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Prevent Torn Hand Calluses

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Calluses are patches of tough skin that form on our hands in response to repeated friction.  The source of this friction is usually high volume barbell, kettlebell or pull-up work.  Now everyone’s skin differs in response to these sources of friction, but most people that have done substantial work with kettlebells, etc. know what calluses look like and how painful they can be when they tear.  There are a few things you can do to reduce the likelihood that you’ll rip your hand calluses though.

First, don’t grip the bar so tightly!  Your death grip on the bar is increasing the friction with your hand and leading to more calluses and more rips.  Take some time before or after class to experiment with a lighter grip on the kettlebell and pull-up bar.

Second, even if you don’t have a death grip, you need to maintain your hands to prevent rips.  Some people use cheese grater-like tools, others use pumice stones, some even use a Dremel tool!  What I have found to work best is a combination of tools, but my primary tool is this callus shaver.  After doing the large scale removal with that shaver, which is shown in the picture, I go back and do a bit of touch up with a pumice stone.  Since I’ve worked with these tools I’ve reduced ripped calluses substantially.  If any readers have other suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!

 

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