By Maximus Lewin, L2, Founder, CrossFit East Bay

If CrossFit is new to you (or you are getting back into it), you may have noticed that it can be REALLY hard on the hands. Hanging off of the bar, kipping, pull-ups, Toes-To-Bar (T2B), Knees-To-Elbows (KTE) and the scaled versions thereof can be quite tough on your palms. Developing calluses is a normal, natural and , desirable reaction to the positive Stress of CrossFit. However what you don’t want is to develop hard jagged calluses: they rip and when they do not only does it hurt, but it can cost you training time. It can be avoided:

  • At first your hands may be quite soft. You may not be able to complete all the reps in a workout. That is OK. Try not to rip your hands: it costs most people training time (some may just ignore the pain, but that is not ideal)
  • There are a number of gloves recommended for CrossFit. ROGUE FITNESS is the go-to for all things CrossFit: ROGUE GLOVES PAGE
  • If you can eventually get by without gloves or use them sparingly you probably should and here is why:
    • Gloves introduce a surface that reduces grip strength by reducing friction (the material will move around)
    • Gloves effectively make the bar thicker and harder to grip by adding material to it
    • Gloves remove much proprioceptive feedback (feeling) from all movements
    • We don’t recommend gloves for Olympic Lifting (Clean & Jerk and Snatch)
  • Once you have toughened up your hands and developed some calluses you should use a pumice stone in the shower, every day. You can get them on AMAZON or at CVS or Whole Foods