The formation of calluses is often a necessary evil when you begin a weight-training routine. The friction of your skin on the bar will typically cause a callus. The callus protects your skin from the repetitive motion. However, left unattended, a callus may cause pain, change the way you grip the bar which may result in an injury or muscle pull, or rip and bleed- all three can delay your workout progress. Continue reading to find out how to prevent calluses.
4 Ways to Prevent Calluses:
1) Wear Gloves:
The best way to prevent calluses from forming is to provide a barrier between your hands and the workout tool. Wearing training gloves is a simple solution and the gloves easily fit into your workout bag. You have a variety of options from which to choose such as leather, fingerless gloves which cover your entire hand to the minimalist pad that loops onto one finger and covers only your palm. Consider the material when selecting your gloves as vinyl or fabric gloves may not last throughout your workout career. Gloves made of neoprene tend to resist tearing and also absorb the sweat to prevent slippery hands. Leather gloves can make your hands sweat too, but should absorb the liquid and last for years. You can also purchase gloves with wrist wraps for additional support and protection.
2) Smooth Calluses:
If your calluses are growing along with your muscles, you may feel raised ridges on your hands. It is time to smooth out these rough patches to prevent a callus tearing or ripping off during your workout. After a shower, or after soaking your hands in warm water for approximately 5 minutes, use a pumice stone or an emery board to smooth the callus. Aim to decrease its size until it matches the height of the rest of your skin. You do want to leave a little on there to provide a barrier between your hands and the bar. Then, apply lotion or petroleum jelly to soften the callus and keep it pliable. Keep current with your smoothing of the calluses to reduce the chance of an injury that will derail your workout routine.
3) Change Hand Position:
You can prevent calluses or eliminate your discomfort by changing your hand position on the bar. For instance, if you usually use a palm’s down grip, vary your routine and grasp the bar with your palms facing up. This will also stimulate new muscles and help to improve your strength. You can move the bar closer to where your fingers connect to your palms instead of placing the bar in the center of your palm. This will also reduce the friction on the callused area. As a final option, consider changing the resistance type. For example, if you usually train with a barbell, switch to machines for a week or two until your callus has healed.
4) Perform Bodyweight Exercises:
Bodyweight exercises are also a nice change and eliminates all handlebar friction on your palms. Add these into your routine once a week or when you need a break to heal. Try push-ups and shoulder push-ups for chest, shoulders and upper-body, dips for triceps and flex your arms into a muscle pose for 30 to 60 seconds to target those biceps.