If you grip it, you rip it.


"If you grip it, you rip it."

This is one of the more common things you'll hear from a crossfit coach helping someone learn how to do kipping pull-ups or chest/toes-to-bar, or kettlebell swings - all movements that are well known for tearing up our hands.

The reason these movements have a tendency to tear up our hands is because we have a tendency to grip the bar during them, to compensate for a lack of (or fear of lack of) muscle in our hands. Quite literally, we have a fear of letting go.

And so instead of going slow and building muscle in our hands, or trusting that our hands are actually strong enough, we grip, and we tear apart our hands, which ultimately inhibits our ability to continue practicing the movement.

Interestingly, relaxing the grip ever so slightly, and surrendering to the natural momentum of the movement, generates BETTER results, and significantly less damage. With regular practice, we develop calluses on our hands that protect us from damage.

To find the sweet spot of growth in this particular area, we must first encounter and then overcome our fear of letting go. We then need to soothe our urge for competition by working on our own self-worth and belief in our inherent value, and then listen to our own bodies, rather than measuring our progress against anyone else in the gym.

Once we are training for ourselves, and only ourselves, that's when the true glory of physical growth arises.


In personal growth, we often talk about "gripping" - onto emotions, circumstances, relationships.

It's a sort of energetic control mechanism.

It usually happens when we don't trust others, and more specifically, ourselves. This manifests itself in all other realms, including our physical bodies and the way we show up at the gym.

The result is stuckness/plateauing.

Much in the same way that gripping a pull-up bar stunts our growth by damaging our hands, thus preventing us from practicing the movement, so does gripping onto life.


We tend to want to correct gripping with efforting in some other form.

We try to change how we feel. We try to change our circumstances. We try to improve our relationships.

Lots of trying and lots of attempting to force change.

The opposite of gripping is not effort; it's surrender.


Let go, and let god.

Antesa Jensen