Think back to Crossfit five years ago. There’s 10 seconds left in the workout as you desperately hold on to that pull up bar to squeeze in as many reps as you can before the timer buzzes. The timer beeps and you hop off the bar. Looking down at your ripped, bloody palms, you think to yourself, “WOW! You can tell I worked so hard today.”
Well, times have changed. We now understand that bloody, torn up hands are a result of poor movement patterns and mechanics. The problem stems from the way we grip the pull up bar. It is not something that most of us often think about but if we begin with a weak grip on the bar, it can result in a weak movement and, ultimately, bloody hands.
Ideally, we should grip the pull up bar the same way we grip a barbell. A full grip with knuckles over the bar and the thumb wrapped around creating a secure hold. The top picture on the right is a secure, correct hold. The bottom picture is a weak, loose grip – which we see daily.
The next component we need to perfect is the rotation that happens around the pull up bar when we kip. Most people will let their hands slide and glide around the bar in order to pass through the arch and hollow positions. This inevitably leads to friction between the bar and our hands, causing rips and cuts.
Once we find our perfect grip, knuckles over the bar and thumb wrapped around it, we should never lose it. In order to rotate around the bar, we should open and close our wrist to achieve the correct positioning. These corrections may seem trivial at first, but they matter. It takes training and practice to get this right, just like anything else in our world.
So stop spending countless dollars and cents on fancy hand wraps and FIX YOUR GRIP SILLY!