Hand Prep - the Tape Grip

Nothing is worse than seeing a large number of pull ups on the whiteboard right after your hands have healed up from a callus tear.  But before you resign your hands to a bloody mess or switch to jumping pull ups out of fear - know there is another way.  No, I am not talking about gloves.  Gloves cause slipping and keep you from developing the calluses that will protect your hands during other activities in and outside the gym.  I am talking about making gymnastics style tape grips.

Tape grips are a bit of an art, so practice makes perfect.  You can also keep your practice grips in your gym bag so you can have them on the ready, just in case.  Remember, a hand tear is an injury that requires rest and recovery.  Knowing how to prevent such an injury is part of coming prepared - so give these a shot.

1. Cut a long strip of tape (if it is too short, the grips will not work).  Fold the tape strip length-wise leaving about an eighth of an inch of the sticky side exposed.

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2.  Take your tape strip and fold it over on itself leaving a little loop big enough for a finger to fit through at one end.

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3. Take another long strip of tape (a couple inches shorter than the last) and fold it over the previous strip. This extra strip will reinforce the old strip and keep it from splitting in half.

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You just created a tape grip. I recommend keeping a few in a zip-lock bag in your gym bag just in case.

4. Place the hole of the grip over your finger.   Make sure it fits snuggly.  Use multiple grips on one hand to cover an injured area if necessary.  Do not, however, create the tape "glove."

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5. To secure your grips, pull the end down over the palm to your wrist. Wrap a third strip of around the wrap and your wrist. Make sure you still have the range of motion in your hand required to complete your workout.  Also make sure not to wrap the tape too tightly - circulation is a good thing.

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There you have it - this is the method I have always used, and what I would recommend for you.  Tape will help protect an existing wound from becoming worse, or keep you from tearing on a particularly brutal WOD.  But be judicious, using tape grips all the time falls into the category of "too much of a good thing" and can be just as limiting as wearing gloves.