CrossFit hands go through more than most; lifting, gripping, pulling, pushing and hardly ever get a break. Callouses, rips and splits are fairly common in any type of weight lifting, but perhaps especially so in CrossFit and calisthenics where your hands are expected to deal with your body weight, multiplied by the effects of gravity and inertia, on a regular basis. They can be a hindrance to your training, at best, but can also have an effect on your day to day life, especially if you work with your hands.
So here are my top tips for how to look after your hands… those poor, hard-working CrossFit hands!
As with anything, it’s better to protect your hands against damage than it is to constantly be on the defensive. I use a series of products to keep my hands soft and free of any loose bits of nail or skin, and to try and keep callouses to a minimum. Below are my must-have hand care items:Want to protect your hands from callouses and rips? Read these top tips: Click To Tweet
A good moisturiser
I was sent some Faith In Nature products for review a while ago, which included their restorative hand cream and I’ve been using it religiously since. Made from natural ingredients, with organic hemp oil the main ingredient, the hand cream is meant for hard working hands, and works especially well on dry or rough skin to restore softness and moisture. I use this every day, especially after washing up or cleaning. It absorbs quickly, which is great for work as I don’t want slippery hands when I’m writing notes in meetings!
I’ve used cuticle oil for about a year now. I never used to bother, except when I was trimming back my cuticles before doing my nails, but a cuticle oil helps to soften them up every day and avoid those horrible little peely bits of skin and nail you can get… you know, the ones that hurt like a bitch when you pick them?! I used to use Solar Oil, but recently bought an OPI scented oil which is so much nicer. I chose orange, which is soooo good!CrossFit/weightlifting hands? Restore healthy skin using these tips on how to look after your hands: Click To Tweet
Even with daily moisturising, you’re bound to get the odd callous or broken/peeling bit of skin or nail every now and then. So when you do, these items will come to your rescue:
Hard skin remover
Perfect for callouses, this hard skin remover pen from Carnation is a thing of beauty. One application and the top layer of skin on my callouses was soon buffering away with ease. I have to admit I’m a picker, but with the right products preparing your skin in the first place, you can pick away with no damage. Thanks Carnation for the review sample.
As well as softening up the skin, you also need to keep your nails free of rough edges, and trim back any loose bits of skin. This is where my mini-mani kit comes in super useful. I bought the kit years ago in a Christmas 3 for 2 offer, but have used it regularly ever since. It came with the files, mini nail clippers and cuticle sticks, but I bought the cuticle nippers separately as the ones that came with it were a bit cheap. I use this to keep my nails tidy, trim loose bits of callous and push back and trim my cuticles.Ripped your hands doing pull ups? Here's how to look after them: Click To Tweet
If, after all that, you’ve still been unlucky enough to get a hand rip or tear, then you’ll need to take action to repair the damaged skin. Here is what I use to repair my skin:
Trust me, if you have rips you really need to cut off any excess, loose skin. This will help prevent the rip getting any worse, but also can help avoid infection from dirt getting caught up underneath the skin. Please please please don’t pull the skin off! Use cuticle nippers (I bought mine from Tweezerman) to avoid damaging the area more.
Intensive repair balm
After posting a picture of my roughed up hands on Instagram, the creators of Callus Quench over in the States got in touch about the new product and asked if I wanted to try some. They very kindly sent me a big stick (the one photographed) as well as a mini-stick which is great for popping in your bag! It’s made of beeswax, avocado butter and a selection of oils and, when applied, protects and sooths the area, as well as providing essential moisture to help repair. If you have a big rip you can pack it out with Callus Quench, or you can use it as well as your moisturiser over those calloused areas for a bit of extra moisture.
Or cling film… seriously. Overnight these help keep the moisture in and protect your paws from further damage while you sleep (the third benefit is avoiding rip seepage getting on your bedding, ewww!). Cover your mitts in Callus Quench, add some moisturiser for good luck, and pop on the gloves. Your hands will be healed up in no time!
Those were my top tips for how to look after your hands, do you have any other products you like to use? Or more tips for how to care for your hands? Please comment below!
This post contains some review samples, as always my opinions are my own and are not swayed by products gifted to me.