Using Chalk For Crossfit

Does your chalk routine end with something like this:

 One thing that is tiring is Fran.  Another though is watching people abuse chalk.  It really is an epidemic.  I feel sick sometimes watching chalk get tossed around with blatant disregard.  I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve done it.  But it’s like working at a CAFO chicken farm and then being asked if you want chicken for dinner…no thank you.

In general, I’m not against chalk but I definitely think it’s generally a crutch. That’s an issue for a future article, but I’ve come up with a tutorial with a few pictures to help you with “chalking up.”

Chalk is great and should be used for the following things:

  1. Keeping your hands dry
  2. Helps you from slipping on the pullup bar and tearing calluses off your poorly managed hands
  3. Helps you with connection with the bar

Here are some tips that you can use

First things first, KEEP THE CHALK IN THE BUCKET

 Next thing is DON’T BREAK UP THE BIG PIECES.  It isn’t necessary and the blocks are much easier for application

 Ok, so now that we got that out of the way, let’s start with smart application of chalk.  You don’t need to look like this to get a workout done:

 Chalk should be applied to the areas that are going to be making contact with the bar, pullup bar, rings, kettlebells, dumbbells, or whatever apparatus we’re working with—the floor shouldn’t count.  Let’s start with barbell movements.  Chalk is really only needed with these movements when the bar is being pulled from the floor.  I can’t think of an acceptable reason to chalk up your hands for squats or presses.  During the Olympic lifts, I like to chalk my hands on the palm, thumb, and first three fingers like this:

I also chalk up my thumb on both sides because a lot of contact is made with my thumb and the bar.  Sadly, this is not pictured, but I’m sure you’re all smart enough to imagine it.

Next is a pullup bar set up or something where more of the hand is in contact with the bar.  If you’re like me during pullups (and you probably should be), your thumb is on top, not really used, and therefore doesn’t need chalk.  I usually chalk my palm and fingers like so

 If the reps are high and I’ll be sweating a lot, I’ll also chalk up all of my palms:

 If I’m using the rings, then the rings also hit down on the bottom corner of your palm.


More reading: Best Crossfit Shoes guide: click here


Now that you’ve chalked up, you need to brush it off in the bucket.  If it’s falling off your hands as you take it out…NEWSFLASH: YOU GOT TOO MUCH CHALK ON YOUR HANDS.  So brush it off INSIDE THE BUCKET. 

 For the record, there is no reason to use chalk on the back of your hands, your face, and most of the rest of your body, although I’ve seen it been used on cleans when a singlet is present and most of you aren’t wearing singlets to the gym.

Chalk is messy and often abused.  Use these tips to help you chalk up in a useful, cleaner environment.  And stop spreading it all over the floor.  There is no reason to see chalk angels after you’re done with a workout.

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