One of the inevitable side effects of doing a lot of weightlifting is that your hands will begin to develop calluses. Removing them is important because if you allow them to raise up and get pinched from the stress of lifting weights, they are likely to rip off at some point. That would be very painful and likely disrupt your training seriously.
Where You’re Likely to Have Calluses
The particular parts of your hand where you are likely to get calluses depend on your weightlifting styles and a number of other factors such as whether you use gloves or if you have had an injury on your hands in the past.
Generally, the base of the fingers, middle of the fingers and the palm of the hands are the most common areas where weightlifters develop calluses.
The importance of the callus locations lies in the fact that the thickness of the skin of your hand varies in different places. If you are removing calluses from your palms, then you can afford to be a bit more vigorous than if you are removing them from your fingers. Care must be taken to reduce the chances of injury.
What You Need To Prepare
The first thing you need to get while preparing to remove your calluses is something with which to scrape them off. A butter knife or any other dull knife is a perfect choice for this and ideally, you should have one dedicated for the purpose.
Having a pumice stone would also boost the effectiveness of your efforts, though you can make do without it. You also need to have a bucket of warm water at the ready so you can soak your hands in it, along with a towel you can dry them off with.
Soak your hands in the water for a minute or two and then dry them lightly with the towel. The calluses should be raised a bit and white in color, indicating that the skin on those areas are dead.
The Callus Removal Process
To begin, hold the butter knife or other utensil you’re using in its place at a 90 degree angle to your hand and then begin to scrape at the calluses. Dead skin should begin to come up at this point, and that’s how you’ll know you’re doing it right.
If you feel any sort of pain, apart from the normal mild discomfort of pressure on your hand, then you should stop and re-evaluate. Barring a prior injury in that area, it is either you are scraping too hard or you do not have calluses in the first place. Continuing to scrape in either of those situations will lead to you scraping off live skin, which would be very uncomfortable, to say the least.
As you continue, you should notice the calluses begin to flatten out on your hands. Continue to scrape until your hand feels completely flat, or as close to it as you can get without scraping off live skin.
You can also use the pumice stone if you have one. It works best for smaller calluses, so you can use it to get the remainder, after you have used the butter knife to scrape away the tougher parts. Use circular or sideways motions and avoid being too harsh on the skin.
Wipe your hands dry afterward and check to be sure there are no injuries. You will still have some patches on your skin that are tougher than others, but they will be level with your hand and no longer prone to catching and ripping off as you work out.
Preventing Calluses from Appearing
Now that you have removed the calluses already on your hand, there are a few tips you can apply to reduce their likelihood of returning.
Rubbing a pumice stone or sand paper on your calluses while having your bath everyday will work to keep them down for good since you will be removing them before they get large and tough enough to be at risk of ripping.
The most popular ways of preventing calluses involve a number of home remedies made from different ingredients like lemon juice, salt, vinegar, baking soda and a variety of others. They serve to soften the hands and prevent them from getting tough enough for calluses to form. You can try the different ones to see which work best for you.
Moisturizing your hands with oils like olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil serves the same purpose as those remedies: keeping your hands too soft for calluses to form. If oils will interfere with your workout, you can use a solution made from glycerine and rose water that softens your hands without making them oily and slippery.