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Jun 21, 2008
Region 3
Everyone, I need your help. I am an optional gymnast and cannot get my hands to stop ripping. My coach is totally out of ideas and I'm getting rather frustrated. I've pretty much learned just to ignore the pain, but this is getting ridiculous. My hands were dripping blood, no exageration, the last 7 practices. (last week and mon. and tues of this week.) We have tried iodine soaking, salt, lotion, no lotion, taping, filing, cutting, taking time to let them heal, etc, and NOTHING has worked. I can't remember a day that i've been on bars without my hands litteraly ripping apart. Now that they have just ripped, there is a deep crack in one that just keeps splitting longer and larger, and I am prob not going to do anying swinging on bars today to let it heal. No one has any ideas left. I have read past forums, looked all over the internet, magazines, my coach has even called other coaches in the state. HELP! I have a meet next weekend and it would be really nice to compete without bloody hands... Thank you so much!

1...Do you wear grips for bar training ?
2...Has anyone put sugar water and then chalk on the bars where you place your hands ?
I have made my gymnasts in the past pairs of 98 cent grips to cover rips. Take white athletic training tape and the piece should be the length from your fingertips to your elbow. Fold the tape in half, and at the folded end fold again about one inch. Take a pair of scissors and make a small cut in that fold to make room for your finger. place your finger through the hole and the rest of the tape will fall down the palm of your hand. Take another piece of tape and wrap that around your wrist to hold the tape in place but not real tight or not real loose. Hope you understand my explanation.

If a gymnast rips i give her 9 - 12 vitamin E soft capsules. They are to put the contents (poke tiny hole in the end and squeeze) of 1 capsule on their hands before the go to bed and place a clean sock over the hands for the night, rub another capsule on in the morning before school, another after school and repeat for 3 has seemed to help my gymnasts over the years

Have you tried the combination of Preparation H (any brand would work) and Neosporin (or Triple Antibiotic Ointment). This used to work well for my dd before she used grips.

Sounds very painful, good luck!
I had the same problem! I got around 13 dime size rips in a week. I'm not sure if you can afford to do this but take an entire week off from bars. Each day, use the vitamin pills previously mentioned, use lots of lotion and when the calluses start to rebuild, shave them down with a razor. I always ripped because the calluses got to big and then just ripped off completely.
Yes, i just got new grips to see if larger ones would help and they did for about a week. it was incredible! i didn't rip for one whole week, and then my hand exploded with a blood blister in one routine and ruined my clean white grips. they have continued to rip in the same spots ever since. No, i haven't tried sugar water, and i really can't afford to take a week off. i usually keep the callouses filed or shaved down, but haven't tried vitamin e. i have used prep. H and neosporn, but they don't seem to help. i have tried tape grips multiple times, but it doesn't help alot, and i can't get enough friction between them an my grips so i don't like them at all. i am a bit finicky about my grips and bars because last dec. i peeled off and fractured my back so... i guess you could imagine. thank you very much, but im am still searching for more suggestions...
One thing that worked really well for me once was putting a hot tea bag on the rip. I had ripped 3 times in the same spot the weekend before a competition, and was still bad at practice two days before the competition. My coach suggested the tea bag and by the time the competition rolled around I didn't even need any tape. The tea bag stings a lot but works really well.
Are you covering your hands at night, the Prep H, Neosporin, or Vaseline on the rips at night and then cover your hands with some gloves or socks.

Good Luck!
My daughter is a L7 and has what she calls "chicken hands"...they rip whenever she seems to even LOOK at bars! We use 'Bag Balm' (square green can), which you can get at the pharmacy (non-prescription), and put socks on her hands at night. Bag Balm is almost the same as 'Hand-e Balm', except it's less expensive, and there seems to be a healing quality to the Bag Balm...our daughter's hands heal virtually overnight for the small cuts and rips, and within two days with the huge ones. Hope this helps!
I would sometimes tape a balloon to my hand along with the tape grip and I remember it working relatively well for me. I also recommend the bag balm and Vitamin E capsules that other posters have mentioned.
People rip for different reasons, so there really isn't a set in stone remedy for everyone. Just keep experimenting and eventually you will find something that at least helps the problem.
Back in my gymnastics days, I ripped like crazy too.

I put comfrey ointment on all my rips, before practice, after practice, at home, several times a day (it's an herbal remedy known since the dawn of time for helping skin heal), then started the taping procedure:

You know those knuckle bandaids made of cloth that are made for hands? Some look like H's some look like butterflies? We covered my rips with those, one for each (which sometimes meant a LOT of bandaids), then used thin tape looped around each finger so that there was an X of tape over each hotspot for a rip, then used wider tape around the middle of my hand to hold the thin tape in place.

I still ripped (and bled all over creation at State of all places), but nowhere near as badly.
If you can't find the "hand balms" referred to in previous posts... Aquaphor (thick, greasy petroleum type cream found at drugstores) works great as well. DD puts that on, then wears thin, cotton gloves to bed. Her hands are so soft in the a.m. Also, if you have thick calluses that are raised, use a pumice stone to file those babies down. The worst thing that happened to DD was when one of those completely peeled off in practice. It was DEEP and WIDE and took a LONG time to heal!
to answer your first question i could do that in a second!!! I train level 6 now and when i did level 5 i did not wear grips and i did fine! Your team should start wearing grips in the summer when training for level 6. It is good to get the girls to start using grips at the same time so they do not feel left out if they are struggling with grips:)

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