How to Protect Your Hands While Lifting Weights

September 15, 2022 5 min read

How to Protect Your Hands While Lifting Weights

There’s nothing more irritating during your workout routines than when you’re forced to stop because of hand pain. Just after you’ve gotten yourself into a consistent rhythm that’s actually working, too. It’s not a good time for your hands to give out on you! So what can you do to protect your hands so that you’re not forced to quit and risk losing motivation? 

Weightlifters should use a healing balm, a more relaxed grip, and workout gloves or skins to protect their hands from injuries such as blisters, calluses, hand cramps, and torn blood vessels. Removing rings and wearing breathable materials to prevent excess heat and moisture are also effective. 

Want to learn more, the causes of common hand pains and ways to prevent them are all below just waiting for you. Not to mention, our favorite hand protection product, the Gym Skin.

 

female working out pulling a large rope wearing gym skins to protect her hands

Why Do My Hands Hurt When I Lift Weights?

When we work out we need our hands for the majority of the exercises and routines we do. Inevitably, we’re going to hurt our hands in some way. Our hands take quite a beating at the gym but the most common pains they experience are:

  • Blisters
  • Calluses
  • Hand cramping
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Bruising
  • And Arthritis

Odds are, if your hands hurt while lifting weights, it’s because of one of those reasons. And the sum of these issues is that we’re working too hard. You read that right. Lifting weights and doing chin-ups too hard, too often will cause everything except arthritis, and even that will come with time. Straining too hard while lifting causes bruises by tearing the blood vessels in your arms and hands, while gripping too hard will give you blisters, calluses, hand cramping, and fatigue. 

How do I Stop My Hands From Hurting When I Lift?

The first thing you should try is lightening your grip since we’ve determined it’s the cause behind a multitude of pains.

Put on a protective balm before you’re about to start working out to protect your hands against blisters and calluses. 

Your muscle fatigue will most likely ease up after you ease your death grip, but if it doesn’t, it may be because you’re new to working out and those muscles just haven’t gotten used to your routine. Give them time to catch up with you. 

Arthritis is a very painful, and mostly irreversible ailment. It would be best to consult your doctor who knows what kind of arthritis you have to determine how to manage the pain or what anti-inflammatory to give you so that you have enough time to keep working your muscles and maintain movability. 

picture of two hands palms facing camera. one hand is extremely damaged and full of blisters, the other wearing a pink gym skin by STKR Concepts

How Do You Prevent Blisters When Lifting Weights?

I can’t discuss every item in the list of hand pain in thorough detail, but calluses and blisters are some of the more common pains of weight lifting that can build up pain and injury, so I will dive into those, starting with blisters. It's an injury that workout artists despise with every fiber of their being, young or old. Firstly, how do blisters happen while you’re working out? There are three major culprits:

  • The equipment
  • Our rings
  • Dry skin

The most common culprit is using equipment like dumbbells, weights, pull-up bars, and basically every metal cylinder we’re holding. The friction between the skin and what we’re exercising with will eventually force the top layer of your skin to separate from the lower layers, where body fluid will fill the cavity. Voila! Blister. Gripping the weights too hard won’t help, of course, but it’s the knurling on the weights that really tears into the skin. 

The second common cause is our wedding or engagement rings, just in case you didn’t notice the spot where you always wear your ring seems to always get blisters. The rings will pinch your skin while doing reps and have the same effect that friction has. 

Lastly, dry skin causes blisters, which can be a problem for us when we don’t stay hydrated during the winter or use chalk. 

We can prevent blisters from these problems in a few ways. For the dry skin problem, wash your hands right after you’re done using the chalk so that it doesn’t have a chance to absorb the moisture from your skin. You can easily prevent pinching from your ring by taking it off and keeping it locked in the available gym lockers. Finally, when it comes to friction and knurling, one of the best ways to prevent blisters is by wearing gym gloves or skins.

 

Woman standing in a gym setting with a foot propped up on a bar bell. She is wearing a pair of Gym Skins by STKR Concepts.

How Do You Prevent Calluses When Lifting Weights?

Moving onto calluses, they are similar to blisters in that calluses are caused by repetitive friction and excessive pressure over a long period of time, which prompts the body to take action and harden the skin so that it isn’t torn anymore. 

To prevent calluses in the gym, take the same preventative measures you would for blisters,

  • Ease your grip
  • And wear tape or workout gloves

And take additional measures like,

  • Using lifting chalk
  • Treating callused areas with a pumice stone
  • And fitting bars snuggly in your palm to prevent pinched skin.

As you can see, workout gloves cover a multitude of problems. I mean I’ve only mentioned them about four times! The only problem with these workout gloves is that we hate them. With great passion, and I’ll explain why in a minute. Besides, since excess heat and moisture also cause blisters, are they really worth it? 

Person in a squat position holding a kettle bell with both hands. They are wearing Gym Skins by STKR Concepts to protect their palms.

Should I Use Gloves When Lifting Weights?

I know I just said I hated gloves, but when lifting weights, I definitely recommend using them, whether you go to a public gym or your home gym in the garage, because having a tough material between your skin and the knurling on those dumbbells will prevent and relieve so much pain for you. 

Some of you might not like to wear gloves because you feel they take the freedom of using your hands and can’t even get a really good grip, thanks to their sometimes ridiculous bulkiness. I couldn’t agree more. Here at STKR, we take pride in working hard, not just with our bodies, but in our innovations, too. We can’t escape the fact that we really do need to have some armor, but we hate mitts as much as the next guy, so that’s why we developed the Gym Skin.

All you need from a gym glove is a thin layer of padding that will absorb the pressure from equipment, so that’s what we did. The gym skin is a layer of padding with holes for your fingers so that you’re preserving the only parts on your hand that need protection. 

These skins let you,

  • Keep flexibility in your hands
  • Let your hands breath
  • Protect your hands from blisters and calluses
  • Relieve the pressure points on your hands
  • Wear protection that doesn’t smell
  • Increase protection if regular gloves alone are not enough. 

Conclusion

What? Are you surprised a lighting company owner works out and wanted to actually fix a common issue? Cut me some slack! There are a lot of things I do in my garage that help me identify problems and give me the inspiration to come up with effective solutions. 

So, as long as you work out it’s highly unlikely you’re going to be completely rid of these little pests, but they will pop up a lot less often with the right preventative measures.

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