Meet Kate Richardson:
Kate learned about hand rips at a young age. The two-time Canadian Olympic gymnast was already going through multiple rolls of athletic tape per week at the age of eight.
Although gymnasts wear grips when they perform on the bars, rips sometimes still happen, making bar routines painful, not to mention psychologically daunting.
Richardson remembers getting a major hand rip the day before she was to compete at the 2001 World Championships. “It was horrible. That rip was fresh for the competition – it was so raw,” she said.
She taped up, but the tape got in the way during her beam routine. More than anything, it messed with her head. “I felt so stupid because it was just a rip, but it was really distracting,” she said.
After that experience, Richardson took greater precautions when it came to hand care in order to avoid a repeat hand tear at another major competition.
Hand Care Tips from a gymnast:
Constantly using chalk, as well as washing your hands, leave them dry and often cracked, making them more susceptible to rips. Worst yet is when your rip get so dry that the rip itself begins to crack - then you’re stuck with a deep and painful rip within a rip.
RIPT’s DAILY DOSE is a perfect way to stay moisturized. Polysporin, vitamin E or Aloe Vera also work, but it’s tough to pack an Aloe plant around in your purse. DAILY DOSE - in its convenient stick form - can be kept in your purse or gym bag and doesn’t make a mess.
Let them breathe while you sleep!
Moisturize during the day, but when you sleep it’s better not to cover your hands in lotion and band-aids. Instead, apply a thin layer of DAILY DOSE before bed, and then let them air out while you sleep. The key is finding the right balance – not too moist, not too dry.
Alleviate the discomfort when you do rip
If you do rip, place QUICK FIX or a similar product, under your taped hands to alleviate some of the discomfort when your raw hands grab onto that bar. QUICK FIX is also useful for promoting healing and protecting against bacterial infections.
Most elite gymnasts use grips for their bar routines. Some CrossFit athletes also use them, but most gymnastics grips have dowels, which are illegal in CrossFit competitions. So make sure you buy grips without dowels – Rogue Fitness sells some good ones. (Check them out here).