Lifting chalk is one of the most used and widely loved “accessories” for weightlifting. Every good gym has it, and most serious lifters tend to use it for various reasons – from increasing grip to getting in the necessary mental state to lift heavy weights. With that said, the main purpose of lifting chalk is to protect the hands during training and minimize tears and calluses while also increasing your grip security and ensuring that the chances of the weight getting dropped are minimal.
Having said that, the market offers many different kinds of lifting chalk – from the standard traditional blocks to liquid chalk and chalk balls, all of which are viable options to dry out your hands and guarantee the promised benefits. However, the problem with some of the older formulations is that they can be quite rough for the skin of your palms – some make it extremely dry to the point where, post-workout, you need to slatter yourself with hand cream, which is never an experience you want to promote.
In this article, we’re going to go over how to use lifting chalk for dry hands, what the best kind of chalk for that condition is, and more, so if that sounds like your cup of tea, let’s get started.
What are the Different Types of Chalk?
As we already mentioned, there are several types of chalk: chalk blocks, balls, and, of course, liquid chalk lifting, which is the best option for those of you who suffer from severely dry hands. With that said, you might be asking yourself what the differences between each type of chalk are and what makes the liquid variation the best, so let’s take a look.
This is the OG lifting chalk that’s offered in most gyms and typically comes in the form of large squares that can be broken down into smaller pieces or turned into fine powder for easier use. This type of chalk is super popular because it’s fairly inexpensive while also being effective enough to last through even the most rigorous workouts.
With that said, using this kind of chalk can be incredibly messy not only for the gym floor but also for your clothes, as it tends to go everywhere. Last but not least, it’s also extremely drying for the skin, and you feel its effects even long after you’ve washed it off.
This is a modern twist on the traditional chalk that combines alcohol and magnesium carbonate to create a sort of quick-drying paste. Here, after the alcohol quickly evaporates, you’re left with a layer of chalk that’s pretty sweat-resistant and offers a solid grip.
The biggest benefit of liquid chalk is convenience – it’s easy to apply, doesn’t make a big mess, and it’s also easy to transport. The application is also incredibly comfortable – you squeeze out a bit, rub it in your palms, and you’re done.
If you’re using too much of it, this kind of chalk can be incredibly drying thanks to the added alcohol, but the good thing is that thanks to its sweat-resistance, instead of having to reapply (as you do with other types) constantly, you only need to put it on once or twice per workout session.
This is essentially the middle-ground option, as it’s a small sack filled with crushed chalk that gets released when you squeeze. It combines the ease of application of the liquid chalk while also essentially using the same materials as the chalk block.
How to Use Liquid Chalk If You Have Dry Hands
If you have naturally dry hands or are concerned about the drying effects of liquid chalk, it’s important to follow a specific routine to protect your skin. Here’s a comprehensive guide on using liquid chalk for weightlifting with dry hands:
1. Pre-Workout Hand Preparation:
- Hand Moisturization: Begin your hand care routine well before your workout. Apply a moisturizing hand cream or lotion in the morning and night, especially after showering or washing your hands. Opt for a product with ingredients like shea butter, glycerin, or coconut oil to lock in moisture.
- Nighttime Treatment: Consider applying an intensive hand cream before bed and wearing moisture-locking cotton gloves while you sleep. This helps your hands recover and stay hydrated throughout the night.
2. Liquid Chalk Application:
- Use a Small Amount: Liquid chalk is potent, so start with a small amount. Squeeze a pea-sized or dime-sized amount onto your palms.
- Spread Evenly: Rub the liquid chalk thoroughly and evenly across both palms. Pay attention to the areas where you need the most grip, like the fingers and palm creases.
- Wait for It to Dry: Allow the liquid chalk to dry for a few seconds. You’ll notice the alcohol evaporating, leaving a chalky residue behind.
- Test Grip: Test your grip on the barbell or weights to ensure it’s sufficient. If you find that you need more grip, apply a little more liquid chalk, but avoid overdoing it to prevent excessive dryness.
3. During Your Workout:
- Monitor Skin Condition: Pay attention to how your skin feels during your workout. If you start to notice excessive dryness or discomfort, consider using liquid chalk less frequently or opting for moisturizing techniques like applying hand cream during rest periods.
- Limit Reapplication: Thanks to its long-lasting grip, liquid chalk typically doesn’t require constant reapplication. Only add more when you genuinely need it to maintain your grip.
4. Post-Workout Hand Care:
- Wash Hands Gently: After your workout, gently wash your hands with mild soap and lukewarm water to remove any remaining chalk residue. Avoid using hot water, as it can further dry out your skin.
- Moisturize Again: Reapply hand cream or lotion to your hands immediately after washing. This helps replenish moisture lost during your workout and ensures your skin remains hydrated.
By following these steps, you can use liquid chalk effectively even if you have dry hands. The key is to strike a balance between maintaining a strong grip during your workouts and preserving the health of your skin through proper hydration and care.
Liquid chalk can be a great option for weightlifters as it’s easy to apply and carry and also incredibly effective. To prevent negative effects such as excess dryness, simply remember to moisturize your palms before and after training and to use the product sparingly and only when you need it, not for every movement in a workout.