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Old 02-05-2008, 12:18 PM   #1
Nick Cruz
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Thumbs on top of bar for kip prevents ripped callous?

Im curious as to why I haven't had a ripped callous in a while despite the fact that I do just as many pull ups as before. I have started placing my thumb on top of the bar vs wrapping it around the bar and I have improved my kip from a full blown swing to more of a frog kick (not perfect yet but I can really tell when I get it because my numbers go way up).

Is it a combination thumb AND kip style or is it more one than the other?
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:37 PM   #2
Grant Scalf
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Re: Thumbs on top of bar for kip prevents ripped callous?

I think the main reason so many people get callouses while rapping the thumb is because they grip the bar so low in the palm and then let the skin bunch up and get pinched by the bar. This will form callouses that are almost beveled and therefore prone to ripping.

I think with placing the thumb on top of the bar deters people from placing their hands so high on the bar and then letting the skin fold up between the bar. Instead, you would be inclined to have the bar sit in your fingers.

I daresay the frog kick may also keep the hands from spinning on the bar so much, but I do not know. I haven't experimented enough with that type of kip. I need to...
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:43 PM   #3
Bryan Ragon
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Re: Thumbs on top of bar for kip prevents ripped callous?

I don't remember if I changed my grip at any point. But I use a thumbs over the bar grip for most of my pull-ups. Unless I'm changing it up due to fatigue and use an underhand grip, then the thumb wraps the bar.

But using thumb over, I've torn a pad once in the last six months (Thank you, Lynne). I tore several pads in the six months before that, I remember.

For what it's worth.
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Old 02-05-2008, 05:05 PM   #4
Patrick Donnelly
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Re: Thumbs on top of bar for kip prevents ripped callous?

If your hands are not wrapped tightly around the bar and you have a strong enough kip, there will be a moment of weightlessness as the vertex. That reduces the force on your hands at that moment.

A frog-kick kip would also cause less shear stress on your calluses (which rips them), since since the force on your hands would be merely up and down, rather than up, down, back, and forth.
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:38 PM   #5
Lenora Galitz-Pfeffer
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Re: Thumbs on top of bar for kip prevents ripped callous?

Would the frog kick kip be safer in terms of not falling off the bar?
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:59 PM   #6
Benjamin Murphy
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Re: Thumbs on top of bar for kip prevents ripped callous?

Also, regular callous maintainance helps.

http://www.beastskills.com/calluses.htm

Some good other body control stuff at that site too, look around. Work safe so far as I've seen.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:32 PM   #7
Justin Algera
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Re: Thumbs on top of bar for kip prevents ripped callous?

I do the thumb over the bar and a frog kick kip and definetely dont rip my calouses as much (but I still do on occasion) as I used to. Ive also started using a fatter bar. We have 2 different sized bars at cfnyc. I used to use the thinner one, but now use the thicker bar and that seems to help as well.
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:43 PM   #8
Jason Naubur
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Re: Thumbs on top of bar for kip prevents ripped callous?

What Grant said seems to be my experience too. I initially felt more comfortable using my palm to grip, but after hearing advice on this board I have started to use my fingers more. It felt less secure at first, but never proved to be so. Now I have small calluses on the pads of my fingers, but they haven't ripped yet. This has not only prevented torn calluses where the palm meets the finger, but also the much more painful (for me) mid-palm tear.

Also, I have been changing to a frog kick kip too, not even trying - it has just been happening sometimes. Maybe it is the evolution of the swing kip? While I usually use thumb over, it sometimes switches during the set.

Oh, and keeping my calluses from being huge lumps has helped. Sand or shave them regularly.


j
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:58 PM   #9
Nick Cruz
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Re: Thumbs on top of bar for kip prevents ripped callous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Naubur View Post
Oh, and keeping my calluses from being huge lumps has helped. Sand or shave them regularly.


j
Thats why I keep a cordless dremel right next to my pullup bar.

Breathing all this chalk and dead skin cant be good for me.

During the last Joshie I subbed kipping pullups + 30 second ring L sits for the L-pullups. During the pullups I made a conscious effort to try different hand styles. After 1 set of holding the bar at my palm I could feel the callouses getting angry with me. Switch back to the finger hold I was able to finish the workout without any adverse affects to the callouses.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:58 PM   #10
Brad Davis
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Re: Thumbs on top of bar for kip prevents ripped callous?

I've been waiting on a thread like this to ask a (hopefully not stupid) question.

I've been reading and following the Starting Strength program. One of the first things I learned in the DL chapter is that I actually didn't know how hold a bar.

Previously callouses formed on my hands in the DL and pullups mainly because I was placing the bar too close to the wrist, right in the middle of my palm. The bar *wants* to travel to the bottomed-out position on the fingers, so it folds the skin on the palm, near the fingers--the place where everybody shows their tears and callouses. During all of my SS workouts so far, I've placed the bar as Rippetoe recommends: already bottomed out so there's nothing to fold. Amazingly, I don't have even the slightest redness or irritation from holding the bar this way, which was a MASSIVE contrast to before. I didn't even have chalk.

Why do people not hold the bar this way for pullups also? It seems to me like it would help. However, SS is very popular around here, so many folks surely know about this way to grip a bar. I can't do pullups right now or I'd give it a shot.

So what gives?
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