Preventing Torn Calluses

I took this picture of my hand after the Fran WOD (21-15-9 of thrusters and pull-ups).  Sorry for the grossness of it!

For me, one of the most annoying things about CrossFit is tearing up your hands.  At first, I thought it was a badge of honor, but now its just downright annoying and painful.  I use to think that if I built up tough calluses, I would be less likely to tear up on the bar.  But apparently I was mistaken. Calluses “pinch” easy which will cause a tear in no time. The most important thing you can do to prevent this is keeping your calluses under control.   I decided to test out a couple of the popular methods to see which one worked best for me.

At first I tried shaving the calluses down with a bic razor.  Everyone at my box seemed to rave about this method, but I think I was too much of a baby to apply any real pressure to the razor to see any noticeable results.  All I could think about was pressing too hard and cutting my hand open (obviously this is highly unlikely, but again, I’m such a baby).

 So, the second, and less scary method I tried, was using a nail file.  I read this online somewhere and figured it was worth a shot. The nail file worked fine for some of my smaller calluses, but was absolutely useless on the larger, more built up ones.  I would say the file is an okay last resort, but is not very effective.

After the razor and nail file, I decided to settle on a happy medium with a pumice stone. I let my   hands soak in the shower for a bit and then started scrubbing away.  The pumice stone was awesome!  It easily removed all the built up skin and left a soft, level feel to my hands that I hadn’t seen in months.  So, for anyone looking for a safe and painless way to remove calluses, the pumice stone will be your best friend. 

I haven’t had the chance to workout since using the pumice stone this morning, but I am really excited to see if this makes a difference up on the pull-up bar.  If you guys have any recommendations on keeping your hands callus free, we would love to hear about it!



2 thoughts on “Preventing Torn Calluses

  1. Erica — You should buy zinc oxide to put on rips when you get them. I used it all of the time when I did gymnastics — my hands used to get destroyed from bars. Just clip the dead skin off (sick), put zinc oxide on, and then tape them when you’re working out (obviously), but other than that, let it breathe and dont put band-aids over them.


    P.S. They are totally a badge of honor! 🙂

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