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Old 08-19-2010, 04:27 AM   #1
Sebastian B. Vaneria
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Sweaty Hands/Lack of Grip Strength

I'm starting to get really frustrated with slippery hands serving as the limiting factor on many exercises. Since starting CrossFit about two years ago, my grip strength has always been sub-par. But, lately (since moving to hot/humid Washington, DC), I've noticed that it's the sweat, and not necessarily the lack of strength, that is causing the issue.

Yes! I use chalk. I have my own chalk and am obsessed with chalk.

Yesterday, and friend and I did a workout with hang cleans, knees-to-elbows, and double-unders. Sure, all three moves are taxing on grip/forearms, but I got to the point where the bar was too sweaty to even hold for more than one rep. The bar looked like a creamy mess of chalk and sweat. My friend was able to storm through without any problem! It was at that point that I realized that I needed to do a post on the forum.

Please advise on how to deal with the issue of sweating hands (even with chalk) serving as the limiting factor on movements. The issue usually manifests itself on high-rep olympic lifts, kettlebell movements, and anything where I'm hanging from a pull-up bar. Thank you.
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:31 AM   #2
Darla Powell
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Re: Sweaty Hands/Lack of Grip Strength

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Originally Posted by Sebastian B. Vaneria View Post
I'm starting to get really frustrated with slippery hands serving as the limiting factor on many exercises. Since starting CrossFit about two years ago, my grip strength has always been sub-par. But, lately (since moving to hot/humid Washington, DC), I've noticed that it's the sweat, and not necessarily the lack of strength, that is causing the issue.

Yes! I use chalk. I have my own chalk and am obsessed with chalk.

Yesterday, and friend and I did a workout with hang cleans, knees-to-elbows, and double-unders. Sure, all three moves are taxing on grip/forearms, but I got to the point where the bar was too sweaty to even hold for more than one rep. The bar looked like a creamy mess of chalk and sweat. My friend was able to storm through without any problem! It was at that point that I realized that I needed to do a post on the forum.

Please advise on how to deal with the issue of sweating hands (even with chalk) serving as the limiting factor on movements. The issue usually manifests itself on high-rep olympic lifts, kettlebell movements, and anything where I'm hanging from a pull-up bar. Thank you.
Maybe rub a little antiperspirant on them and wipe off the excess then chalk? Or get a grip exerciser so you can overpower the clammy mitts?
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:05 AM   #3
Lawrence "Bo" Boland III
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Re: Sweaty Hands/Lack of Grip Strength

Arm you sure that it's not just your other sweat coming down your forearm onto your hands? You could try those silly arm-band like compression things that Allen Iverson uses. Totally serious.

Like this? http://www.customsportssleeves.com/D...leeve_p_8.html (WFS)
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:04 AM   #4
Shane Jensen
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Re: Sweaty Hands/Lack of Grip Strength

Keep a towel close at hand and wipe the bar down real quick when it gets bad.
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:35 AM   #5
Ben Moskowitz
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Re: Sweaty Hands/Lack of Grip Strength

You could try climbing antipersperant like this one:
http://www.ghostgrip.com/Sports/Climbing-Grip.aspx

WFS
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:12 AM   #6
Brent Eno
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Re: Sweaty Hands/Lack of Grip Strength

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Originally Posted by Lawrence "Bo" Boland III View Post
Arm you sure that it's not just your other sweat coming down your forearm onto your hands? You could try those silly arm-band like compression things that Allen Iverson uses. Totally serious.

Like this? http://www.customsportssleeves.com/D...leeve_p_8.html (WFS)
These, or just get regular wrist bands. Each time you let go of the bar to rest, grab a towel and quickly wipe your hands off.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:22 AM   #7
Sebastian B. Vaneria
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Re: Sweaty Hands/Lack of Grip Strength

These are all great tips. I like the idea of keeping a towel close by the best; wrist bands aren't a bad idea either. I just hate having to rely on more equipment. That being said, I hate even more the fact that sweat becomes the limiting factor when performing high rep exercises with a barbell or pull-up bar. Do other folks have similar issues? For example, the other day my affiliate (CrossFit DC) asked us to a max rep set of kipping pull-ups. I got to about 25 and then had to come off the bar because I was only holding on by my finger tips -- my strength was still there.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:31 AM   #8
Aushion Chatman
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Re: Sweaty Hands/Lack of Grip Strength

Second the wrist bands...SUPER CHEAP and great, especially if you have handstand push-ups in the wod as sweat from EVERYWHERE will eventually reach your hands...For me wrist bands are indispensable on a WOD like "Nate"...
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:29 AM   #9
Jason Peacock
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Re: Sweaty Hands/Lack of Grip Strength

Yep,. wrist bands and a small towel (or I use my cotton t-shirt, which is why I prefer cotton over wicking fabrics).

Also, training your grip strength (farmer's walk, etc - do some searches) will allow you to hold on better in spite of the sweat. When hanging, the bar should be in your fingers, not palm, and so the strength is mostly from grip and not as much from friction.

Try training with some a loose pullup up - put a sleeve of PVC pipe around the pullup bar (slit it lengthwise), it'll spin freely and add some good challenge and grip training
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:39 AM   #10
Joshua Alaniz
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Re: Sweaty Hands/Lack of Grip Strength

I use fingerless gloves. They are absorbent and help a lot. I don't think this violates the spirit of crossfit
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