In the process of carving out that perfect body, did you also carve up your hands? Blisters, callouses and rough spots are common side effects of working out – particularly weight lifting and workouts involving grip apparatus. It’s a simple matter of friction. The same resistance that gives your hands grip, also pulls and tears at skin until it either becomes injured or starts building up hardened callouses as defense against injury.
The right pair of workout gloves can protect your hands by offering a similar (and sometimes better) grip resistance by way of leather or neoprene outer facing. These materials mimic some of the slip-and-stick characteristic of skin against certain materials like plastic, metal, rubber or composite resins. For safety reasons, you want a glove that fits snugly, but that doesn’t cover the entire hand. Most men report a lack of dexterity or control from a fully gloved hand (this doesn’t apply to sports like football and golf where gloves are thin and not designed to take the beating that weightlifting gloves do). As well, workout gloves often have additional cushioning in the palm area to prevent bruising. Look for gloves with an adjustable strap on the back of the hand (Velcro is typically more comfortable than buckles or snaps). And then use either baby powder or disinfectant spray after use to dry out the inner part of the glove and prevent funky smells. Also, never leave moist or used gloves cooped up in a locker or gym bag. If you do have a full-time locker at your gym, hang your gloves individually from hooks or a hanging bar (wrap the strap into a loop). This will allow air to breathe through the gloves and dry out any sweat or moisture. Some men prefer to keep two sets of gloves for this purpose – allowing one set a full 48-hours to dry, using the alternate set in between. If you have excessively sweaty hands or can only give your gloves limited drying time, this may be an option worth exploring. Remember, the better care you take of your gloves, the better care they’ll take of you.