Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hand care for Kettlebell work: what's with the Cornhuskers anyway?

Dear B2D readers. I'm afraid i have another question for you. Today it's about hand calluses and hand lotion. In particular, what's the point of the latter?

As with i think anyone whose hands have objects that rotate in them (either the object is rotated in their hands, or their bodies rotate via the hands around the object) i have calluses on my hands. Mine are pretty much from kettlebell work these days. i think i've read all the hand care solutions, and tend to use the usual variety of scraping, emorying, abraiding, pumicing and shaving (personal fave, curtousy of a tip from dr. squat) that anyone does.

I'm simply thankful that since actually getting better on technique, with tips from Coach Hauer, they've been less likely to rip.

That said, one of the constant suggestions in ANY of these (by guys, let's face it) lists, is "use hand lotion" with the usual one recommended being Corn Huskers.

So i gotta ask, what's this stuff supposed to do? I have some. I've tried it after swinging, after showering post swinging, after swinging, showering, sanding, filing and sometimes, just on a whim.

As far as i can tell, it does nothing - for me. Well there's a certain folksie charm i suppose to sporting the bottle in the bathroom, but beyond this?

SO once again, let me ask b2d readers - if you flail a kettlebell - or get calluses on your hands from any other activity -
  • do you use hand lotion? does it do something for your hands that if otherwise left alone, you'd be in sorry shape?
  • is this a consequence specifically of having calluses, or would you need hand lotion whether you did callusable activity or not?
  • Or is this just the big boy excuse to go kinda metro?

Thank you for your kind assistance and attention.


[update. later that day]

Surprisingly spirited discussion on the DD forum about corn huskers, and the following points have emerged.

  1. it's a non-greasy moisturiser -
  2. different climates and hands combined with chalk in some people causes dry cracking ickyness and this kind of moisturiser seems to address that
  3. likewise, some folks experience the stuff as a way to soften and even gap fill calluses such that they are less likely to tear.
Good to know. I mean now i know. And that's kinda interesting. If you use Similar Stuff, please feel free to let me know how of your experiences.

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Unknown said...

hi mc,

I bought a bottle because Pavel said to do so in ETK. It is sitting in my medicine cabinet still, woefully abandoned after I also abandoned Pavel's kettlebells with their improper handle size and shape. Nowadays I never file, sand, or otherwise tend to my hands. I do have calluses (I even have the elusive fourth callus of the index finger) but they just stay the same, never increasing or decreasing. Technique is king. The only time my hands give me trouble is when I have the temerity to hoist a kettlebell, such as a 40, which I have no business picking up. Then, technique breaks down and the hands get abraded.

Jolly said...

I am a heavy user of lotion - but that's because I rock climb, and the chalk really dries out your hands otherwise.

dr. m.c. said...

thanks guys,
Jolly good to know it's about moisturiser.
thanks for dropping by


robertc said...

Reminds me of conversation with a Japanese lady with 30+ years of kenjutsu (sword) practice. She showed me her callouses. But then said that her teacher doesn't have any callouses - his hands/wrists are soft/flexible such that he doesn't get them...

Kris said...

Personally I use something called Climb On Bar / Creme but thats just for regaining some moisture in hands after using chalk, and also I've found it greatly accelerates healing.

I discovered it when I started doing rock climbing and my hands would get dry and sore.

Robbie-O said...

Just wanted to chime in that I file regularly and them apply regular chapstick to the spots I have filed. The skin quality is quite brittle and this spot treatment works really well. I think I first read this on the DD forum...


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