PDA

View Full Version : Pull-up bars and calluses?


Mike Darley
06-13-2009, 02:10 PM
Pretty much everytime I do pull-ups I either get a blister or a callus from a previous blister tears off. I know, I know. The typical advice is just tape it, glue it, suck it up and eventually your hands will toughen up. But I've been doing CF for about 4 months now, and it seems like I'm having more issues with this than the average person.

This leads me to wonder if the issue isn't my pull-up bar itself. The bar diameter is 3/4" and it is wrapped with some gaffing tape. Up until recently I was using chalk for pull-ups, which I heard was a no-no, so I stopped. I'm just wondering if there's something about the bar itself that might hurting my hands. Or should I just give it more time? Thanks, in advance.

Brian Collins
06-13-2009, 06:16 PM
Well I'll probably get made fun of or flamed for this but my buddies wife just sent some "lynx grips" to us here in Iraq as our hands are continuously getting more and more torn up. The first time we used them (for pull ups) we were amazed. They're basically just oval shaped rubber pads that grip both bar and hands and they reduce strain and pain on your hands by about 95%.

These work for some weight lifting as well but for most movements, we just use chalk. For pullups though, they're just about invaluable.

They can be purchased on bodybuilding.com *WFS* and cost about 10 bucks or so. Seriously made us so much happier as now our hands will be able to heal and we'll be that much more effective.

Hope this helps and I understand if everyone thinks these aren't manly! HAHA

Carl Hill
06-13-2009, 07:19 PM
I had the same problem, but eventually (you have to be patient, it may take a few more months) your hands will callus over and the calluses will just peel and callus over again, but there is no pain or exposed underskin. Another thing you can do in the meantime is switch to more of a finger grip and not have as much palm on the bar.

Brian Solar
06-13-2009, 07:42 PM
Another thing you can do in the meantime is switch to more of a finger grip and not have as much palm on the bar.

This helps a lot.

Mike Darley
06-13-2009, 07:57 PM
Another thing you can do in the meantime is switch to more of a finger grip and not have as much palm on the bar.

Yeah, I've been doing that, but now I've got the same problem on my fingers. After today's WOD my hands and fingers are hamburger. :yikes: Oh well, I guess I'll just have to give it time.

Mike Darley
06-13-2009, 08:01 PM
Well I'll probably get made fun of or flamed for this but my buddies wife just sent some "lynx grips" to us here in Iraq as our hands are continuously getting more and more torn up. The first time we used them (for pull ups) we were amazed. They're basically just oval shaped rubber pads that grip both bar and hands and they reduce strain and pain on your hands by about 95%.

These work for some weight lifting as well but for most movements, we just use chalk. For pullups though, they're just about invaluable.

They can be purchased on bodybuilding.com *WFS* and cost about 10 bucks or so. Seriously made us so much happier as now our hands will be able to heal and we'll be that much more effective.

Hope this helps and I understand if everyone thinks these aren't manly! HAHA

I think I might give these a try. We can be unmanly together. Also, thank you for your service.

Carl Hill
06-13-2009, 09:27 PM
I think I might give these a try. We can be unmanly together. Also, thank you for your service.

You could pick up a pair of fingerless gloves at walmart or dick's. I've known a couple people to do that if you don't feel like ordering that thing.

Brian Collins
06-15-2009, 06:03 PM
Just my opinion, but using gloves of almost any sort is pretty unhelpful for pullups, especially the fingerless weightlifting glove type.

The Lynx grips can also be bought at certain Academy Sports stores. I don't know why they aren't at all of them but I sent my wife to go look for some and she was unsuccessful.

If you're seriously sick of having painful hands all the time from doing countless pull ups, I strongly recommend the lynx grips. Like I said before, they aren't good for everything, but for pull ups, which is where most of the blisters, calluses, and general pain comes from, they work great.

Stephen Tomilson
06-15-2009, 07:04 PM
I've thought of getting the Lynx Grips things, and my hands are really torn up right now. Gloves have never really seemed to help to much, either. How do the lynx grips work with kipping?

