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Josh E Lundgaard 08-24-2007 09:08 AM

Is it the Bar?
I feel a little bad putting this in the injury section - from the outside it seems kind of minor, but this has been a serious pain in my side (errr...hand).

Every time, and I do mean every time, that I do a workout using pull ups I end up ripping a callous off of one or both hands, which takes 3-4 days to heal, and usually gets re-torn a couple of times along the way.

I have searched the board, appropriated my wife's fancy callous file which I use every day after a shower, I treat each new wound with a nice slurry made of salt and a little hot water in order to toughen up the skin, and STILL I rip and tear.

Which brings me (and you, oh patient reader) to the point of this post.

Could it be the bar?

Every bar around me (I'm at a recruit training base - LOTS of pull up bars) is covered with several layers of athletic tape, in various stages of repair. When I was at the cert in Santa Cruz, I noticed that the bars there are bare metal.
Could my whole problem be that I am using taped bars? I realize that an instinctual response would be "of course that's not the problem - thousands of recruits use them every day", but please remember, I kip for all I've got - not many others do (I'm a civilian. I don't have to dead hang, dangit!). And this problem has increased as I have gotten better/faster at kipping.

Tim Donahey 08-24-2007 09:12 AM

Re: Is it the Bar?
I've heard that taped bars will tear up your hands more, but try using chalk on your hands. that will help.

Ben Kaminski 08-24-2007 09:49 AM

Re: Is it the Bar?
I have seen chalk lead to rips more than no chalk, so I don't know what to say about that. Personally I don't use chalk, and I prefer bare metal. Fresh athletic tape really grips your skin and can increase rips, but older tape (when it turns brown from other people's skin cells) is less sticky, maybe it increases the rips too.

I think you are doing the right thing with the callous rasp after a shower, that helps me a lot.

I would also look at perfecting your kip form if you think that it needs it, because kipping like a madman puts more force on your hands than an efficient kip.

Hope this helps!

Steven Low 08-24-2007 11:02 AM

Re: Is it the Bar?
The better grip you have on the bar, the more likely you are to rip... obviously or maybe not much so.

In any case, when you feel like you are about to rip hop down and stretch on your hands for a bit. Basically you want to go through a week or so of almost to the point of ripping which will toughen up your hands immensely.

Make sure you are shaving your calluses down one way or another.

Craig Brown 08-24-2007 11:30 AM

Re: Is it the Bar?
It's the tape, almost certainly.

Craig Van De Walker 08-24-2007 12:05 PM

Re: Is it the Bar?
This may or may not help. Consider where the bar is when your hand is around it.

Try to grip the bar more towards your fingers instead of deep in your palm.

Yes it is closer to making you lose your grip but that is where the bar wants to rest in my hands when I am kipping hard. ie when I start with my grip tight in middle of my hands, by the time I have kipped for 10 or so it is now at the lowest digit of my fingers. I then continue without incident.

I find when my hands hurt or when I am recovering from a tear I just start with my grip lower, if that makes sense. May help, may not.

I hate taped bars!

Josh E Lundgaard 08-24-2007 12:52 PM

Re: Is it the Bar?
Good thoughts so far - Craig, I've been working on moving the grip further down - I agree, it usually ends up there anyway.
Steven - Hadn't thought of paying attention to the direction that I am shaving my callouses. Is any one direction better than the other (all up, all down, or all to the side)? One other question, pertaining to using salt to toughen the raw skin - how long do you leave it on?

I mentioned this to my boss/workout partner, and we're going to strip down the two bars we use most often and hook up one with fresh, smooth tape and try and leave one bare (if we can get all of the tape gunk off). We'll just do a little empirical research of our own!

Craig Brown 08-24-2007 02:34 PM

Re: Is it the Bar?

Did you ever try to shovel with that old shovel that Dad taped up? The one where if you didn't use gloves it just tore you up? I clearly remember that shovel, and my money is on the tape- it's just a friction issue.

Tim Donahey 08-24-2007 03:17 PM

Re: Is it the Bar?
Removing Calluses (WFS): [url][/url]

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