The ThumbShield™ Story

Just a 40-Something Average Guy Trying to Make a Difference

I’m Brad. Just a 40-something small business owner, husband and father of two who has been doing CrossFit for about five years. After a few years, I enjoyed the workouts enough that I decided to get my Level 1 certification and start coaching a few classes in my spare time.

I love the high intensity training and community that CrossFit embodies; however, I don’t particularly care for those annoying little repetitive use “injuries”. You know what I’m talking about… the butt rash from sit-ups… callus tears from pullups … or in this case – the skin ripping at the base of your thumbs from doing repetitive hang cleans.

These rips are usually deep and take weeks to heal, so what do we do?

  • We tape, it falls off, and our thumbs still rip.
  • We tape “better”, it takes 10 minutes to get it just right. Now it is uncomfortable and we can barely move our thumb but it works better and falls off closer to the end of the workout and we only slightly rip our thumbs.

Not a great set of options to choose from.

There had to be a better way, so I set out to develop a new product to help solve this common thumb issue.

In my mind, this product had to:

  • Be quick and easy to put on
  • Be comfortable enough to wear throughout your entire workout
  • Support, without “getting in the way” or restricting movement.
  • Cushion the thumb area to improve the workout experience.  
  • Protect during a variety of grips (overhand, underhand, hook, false, etc.)

After a few prototypes, ThumbShield™ was born – the simple and strong, silicone solution to repetitive thumb rips, tears, and blisters.

While training with ThumbShield™ in the gym, athletes have used them for all types of lifts and grips – including the hook grip for snatches, overhead squats and those dreaded hang cleans. In addition, many athletes have used them for bar muscle-ups after complaining of rips when they do larger sets (I can’t do bar muscle-ups so I wouldn’t know). I even had one guy at my gym use them in 18.3 and was very pleased with how they performed without interfering with any of the other movements performed in that workout.

Personally, I was able to PR my clean grip deadlift by over 50 pounds while using a hook grip in conjunction with ThumbShield™. Without the product, I would have never used a hook grip with 385 pounds – it would have been far too painful, and I would have been afraid to injure my thumb. With ThumbShield™, the lift was no problem and the grip actually felt quite comfortable.

So that’s my story, and how ThumbShield™ came to life. If you’ve struggled with rips, tears or any other type of thumb discomfort during your workout, I hope you will give ThumbShield™ a try.

Brad Voosen
Founder, ThumbShield™

Brad Voosen and Family