Most of us that have spent a fair amount of time in the gym have experienced the infamous hand tear, callous rip, or a loss of a few layers of skin at some point in time, or like myself several times. You may look tough telling your non-gym friends about how you acquired such hellacious wounds after knocking out 100 pull-ups, but those wicked battle wounds are nothing to be excited about. Significant tears can put a stand still on your training and progress in the gym. Not only will you have a difficult experience trying to wash your hair, almost everything involving your hands for at least the following week becomes a challenge. That means pull-ups, toes to bar, Olympic lifts, kettle bell swings, and probably some other stuff that I can’t remember right now. If you choose not to avoid these movements following a bad tear, that means slower healing and a painful, unpleasant workout experience.
Hand maintenance is the key to preventing palm injury in the gym. High rep pull-ups, toes to bar, and plenty of other movements that show your hands very little sympathy will be there week to week, but these workouts can be completed all without a single tear. First a foremost, keep those callouses low. They can be filed down with a pumice stone, or even shaved down with a razor. It’s good to do either one every few days, especially following workouts that leave your hands heavily calloused. Now, if you are anything like myself, even with adequate hand care, 50+ reps of pull-ups or toes to bar will tear your hands to bits. When I walk into the gym and see a workout along these lines I take the time to tape my hands before starting the workout. Taping your hands is also a must if you plan on working out after a bad tear. There a million ways to do it, I recommend trying several different methods and finding one that works for you. Here is a great article with pictures on how to tape your hands by Calvin Sun: http://www.crossfitinvictus.com/blog/how-to-tape-your-hands/.