1

votes

Blood Blisters from Crossfit - Please help!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 12, 2012 at 4:42 PM

So, I started crossfit about a month ago and am pretty serious about it.

However, I keep getting blisters all over my hands and they are starting to prevent me from lifting because they keep opening up, are ugly (my wife is really complaining), and cause a lot of pain.

I have read that I want the calluses to build up and then want to shave them down so that it makes my hands stronger, but what do I do when I get a blood blister under one of my calluses like shown in the picture?

This is extremely frustrating to me, as I really want to continue doing crossfit seriously and do not want my hand injuries to prevent me from lifting on a normal basis. I feel like every time a blister is about to heal, I re-open it by doing a crazy WOD like Fran that requires a lot of barbell handling and kipping pullups.

My questions are:

1.) What should I do for the callus with the blister under it? I hear from some people to let it dry up under the callus and from others to poke a steryl needle in it, drain the blood, and then to let it dry.

2.) How can I prevent future blisters? What am I doing wrong?

3.) My coach tells me I shouldn't wear gloves because it makes it less efficient for most lifts because you lose your feel for the bar. Is this correct? If not, should I get gloves? What kind are the best that won't affect my lifting efficiency?

Thank you guys so much! I am really stressing, as I love crossfit!!

631b29d5ab1146e264e91d08103bb72c

(1277)

on July 13, 2012
at 05:52 PM

Wow, never had a hand tear. What's his score on the SSST? EXACTLY - He's NEVER had a hand tear because he NEVER does movements that cause hand tears. If you want to do those movements you better learn how to care for your hands. So you need to grab a pumice stone not a tampon.

0a6376917fcaee2c65fbf614543f62cb

(438)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:31 PM

These are the ones I use. they are thin and lightweight http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_10051_127313_-1?color=Anthracite%2fSports+Red%2fWolf+Gray&N=619960659+10001&Ntt=nike+gloves&Ntk=All

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:18 PM

People who take care of their grip won't need to take care of their hands. He's NEVER had a rip as he said. If you're upset about getting calluses on your fingers then grab a tampon.

1f9b13d14c6595a61665ad448b544e97

on July 12, 2012
at 07:09 PM

Thanks! I already have some exactly like these I used to use in the conventional gym. They don't limit your performance?

Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:37 PM

They seem to run a bit small, might want to go up a size.

Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:37 PM

I use these http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LOHTAO/

631b29d5ab1146e264e91d08103bb72c

(1277)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:18 PM

Mark's just flat wrong on this one (as it pertains to crossfit training). I am sure it is applicable to SS style or other linear progression training but it is worthless for the OP's question. If you do Crossfit you must practice hand care or just be damn lucky. Holding the bar as Mark suggests will just cause the calluses to move up the fingers (as he admits) and those will need to be addressed or will eventually tear. FILE YOUR HANDS OFTEN. End of story.

631b29d5ab1146e264e91d08103bb72c

(1277)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:04 PM

http://shawnmozen.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/3-steps-to-saving-your-hands-from-hard-training/

1f9b13d14c6595a61665ad448b544e97

on July 12, 2012
at 05:30 PM

Thanks Keeperpoo-- can you refer me to some good gloves you recommend?

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on July 12, 2012
at 05:10 PM

I only pull 400lbs off the floor without any caluses, learn to grip properly AFTER your hands heal up.

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16 Answers

5
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:54 PM

Get gloves and a new coach.

2
8e4d684a7ab67c3baccce4bb2942a8b1

on July 12, 2012
at 07:53 PM

I used to have the same problems. Part of it may be that your hands were just not tough enough in the beginning. Even when my hands did toughen up, high volume pull ups would create blood blisters that would eventually rip. I watched this video a few years back by Mark Rippetoe from when he was involved with CrossFit. I changed my grip from a palm centerd grip to a finger centered grip and have never had another blood blister or callus rip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTqNSgCmM2s&sns=em

2
F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

on July 12, 2012
at 06:07 PM

You aren't gripping properly. If you're pushing/overhead, it should be under your calluses and in the base of your palm... if you're lifting or pulling, it should be above your calluses (on the base of your fingers).

http://startingstrength.com/index.php/site/platform_managing_calluses

^ Mark Rippetoe = Genius.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:18 PM

People who take care of their grip won't need to take care of their hands. He's NEVER had a rip as he said. If you're upset about getting calluses on your fingers then grab a tampon.

631b29d5ab1146e264e91d08103bb72c

(1277)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:18 PM

Mark's just flat wrong on this one (as it pertains to crossfit training). I am sure it is applicable to SS style or other linear progression training but it is worthless for the OP's question. If you do Crossfit you must practice hand care or just be damn lucky. Holding the bar as Mark suggests will just cause the calluses to move up the fingers (as he admits) and those will need to be addressed or will eventually tear. FILE YOUR HANDS OFTEN. End of story.

631b29d5ab1146e264e91d08103bb72c

(1277)

on July 13, 2012
at 05:52 PM

Wow, never had a hand tear. What's his score on the SSST? EXACTLY - He's NEVER had a hand tear because he NEVER does movements that cause hand tears. If you want to do those movements you better learn how to care for your hands. So you need to grab a pumice stone not a tampon.

1
631b29d5ab1146e264e91d08103bb72c

on July 12, 2012
at 06:08 PM

1) File your calluses down often.

2) Learn to hook grip the oly lifts

3) Dead hang pull ups and K2Bs

4) Learn "hardstyle" grip and movements for kettlebell.

1
61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on July 12, 2012
at 05:39 PM

Your hands are obviously not used to all the different kind of gripping that CrossFit and weight-lifting in general entails. I also think that your coach is being silly.

One thing you can do is learn how to wrap your hands if you don't want to use gloves. In your situation though I'd use gloves during a METCON. To toughen my hands up I'd use my barehands during a SWOD.

1
0a6376917fcaee2c65fbf614543f62cb

on July 12, 2012
at 05:26 PM

I agree with Rob. I have been crossfittin' for a little over a year. I wear gloves all the time. I think it's silly to say gloves ruin your grip. Really? Don't those nasty painful blisters ruin your grip??! I'm one of the strongest women at my gym and I do not have nasty calluses on my hands, nor do I have to drop out of a wod early because of torn painful hands.

Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:37 PM

I use these http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LOHTAO/

1f9b13d14c6595a61665ad448b544e97

on July 12, 2012
at 05:30 PM

Thanks Keeperpoo-- can you refer me to some good gloves you recommend?

0a6376917fcaee2c65fbf614543f62cb

(438)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:31 PM

These are the ones I use. they are thin and lightweight http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_10051_127313_-1?color=Anthracite%2fSports+Red%2fWolf+Gray&N=619960659+10001&Ntt=nike+gloves&Ntk=All

1f9b13d14c6595a61665ad448b544e97

on July 12, 2012
at 07:09 PM

Thanks! I already have some exactly like these I used to use in the conventional gym. They don't limit your performance?

Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:37 PM

They seem to run a bit small, might want to go up a size.

0
5e263b047d6a5d6ecb25fc47b1d9d0bf

on May 27, 2013
at 06:14 PM

Hello, I am a beginner in Crossfit, one month and going strong, and because the first week I left with bleeding blisters, having gloves on of course, I decided to try Blister Block frim Band-aid in my whole palm, with gloves on... No more blisters for me...My hands bother me, of course, but the bloody ones haven't been around...Doesn't hurt to try, you can get it at your local pharmacy and see how it goes, if it works on feet, new sneakers, stilettos, it works on hands...

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on November 10, 2012
at 09:13 PM

I've been doing crossfit 3-4x per week for 6 months, and while I have a few small callouses, I've never lost any skin nor had any blood blisters. And believe me my hands weren't tough to begin with, I'm a software engineer. Nobody else in my gym has them either, and none of them wear gloves. Not trying to criticize, but I wonder about your grip and technique.

I have been careful to grip bars (for both pull-ups and lifting) between the 2nd and 3rd joint of my fingers (i.e at the 2nd knuckle), rather than with my palm. This is how the trainers tell us to do it. At first my grip was not very strong this way but it quickly got stronger, and now it is strong enough for 5-10 pull-ups, toes to bar, or whatever. However I don't get blisters or lose any skin.

I started to get a pretty serious callous at the base of my ring finger from my wedding ring when swinging a heavy kettlebell (50-70 pounds), but now just take off my ring before I work out.

0
D7a061c4bed7b8db2505c9ed0a6aaebb

on November 10, 2012
at 04:43 PM

All I can say is I feel your pain!!! I am a novice rower (crew) and my hands are a MESS!! To be honest I'm not overly worried about what they look like at all, but the pain in some of the tears is horrendous, and it's a concern in terms of it hindering training sessions, e.g. 3*2k hard pieces on the water this morning was absolute agony (although at least the pain in my hands distracted me from my burning quads and arms!!). Do you guys find gloves help or actually make the situation worse, i.e. by adding an extra layer of friction?

0
B6287936978f8ed93626689f7c8d1f68

on July 12, 2012
at 09:18 PM

Try RIPT: http://riptskinsystems.com Cuts down your hand tear healing time.

0
E5d0722c4b4af387287f9947eb96b800

(160)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:35 PM

here is an article about taking care of your hands: http://www.tabatatimes.com/prehab-hand-maintenance/

0
Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

on July 12, 2012
at 08:13 PM

Although people on here keep saying you aren't doing it correctly, I realize you just recently started so it will take some time to build up your grip strength. For now, consider shaving your calluses weekly. It will reduce the amount of deep blisters on your hands. I keep a disposable razor (other than my reg one) in the shower and do it once or twice as week.

0
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:02 PM

You're doing it wrong. Too much of a death grip, and too much "rotation" around the bar. For barbell work, learn the hook grip. For pull-up and ring work learn how to hang from your fingers rather than wrapping your palm around them. Here's what my hands look like from 4 years of crossfit 4-6 times a week. Just three little callouses, no rips or tears. So it is possible, you just need to stop doing what you're doing that's causing the rips and blisters and experiment with different ways of holding the bar.

Beginner crossfitters are always proud of their rips, but I say its a sign of doing too much weight with bad form.

0
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on July 12, 2012
at 07:57 PM

Coconut oil is great for healing skin. Antibacterial, antiviral and healing promoter. See also, any other tree nut oil.

0
Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 12, 2012
at 05:59 PM

Aloe Vera straight from the plant, it's gelatinous substance you can use as an ointment for any kind of skin disruption. Once you heal, use gloves

0
59b5732444f144fed40a83a81bc31954

on July 12, 2012
at 05:35 PM

Would chalk be out of the question?

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