Inevitably, when you start out lifting your hands are nice and soft. Through the session they start to hurt, but you don’t notice until the end that they are pretty beaten up. Within a few weightlifting sessions, your hands become blistered, rough and begin to peel. You start get worried, what if they rip? Well, you should be nervous and you should do something about that now. Don’t wait until you get a rip. Take care of your hands now now. It’s actually pretty simple.
This is a question from a friend new to weightlifting:
My hand callouses are getting kind of gnarly. They’re not ripping off (a la CrossFit), but they’re kind of peeling. Like dry skin. There’s still a decent amount of callous underneath, but I don’t know if I should try to sand that shit down or just not worry about it. Basically I just want to *avoid* having them rip off, and this whole “man hands” thing is a new phenomenon for me. Stop laughing, I’m (mostly) serious.
This is totally legit, no laughing. The solution is super easy, but not obvious.
- Two words – PUMICE STONES. Get yourself some. They are super cheap on amazon.
- Put one next to each sink and one in your shower.
- Grind down those callouses for ~30 seconds every time you wash your hands.
Done! Your hands should be healthy. However, if your callouses are too thick to pumice them (which can sometimes happen if you leave them too long), then you need to either shave them down with a razor or smother them in bag balm, put a plastic bag around you hand, cinch down the bag (so you don’t get it all over the place), and sleep with that on. It is an emergency measure that is very effective. Gymnasts do this all the time.
However, perhaps something terrible happens and you accidentally get a rip (bad lift, new movement, poor hand care, etc.)
- Clean it, trim the hanging skin, and smother it in neosporin.
- Bandage it up with tape, band-aids, new skin, whatever you like.
- You can also bag it like above, if you are a crazy sleeper and you think the bandage might leak.
- Change your bandage after your lifting and/or at least once a day. IMPORTANT: Keep it moist and covered (with neosporin or other ointment), it is scientifically proven that moist wounds heal faster.
- If you want to lift with the rip, use sports tape, an ace bandage or a strap over the bandage and you can (probably) still work through the healing process and lot lose too much ground.
Hope this helps! Have any other tips for good hand care?