Say Goodbye to Weightlifting Calluses With These 7 Tips

What are calluses on hands?

They are small areas where the skin gets hard and rises, as a result of repeated rubbing and friction. These pesky little problems feel rubbery and thick to touch. Plus, the skin around, and under, a callus can feel sensitive to touch.

Though calloused hands aren’t a danger to health, they can be a major source of irritation, especially if you lift weights more than often. Gym calluses are most common in the fitness circuit, including weightlifting and CrossFit training. While some people flaunt their gym hands with pride, others look at them as a hindrance if the callus on hands hurt.

If you have weightlifting calluses on your hands, and you want to know how to prevent hard skin on hands from forming, then you are at the right place. Let’s dive into the most effective ways with which you can lift weights while maintaining the softness of your hands:

Wear Your Gym Gloves

Never lose your gloves! Gym gloves are one of the easiest, and needless to say most affordable, ways to prevent the formation of callus on palm. They prevent friction caused by exercise equipment by acting as a barrier between the equipment and your skin. And the best part is that gym gloves cover the parts of your hands prone to weightlifting calluses without interfering with your training.

When buying gloves, opt for the pair that fits well and does not slip, so you do not end up with more blisters. A well-fitted pair can make your workout more rewarding and enjoyable.

Interesting Read: How To Clean Boxing Gloves Naturally?

Moisturise Your Hands Regularly

Yes, you read that right. Moisturising is not just for women. In fact, if you lift weights regularly, you must moisturise regularly as well, especially if you struggle with dry hands.

A good moisturiser should be a key part of your skincare routine. When your skin isn’t moisturised, its protective barrier function gets compromised, making it more vulnerable to hard skin on knuckles and palms that can crack or tear.

Research1 says that coconut oil has skin-protective benefits and anti-inflammatory properties that can keep hands strong and healthy. So, if you have coconut oil at home, make it a ritual to apply it at night before going to sleep.

Focus on Your Lifting Technique

While calluses are normal in lifting, their severity and size can vary based on how you hold the bar. A wrong grip can result in larger calluses that are more susceptible to tearing and cracks. Deadlifting gloves are another way to protect your hands and fend off calluses.

However, the best way to grip a weightlifting bar is to hold it between your palm and fingers along your knuckles. This decreases the potential friction and pinching from the bar, which causes calluses. So, it’s important to ensure that your lifting technique is correct and consider using deadlifting gloves for added protection.

Chalk Your Hands Up

There is no substitute for performance chalk which is also known as lifting chalk or gym chalk. Applying chalk on your hands, before exercising, can give you a better grip on the bar by decreasing the sweat on your palms. It is perfect for quick, repetitive movements that can cause tears and blisters.

Use chalk after each set to ensure the formation of a protective layer on your palms. The only caveat to lifting chalk is that it’s extremely drying. This can make your calluses susceptible to tearing if you don’t moisturise.

Invest in Grips

A little different from gym gloves, lifting grips are used for exercises that involve pull-up bars.

They are perfect for gymnasts and CrossFit athletes who use pull-up bars a lot. Grips reduce the tension and friction in gym hands, and they can prevent weightlifting calluses if used frequently.

Adding an extra layer in between your hands and the pull-up bar can feel a bit weird at first. It can take time to get used to it, but your hands will be callus-free in the long run. So, invest in lifting grips and kiss those irksome calluses goodbye.

Keep Already Formed Calluses in Check

To keep the already formed weightlifting calluses in check, it is extremely important to not pick them. While it might look tempting to pick off the hard skin, it will only make, things worse and, hand callus treatment difficult.

There is nothing worse than a callused hand. You can soften them or remove the dead skin to keep the hardened bumps to a minimum. So, how to soften calluses? Well, it is as easy as it can get. Soak your hands in warm water to keep them soft. And how to remove dead skin from hands? According to What ‘Foot Care’ Really Means2, published in The American Journal of Nursing, gently rub off the dead skin with an emery board, pumice stone, or fine sandpaper. Do not forget to apply lotion at the end.

Lifting Straps Are Your Best Friends

If you are more of a powerlifter than a CrossFit trainer, then starting a friendship with lifting straps might be a good option for you. Lifting straps protect hands from calluses, during heavy lifting, by redistributing tension and weights away from the palm.

They can significantly reduce rubbing and friction on the hands, as well as increase the strength in your wrists and forearms. Therefore, with the help of lifting grips, you can bid goodbye to painful calloused hands for good.

Bottom Line

There are so many ways to prevent calluses on palms. The decision depends entirely on you and your requirements. If you get calluses more than often, then you can seek simple treatments to treat them. You can use salicylic acid or consult a dermatologist. Or you can just follow these tips to prevent them from forming. Better safe than sorry!

Read this before you pack your gym bag next time: 19 Gym Essentials Every Fitness Lover Needs


  • 1 Varma, Sandeep R., et al. “In vitro anti-inflammatory and skin protective properties of Virgin coconut oil.” Journal of traditional and complementary medicine 9.1 (2019): 5-14.
  • 2 Graham, Sue, and Margaret Morley. “What’foot care’really means.” The American journal of nursing 84.7 (1984): 889-891.
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