People who weight train, especially those who powerlift and bodybuild are no stranger to the little white nuisances that form on your hand after an awesome training session. For the guys, these may not present such an immediate problem but for the ladies they can be a nightmare.
Calluses are caused by your skin forming a layer of armor from constant friction. They can be found mostly on the hands and feet but with regards to weight training they are typically found on the palms under your fingers. This is because we often grip the bar incorrectly leaving too much space between the fingers and the palm. When we grip the bar in that manner, our skin folds causing pain.
Proper callus care is necessary when lifting otherwise calluses can become bothersome. Unfortunately, the ugly truth is that calluses can’t be avoided when we lift heavy as in the case of power lifting or trying to gain muscle mass. Below are some helpful tips especially for the ladies to help keep calluses under control.
1) Wear Lifting gloves: I know, I know, I know…. Most powerlifters do not use gloves because they weaken your grip strength and some federations don’t even allow them in competition. But if you are a female powerlifter I would suggest you use gloves during assistance exercise training or training days that don’t require more than 70% of your max effort on main lifts. They will help calluses from forming fast or getting worse.
2) Use a pumice stone to remove the dead skin cells right after a shower while your skin is still soft. Rub lightly to make sure the cells are removed evenly and you don’t accidentally tear the callus.
3) DO NOT EVER USE SCISSORS, NAIL CLIPPERS, OR RAZORS TO REMOVE YOUR CALLUSES! DO NOT TRY TO PULL THEM OFF! ALL OF THESE HURT!!!!!!
4) Use lifters chalk to help fill the gap between your skin fold during lifts.
5) Do not try to completely remove the calluses unless you plan to stop lifting altogether. The thickening of your skin in that area was formed by your body to help avoid pain therefore calluses are a necessary adaptation.
6) Change your grip! Try to grip the bar between the base of your fingers and the top of your calluses so that the force of the bar does not fold your skin.
Ladies let’s lift heavy and stay sexy! There ain’t nothing sexy about a hand full of visible calluses so take care of your hands. If you have any other tips please feel free to comment below!