I’m a big fan of the deadlift. It’s one of those foundational strength and mass builders that packs on muscle like few exercises can. This exercise has a tendency to give me calluses on my hands, and that used to be fine with me: I considered them a badge of honor in my younger days.
But my wife hates them, and this has changed my attitude considerably. I started wearing training gloves (something I never did in my single days), but that didn’t seem to help very much.
That’s when I ran across this helpful tip: try gripping the bar in a slightly different way. Grabbing it in the middle of your palm (like you are going to bench press) really doesn’t make much sense because it will pinch the skin as it pulls towards your knuckles. Grab the bar lower in your hand (where it’s going to end up as you pull) and you’ll avoid calluses. I tried this today and it works–I didn’t notice any reduction in grip strength and it drastically reduced the pinching/callusing.
The point of the deadlift is to build strength and muscle–not nasty, bleeding hands. Check out the video below for a visual.