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Article: Everything You Need to Know About Bodybuilding And Chafing

male bodybuilder working out

Everything You Need to Know About Bodybuilding And Chafing

Chafing is a very common problem, that many people experience. Many physically fit men and women suffer from chafing, so it’s common for bodybuilders to experience this painful and unsightly condition. In this article, we'll look specifically at bodybuilding and chafing, and find out why this annoying issue happens, and how to prevent it.

More muscle = more chafing

Bodybuilding and chafing go hand in hand. Despite chafing's nickname “chub rub,” skin chafing can affect people of all shapes and sizes, and athletes are far from immune to chafed skin. The painful burning sensation is a well-known issue amongst runners, but it’s also an issue for bodybuilding and other sports that undertake repetitive movements. As one builds muscle, the thighs become larger, making them more prone to rubbing against one another. You never skip leg days, right?  😉

What causes chafing during bodybuilding?

There are many exercises that bodybuilders do that can cause chafing. Some examples include swinging a kettlebell, lunges, doing sprint drills, or cardio on a bike. All these exercises include repetitive movements which may cause your skin to rub against itself, leaving you vulnerable to chafing.

What causes bodybuilders to get chafed thighs?

By far, the most common area that everyone experiences chafing is between the thighs. Bodybuilders are no exception. Many bodybuilders have massive muscles in their thighs, which causes them to touch when working out or even just walking. Chafing between the thighs occurs when your legs rub together, which frequently happens during repetitive exercise routines that include the legs.

Additionally many men and women choose to wear shorts while exercising. Shorts, especially gym shorts, leave the thighs unprotected by fabric, so they will naturally be more prone to chafing.

woman bodybuilder and chafing

How to prevent chafing when working out (or just walking around)

Bodybuilders and athletes can easily prevent chafing with a few simple adjustments to their workout wear and routine. If you wear gym shorts and experience chafing, you can combat the issue by adding unisex thigh bands, which can easily be worn with your workout wear.

Thigh bands are not a chafing treatment; they actually prevent chafing from ever happening! Bandelettes thigh bands for men and women create a barrier between the skin of your inner thighs, preventing painful rubbing. Thigh bands are not restrictive and are breathable, unlike some compression shorts and restrictive workout clothes.

exercise thigh bands

How do athletes deal with chafing?

In addition to wearing preventative anti-chafing thigh bands you can also take other precautions to prevent chafing before and after working out.

Keeping the skin dry and moisture-free will make a big difference. Sweat is one of the significant causes of chafing, which is another reason athletes often suffer from this skin condition. Be sure to shower and wash your skin after working out and dry completely. Pat yourself down with a towel during your gym session if you find yourself getting too sweaty.

If you’re already chafed, be sure to treat the affected area quickly. Wash with a sensitive body wash, free from irritants or fragrances. Avoid any DIY chafing treatments or homemade lotions or potions; just keep the area clean and dry. If the skin is starting to crack, you can apply an antibacterial ointment to prevent infection. Many bodybuilders use fake tan and other skin products when competing, which may cause additional irritation. Be careful when applying these products to chafed skin as they may sting or cause an infection if the skin is broken. men's thigh bands

Most importantly, ensure the area doesn’t continue to rub, as repeated chafing may cause the skin to break and bleed. Wear thigh bands or pants to prevent further skin-on-skin contact. If the rash becomes infected or starts to bleed, you should seek medical treatment. If you experience regular thigh chafing it can cause discoloration or scarring. It’s also painful and difficult to ignore!

It will help if you also stay well hydrated, as this will help the skin renew itself and repair any chafing damage. If you've tanned, real or fake, it can further dry the skin. So drink plenty of water, and wash off sweat promptly so salty sweat doesn’t dry on the skin and cause further dehydration and friction.

Read our comprehensive chafing guide to learn more about the causes and treatment of thigh chafing and bodybuilders rash!