Photo Credit: Grand Forks Air Force Base Gymnastics
Whether you have a gymnast, are a gymnast, or are interested in getting your child into gymnastics, there is one thing you will need to expect. Rips.
What is a rip?
A rip is something that is bound to happen in the sport of gymnastics. When a rip happens, the skin on the palm of the hand or wrist starts to tear away from the skin. There are different types of rips and no rip is the same. Some are small, big, deep, etc. Rips can be multiple skin layers deep or be the top layer of skin coming off. Sometimes if a rip forms a blister before it opens, it can fill with blood and that is known as a blood blister.Rips are caused by the friction that is caused between the hands and the bars. Rips can be very painful, especially when it is the first rip a gymnast will ever get. Taking care of a rip will be vital when it comes to gymnastics.
The First Rip:
Getting a rip is inevitable in gymnastics. It can happen on the uneven bars, rings, parallel bars, high bar, and pommel horse. So it might be a good thing to prepare your gymnast for a rip. Most little kids do not understand pain so when they get a rip it can seem like the end of the world. Tearing the skin off after a rip happens can be scary. So if your gymnast gets a rip be patient with them. Understand that they will not know that a rip will happen again and that it will be okay when it does. Tell them it will be okay and that there skin will heal itself.
Grips are used in gymnastics to help grasp the bar but they do help in preventing rips. Now, wearing grips does not mean that your gymnast will never get a rip again. Even in grips, rips will still happen. The leather in the grips helps by putting more of the friction on the grip rather than the hand itself. The friction causes the skin to burn and come off of the hand. Since rips will still happen, it is important to take care of the rip after it happens. Another type of grip that will help is a tape grip. Tape grips are made of tape (Obviously, right?) Anyways, tape grips give another layer in between the hand and the bar. But be careful because if too much tape is used, it will be hard for the gymnast to grasp the bar.
Taking Care of Your Hands After a Rip:
Since rips are going to happen here on some ways to take care of them.
- Keep your hands clean: It is important to keep your hands clean while in the gym. The chalk on the gymnastics equipment will dry out your hands and make the calluses hard. When the calluses build up and get hard that is when the chance of ripping comes into play.
- Moisturize your hands: Keeping your hands moisturized will help soften the calluses that build up on the palm. If the calluses are soft then it will be hard for them to rip open.
- Use antibiotic cream: Using an antibiotic cream will be a necessary when a rip happens. It will be imperative to keep the rip clean and healthy. You do not want your gymnast to get an infection in the rip because that will hurt even more. Between using an antibiotic cream, washing your hands, and moisturizing will help your hands and your hands will thank you when you decide to swing on the equipment.