Caring For Your Hands


Calluses are inevitable in CrossFit. If you have been doing CrossFit for some time you have probably began to see calluses form. Calluses are simply areas of your skin that become thick and hard in response to repeated friction, pressure or irritation.


Ideally, it is ok to have a smooth layer of thick skin on your hands but if there are any bumps or raised edges then there is potential to tear. Not only do tears cause pain and put you at risk for infection but they also can delay your training for a week or two while they heal.


There are a number of products available to help with routine hand care. Some cheaper options would include a pumice stone or callus razor (see picture below). These products can be used a couple times a week to keep calluses down and your hands smooth.


Should you happen to tear there are some steps that can be taken to aid in healing and prevent delay in training.

1.      Wash your hands with soap and water. It will hurt but it is important to get chalk and debris from the wound

2.      If there are any skin flaps trim them off. Try not to open an areas that are still intact

3.      Put a salve on the area and attempt to cover it for the first day or so

4.      Continue to apply salve/ointment to the area. There are many options available online for salves.  Avoid drying agents.


Other options for preventing tears would include gloves, grips and changing the technique in how you grip the bar. The following is a link to an article that has reviews for available grips:


Another option for preventing tears may be in the way that you grip the bar. The bar should not be held in the palm of the hand but rather at the base of the fingers.  Less skin will be compressed between the bar and your fingers with this type of grip.

Don’t wait until you rip to take care of your hands!

Author: Kelcie Thoennes

Anna Soland