Brian Collins
06-15-2009, 07:11 PM
They work great! The material is rubbery and even when you're sweating a lot they don't make your hands slip off. I was doing muscle ups on the pull up bar the other day in about 109 degree heat or so...

Blair Robert Lowe
06-16-2009, 12:42 AM
If those lynx grips are what I saw at CF Oakland it seems they eventually wear out or will slip sometimes.

A no-no for using chalk? WTF? :confused: If it's too much of a mess, use a climber's pouch ( I've been meaning to buy some of these for the kids as I think it will be less mess, less chalk used ) and bring a towel.

Rayna McGinnis
06-16-2009, 10:48 AM
Why exactly is chalk a no-no for pull ups? I have NEVER heard this before.

I am a chalk addict (a rock climber) and have almost always used it for pull ups and heavy lifts. It works great!

Eric Montgomery
06-16-2009, 12:42 PM
The "chalk is a no-no" talk Mike mentioned probably came from this thread (http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=47456) (WFS). Rogue Fitness's owner talks about how he banned chalk except for a few circumstances, and immediately saw blisters and hand rips decrease.

EDIT: Those Lynx grips look like a good option--anyone have any idea if they'd be allowed at the Games? I'm guessing anything aside from plain tape is a no-no since you don't see anyone wearinggloves or wraps or straps. I wouldn't want to get used to them then find out last-minute that they were banned.

Karin Jonczak
06-16-2009, 01:37 PM
The "chalk is a no-no" talk Mike mentioned probably came from this thread (http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=47456) (WFS). Rogue Fitness's owner talks about how he banned chalk except for a few circumstances, and immediately saw blisters and hand rips decrease.

EDIT: Those Lynx grips look like a good option--anyone have any idea if they'd be allowed at the Games? I'm guessing anything aside from plain tape is a no-no since you don't see anyone wearinggloves or wraps or straps. I wouldn't want to get used to them then find out last-minute that they were banned.

Once I get past this commercial - http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/videos/2006/lynxperformancegrips.wvx (WFS) I may consider a pair...

Colin McNulty
06-17-2009, 04:53 AM
One of the reasons calluses rip, is you've allowed them to get too big. After a bath or shower, when they are soft, make sure file or cut them down. The thicker the callus, the more likely it is to rip. Callus maintenance is a must.

Meghan Reid
06-17-2009, 08:27 AM
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but what's wrong with using chalk?

:shrug:

Eric Montgomery
06-17-2009, 11:06 AM
Take a look at the thread I linked to in post #13. Lots of different opinions on it, but Rogue seems to have found a pretty solid cause-and-effect.

Evelyn Scarborough
06-17-2009, 12:04 PM
I will second the Lynx grips. Found them at Academy Sports where the weight lifting gloves were and they were on sale for $5. I was looking for a solution for my mother who is a surgeon and cannot afford to have ripped hands. She finds them very helpful.

I have also tried them myself and they were comfortable and did not slip, especially if I used a hook grip. I usually end up not needing them though as I have been able to build some solid calluses. On the other hand, I could afford to tear my hands now and then in the process.

Mat Frankel
06-17-2009, 12:47 PM
At the north east qualifier they had brand new pullup bars, peoples hands were getting shreaded. I saw someone using the Lynx grips and they were fine, it didn't take too much time off their performance but if your doing a Cindy kind of workout, it might be annoying to pick them up and throw them down after every round.

John Seiler
06-17-2009, 01:42 PM
Well I'll probably get made fun of or flamed for this but my buddies wife just sent some "lynx grips" to us here in Iraq as our hands are continuously getting more and more torn up... Hope this helps and I understand if everyone thinks these aren't manly! HAHA

Anyone who ISN'T in harms way and wants to flame you or question your manhood can blow it out their kazoo. :D

Thanks for your service Brian!

Jason Scheffler
06-17-2009, 02:53 PM
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but what's wrong with using chalk?

:shrug:


Nothings wrong with chalk Meghan. It's getting a bad rep for "causing" tears lately. Proper care will prevent tears more then anything else will.

