Taking Care of Your most Important Kettlebell Asset… Your Hands.

happiness_hands1229382185Avoiding callouses, nicks and burrs on your hands from lifting Kettlebell’s is like avoiding building muscle and burning fat from lifting them, it’s just part of doing the thing, but it doesn’t have to be a deterrent.

Lifting a Kettlebell no matter if you do it for fitness or sport requires feedback and that feedback is transferred to our hands in the form of callouses, nicks and burrs. As a beginner that feedback tends to be, loud and out spoken, but as proper and efficient lifting technique takes root it tends to use more of a softer indoor voice.

There are two important areas to be aware of and address when it comes to taking care of your hands

  1. Proper Technique, Preparation and Form
  2. Hand Maintenance

Let’s look at proper technique, preparation and form…

For the beginner, there unfortunately is a learning curve. Sorry to be a downer but it’s a fact jack. Depending on the qualifications and experience of your instructor or coach that curve can be short or it can be long.

Here are some things that you need to be aware of when it comes to technique…

  1. When lifting and swinging the Kettlebell try to avoid rapid jerking motions, this cause’s unwanted stress and strain on your hands, resulting in torn callouses. Keep the movement as fluid and consistent as possible.
  2. Chalking your hands and the handle. Unfortunately this is a double edged sword. Small, just right amounts of chalk help keep your hands dry and improve your grip. Too much creates more friction and thus more skin tears. It takes trial and error to find a chalk amount that works for you but once you do it’s a definite hand saver.
  3. Think about how you actually grip the Kettlebell. Are you grabbing it way down in the palm of your hand? Or are you grabbing it more with the fingers? Keep in mind that you are hanging on to the handle like a rock climber uses their fingers to grip rather than using your whole hand. Gripping the bell in the palm of the hand only causes the skin to fold and bunch up which exponentially increases the likelihood of ripping.
  4. Relax Your Grip! A tighter grips means more friction, more friction, means more rips. You really don’t need to hang on to the handle for dear life.

Taking care of your most valuable lifting asset…

A lot of times we take our hands for granted and look at the odd tear as a rite of passage or medal of honor, but the fact is that in order to progress and continue to lift, we need to give them the care and attention they so deserve.

Here are 3 important TLC tips…

  1. Don’t let your hands dry out. Dry cracked hands set up the perfect conditions for a rip.
  2. Don’t let your callouses get hard and build up. Keep your callouses thin, yet flexible with no hard edges.
  3. Attend to any torn callouses and abrasions immediately.

Without getting into different types of creams, ointments and jells and gizmos on the market today that help address the 3 TLC’s there is one product called RIPT Skin Systems that addresses all three quite well and better yet inexpensively.

It has a Daily Dose stick for hydrating, a Quick Fix stick for repairing and a Grindstone for callous maintenance.


You can find out more about RIPT Skin by going to http://www.riptskinsystems.com

Conditioning your hands is like building up any other part of your body. It takes time along with persistent perfect practice and of course patience.

You will go through a period starting off where your hands will tear no matter how careful you are, but it doesn’t last long and it doesn’t need to be a hindrance.

Be patient, be mindful and be careful. In the end you and your hands will come out tougher and stronger on the other side.

Yours in Kettle.

Coach Tim Bell


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