Whilst every gymnast is encouraged from the very start of their training to ‘get a grip on their rips’, blisters are a huge part of life for all, whether you are climbing through the ranks or at the top of your game.
Blisters or rips are particularly painful, and without the correct prevention and hand care regime, they can easily bring your training regime to a standstill. Understanding how exactly rips happen and what preventative steps can be taken is important as a beginner or elite gymnast, whilst products like our Steroplast Blister Cushion Gel Plasters can help make your return to training a breeze.
Why do rips happen?
For those just starting out in the world of gymnastics, your hands may be too delicate to cope with the intense training required to master the rings and bars. Whilst gripping too tightly to apparatus in your quest to be the best can also cause rips. Elite performers aren’t exempt from sustaining hand injuries either, in fact, a build-up of calluses (areas of hard and thickened skin) can make rips a regular occurrence without the right care.
The skin on your hands after all is very delicate and intense training can cause the separation of skin layers on the palms of your hands and around the wrists. This separation will cause the skin to become blistered and painful to the touch.
Blisters begin life as hot spots, making them particularly tender, red and irritated. Increased friction causes the layers of skin under these hot spots to separate further with the voids in-between filling with fluid. The fluid creates increased pressure on the nerves in the hand resulting in an increased amount of pain.
How to prevent blisters
As with the prevention of many injuries, it’s all in the aftercare when it comes to preventing rips or blisters.After each and every workout be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before applying a moisturising lotion to the front and back of your hands, paying particular attention to the palms. Don’t forget about the wrists either as the skin here will experience a significant amount of friction and trauma during ring and bar sessions.
Take care of calluses that develop on the skin too, these hardened areas occur over time and through exposure to excessive friction and pressure. Failure to treat calluses will cause painful results and make it uncomfortable next time you hit the gym.
To uncover the calluses that could cause you difficulties in future training sessions, simply soak the hands in warm water for around 10 to 15 minutes. After this time you will see that the calluses will remain white whilst other, undamaged areas will stay pink. Use a pumice stone to remove calluses, however, do not over pumice as this will cause further damage.
Wearing gymnastic handguards and using high quality chalk products will also provide protection against the development of rips. Ensure that any handguards that you use however are fitted correctly, as using loose or tightly fitting guards will increase friction further resulting in more blisters.
Dealing with a rip
Unfortunately rips or blisters do occur and every gymnast at some point in their career will have sustained at least one. How you treat a rip however will increase recovery and get you back into training sooner rather than later.
Start by removing excess skin before washing your hands thoroughly with soap and clean, warm water. Avoid using hand lotion at this point, instead use an antibiotic ointment to promote healing. Apply the ointment regularly to provide further relief. Only resume the use of hand lotion after new skin has formed over the rip.
Your return to training
Steroplast Blister Cushion Gel Plasters can be used to protect painful blisters on the hands, heels, ankles and feet so that you can return to training following a rip. Unlike other blister protectors, these cushions use invisible hydro-gel technology, which is the latest innovation in foot and hand care. As well as protecting the delicate blistered area, the hypoallergenic plasters provide instant pain and pressure relief.
These cushioned plasters are designed especially for gymnastics, providing a discreet, transparent and cushioning effect that is particularly flexible, making your return to training even more comfortable.
This is our most popular handguard. It is our standard width handguard and uses 1 ½” strap with Velcro to attach the handguard to the wrist. The Velcro strap allows the gymnast to vary the adjustment on the wrist to their desire. In addition, it comes with a removable neoprene insert that helps pad the wrist and prevent wrist irritation. The handguard comes in sizes 00 to 5. This dowel handguard is recommended for gymnasts at any level of competitive gymnastics.
This basic palm handguard is designed for the recreational gymnast. This soft leather, no dowel grip with a velcro strap is designed to protect the palm of the hand. NOTE: Available in 2 different colours.
These are worn underneath the handguards on the wrist. Made in the United Kingdom from 100% pure cotton and woven elastics.
The materials and design ensure a really comfortable secure fit and easily absorbs perspiration unlike synthetic or mixed cotton material wristbands. They wash well, over and over again, so keep them clean and they will last longer!
A skin friendly, strong strapping tape for all situations and recommended for RipGrip:
The best quality most popular sports strapping tape, zinc oxide tape tears easily by hand along its length and width, without requiring scissors, whilst moulding to the contours of the body. Another benefit of this tape is that the zinc oxide adhesive is skin friendly.
REISPORT grips are made in Switzerland for many years the most popular in the world of gymnastics.
Popular proven handguard for High Bar. Choose Velcro or Buckle fastening. The handguard comes in sizes 0 to 4.
Bar loops are available in a range of sizes; stock sizes are from 23cm to 36cm but typical sizes are often around 28cm. Please ask your coach to size you up.
Rip Grip – Protection for Rips and Blisters during training for gymnastics, power lifting, crossfit, cross training, functional fitness, etc.
Instead of stuffing lumps of pit foam in grip holes, manique have created these simple, neat and effective “Finger Wedgies”.
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