Pulling exercises and aching hands

Discussion in 'General Training' started by nislyj, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. nislyj

    nislyj New Member

    I'm two weeks into my first HST cycle after a year of running and bootcamp/crossfit style classes and so far, I'm feeling great. Great, except forms hands.

    This past week I've been feeling a constant dull ache in my hands a knuckles which I think is from all the grip intensive movements like DL's, shrugs, lat pulldowns, and rows.

    Is this pretty common with someone getting back into weight training? Is it something I could expect to subside as I go into the 10 reps this coming week?

    I like the idea of improving my grip so resorting to straps isn't real enticing; especially since I haven't even gotten into anything very heavy yet.

    Any insight or advice on what to expect with this or how to help make the aching go away would be awesome.

  2. CDB

    CDB New Member

    I would give it some time to see if it subsides. If not, I'd see a doctor to see if you have arthritis in your hands. I have some mild arthritis in my hands, majorly in my knees. When I'm going heavy and my hands hurt a bit, I use straps. They're not to be considered a permanent solution to poor grip strength, but you can work on your grip strength as you proceed heavier with your HST. Remember a lot of HST is submaximal so you shouldn't have to use straps much at all except toward the end of the fives and into negatives if you're doing them.
  3. nislyj

    nislyj New Member

    Thanks, CDB. I'm dumping the shrugs so hopefully that will help take some of the pressure of grip. I'll keep an eye on it and see how it progresses.
  4. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    nislyj, my hands are internally stiff/sore to some degree all the time. A good warm-up helps a lot. Externally they get sore too; I keep my calluses under control with sandpaper and I use a good hand salve regularly as chalk has a tendency to dry my hands out. I use a lot of chalk! :)

    I use a hook grip for deads, cleans and snatches, which also beats up my thumbs. There's no getting away from the fact that training is tough on the hands but they will get conditioned to the constant hammering to some degree. In fact, before I was doing O-lifting, I think my hands were a lot less sore.

    Getting a good pair of grippers for grip strength training might be a good idea too as your hands will toughen up considerably from using them regularly.
  5. nislyj

    nislyj New Member

    So Lol, you prefer chalk to gloves to protect from blisters and the like?

    Now that I'm into the 10's and the volume has come down a little, they might be improving. They feel better now then they did over the weekend.
  6. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Gloves interfere with your grip and make it harder to grip the bar. If you are using gloves, I'm not surprised that you are suffering more strain than typical. You have to grip that much harder through the leather or cloth of the gloves to get a firm enough hold on the bar to lift.
  7. nislyj

    nislyj New Member

    Huh, good to know. I'll try ditching the gloves to see if that helps.


    ETA: Rather coincidentally, just tonight, I was just reading the chapter in Rippetoe's Starting Strength book on the deadlift and he recommended foregoing the gloves for the exact same reasons you just mentioned.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  8. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Many years ago, I used to wear a pair of those fingerless training gloves as it seemed like the popular thing to do at the time. The gym I trained in had nothing but rusty bars so it saved time cleaning all the muck off my hands after a session too. Then I had about 20 years away from training. When I got back into it, I got some chalk and ditched the gloves. Best thing I ever did. Just be warned that it will take your hands a few weeks to toughen up. As you have Ripp's SS, pay attention to how he tells you to hold the bar in your hands as this will help you to avoid unnecessary callusing.
  9. nislyj

    nislyj New Member

    Yep, that was all in the same chapter. It turns out I've been gripping it right all along because that just seemed to be the post comfortable way to pull. Today is a rest day but I'll give it a go without the gloves tomorrow.
  10. nislyj

    nislyj New Member

    My hands are feeling much better these days even though the weights are much heavier across the board now then they where when I first posted this.

    Thanks, everyone.
  11. SuperTm

    SuperTm New Member

    I found my grip was associated to my wrist/ forearm strength. In the past, I always could perform heavier weight, but my grip would always fail. I started doing wrist curls along with reverse wrist curls to strengthen my grip. I use the barbell as well as dumbells. I just do about 3-4 sets at the end of every arm workout and sometimes other workouts. It helped me significantly with grip strength.

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