all posts post new thread

Kettlebell My Hands are my weakest Link. How to fix that?

Kayodoubleu

Level 1 Valued Member
Hello to all. I think this is the first post I write here, but I've been reading for a very long time.
I've been doing kettlebell training since 2013, training relatively intensively for the first two years and then only on and off. Since the summer of last year, however, I train intensiev again and have already achieved great success this year. While a 24kg snatch was extremely difficult for me a few years ago and I could only do one now and then, I can now implement them in a training program. Since summer I have done timless simple and then Q&D for 12 weeks. I found both programs excellent and especially Q&D was very good. At the moment I am in the seventh week of an A+A snatch program with 24kg for up to 100 and 20kg for over 100 reps.
However, I have already noticed with Q&D that my hands are the first thing to go. With the snatches, I get calluses with high reps and they interfere with my workout. Of course I have already researched here and also found many tips that have helped me. Hand care has made my hands soft again and freed them from calluses. This has also helped well with the snatches and I could increase the volume again.

The problem is that I now got my first Captains of Crush and although it is No.1 with him to fight. And while training with him, I tore my hands or skin again. This leads again to the fact that the snatches give me problems again. No matter how you turn it around, it seems to me that my hands cause me the most problems and hinder me the most during training. There must be more helpful tips on how I can get a handle on this. I would like to despair with snatches because I can't get them lifted and not because my hands are broken. I got some crossfit gloves that only cover the palm of my hand and at least they allow me to keep working out. But as soon as I switch to gloves, I immediately notice a significant deterioration of the grip or even a slightly different grip, which is already somewhat disturbing during training.

I generally have pretty soft hands. Like an angel. But there must still be a way to somehow harden them. What are your tips for this? I would be interested to know if more people struggle with their hands every workout.

P.S.: I am not a native speaker and wrote the text in German and had it translated with DeepL. I understand English very well only when writing such a long text it would cause me problems. That's why I hope that the AI translation works so well that you have the feeling to communicate with a native speaker.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
 

Xcal

Level 5 Valued Member
hi, I really do not have your years of experience with KB training, my different perspective which may help. I suggest that you take your kettlebell for a weekly 2-4km walk (30-45 minutes) without putting the KB down if possible. This has really hardended my hands and my grip gets better and stronger as I progress. maybe start with the 20kg for a few weeks then step up to the bigger KB.
I personally use the street-poles as my points to:
- change hands
- do a few swings/snatches/cleans
- change the carry from suitcase, rack, waiters press
but NOT to put the KB down. (ok, I sometime have to take calls and put the bell done to find my phone)

I'm slowly getting comfortable walking with the 16kg for 30-40 minutes, so I'm looking at making it more difficult by
- more snatches
- more Waiters Press carry
- 45-60 minutes. I can say taht 70 minutes with 12kg really fatigued me previously, so I'll work up to this one slowly
- heavier KB in the next few months.
 

3letterslong

Level 5 Valued Member
My grip used to be my weakest link as well. I tried to train it for years without success. Since then I've learned that I didn't know how to grip things properly: I only squeezed with my fingers instead of my palm. Now that I'm doing both, my grip strength has exploded to become one of my strongest assets. Which is what it should have been all along, considering how many of my hobbies in involve grabbing, lifting and throwing things and/or people.

Watch this video and make sure you don't have the same imbalance I did:

 

Xcal

Level 5 Valued Member
I only squeezed with my fingers instead of my palm
exactly this! Walking with a KB for 30+ minutes forcess one to change grips and develops all the 'funnues' including a strong full palm grip. I'm now fairly comfortable with my fingers making just a hook and 2 fingers, and even a 1 finger grip for a minute or 2.
 

