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Hand Care for Hammer Throw Athletes by Ben Hawkes

Hand Care for Hammer Throwers

BY BEN HAWKES

Hammer Thrower’s hands can get pretty badly beaten up. If you want to have the most pristine hands in the business, you should probably keep reading this…

Hammer Throw Grip Guide for Athletes

Yeah, if you want the cleanest hands in the business, you should stop hammer throwing and start a real business. BUT if you want to keep your hands reasonably healthy and avoid a load of torn skin and cuts, this article is for you.

THE HAMMER THROW GRIP

Right-handed throwers should throw with a glove on the left hand, which grips the hammer handle. The right-hand goes on top. If you want to be fancy, watch U.S. thrower Sean Don explain an alternative grip here. 99% of throwers should not be worrying about this, though! 

BEST HAMMER THROWING GLOVES

There are a load of gloves to choose from, from Neuff and Nelco to Polanik and Nishi. You can find a glove to suit any preference.

I like to use a thick but soft Neuff, Nelco or Polanik glove for the bulk of my training. Thick to give the finger joints some cushion, but soft to reduce abrasion on the skin.

For lower volume training and competition, you’ll maybe want a slightly thinner glove to give you a better feeling for the hammer. There are a few available, like the Mizuno and Nishi gloves, but I like a regular Polanik like this.

 

Polanik LHGL Hammer Gloves With Extended Fingers Left

TAPE FOR HAMMER THROWERS

Tape becomes more important the more you throw. It comes in handy for hands, wrists, elbows, or pretty much anything. For me, www.physique.co.uk provides a solid range of tapes, but it’s important to differentiate between each tape’s characteristics and use cases.

EAB

Soft, flexible and non-restrictive. Useful for fingers, wrists and other mobile joints.

ZINC OXIDE

Harder, less flexible and more restrictive. Useful for things you want to immobilise or protect.

TAN TAPE

Tough stuff. For when you want to immobilise a joint.

TAPING EXAMPLE

How to Tape Fingers for Hammer Throwers

Here is a rough idea of how you should be taping your fingers. Just make sure to never tape your fingers together, as rule books classify this as "assistance" and is generally frowned upon for throwing!

GRIP PRODUCTS FOR HAMMER THROWING

Once you start throwing okay distances, you might find it difficult to hold on to a heavy hammer in the 3rd and 4th turns. This is where sticky comes in, allowing athletes to be longer and looser through their arms and hands to extend the hammer’s radius and ultimately throw further. 

You can use spray (of which there are many varieties), tacky, or venice turpentine. That list is in increasing order of stick - and personally my favourite of these is Neuff’s Venice Turps. Just be careful not to use too much!

You can also use a spray to hold your tape in place, but sweat can sometimes make things slippy anyway.

NEUFF VENICE TURPS

Venice Turps Gum Resin for Hammer Throw Grip

TRIMONA WAX HAND GRIP RESIN

Hand Wax Grip Paste for Hammer Throwing Athletes

TENSOSPRAY PRE-TAPE ADHESIVE

Tensospray Pre-Tape Adhesive for Hammer Throwing Athletes

MUELLER M TAC PRE-TAPE SPRAY

Mueller M Tac Pre-Tape Spray for Hammer Throw Athletics

FIRST AID & PAIN RELIEF FOR HAMMER THROWERS

Pain, cuts and skin tears happen for throwers - there’s no avoiding it. So, in addition to the protective stuff, we also have to mention products used to manage these injuries.

  • Boots Elastoplast Wound Spray will disinfect a cut to the skin and kickstart the healing process.
  • Boots EMLA Cream is seriously good at numbing a painful wound, but it doesn't go very far - only to be used on small cuts.
  • Plasters, paracetamol, some good scissors and a little rubbing alcohol also go a long way to keeping things clean and healthy.

Hopefully, this helps you keep chucking with a little less headache from your hands!

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