Liquid chalk vs dry chalk which one should you use

In this life, we all need a little help. Regardless of the help you receive, we all need it from time to time. This very same logic can be applied to the art of calisthenics as this seemingly angelic training method can also cause some issues…

For those of you who don’t know, calisthenics is a form of training typically executed with little to no added resistance. This means that you would be relying mainly on bodyweight movements. Since calisthenics includes a lot of bar movement, let’s just say your hands can take a beating over time.

Fortunately for us, the fitness businesses were one step ahead and they managed to formulate a product that would help give us an edge in this department. This product would go on to be formally known as training chalk and it has been a huge help.

However, things aren’t this simple…

Since there are now numerous variations of training chalk, deciding which one to use for your calisthenics can be tricky, well, until today. So, without further ado, allow me to present and compare the two most well-known forms of training chalk – liquid chalk and powder chalk. This article will not only cover the pros and cons of both chalks but ultimately, which one may be better – let’s get into this!

Liquid chalk – what is it?

Liquid chalk is perhaps the most innovative variation of the standard dry chalk. It will usually be purchased in some form of bottle and it can be easily carried anywhere. The compound itself contains ingredients such as alcohol, magnesium carbonate, resin, water, and potentially a couple of other filler ingredients.

You might be asking yourself, why would I rub a fluid on my hands to help with my workout? This would certainly be a valid question, but you must keep in mind, once the fluid has been spread across your hands, the product itself reacts with the air and leaves you with a recognizably chalked set of hands.

At this point, you now know more about liquid chalk as a whole, but let’s take a look at what liquid chalk really has to offer!

The pros of liquid chalk

  • Liquid chalk is very convenient. Since liquid chalk is stored in a bottle/container, it can be easily carried around if needed. This is exceptionally handy if you happen to train far away from home.
  • One application is usually enough. Due to the combination of chalk, alcohol, and other bulking agents, liquid chalk possesses a far greater usage time than standard dry chalk.
  • It is easy to spread across the hands. Unlike dry chalk, liquid chalk is fluid, this, in turn, means you can quickly and efficiently apply this formula across your hands.
  • Liquid chalk is affordable. When you consider liquid chalks’ efficiency and effectiveness, it is certainly surprising to see that this form of chalk is still very affordable.
  • Perfect for a single workout session. As mentioned earlier, liquid chalk typically lasts longer than dry chalk. Because of this, you will typically find that one single use of this product will be enough for an entire workout session.

The cons of liquid chalk

  • There is more potential for allergic reactions. As mentioned earlier, liquid chalk is not only made up of chalk but other compounds too. These additional bulking agents and filler ingredients carry the potential for allergic reactions.
  • Liquid chalk can be tricky to apply. Depending on where you are and what you are doing, pouring liquid chalk all over your hands might not be a good idea. Be sure to apply this powder when you are in an acceptable area.
  • Its effectiveness can be altered by temperature. Shortly after you apply liquid chalk, you are typically required to wait until the alcohol reacts with the air before you can get to work. Depending on the outside/inside temperature, you may find yourself waiting for longer than expected.
  • Over-application can cause irritated skin. Because of the alcohol in liquid chalk, using this product too much can cause irritated and sore skin. This potential effect is precisely why brands are now trying to find a replacement for the alcohol.
  • Potential for spillage. Not only can spillage damage your environment, but it can waste the product you have spent your money on. In this case, since this product is fluid, spillage is always going to be a potential risk.

Now that you possess a deeper understanding of what liquid chalk has to offer, you should be able to make an informed decision on whether liquid chalk will work for you.

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Dry chalk – what is it?

Dry chalk, you could easily say, is the bread and butter of all chalk applications. Every variation that followed, was derived from this standard yet effective chalk powder.

Unlike liquid chalk, dry chalk presents itself in its original form as you might’ve guessed. This substance is made up of nothing else other than magnesium carbonate. For some, this means fewer cons, for others, fewer benefits.

Let’s take a closer look at what dry chalk might do for you!

The pros of dry chalk

  • Dry chalk is 100% reliable. As mentioned earlier, dry chalk is the bread and butter of all chalk applications. It is the original formula and it is still used to this day. Because of this, you can absolutely be assured of its effectiveness.
  • It is very unlikely to cause issues. Unlike liquid chalk, dry chalk is made up of nothing else other than pure chalk. This means there are no potential risk factors that would normally be the result of added ingredients.
  • It has been the go-to for years. Despite the different variations of chalk powder these days, dry chalk is still sworn upon by the pros and experienced alike, this is certainly a very valid consideration.
  • Very affordable. If you’re looking for an affordable chalk powder that won’t break the bank, dry chalk is certainly the way to go. Since there are no chemical alterations, dry chalk is the cheapest available powder.
  • Can be utilized right away. Unlike liquid chalk, dry chalk can be applied and used straight away. Its effectiveness is not altered by the temperature or the length of time it has been applied.

The cons of dry chalk

  • Dry chalk can be messy. When you open that bag of chalk, applying it without creating even a small mess will be difficult. Then again, would you expect anything less? It is pure powder after all.
  • It can be difficult to carry. Dry chalk is usually stored in a small bag or some form of a plastic tub. Now, most of the time, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, in cases when you are traveling light, let’s just say things can get a little awkward.
  • It usually requires a few re-applications. This con is probably what truly separates dry chalk from liquid chalk. Whilst liquid chalk will only typically require one application, dry chalk may require many. This can definitely be a nuisance during long training sessions.
  • It does not easily spread across the hands. Since this product is nothing but raw chalk, spreading this product across your hands can certainly be difficult. Be sure to keep this in mind before you apply it!
  • It is not always gym-friendly. As you can imagine, most if not all gyms would be unhappy to find chalk dust caking the gym floor. Because of this, I would highly recommend consulting with the gym staff before utilizing this product.

After a closer look at the pros and cons of this chalk powder, it should now be far easier to tell if this form of chalk powder is right for you. Keep in mind, no powder is necessarily better for you as the better chalk will depend on your goals and desires.

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Conclusion

After a thorough read through this article, you will now have a better understanding of what each chalk powder has to offer. In addition, you now possess the means to make an informed decision on this very matter.

When it comes to calisthenics, you may find that liquid chalk is the way to go. It is more convenient, it can be applied quicker, and one application will typically be enough for a standard training session. 

However, since everyone is different, these benefits might not appeal to you.

The best way to find out is to simply try them out for yourself.