Meghan Reid
06-18-2009, 08:12 AM
Yeah, funny how right after I posted this I tore my callus off doing max kipping pullups yesterday. I think the problem was not the callus, but that I got a fresh blister right beneath it and didn't let the blister heal before I did MORE pullups. Stupid decision. Oh well. :mad:

Steven Low
06-18-2009, 10:59 PM
IMO.

1. Let them heal. If you try to go back too early you risk retearing easily.

Treat them as INJURIES. Not things that you wear with honor or whatever. They detract from your workouts.

2. Shave down when they get too big

3. chalk is fine IMO.

4. Stop gripping the bar too hard

Chris Puckett
06-22-2009, 05:55 PM
I have been extremely frustrated with this, as I ripped badly again after the pullup WOD this past Sunday. I have been ripping on nearly every major pullup workout over the last two months. I use a lot of chalk. I also shave down my calluses. I bought a pedi egg, broke the metal cheese grader like thing off and bent it in half. I can shave all of my calluses off in minutes, it works better than anything else. I do this regularly. I changed my grip for more finger and closed my thumb for a hook grip. The only other last things I can do are stop using the chalk, which I will gladly do, or try the grips.

Steven Low
06-22-2009, 06:57 PM
I have been extremely frustrated with this, as I ripped badly again after the pullup WOD this past Sunday. I have been ripping on nearly every major pullup workout over the last two months. I use a lot of chalk. I also shave down my calluses. I bought a pedi egg, broke the metal cheese grader like thing off and bent it in half. I can shave all of my calluses off in minutes, it works better than anything else. I do this regularly. I changed my grip for more finger and closed my thumb for a hook grip. The only other last things I can do are stop using the chalk, which I will gladly do, or try the grips.
1. don't hook grip
2. stop grabbing the bar as tight. you want to apply just as much force as you need to hang on
3. too much chalk can be counterproductive

James Pearce
06-23-2009, 07:19 AM
Be careful if you decide to go with the fingerless gloves. My hands get really sweaty, so the gloves actually got wet and started slipping (this was during cindy, btw). By the end of it, all 4 of my calluses on both hands tore off, and I had bled through my gloves. My hands had to stay bandaged for a week, and I could barely do a bunch of daily tasks. I have done cindy 20 times with just chalk, and had no major problems.

Josh Knoechel
06-23-2009, 10:01 PM
Related question:
I rock climb a lot and almost never tear on my palms. I did Cindy this week though with a dead hang to gymnastics kip and annihilated my finger pads in between my knuckles. If it didn't tear it blistered - a couple are blood blisters.

I know to shave the palm callouses and grip with my fingers but is there anyway to limit finger pad tearing? I'm not gripping too tight - I don't usually even wrap my thumbs.

Travis Rask
06-29-2009, 10:32 AM
One of the best things I've seen so far is the use of aluminum baseball bat gripping on pullup bars. It's the spongy stuff, usually found as stock on all aluminum baseball bats. Works VERY well, for me at least. Not sure where you could get it, probably any big box sports store or online.

NOT to be confused with hockey tape or medical tape (which baseball players often use for their bats). That stuff will destroy your hands quicker than anything else.

Blair Robert Lowe
06-29-2009, 08:45 PM
Rip has advocated doing pullups one the finger pads rather than the palms. While you can get away from big palm rips, you do end up getting the pad rips or blood blisters. Damned one way or the other, you choose.

In time they may toughen up but you also have to make sure you aren't death gripping on the finger pads or you'll get the same result if you are squeezing too hard with the palms.

Josh Knoechel
06-30-2009, 04:06 AM
Yeah that makes sense. I always hold in my fingers though and they aren't getting any tougher after all the years of rock climbing in a gym. Like I said, I'm definitely not holding too tight because I don't use my thumbs.

I suppose they are inevitable without some artificial way to pad the bar which I don't find very appealing either.

Eric Lester
07-05-2009, 02:01 PM
Fingerless gloves make the bar thicker, which is going to tax your grip and limit how many pullups you can do in a high rep set. As someone else mentioned as well, you are likely to rip and bleed through them.

Josh Knoechel
07-05-2009, 07:00 PM
Just got back from Nicole. I actually think the problem is the pull-up bar at the local track. It's thin and smooth and is much harder on my hands. I only tear when I'm up there.