If you’re into weightlifting, you’ll probably have seen fellow bodybuilders coating chalk on their hands before getting stuck into the weights. What does this chalk do exactly and is it necessary?
The main purpose of dusting a layer of chalk over your hands before lifting weights is to give them better grip. After all, hands get sweaty during exercise and clammy palms can quickly cause you to lose your hold when lifting weights, which not only impairs performance, it could also compromise your safety.
By mopping up the sweat, the chalk also allows you to work out for longer before you lose your grip, letting you push your training sessions that bit further and with heavier weights.
Using chalk on your hands also ensures you are able to maintain the correct form when lifting weights. If your hands get sweaty, you might adjust your form to compensate, which could lead to excessive pressure on certain parts of the body, resulting in injuries. Chalk can be especially useful for maintaining form when performing the bent-over row or overhead press.
As chalk absorbs sweat and forms a protective layer, it can also prevent blisters or tears from occurring on your hands, especially if you carry out fast or repetitive movements, such as kettlebell cleans or kettlebell swings.
The beauty of chalk is that it’s easy to get hold of and simple to carry around, and it offers great versatility, whether you’re a bodybuilder, rock climber or gymnast. At the gym, it can be used to grip the bar during deadlifts, pull-ups, farmer’s carries, inverted rows and more.
Chalk is also much cheaper than other alternative gripping agents/tools in sports, such as gloves or lotions, and some gyms will even supply chalk for their members.
The main disadvantage of using chalk is that it creates a mess, covering equipment and floors with a layer of fine dust. It’s also not that easy to clean up. For these reasons, many gyms operate a ‘no chalk’ policy, so before you chalk up, check to see whether it’s allowed or not. If you do use chalk, wipe the equipment with a damp towel afterwards so that it’s clean for the next user.
Some gym-goers shun the use of chalk as they believe it can detract from building up their grip strength, and by pushing themselves to go further, chalk could contribute to strains or injuries, or even result in bad form.
It’s worth noting that you don’t need to plaster your hands in chalk, as a little can go a long way. You don’t need to reapply it for every lift you carry out, or for every activity in the gym. Restrict it to pulling lifts, rather than the heaviest ones.
Whether you think chalk is a must-have or not when lifting weights is down to personal opinion, but if it helps your performance and fitness, it can only be a good thing. If you also need a helping hand to hone your muscular physique, why not take a look at the premium grade, affordable anabolic steroid products from Strength & Steroids? You might be glad you did!