How many times have you torn your hands when you are doing any sort of gymnastics on the bar? If you are getting sweaty, chalk definitely helps BUT, that's not the answer. Many of you are missing the skill of holding onto the bar correctly. If you are hanging from your hand just anywhere or from your fingers, then you are asking for bad things to happen to your palms. The proper position for your hands is to have your first knuckles up on top and your thumb around the bar. The reason for that is that 1) your thumb around the bar will help lock your shoulder into a tighter and more solid position dring any swing movement and 2) with the knuckles up, you are changing the point of the pendulum from the palm on the bar to the wrist. If you ever get a blister or a tear on the palm of your hand, its because you are spinning the bar in the palm of your hand. In a pull-up, chest to bar pull up, toes to bar, and even ring muscle-ups, if the knuckles stay on top of the bar, then your movement will happen at the wrist and you just have a tight lock on the bar. The downside is when you do a big kipping swing and your hands start to slide down. If you don't adjust, dry them, chalk up, etc, then you will tear. Sure you should get grips to help protect your hands. In fact, I do everything I can to NOT touch the bar with bare hands (i hate to rip!). But even with grips, you need to get your knuckles on top of the bar. With grips, the technique would be to jump up and over grab the bar and then pull back on the grips. Your knuckles should still be up, but you will also lock your hand on the bar with the grips. This will allow you to get more reps, get a stronger pop and bigger kip, as well as protect your hands all at the same time. Now, if you don't have the strength to hang from the bar or do basic kipping swings without dropping your knuckles, then you should add some hanging time and kipping time to your warm-up so that you can increase the strength of your hands and your hang. Add some grips and some chalk to this and you will be getting all kinds of reps without any fear of tearing or leaving your palms on the bar after class! If you want to get better at this and any gymnastic bar work, book some time with one of your coaches! Let's get you flying!!:)
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