Think about hand care when using kettlebells

When people use kettlebells in their training programme they only think about, what weight they can use and doing the exercises, but may be one of the first things people should think about is hand and skin care. plus doing the exercise correctly to prevent injuries.

Swings, cleans and snatches

Can rub skin of the palm and fingers, causing callouses. The callous is usually not a problem until it rips tears or cracks the skin.

To avoid getting callouses

The more you train your hands will eventually get used to the battering and the callouses

Cleans, snatches and swings are the hardest on the hands so consider mixing up your training to pushing and squatting exercises when they need a break. If you want to do high rep snatches, build up the rep count over months to allow your hands to adjust.


Is usually partially responsible for the development and eventual tearing of callouses in kettlebell training. When you are transitioning the bell from a hook grip into the spear hand or back down to the hook, callouses can result from over-gripping the handle. However, especially in the beginning, getting callouses or blisters do not mean you have bad form.


Are different than callouses in that layers of skin begin to separate and liquid quickly forms on between them. These usually only happen when your hands are completely unprepared for the stress they received. If you are a new practitioner, start slowly and build up the overall toughness of your skin over time before engaging in high rep training and this shouldn’t be a problem.


Can be a very valuable asset, but it should be used wisely because it can make your callouses worse, or more likely to tear.

This means either heavy weight or high reps, it also means using a kettlebell with a handle that holds chalk properly.

When it comes down to pushing your limits either with reps or with weight, the use of chalk is a must. The downside with the chalk is that it can make the handle of the bell stick to your hand so well, that it can tear the callouses more easily

Wearing gloves

but they may affect your grip in training so you may prefer not to use them

Treating callouses

That have formed before they tear is important. You can file or clip them down and if necessary rub coconut oil or moisturizer into your hands if they are dry (but not before training with kettlebells). The worst case scenario is that you are feeling some pain for a few days if one tears and may have to alter your workout.

Kennie Gould

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