Between lifting weights, doing pull-ups, and bodyweight exercises (like burpees, push-ups, and planks), if you are not careful, your hands can quickly become a bloody, blistered, and callused mess.
Luckily, there are lots of steps you can take to protect your hands and treat these issues so they do not stick around for too long. Read on to learn some of the best tips that you can start implementing today.
Protecting Your Hands
Generally speaking, it is easier to protect your hands from blisters and other injuries than it is to try and treat them. Some of the best ways to keep your hands safe include:
1. Wear Gloves
Gym gloves will help protect your hands from the blisters and calluses that might form if you were lifting weights and exercising barehanded. They are fairly inexpensive, and they are worth the investment if you do a lot of lifting but don’t want the hands to prove it.
Some people advise against wearing gloves because they want to encourage lifters to build up calluses on their hands as a natural form of protection. If that is not the kind of look you are into, though, then go ahead and throw on some gloves.
2. Moisturise Regularly
Daily moisturising is a must for men and women who want to keep their hands safe. Look for a high-quality hand cream that absorbs quickly and provides lasting moisture. It is best to use this cream both in the morning and at night for soft, smooth hands.
3. Soak Your Hands
If you want to take things up a notch, or if you already have calluses that you would like to smooth out, make soaking your hands a regular part of your routine as well.
Soaking your hands in warm water for anywhere from 15-30 minutes each day will help soften them up. It also feels great after a long day!
To make your hand soak more luxurious, add Epsom salts to your water. This will help with any pain, soreness, or stiffness you might be experiencing.
When you are done soaking your hands, use a pumice stone to lightly rub off the rough parts of your hands. Just be sure not to rub too hard, as this can leave your hands rawer than they were at the end of your workout.
Treating Blisters and Calluses
Blisters and calluses are the two most common hand imperfections that gym-goers tend to struggle with. If you have got blisters and calluses popping up on your hands left and right, these tips will help you take care of them and ensure your hands heal properly.
Never Pick at Calluses
It is awfully tempting, but you need to resist. When you pick, pull, and stretch calluses, you send a signal to your body that it needs to make them thicker and tougher to deal with the extra force being placed on them.
Disinfect and Pop Blisters Properly
If you have blisters on your hands from a tough workout, follow these steps to treat them properly and prevent infections.
- Wash the area: Wash your hands with soap and warm water to get rid of bacteria and prevent infection
- Disinfect: Next, you’ll need to disinfect the outside of the blister using a cotton swab dipped in alcohol or iodine. This will kill off any remaining bacteria.
- Disinfect your needle: If you are going to pop the blister, you will also need to disinfect the needle (or whichever instrument you are using to pop it) with iodine or alcohol.
- Puncture: Now, you are ready to puncture the blister. Do your best to leave the skin covering the blister intact – this means puncturing around the edge to let the fluid drain without totally breaking the skin.
- Apply antibiotic ointment: Once the blister has been punctured and the liquid drained, it is time to apply some antibiotic ointment to keep the area clean.
- Cover: Cover the blister with a bandage to keep it clean and dry.
- Ice: If your hands are stinging or hurting from a particularly tough workout, you can use a small ice pack on them to dull the pain and provide some relief.
Keeping your hands safe during your favourite workouts does not have to a challenge. Keep these simple protection and treatment tips in mind and your hands will look and feel better in no time!