Spend time on any CrossFit Instagram page and you’re bound to see the rite of passage post. Hands blood soaked from torn callus after doing a workout with a hefty amount of pull-ups. While this is something that may have happened to many of us, present company included, it’s definitely something you should look to avoid in your CrossFit journey.
A great place to start with that is simply by improving your grip strength. Dead hangs on the bar, farmer carries, even holding yourself in ring row position are all great ways to improve your grip strength. However, this all takes into account one little caveat: You are using your FULL potential of grip strength the way a human being was meant to!
The opposable thumb is a gem that was bestowed to only a handful of mammals. The obvious gorillas, chimpanzees and other primates. However, the koala and pandas are other types of mammals that benefit from the opposable thumb. If you ever watch any of these animals climb ANYTHING they are almost certainly wrapping their thumb around the apparatus.
The muscles of the forearm: flexor carpi radialis, pronator teres, palmaris longus, brachioradialis, flexor policis longus, pronator quadratus, flexor carpi ulnaris, are plentiful. They have the ability to flex with the use of only the other 4 digits. However, they cannot flex to their full potential without the use of the thumb. If you are not using the thumb, you’re just not going to ever develop maximum grip strength.
A person with developed grip strength has the ability to ensure that their hands don’t move in a motion on the bar that is going to cause the friction that leads to the build up and eventual tearing of callus. This base of strength for all movements that deal with some sort of pulling is an essential part of getting any kind of traction in learning advanced gymnastic movements.
Ready to learn more about gaining grip strength and overall human strength? 🙂 Schedule a time to come and chat with us!