One Week Of No Kettlebells Due To Hand Injury
I just got back from a week of workout without kettlebells. If you’ve been reading me for some time, you must know how much I love my kettlebells. The reason is due to me drying my hands and kettlebells too much which caused my grip to harden and the friction of the workout (double swinging a pair of 32s) to cause some of my calluses to explode. Like, skin flaying and blood and all that messed up image in your head right now.
I wanted to take a picture but I’m not one to boast of my stupidity unless I feel like it and knowing I wouldn’t be able to use my equipment for a set period of time didn’t make me feel posting anything about it at all.
I got the injury last Sunday evening. I had an early morning workout but I felt like I can do 100 double swings before I finally call it a day. The temperature in the city rose up to 36.5 C or 97.7 F and my palms were sweaty before I even started. For the common swinger, sweaty palms may cause accidents when double swinging since you can literally let go of the kettlebell/s due to a loose grip and destroy anything it might hit or worse injure an innocent bystander. I used a bunch of tissue paper on my hands and wiped my kettlebells after 10 swings (10 x 10 workout). At the 6th set, though, I felt my hands were too dry and the handles on the kettlebells becoming warmer. I figured this was natural since I’m holding it and the swings definitely produce heat. What I neglected, and I swear I’d hit my past self on the head if I can go back in time, was that swinging kettlebells involve having a little loose grip at its apex (which is at about stomach to chest height; the crossfit swing doesn’t count) to allow the bells to swing efficiently without damaging your hands. I simply lost that simple thought after years of training and before I knew it, both my hands had some skin flapping in the air as I waved it around. And oh, it had some serious blood spurting out too.
I tried to finish the workout regardless (which was a BAD IDEA so don’t do it) but ended up only at the eight set because I feared for my hands (the pain was starting to show despite the adrenaline rush). As a first aid, I began by cutting the loose skin off and washing them with soap and water. I then proceeded to apply rubbing alcohol (which sucked btw). I also put povidone iodine and bandages just before I slept.
Needless to say, my hands weren’t fully recovered come Monday morning. I figured Tuesday will be a “test” day. It also didn’t help that my day job required me to use my hands a lot and not to mention wash them every now and then (because I work for a food company) so my hands had trouble drying the wounds and I would sometimes forget I had an injury and I would hate myself when I do something that promotes pain and agony onto myself.
Come Tuesday, I tried by doing double squats. The double clean hurt a little, the squat didn’t, but the way down to starting position for another set of cleans really had me wincing. I was pressing a hunk of iron onto my hands upon the descent and it didn’t take much to convince myself that I should ban kettlebelll training for at least a week. I’ve been training with kettlebells for more than 3 years now and I’ve almost never missed a heartbeat in my schedule and there I was unable to even carry them properly without feeling pain.
With that, I did the next best thing: Bodyweight workouts.
As much as my hands were practically unhealthy, I managed to do the following routine for 6 days (yes, I even did one this morning) which I’d like to call the BACK-UP PLAN.
5 sets of:
5 push-ups (knuckled; open palm 4 days later due to hand recovery)
5 spider man push up
10 seconds mountain climbers
then followed by:
4 x 5 burpees
and finish with:
2 x 10 hindu push-up
I have to say the workout was pretty fast (can be done in less than 15 minutes) but the fatigue sets in when you stop and may cause a bit of nausea specially if you workout in the morning sans breakfast (like I always prefer to do). As you can see, the workout is designed to fully engage the whole body specially the arms. I didn’t want to go back to zero when I finally train with my kettlebells again so I made sure my arms were put on emphasis. This workout is a pretty cruel fat burner and I think I’ll recommend this to people without equipment.
As of this typing, my hands are 80% recovered and I actually tested them by doing a few cleans, swings, squats, and even snatches and presses. They felt good because I finally am able to reuse them the way they were meant to be used. I’m so excited for my workout next week but I might stick with the bodyweight exercise above for maybe at least once a week. I figure doing the BACK-UP PLAN is a good way of making sure my body’s flexibility is trained well and also to ensure that the other muscles in my body that are barely trained by kettlebells get focused on a bit even for only once a week.
Moral of the story: Never forget the basics even the most minor of details when it comes to training. Also, don’t train with injured muscles.