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2sweetdadstrength

Advice for hand skin tearing with the Flask?

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2sweetdadstrength

The webbing between my thumb and pointer finger has been getting torn up every time I use the Flask.  I’ve chalked it per Gil’s video, but if I go to a challenging weight the friction is causing pretty significant tears.  

Obviously I have no issue if I move my hand up a bit, or focus on fingertips.  I want to work on full power competition lifts and feel like my skin is the limiting factor.  The only other time this has happened was when pinching sharp, fat 25lb plates.  Any advice on preventative care or how I can “soften” the Flask edges or something?  I didn’t have any problem at King Kong with the well-used Flasks I trained on.

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Mikael Siversson

A few basic rules with disc shaped pinch objects (like the flask and the Euro) is, imo, never to go all out in both 1hp and 2hp in the same workout. Always tear my web if I do. Also in my experience with pinch implements it is not so much the implement as it is volume above say 90% of max in a single workout.

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Mike Rinderle

I've only ever touched the flask at a contest.  All three contests I have torn my skin badly. So... I got nothin.

I do enjoy the event though.  One of the few I'm slightly above average on.

Edited by Mike Rinderle
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Boulderbrew

Try to limit your heavy sets to just a few. I notice that the flask will only open me up if I am within 5-10lbs of my 1RM. Give your skin time to heal. It is paramount to keep the thumb webbing callus sanded down moisturized. Once you feel the skin is back to baseline, don't go balls to the wall with really heavy sets, just incorporate some speed pulls, holds for time. Seems like it always takes my skin a longtime to build a nice protective, pliable callus in the thumb webbing. Slowly add back in the heavy sets once you feel the skin has been rehabed. 

Just my take based on my own flask splits and years of tearing skin while rock climbing.

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DAVE101

Wear gloves. 

David Horne recommends it for pinch work, and he might know a thing or two.

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Fist of Fury
11 hours ago, DAVE101 said:

Wear gloves. 

David Horne recommends it for pinch work, and he might know a thing or two.

This is a smart thing to do, not only does it protect the skin. It also makes it harder so you don't have to use as much weight.

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wobbler

Probably not something you'd expect as a response, but tearing cards really toughened up the skin on my thumbs and webs. And it's stayed that way even though I've torn maybe 3 decks of cards in the last six months.

Get some "economy cards" from amazon, and be sure to use the "claw" technique when tearing (index and middle finger on top of the deck) and be sure to switch hands. Bonus: it will help your hub strength.

Something about how the cards rub on your thumb/web makes the skin a little raw, but shouldn't make you bleed.

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Stephen Ruby
On 1/12/2019 at 4:55 PM, DAVE101 said:

Wear gloves. 

David Horne recommends it for pinch work, and he might know a thing or two.

What kind of gloves does he recommend? 

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Mike Rinderle

I tried the glove thing for awhile once.  It definitely saves your skin during training, but it prevented calluses developing where I needed them.  So my baby soft hands would tear easier when I pulled without them. Plus, at least for me, technique and feel is super important on pinch.  I could never really get a good feel for the implement with gloves.  So there's good and bad with the glove thing.  But there is no doubt David knows his stuff and it may work great for others.

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Fist of Fury

I just use a small piece of suede leather. Keeps the feeling for the all the fingers except the thumb.

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DAVE101
1 hour ago, Stephen Ruby said:

What kind of gloves does he recommend? 

I'm not sure. He talks about it generally here, but supposedly goes in depth in Gripopedia Vol 4, which I don't have. @David Horne?

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Alawadhi

If you are a beginner then forgot max workouts. Do many many reps in lower weight. 60% max. Your hand might just need to get adjusted.

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2sweetdadstrength

Could be.  I need to figure out some sort of programming anyway.

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Squeezus

A lot of good advice in this thread. I will repeat some of it, but here's how I and others that I have helped have avoided web tears, on the Flask and other devices.

  1. Make sure your hands stay moisturized. If my skin is getting dry, because of cold or lots of washing, I will put on some Working Hands or some other salve before I go to bed. Obviously don't moisturize right before or during a grip workout, since that would be counterproductive, but you want the skin to be thick, yet pliable.
  2. If you have cracks or rough skin or hard spots forming around your web (or anywhere else on your hand, really) sand it down with sandpaper. I use 320 grit. You can use a Dremel, but I have found that sandpaper allows more control and you are less likely to take off too much skin. These cracks, from an engineering perspective, are stress risers in your skin, which make it way more likely that your skin will tear under the forces of pinching. Having smooth, flexible, thick skin will go very far towards preventing tears. A leather boot that is dried out and cracked isn't much stronger than cardboard, but a well oiled boot is super tough and resilient and can last forever.
  3. Stay chalked through the workout. Sweaty hands make hotspots where you have random really high friction areas. This can exacerbate tearing.
  4. Don't max out. Generally, most of your heavy work shouldn't go above 85%, light work shouldn't be much over 70%. 100% is for contests or testing (which shouldn't be but once every 6-8 weeks).
  5. If you start to get a tear, don't keep going. It's much easier to heal a minor skin abrasion than it is to heal a full blown bleeding web.

That's most of the high points. If you post a close-up of your hand lifting, where we can see the web, we might also be able to help adjust your grip to be more friendly to your hands.

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Climber028
5 hours ago, Alawadhi said:

If you are a beginner then forgot max workouts. Do many many reps in lower weight. 60% max. Your hand might just need to get adjusted.

This needs to be emphasized not just for skin but for everything.  I see so many people trying to max out everything all the time and you're just asking for problems.  You wouldn't max deadlift every workout,  grip is no different

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wobbler

Almost forgot, and this is a good one: nose grease. Rub it on your thumb webs throughout the day whenever you remember to do it.

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Alawadhi
5 hours ago, Alawadhi said:

If you are a beginner then forgot max workouts. Do many many reps in lower weight. 60% max. Your hand might just need to get adjusted.

Adapted 

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