Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Physical Education


A conditioned pair of hands, free of blisters or tears, is vital to a gymnast's performance. If the hands should become blistered or torn, the gymnast will not be able to work to capacity. One of the six events in men's gymnastics is performing on the horizontal bar. Work on the bar wears heavily on the gymnast' s hands, considerably more so than any or all of the other apparatus combined. Many different preventive measures have been tried in an attempt to prevent blisters from forming. Such measures include the use of chalk, wicks, and tape. Their use has been reasonably successful for some gymnasts but, unfortunately, has proved inadequate for the majority. The idea behind using chalk, wicks, and tape is to eliminate as much friction as possible between the horizontal bar and the gymnast' s hands. Admittedly, all of the friction cannot be eliminated, or the gymnast would not be able to maintain his grip on the horizontal bar. On the other hand, if the friction is not controlled, it will cause the gymnast' s hands to heat up and may cause blisters to form. The old adage that practice makes perfect would seem to be very appropriate to this study. If a gymnast has any hope of becoming proficient on the horizonta1 bar, he must expect to engage in arduous hours of practice. For many aspiring gymnasts, however, extended practices become impossible due to the extreme pain caused by the blisters which inevitably seem to form. In the past many coaches, trainers, and gymnasts have advocated the use of cold water baths and cold sprays in an attempt to prevent blisters from forming. However, inadequate research has been completed on this subject to completely substantiate the use of cryotherapy as a blister preventive measure for the hands--thus the writer's interest in this study.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Physical education and training


Cold -- Therapeutic use

South Dakota State University



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University