Kayodoubleu

Level 1 Valued Member
hi, I really do not have your years of experience with KB training, my different perspective which may help. I suggest that you take your kettlebell for a weekly 2-4km walk (30-45 minutes) without putting the KB down if possible. This has really hardended my hands and my grip gets better and stronger as I progress. maybe start with the 20kg for a few weeks then step up to the bigger KB.
I personally use the street-poles as my points to:
- change hands
- do a few swings/snatches/cleans
- change the carry from suitcase, rack, waiters press
but NOT to put the KB down. (ok, I sometime have to take calls and put the bell done to find my phone)

I'm slowly getting comfortable walking with the 16kg for 30-40 minutes, so I'm looking at making it more difficult by
- more snatches
- more Waiters Press carry
- 45-60 minutes. I can say taht 70 minutes with 12kg really fatigued me previously, so I'll work up to this one slowly
- heavier KB in the next few months.
Thanks. That is a good advice. I allready thought about doing it after reader some posts in this forum about it. Maybe now is the time to start with it. I think i would start with 12kg. 20kg would be extremly hard for this long time. But i could work up to that.
 

Kayodoubleu

Level 1 Valued Member
My grip used to be my weakest link as well. I tried to train it for years without success. Since then I've learned that I didn't know how to grip things properly: I only squeezed with my fingers instead of my palm. Now that I'm doing both, my grip strength has exploded to become one of my strongest assets. Which is what it should have been all along, considering how many of my hobbies in involve grabbing, lifting and throwing things and/or people.

Watch this video and make sure you don't have the same imbalance I did:

Great. Thank you. This is someething i never heard about.
 

mikhael

Level 8 Valued Member
Swing the bell daily. Follow S&S. This approach will definitely strengthen your hands.
 

Kev

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello to all. I think this is the first post I write here, but I've been reading for a very long time.
I've been doing kettlebell training since 2013, training relatively intensively for the first two years and then only on and off. Since the summer of last year, however, I train intensiev again and have already achieved great success this year. While a 24kg snatch was extremely difficult for me a few years ago and I could only do one now and then, I can now implement them in a training program. Since summer I have done timless simple and then Q&D for 12 weeks. I found both programs excellent and especially Q&D was very good. At the moment I am in the seventh week of an A+A snatch program with 24kg for up to 100 and 20kg for over 100 reps.
However, I have already noticed with Q&D that my hands are the first thing to go. With the snatches, I get calluses with high reps and they interfere with my workout. Of course I have already researched here and also found many tips that have helped me. Hand care has made my hands soft again and freed them from calluses. This has also helped well with the snatches and I could increase the volume again.

The problem is that I now got my first Captains of Crush and although it is No.1 with him to fight. And while training with him, I tore my hands or skin again. This leads again to the fact that the snatches give me problems again. No matter how you turn it around, it seems to me that my hands cause me the most problems and hinder me the most during training. There must be more helpful tips on how I can get a handle on this. I would like to despair with snatches because I can't get them lifted and not because my hands are broken. I got some crossfit gloves that only cover the palm of my hand and at least they allow me to keep working out. But as soon as I switch to gloves, I immediately notice a significant deterioration of the grip or even a slightly different grip, which is already somewhat disturbing during training.

I generally have pretty soft hands. Like an angel. But there must still be a way to somehow harden them. What are your tips for this? I would be interested to know if more people struggle with their hands every workout.

P.S.: I am not a native speaker and wrote the text in German and had it translated with DeepL. I understand English very well only when writing such a long text it would cause me problems. That's why I hope that the AI translation works so well that you have the feeling to communicate with a native speaker.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
You don’t want soft hands. You want callouses that are level so they don’t (hopefully) catch the handle and tear. If a number one coc is giving you that much trouble you need to buy the size below. Which is a trainer. As to your soft skin. Surgical spirit applied to the hands will give you hands like leather.
 

Kayodoubleu

Level 1 Valued Member
You don’t want soft hands. You want callouses that are level so they don’t (hopefully) catch the handle and tear. If a number one coc is giving you that much trouble you need to buy the size below. Which is a trainer. As to your soft skin. Surgical spirit applied to the hands will give you hands like leather.
I just Googled surgical spirit. Never heard someone talking about this before. In German it seems to be "Franzbrandwein". It seems you can really toughen your skin with that. A homepage about rowing had this as a tip as well. I will try that definitely out.
So soft skin is bad for me and the only goal has to be to flat all calluses even. That makes sense. Like I said. I couldn't snatch for weeks without gloves because of calluses. But after applying hand care for about two weeks it was possible again for high volume. I thought that's because of softer skin. But it seems it is because of the flatten calluses. Thanks again. This is a good advice I will follow.

