WAG Adult Gymnastics? Grips? Rips?

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Nov 4, 2019
Hi all! First time poster, long time lurker here. I just recently got into adult (still not sure if I’m an adult though haha) gymnastics after doing years of rec gym as a kid. I know there are a million and one threads on healing rips so they’re good to go on bars again, but how do you care for them after they’ve hardened? I got my first decent sized one in years and it’s been a week so it’s hardened, but I’ve still got a red, slightly blistered, shallow crater from the rip (my skin heals really slowly from any abrasion). Not looking to be a hand model here, but just heal it all the way so it doesn’t catch & re-rip. Also, does anyone have a holy grail or tried a few and have a favorite rip ointment/balm/salve? I did tea bags, Neosporin & Vaseline w/ a sock, but did not think it helped much. Would grips help prevent ripping? I know I still need to build up calluses as I work on kips, tap swings & baby giants/long hand pullovers, but could they help in the future? Palm grips? Pre-dowel? Dowel? I never used any sort. Sorry for the super long post, getting back into gymnastics is so much harder as you get older! I don’t know how Chellsie Memmel makes everything look so easy!
Nov 10, 2008
Adult gymnast here--Honestly, when my rips get to that point, I usually just coat them with new skin before practice. Make sure any raised, dead skin is trimmed, and then if I'm worried it's not healed enough for bars put new skin on it and I'm usually good. It also works on rips that aren't very far in the healing process, but it does sting! My rips seem to heal fastest when I just focus on making sure the healing skin doesn't get too dried out and crack open again--usually just a band-aid and neosporin. I've tried everything, but none of it really makes that much of a difference for me, so I stick to the easy option.

Getting grips did help reduce the frequency and severity of rips for me, but it doesn't eliminate them (and sometimes it just moves them to a different part of the hand). At a similar skill level, I worked my way up--started just with tape grips, but I was ripping the tape multiple times per practice. Tried palm gards, but really didn't like them even after a few weeks of use, so I got fitted for dowel grips. It took some getting used to, but now I love them.


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Jan 4, 2008
Use a pumice stone to sand back the raised parts of your calluses so they don’t catch and rip further.

If you have an active rip, tape a deflated ballon to your hand, over the rip. The insides of the balloon will rub together, and reduce the friction of the skin rubbing to the bar.

With kids, most gyms have a specific skill or level that the kids must achieve before they can get grips. A common one is, to have achieved the kip. This is because it is important for kids to learn to grip the bar and get the feel for gripping the bar before getting grips.

However, for an adult most coaches would have no issue with getting grips straight away. Adults weigh more than kids, so there is more pressure on the hands when in bars and they may get rips more easily. As an adult I would go straight to dowel grips.
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