Choosing CrossFit Grips: Prevent Calluses When Lifting

Written By Charleh Knighton  |  Weightlifting 

CrossFit is a grippy sport that requires handling barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells and pull-up bars regularly. Calluses aren’t a bad thing; they help toughen your hands to take on more of this grippy work!

However, left untreated, calluses build up so much that they end up ripping off, tearing your skin and leaving you unable to perform for days. With the right care and attention, you can help prevent hand calluses tearing and keep pushing yourself to new heights.

Can You Avoid Hand Calluses at CrossFit?

Calluses are a natural response to repetitive friction and pressure on the skin. When you're doing CrossFit, it's common to develop calluses on your hands from gripping weights and bars. However, you can take steps to keep them from becoming a problem.

How to Prevent Calluses When Lifting Weights

You can’t prevent calluses, but you can look after your hands so you don’t end up bleeding all over the gym floor:

  1. Keep them filed down:
    You can do this by shaving off excess hard skin or by using a pumice stone to file them down. This prevents large lumps from forming which are more easily ripped when doing movements like kipping pull-ups.

  2. Use Chalk:
    Chalk can help improve your grip and reduce the amount of pressure on your hands. Just make sure to use it sparingly, as excessive chalk can actually increase friction and lead to more calluses.

  3. Use Gymnastic Grips:
    Gymnastic grips are a great way to protect your hands when lifting weights. They provide a layer of padding between your hands and the bar or weight, reducing the pressure on your skin.

What CrossFit Gymnastic Grips Should I Be Wearing?

When it comes to choosing the right gymnastic grips for CrossFit, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Material:
    Look for grips made from high-quality materials, such as leather or synthetic materials. These materials will provide the most protection and durability.

  2. Size:
    Make sure to choose grips that fit properly and don't slip around on your hands. Grips that are too big or too small can be uncomfortable and may not provide adequate protection.

  3. Style:
    There are several different styles of gymnastic grips to choose from, including fingerless and full-finger grips. At WODprep, we recommend these fingerless grips from Element26, which are the best ones we’ve tried.

    They act in a similar way to using straps for Weightlifting; taking some of the weight off your grip. If you want to save 10%, use code “WODprep10” at checkout. 

Choosing CrossFit CrossFit Grips Prevent Calluses When Lifting Weights

How to Do CrossFit with Ripped Hands?

Despite your best efforts, you may still rip your hands during grippy CrossFit workouts. If this happens, it's important to take care of your hands and avoid further damage. Here's what you can do:

  1. Clean and Disinfect:
    Clean your hands thoroughly and disinfect any open wounds to prevent infection.

  2. Moisturize:
    Apply a high-quality hand cream or balm to moisturize and soothe your hands. We love this rip repair kit from Element26 (code: WODprep10 for discount). It actually creates a barrier around the damaged area, allowing you to carry on if you need to, for example, on competition day.

  3. Take a Break:
    If your hands are seriously damaged, take a break from CrossFit until they've had a chance to heal.

In conclusion, rips and tears don't have to hold you back in CrossFit. By taking the right preventative measures and caring for your hands, you can keep pushing yourself to new levels of fitness and performance.

To learn more about hand care for CrossFit, check out our blog post on the subject.

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