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Why Chalk Your Kettlebell?

Why Chalk Your Kettlebell?

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on 11th May 2018


Kettlebell Kings had been looking for a chalk solution for a long time because one of the questions we are most frequently asked by potential customers if if they will need chalk for their Kettlebell Kings bells. For a while, we packaged our own but decided we would much rather work with a trusted brand to provide chalk for lifters.

Enter Vikn Chalk, Vikn is chalk created for lifters by lifters. We have decided to carry Vikn Chalk which is run by some of the top Kettlebell Sport competitors in the country. The folks at Vikn Chalk have put together a pretty compelling post for us about why you should consider using chalk for your kettlebell lifts.

By Vikn Chalk, also found here:

You open up the box to your shiny, new kettlebell and ask yourself, “why would I want to cover this nice, smooth handle with a bunch of chalk?”

Answer: It’s all about friction, baby.


chalk_large.gif

In Kettlebell Sport, efficiency is the name of the game. If the kettlebell handle is slippery, you have to squeeze it tighter to hold on, fatiguing your muscles faster. Once your grip goes, the kettlebell slips out of your hand, prematurely ending your set.

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Here is the gripping truth: A slick kettlebell will actually cause blisters!!!  Long sets make you sweat, and sweat makes your hands wet. Moisture is the enemy when there is friction. Wet skin is softer and more vulnerable, leaving the top layer much more susceptible to separating and filling with fluid. Ouch!


The solution: VIKN Performance Chalk

Magnesium Carbonate, AKA chalk, is the only substance approved for competition in most kettlebell organizations (sorry, no pine tar allowed). Luckily, the chalk will help keep your hands dry and the skin on your palms more resilient. As you sweat, the chalk will rub off of your hands. This is why the we recommend applying multiple layers of chalk directly to your kettlebell to achieve what some call, the “fur coat” look (as shown below).

A 16Kg|35Lb Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell getting chalked up:

Above right: The results of not enough chalk


But why so much chalk?

As your set goes on, the thin layers of chalk will fall off the bell handle. A light dusting of chalk will not last for a full ten minute set. If you don't chalk up well, you’ll be left with a rougher handle and too much moisture - possibly tearing your hands to shreds!

PRO TIP: High humidity is one of the toughest things to deal with as it can leave you so sweaty that the chalk turns to mud. This is where a thin wristband to absorb sweat from your forearms can help immensely.  

There is some contention, especially from newer lifters, that chalk makes the kettlebell too rough and causes more hand discomfort. Those complaints are generally due to the lifter over-gripping. The kettlebell handle should be rotating within the hand, however, the grip should be loose while it is rotating, only tightening when the rotation is over. This is why a novice lifter will often prefer a very slick kettlebell handle. Nevertheless, as technique improves, the benefits of chalk become more and more apparent.

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 What Is Next?

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