And I already ordered the CoC Trainer. Should arrive today. The biggest problem with the CoC Nr. 1 isn't that I can't close it (which I can't) but that it ripped my skin open on my fingertips especially the little finger. On both hands. So I can't train for a few days until the skin is growed back.
But if surgical spirit will make my skin tougher I could maybe fix my weakest link.
 

Kev

Level 6 Valued Member
I just Googled surgical spirit. Never heard someone talking about this before. In German it seems to be "Franzbrandwein". It seems you can really toughen your skin with that. A homepage about rowing had this as a tip as well. I will try that definitely out.
So soft skin is bad for me and the only goal has to be to flat all calluses even. That makes sense. Like I said. I couldn't snatch for weeks without gloves because of calluses. But after applying hand care for about two weeks it was possible again for high volume. I thought that's because of softer skin. But it seems it is because of the flatten calluses. Thanks again. This is a good advice I will follow.

And I already ordered the CoC Trainer. Should arrive today. The biggest problem with the CoC Nr. 1 isn't that I can't close it (which I can't) but that it ripped my skin open on my fingertips especially the little finger. On both hands. So I can't train for a few days until the skin is growed back.
But if surgical spirit will make my skin tougher I could maybe fix my weakest link.
I’ve never tore skin training with CoC. I have torn lumps out my skin with snatches and 1 arm swings though. Don’t limit yourself to CoC for grip training. If you have a chin-up bar Amazon sells climbers grip tools that can be hung from chin-up bars, balls, finger holds, cylinders etc. The use of these has really improved my reps in the CoC. Also bottom up cleans. If you buy these implements and are not able to do chin-ups with them then loop them around a kettlebell handle and do deadlifts.
 

Kayodoubleu

Level 1 Valued Member
I don't even know how it's possible.

There is no dynamic movement in CoC causing it to roll around.
Yeah i don't know it neither. It is only on my both pinky fingers on the last finger joint. It is like i pinch the skin between something. Don't know how to describe it. A little bit of skin was just ripped out on both pinkys. Don't think its because od dynamic movement or something like that. I have in general very soft hands. I think its because of this. Snatches with 24 kg are ok as long i have no calusses. But if i start going up in volume with my 20kg and go to 200 snatches i starts getting really warm in the last few reps. And than i have to train again with gloves till they dissapear.

But i thing not my soft skin is the problem but my grip strenght. Maybe i will hold the kettlebell better somehow with improved grip strenght.
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
hi, I really do not have your years of experience with KB training, my different perspective which may help. I suggest that you take your kettlebell for a weekly 2-4km walk (30-45 minutes) without putting the KB down if possible. This has really hardended my hands and my grip gets better and stronger as I progress. maybe start with the 20kg for a few weeks then step up to the bigger KB.
I personally use the street-poles as my points to:
- change hands
- do a few swings/snatches/cleans
- change the carry from suitcase, rack, waiters press
but NOT to put the KB down. (ok, I sometime have to take calls and put the bell done to find my phone)

I'm slowly getting comfortable walking with the 16kg for 30-40 minutes, so I'm looking at making it more difficult by
- more snatches
- more Waiters Press carry
- 45-60 minutes. I can say taht 70 minutes with 12kg really fatigued me previously, so I'll work up to this one slowly
- heavier KB in the next few months.
You could work in some wrist curls with the bells during your walks.
 
Last edited:

Kayodoubleu

Level 1 Valued Member
Please double check. I have mentioned walking with the Kettlebell many times in this forum this year. maybe the source of information in multiple discussions is still coming from only one person: me ;)
Very interessting. I could swear that i read about this from multiple sources and many times. It really would be funny if those "multiple" sources everytime were you. :D
 

watchnerd

Level 7 Valued Member
And than i have to train again with gloves till they dissapear.

The reality of strength training is that you don't want calluses to totally disappear -- you just want to prevent them from getting out of control and causing problems that interfere with training.

Kettlebells, barbells, loaded carries, gymnastic rings, pull up bars, rowing, clubs, maces -- all will develop calluses.

FWIW, I never use gloves because it interferes with my sense of feel and grip feedback, which is part of learning how to avoid over-gripping.

(over-gripping can make calluses worse)
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom