HELP! I'm a serial ripper!

Status
Not open for further replies.
M

Mack_the_Ripper

Guest
As my name suggests...
I rip maybe one out of every three times I do bars. That may have been a slight exaggeration, but that's how it feels. At least one out of every five. I spend entire weeks doing extra strength instead of bars...I'm generally really good on bars, but I have to work really hard not to fall behind, and sometimes it happens anyways. FYI, I wear non-dowel grips.

So, my questions:
1. Why do I rip so much? It's not the equipment - no one else rips like I do. Am I not caring for my grips properly? Is it my grip on the bar? The texture of my hands (I don't use lotion)? My weight?

2. How can I stop ripping? I've been ripping like this for a year and a half, although it stopped right after I got my grips.

3. Should I train on rips? I have a very low pain tolerance. I've been told by one coach to keep going, although he was only our coach for, like, a week. My favorite coach tells me to rest my hands (I'm quite good on bars, although I'm falling behind, so it's alright for me to do strength instead).

I HAVE competed on rips before - at state meet (this was before I got my grips), I competed with a tape grip on one hand...and two on the other! Once I ripped bloody just doing pull up - pull overs (w/o grips). This is a problem. HELP!
:worried:
 
Did ChalkBucket help you?... help us too.

If you can't help financially... tell a friend about us!

gymkat

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Judge
Jun 24, 2008
691
What level are you, and what skills are you working on? I ripped horribly and constantly all the way through level 5 (at one point, I had something like 9 rips on both hands at one time)-- I did bars with bare hands-- but stopped ripping for the most part during the summer when I was working on L6 (still without grips). I still got the occasional rip until I started wearing dowels, and then they pretty much went away for good. FWIW, I just taped my hands and kept swinging until I bled on the bar. I feel like a lot of people go through a stage around L4-5 when they rip like crazy, but it usually goes away once their hands have toughened up. (Are your hands soft, or do they have definite callouses?)

I doubt that the care of your grips has much to do with it. Since it's the summer, have you been swimming a lot? Also, do you shave down your callouses or pick at them in the shower?
 

Panda-girl's Mom

Active Member
Jan 9, 2008
781
My daughter just stared to gets rips this summer she is doing level 5. They practice everyday on the bars in the summer 5days a week. She just uses grips and tape I do not think the coaches give her a choice about working on bars regardless of the rips. I actually bribed her and told her if she does not whine about her rips I will give her 10 dollars for each rip( she is collecting money to go to IGC next year).
 

NotAMom

Active Member
May 27, 2009
894
Region 6 (Northeast)
My 2+ year L4 (training L5) 10yo hasn't had a rip yet. Then again, she is really weak on bars. So, I tease her that she isn't working hard enough on bars.

My L7+ 13yo, who is far stronger on bars from day 1, used to get rips a lot during her first 2/3 years at L4/L5. They pretty much went away after that. Nowadays, when she gets them, they are nickle size or bigger and they usually completely heal within 3-4 days. Regardless, she hardly complains about the pain -- nothing a little taping cannot mask off.

From that I can deduce rips are mostly a factor of how hard you work (or grip onto) the bars. Once calluses build up, rips will happen much less frequently but they are far more intense when they do.

To treat rips, one suggestion a high level gymnast gave us a while back was to soak the hand in dish detergent for say 5 minutes. The dryness accelerates the crusting/scabbing. Once dried, just apply lotion/ointment with the rip exposed (no tape or bandage) overnight. Works well for the older one so far.
 

marie83

Coach
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Judge
Club Owner
Mar 23, 2009
1,145
West Midlands, England
Country
United Kingdom
Wow you certainly have it bad - I don't really know what to suggest other than the following:

Rest off bars until your rips are 100% healed (sorry, I know it might take a while!)
When they are gone, put some surgical spirit on a piece of cotton wool and wipe it over the main problem areas. This will really toughen up your skin. Do this once a day, every day.

Use some sort of pre-wrap before putting your guards on. A lot of gymnasts use electrical tape - it is cheap and doesn't move, unlike micropore.

Use plenty of chalk on your hands, not just your guards.

________________________________________________________________________

Other than that I don't really know what to suggest.
I notice that my gymnasts tend to rip if they have just been to the toilet and washed their hands. When they come back their hands are all soft and they instantly rip (they wear dowell guards) So I'd suggest not going to the toilet before or during bars! hehe
 

Kayleigh

Member
Oct 6, 2007
261
27
Pittsburgh, PA
Well... as far as taking care of the rips afterwards, I usually make myself a nice cup of tea and put the teabag on the rip afterwards... kinda stings, but it does help. Then I slept with it in a sock. Not quite sure why this helps, but it does. Seriously, healed the rip by the next morning. Really weird. :p

Other than that... I don't have much advice. That stinks. :(
 
D

dancing9118000

Guest
I empathize with your pain!!! It feels like I look at the bars and my hands rip. I remember earlier in the year before states, I ripped 11 times within one week. Basically I would rip then rip on top of that until I could hold the bar anymore. I have two rips right now. I use the tea bag and I also cover it with Vaseline and a band aid at night. I wear grips with dowels but when I rip, I make a tape grip to wear under those grips so I don't bleed onto the bar. Take it easy the day after ripping. Don't do circling elements like giants of any sort of hip circles. I usually do a billion kip cast handstands and pirouettes on the bar. To try and prevent rips, I use a razor and shave down my callouses when they get to thick.
 

enginesmilez

Member
May 17, 2009
58
It is very important to wear grips on bars no matter what you are doing. The grips are supposed to prevent rips most of the time. If it still keeps happening, talk to your coach or talk to someone who is having or had the same problem as you and they will probably give you some advice.
 
M

Mack_the_Ripper

Guest
Thank you all for your suggestions. I am a level 5.5 (working some 6 skills, especially on bars), and I am pretty powerful on bars. I've been doing gymnastics for 9 years now, and I've only been ripping this badly for 2 years (that I can remember, of course). That could be due to doing more advanced skills on bars, though.

I do have calluses. I think that's the problem, because lots of times when I rip, it's the entire callus ripping off of my palm. I should try shaving them down...I don't swim a lot, and the only thing I do to my rips is cut the edges. Also, I rip mostly on my right hand - my dominant hand. I guess I have a stronger grip on that one.
 

NotAMom

Active Member
May 27, 2009
894
Region 6 (Northeast)
Well... as far as taking care of the rips afterwards, I usually make myself a nice cup of tea and put the teabag on the rip afterwards... kinda stings, but it does help. Then I slept with it in a sock. Not quite sure why this helps, but it does.
Tea works well as a degreaser and cleanser; just like lemon juice but tea is cleaner and less acidic. That is why other parts of the world leave a bowl of tea or lemon juice at the dinner table.

Detergents work even better than tea or lemon juice but you have to make sure the hand is rinsed off thoroughly after the soaking.
 

gymkat

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Judge
Jun 24, 2008
691
I do have calluses. I think that's the problem, because lots of times when I rip, it's the entire callus ripping off of my palm. I should try shaving them down...I don't swim a lot, and the only thing I do to my rips is cut the edges. Also, I rip mostly on my right hand - my dominant hand. I guess I have a stronger grip on that one.
Kids who grip the bar especially tightly tend to rip more and worse, and I've noticed that people with sweaty hands tend to rip more often. Your rips sound like they started around the time that you would have started tap swings and a lot of circling work-- that's common, too. I never actually shaved my calluses, but I was a really bad picker-- when the skin was soft after taking a shower, I would scratch off some layers.
 

tumblerK

Member
Feb 8, 2008
349
LO
If it's your entire calluses coming off then you should try shaving them. Ripping happens when there's so much dead skin on your hand that it stays at one spot on the bar while the rest of your hand moves. If the skin on your hand is healthy living stuff, it usually stays attached to your hand. Take a long shower until your calluses turn white, and then take the razor to them. Just apply light pressure to the razor as it runs over our calluses and the skin will come right off. It doesn't hurt at all, I barely feel it when I shave mine. Don't take your entire callus off, because bars without calluses isn't fun on the hands either.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Thank you for supporting our sponsors Energym Music & Norberts!