A bodybuilder cherishes little signs that show them that they are making progress. They might be subtle but they are not easy to miss- suddenly, a shirt is fitting more tightly, or a weight you used to struggle has become your warm up. More immediate signs of bodybuilding- besides the gains in muscle mass, of course- are calluses. These skin formations take over your hand, and become a fixture you are used to. But should you be so proud of them?
The formation of calluses is an adaptation response. When an area in your skin is exposed to more stress than it usually has to deal with, it compensates by adding upon it layers of dead skin. When done progressively, a callus is the end result. Your body is simply trying to ensure you can handle that stress more comfortably without injury.
If you are lifting hard enough, you have perhaps accepted calluses as a part of life. Since you have to lift heavier weights as you go, these patches of skin only get thicker with time. Unusual as they may be, they act as a constant reminder that you are pushing hard, and nearing your personal bodybuilding goals.
Calluses are unsightly. They make your hands have an unnatural look and feel. The sensation of touch is all but lost in those callused areas.
Biting, or cutting into the calluses is ill-advised. It might result in pain, or bleeding and this may keep you off the gym for a couple of days. You can use moisturizers and other products on your hands to soften the touch, but these do little to reduce the formations. Exercise cessation might cause the calluses to reduce, but when is that ever the option? Shaving the calluses might help reduce their size.
Lifting gloves are thought to be the easy solution to calluses. Wearing them might forestall their formation, but if they are already present, the gloves will not help in their reduction.
Beginner and intermediate bodybuilders might gain from weight lifting gloves, but for the seasoned lifters, they do little to take away the pressure that their palms have to deal with. There are different types of gloves, some with added padding to increase comfort, and these go a long way in preventing calluses. They also help with grip improvement.
There are other ways to prevent calluses For instance; you can assume a different grip on the bar. When the bar is placed low in your hands, the chances of developing a callus on the base of the fingers is reduced. Chalk has also been thought to help. Besides improving the grip, the chalk particles fill the folds in the skin, implying that less of it is pressed down.
Calluses might be the emblem of bodybuilding, but no one wants to see them. They can become a painful reminder of your gains if torn. Do ensure you take care of them or prevent them, if they haven’t already developed.
You can try these gym gloves.
Your fitness pal