[Edit: The second post in this series is now up, detailing my experiments with this and other approaches to hand care.]
Maybe it’s just me.
It seems that no matter how well I take care of the callouses on my hands – especially before a pull-up oriented workout – I will get to the last set and my hands tear. And as macho and <shout>CROSSFIT</shout> as it momentarily makes me feel, the reality is that it hurts and takes ages to heal properly.
So for the last few weeks I have been experimenting with some gymnastic palm guards. These are simply a strip of leather with finger holes in them that serve to take the brunt of the friction off my hands.
Wow! They really work. No more tears, and I am actually ‘enjoying’ pull-ups for the first time ever.
If you are looking to get yourself a pair (and if your hands are susceptible to blisters and tearing then I would almost recommend it), there are a couple of UK based options available to you.
Gymnasticsexpress.co.uk – This was where I bought mine. They cost less than £10 and have seemed fairly resilient so far. I went for the ‘Palm Guard‘ (as opposed to the Bar Guard). There is a subtle difference between the two, and the palm guard probably suits our needs better. They come in regular leather and ‘deer’.
Important: All the sizes are based on CHILDREN’S hands. There is a sizing chart buried away on the site, here. I ended up with the XL which should fit all but the biggest males hands. Dainty, lady hands should get into either a M or L.
Gymnasticsplanet.com – They do a similar model (Rainbow), but the sizing is limited to a maximum of L. This may be a little bit too small for most, but check the sizing guide first. Being leather they do stretch quite nicely.
Continental Sports – They also do version that looks ok. Annoyingly their website won’t let link directly to the page, so you’ll need to find it yourself! It’s under Gymnastics|Products|Handguards & Shoes|Handguards and is ref number HG-GK32. The good news is that they are available in a XL.