The winter season is here which calls for dry, cracked skin, and with that can come calluses. Callus care is super important as a crossfitter. If you don’t take care of them then you could RIP which is extremely painful and can prevent you from being able grip any kind of bar or ring for a couple days.
There are 2 qualities that make your hands susceptible to ripping– you either have soft hands with little or no callus build-up, or too much callus build-up that makes bumps or ridges on the surface of your hands. You need the happy medium – deep but smooth and supple calluses that protect the hands but remain intact when working. Here are some tips in order to have that happy medium for your hands.
- Preventative: Avoid using a ton of chalk! Sorry to burst your chalk dust bubble, but excessive chalk can actually lead to tearing. Sweaty chalk hands cause more slipping which causes more tears. Also, when you’re done with your chalked up hands be sure to WASH THEM. Chalk leftovers can cause your skin to dry out and crack, which is painful and causes ripping/tearing.
- Preventative: If you’re hands are prone to tearing or being sore, you can try gymnastic wraps or taping your hands. Actual cloth wraps or gloves may be beneficial if you tape your hands regularly for high rep/high volume work.
- Post WOD: Use a pumice stone: While in the shower, bath, or simply run your hands under water for 10 min., take a pumice stone and rub it on the white parts, the bumps, or the calluses of your hands. If anyone has ever gotten a pedicure, this is the same technique used on your feet after the soak them. Start gentle and increase intensity as needed. It shouldn’t hurt. Also, you want to use caution in how long you do this. It shouldn’t be for 10 minutes straight. You don’t want to risk overdoing it and causing your skin to be too sensitive and sore.
- Post WOD: Try using a wax-like substance such as Burt’s Bees Hand Slave. This is a substance you put on your hands when you aren’t going to be using them much, such as before bed. This substance is thicker than lotions and moisturizers, to help tackle serious tears, rips, and cracks.