Journal article that talks about the pros and cons of different grips. Article: Blood, Blisters, Sexism and Pull-ups by Par Larsson.

6. Build up slowly. Any gymnast will tell you that when they go from 1/2 hour of bar work to multiple hours … they rip! It takes time to build up the calluses so that rips don’t happen.

Workout of the Day

5 rounds of:

Max Rep Back Squat (225/155)

Max Rep Push-ups

-rest 3 minutes between rounds


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