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Taping Callouses
By Donny Shankle

With consistent training your hands can take a beating. The skin on the thumbs especially can become raw and sensitive. You may even have some breaking of blood vessels. Most weightlifters will tape their thumbs to protect the skin. You can wrap the tape over the nail and go all the way down to the base of your thumb, or you can wrap down from underneath the first knuckle. Figure out what feels comfortable to you and make sure you can still bend your thumb. Athletic tape works great but there is also an elastic tape which works really well.

You may also need to tape a torn callous on the palm of your hand right below the fingers. As your hands toughen up this becomes less of a problem.  It’s typically right below the ring finger where a callous is torn or below the middle and pinky finger. To tape over this callous and continue training, lay out a length of athletic tape 6-8 inches long and pierce a hole in the middle with a pen. Gently pull this hole apart until it’s big enough to slide your finger through. Your callous should now be covered by the tape with both ends going down to just below your wrist. Repeat this process with another piece of tape going over the first piece. Now secure the ends with a piece of tape loosely wrapping around your wrist. Taping your callouses this way keeps unnecessary tape out of the palm of your hand which can mess with your grip (this is also why you never wear gloves while you are weightlifting).

Make sure after each training session you wash the chalk off your hands to keep them from drying out. A moisturizing bar works best. Use a pumice stone to grind down any dead skin and stay away from razors. A thick lotion which is waxy or yellow in color works best to keep your hands from drying out and ripping callouses often. Before going to bed apply some Bag Balm or Badger Balm to your hands. This will protect them from tearing and help the skin grow back faster if torn.