Rips and rope burns

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Jun 4, 2009
My daughter is having a really hard time with her rips and rope burn. We recently moved to a new gym where they aren't allowed to use their feet to go up the rope, the other gym did rope maybe once a week.

She was hysterical last week with the pain from the rope burn, other than the obvious what can I do to help prevent it?

Now as far as rips go, she's the same way. Got some really big rips and obviously painful, but at level 3/4 they don't use grips. Again, other than the obvious answer, what can I do to help her through it?

Thank you!
Feb 26, 2007
Speak to her coach straight away, they don't want her in pain either. Taping her hands might hurt, grips wouldn't help at all. SHe needs to take a break from the rope until it is healed, think bacteria from all those hands on that rope. ICK!
Jun 4, 2009
Okay thank it's won't be strange that I tell her about the issues? Being at the new gym I often worry that if I bring something up they will think my daughter is a little baby, when she really isn't. She's just new to it all.
Feb 26, 2007
Oh no, a coach will want to know. Especially if she is crying and in pain. Ice packs when she gets home will always help when hands are red and sore from bars and ropes.

As for the rips, keep them clean, put cold teabags on for a while. Putting polysporin (you can buy it with topical anasthetic) on and she can always put vit e cream on under socks to sleep in, it really helps heal thing up. DO NOT clip of the skin flap, it is there to help protect until the new skin begins to form.

Her hands will toughen up, it just takes a little time. The first rip is a sign of a true gymnast.

Dallas Gym Mom

My daughter has very tender skin and really suffered with rips. She got a little tin of that Burt's Bees Hand Salve and it really helped. She just put it on the rip once her hand was healed.
Udder Creme works great too.


Proud Parent
Jan 10, 2009
New Zealand
Is the rope burn on her thighs as well? My DS climbs the rope in pike position (legs both to one side) rather than straddle. He is quicker (4.9 seconds) than his sister who climbs straddle (14.6 seconds!). My DD uses a piece of muslin tied around her wrist and then around her fingers for bars sometimes (popular amongst European gymnasts)- also always uses chalk before climbing rope. Tough, calloused palms are the signs of a good gymnast - it just can be painful getting to that point.


Proud Parent
Aug 16, 2008
I make my daughter "tape grips" when she has a really bad rip.

I take a good athletic tape, fold it over several times in about a 5-6 inch strip, and then cut a square out of the top portion of it to make a hole for her middle finger. The folded piece of tape lies over the center of the hand (down the middle of the hand under the middle finger)and then we wrap tape around the whole hand to keep the "grip" in place.

Now, I'll tell you, she HATES wearing them because she says they make her do bad on bars but when she has a bad open rip she really needs to have something over it and they do NOT give days off bars to "rest" rips.

My dd once had the honor of having "THE biggest rip the head coach had ever seen". It was huge and nasty and very painful. We just kept it taped during gym, covered during school and open at night to get air to it. Ahhh...rips and rope burn...the sign of a real gymnast!;)


Jul 5, 2007
Where is the rope burn? I've only ever gotten rope burn from climbing with feet, which I probably haven't done in years now (climbing in pike is faster for me). But sometimes we had to do pike once and then without coming down do a second with feet, and it would always scrape the top of my foot.

I haven't seen too many problems with rope burn on the hands except from sliding...maybe if she's not used to climbing with no feet, her hands are kind of slipping part of the way and she is sliding?

I probably wouldn't let a kid out of rope climb for rips, honestly. Or, I should say, the thought would probably never occur to me. When I was doing gymnastics, this was never really a consideration. The surfaces aren't any more germ ridden than any other surface in the gym, to my thinking...fresh wounds should be properly covered at any rate. Maybe if they had just gotten it, but I'm not sure. With all the bars and rope conditioning, you'd be out of half the exercises for a rip. It would have to be an unusual situation for me to decide that. Most likely I would tape their hand and supervise their rope climbing more closely, perhaps modifying the exercise to be sure they were only climbing as high as they can without sliding (very important consideration when teaching rope climb to younger kids). But in any case you should talk to the coach, she is probably too young and overwhelmed by taking in the new situation to do it herself. It's not out of line to inquire about something like this, you can just present it as "Daughter is having problems with rips and rope burn on her hands, what would you recommend for this?"


Sporty, very impressive strong kids. Please direct them to my gym in Northern California at your convenience. ;) Especially, your boy. Our fastest on team does it up the rope in 5.4s ( 15' ish rope ) with feet but can do it under 10 without legs ( starting from straddle but letting legs just hang ).


If the rope burn is on her inner thighs - i.e. she's using her legs but not her feet to climb - those little velour gymnastics shorts can help. My dd has never had rope burn from going up but if you aren't careful coming down, it can happen.
Jun 4, 2009
If the rope burn is on her inner thighs - i.e. she's using her legs but not her feet to climb - those little velour gymnastics shorts can help. My dd has never had rope burn from going up but if you aren't careful coming down, it can happen.

That is where she has them but the shorts aren't helping. However today went better and she used her feet more than her inner thighs.
Jan 9, 2008
My daughter got rips for the first time this year practicing her kip she also has rope burn from climbing without legs. When my daughter started to whine about them I bribed her and told her she was working really hard and I gave her money for her IGC account she is saving for next year for every rip she got but she was not allowed to complain eventually she has gotten used to it. It is just a tough sport and I think sometimes coaches push them to see if they can handle it.


I agree with gymdog. Rope burn usually occurs when the hands slip down the rope. We always tell the kids not to slide their hands down the rope, must always lift hand then move down and regrip.
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