Hand Care Tips for Functional Fitness + CrossFit Athletes

Taking care of your hands is essential for any functional fitness or CrossFit athlete aiming for optimal performance and comfort during training. The rigors of high-intensity workouts involving barbell lifts, pull-ups, and gripping various equipment can take a toll on your hands, leading to calluses, blisters, or even tears.

In this article, we’ll explore effective hand care strategies specifically tailored for athletes in the functional fitness and CrossFit communities. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting your fitness journey, these hand care tips will help you maintain healthy hands, prevent injuries, and maximize your training potential.

If you click on any link we may get a commission from Amazon.com which helps keep gas in the truck and the lights turned on. So if you want to help a disabled veteran – click the link and buy toilet paper.

Many of the workouts you will do are high reps and heavy work. Between the barbell, gymnastic rings and pull up bars – there are many chances to rip the calusses and skin off your hands.

Here are a few hand care tips for Functional Fitness and CrossFit athletes

It is good to build up some thick skin on your hands as it helps to protect you.  But if the calluses get too thick or slightly torn – this will create a bigger problem as the callus gets rubbed and caught on the barbell and will rip – creating what rock climbers call – a “flapper”.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. With proper hand care even the most hard core CrossFit athlete can train year round without painful rips and tears.


You may also want to try some heavy duty lotion to moisturize the hands and keep them from cracking.  One of the best hand lotions for gymnast type athletes is Corn Huskers Oil-Free Hand Lotion Skin that is more supple is less apt to tear.

Skin that is dry and cracked will continue to split wide open during heavy use.

Check price at Amazon.com


You can get a pumice stone or light grater (for hands) at the local drug store.  Another good tool to use is a cheap plastic knife that you can find at a local fast food restuarant.  Do not use the knife you eat with or your Mom or girlfriend will ban you from the house.

Here are a few more hand care tips for CrossFit athletes.

To remove excess skin and calluses – soak hands in warm water for ten minutes plus.  I like to sit in a tub of really warm water after a workout and soften up the hands.

Use the plastic knife to scrape off excess skin (or use the grater in the same manner).  Take off only whitish skin. Then use the pumice stone lightly sand down the remaining areas. Don’t go any lower below the whitish skin. Don’t get into pinkish skin as it will ooze.

Question: What about the gloves that you see athletes wearing in CrossFit comps – are those any good?

Yes; check out the WODies by JerkFit.

Becca Voigt and several other elite athletes use these gloves to protect their hands.

Nothing worse than getting your hands ripped while going for a PR in a workout.

With regular hand care maintenance your hands will stay in better shape and you can keep on jamming with your functional fitness workouts and not miss a beat.

Check out these questions from athletes at our gym.

Question: “Coach, I ripped all of the pads off my hands doing the Angie workout. What do I do?”. You will need to take a week off from pull ups and barbell work and heal up your hands. You can run and do a lot of core work this then.

Question: “Coach, what do you recommend as the best hand cream for CrossFit? Corn Huskers Oil-Free Hand Lotion is one of the best lotions to repair your dried and cracked hands. We also like Okeefes hand repair cream.

Question: What the heck is a crossfit callus remover? Many athletes in the gym just use a pumice stone or a plastic knife to remove their calluses. You can sit in a hot tub for 20 minutes to soften up the skin in your hand and then use a plastic knife to trim off the excess.

Question: What is a good CrossFit hand care kit? Check out the RIPT Skin Systems Hand Care Kit – 3 Phase Skin Reinforcement & Repair System.

I have used this after my skin got beat up at a competition.

This stone is great for lightly sanding the skin and the daily dose is like a thick goo to treat your hands.

Question: What is the best hand salve for functional fitness workouts?

Answer: Check out these brands to help heal your mitts. Best Hand salve

Question: Where can I get a Crossfit pumice stone? Check out reviews and info on a Aquasentials Pumice Stone here – it is a good deal.

Ript Skin Systems Reviews
What is the Best Hand Salve for CrossFit?
Matt Hathcock CrossFit Elite Athlete Review

Seal Fit Stack

SGPT Upcoming Events

Personal Online Coaching

Work 1-on-1
with SEAL Grinder's Brad McLeod
To Achieve Your Goals

pic of brad

Personal fitness training from Brad McLeod, Navy Seal and CrossFit Level 1 instructor. Delivered online, directly to you.

"I recommend Brad to anyone that seriously wants to go to BUDs or anything else in life... try these workouts. Hooyah!" - Chris H.

learn more button