Throwing dynamics on a high bar is a feeling like no other. Flying through the air performing technical acrobatic moves in sequence, and practicing these combos for hours. It requires you to use every part of your body, but especially your hands. Almost all dynamic moves on a high bar involve you gripping your whole hand around the bar while you fly around it in every direction. Naturally, you are usually going to feel a stinging pain in the palm of your hand, a lot of people feel this pain even when performing standard bodyweight exercises like pull-ups. Here are five ways you can deal with, and prevent, hand pain and skin rips.


If you ever rip your hand on the bar during a session and you start bleeding, you should take the necessary cautions to protect yourself. No one wants to get your blood on their hands! After flushing the wound out with water, you can wrap it which will keep the wound from getting infected, and also stop the bleeding for a moment. Use a pre-wrap underneath your athletic tape for a more comfortable grip. After following all these steps, you should be good to go for more training. Just avoid gripping or swinging on the bar with the area that you ripped in, if possible. Once you are done with your session, wash your hands with hot water and soap, then apply hydrogen peroxide for proper disinfection. After washing that out you can either leave it to try or apply some Neosporin depending on how bad it is.


To help your hand heal faster, grab a bowl big enough to fit both of your hands in, and fill it with super hot water. You want the bowl filled with as hot of water as you can stand, then add a pinch of salt to the hot water. Soak your hands in this bowl for five to ten minutes while mixing the salt around in the water. The hot water will let the dead skin leave your hand, while the salt helps dehydrate those damaged cells. This saltwater solution will rejuvenate your hands and allow them to heal faster, allowing you to get back to one hundred as quickly as possible.



It is very easy to get big and super dry calluses on your hands from doing calisthenics. Especially if you are constantly applying chalk before you touch the bar. While chalk is a really great tool to increase gripping strength, using too much can leave your hands super dry, making them susceptible to ripping in future sessions. Using a moisturizing lotion before and after training can help reduce the effects of dry skin. Keeping your skin moisturized will ensure that your hand can glide easier around the bar when you swing from it. 


If you still find your calluses too big and bulky for your training, consider investing in a foot shaver. Don’t worry, these products aren’t just for your feet! You can still use them for your hands and they are just as effective. Another option would be to buy some fine sandpaper and grind down your calluses that way. In my experience, shaving your hands is the better option if you are worried about ripping in your next session or are planning to stay off the bar for a couple of days. The foot shaver removes calluses so well that you will feel a stinging sensation in your hands if you try to fly on the bar right after shaving. Using sandpaper is a good way to grind down your callus a bit without so much of the stinging sensation that comes with shaving them.


Not in a negative sense, but more of a mindset adjustment. You shouldn't let something as trivial as hand pain get in the way of your goals. At the end of the day, if you want to really get into calisthenics, you must face this reality, so complaining about it to others won’t really get you anywhere. We all deal with the same pains and have found our own ways to deal with it.  The longer you do calisthenics, the more you understand that ripping your hand is not the end all be all of your training. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to fight through the pain and deal with it like a true warrior. 

by Gavin Maxwell

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published