While some people have come to consider calluses as a badge of a true weight lifter, many find them irritating and look for ways to get rid of them. Yes, callused hands are a sign of hard work, but you don’t want your calluses to become so large that they look like mumps growing on your hands. Not only that, but if you leave calluses untreated, you run the risk of possibly tearing one and setting back your workout progress.
Do you have a callus that needs care? Avoid unnecessary pain and slowing your muscle gains and check out these weight training tips to help you care for your calluses:
Remove (the Majority) of the Callus
You do not want to remove your callus in its entirety as it does provide protection between your hands and the bar—however, you can gently remove the majority of the callus to prevent it from tearing or ripping.
To do this, soak your hands in warm water for a few minutes, or plan to smooth out your callused hands after a shower. Use a pumice stone or an emery board and slowly rub across the callus until it is even with the rest of your skin. Again, leave a bit of it there so you aren’t returning to your workout with baby soft hands. Rub lotion or petroleum jelly on your hands after to help them heal.
Shrink Them With Salicylic Acid
If your callus is painful and getting in the way of your workouts, try to shrink it with products that contain salicylic acid. Find a lotion or an ointment that contains salicylic acid and cover the callus with it to soften the area. Then, use a pumice stone to remove the dead skin.
Change Your Grip
If your calluses continuously return, you may need a change of grip to give your hands a break. Instead of placing the bar in the middle of your hands, place it closer to your fingers and still overlap your thumb and fingers to secure the grip. This may feel odd at first (use a lighter weight until you get used to the grip), but it should be as secure as a traditional grip for pulling exercises such as deadlifts and rows. Do not use the grip for a bench or overhead press as it causes more pressure on your wrists.
Wear Hand Protection
The best way to care for your calluses is to wear weight lifting gloves, which act as a barrier between your hands and the bar. Workout gloves come in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors, so you’re sure to find a pair that suits your taste. For the best weight lifting gloves on the market, check out our products.