wrist and forearm strenghtening exercises

Discussion in 'Aikido Resources' started by fred123, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Good post, BUT I would say that all mainstream combat sports trainers now show a massive preference to core work, and compound exercises to gain real world strength. Its only the 'roided body builders who sufer under the V shape misnomer nowadays, we've come a long way snce the late 80'2 and early 90's.
  2. David Rubens

    David Rubens Valued Member

    'Its only the 'roided body builders who sufer under the V shape misnomer nowadays, we've come a long way snce the late 80'2 and early 90's'

    That may be true for you, Kusa, but for me it still is, and always will be, 1977!!

    Of course you are right, there is a much greater awareness of core stability and holistic body strength than there used to be, but deep down most people still believe '''If only I had more muscles, I could make it work'. One of the first things that you learn when training in Asia is that you definitely do not need 'more power' (ie more muscles)- what you need to do is to find out how you can use the power that you already have more effectively. This doesn't mean that you do not have to do severe and extended training - it is not an easy option - but that training needs to concentrate of 'Right Endeavour', rather than fixating on getting bigger and stronger. But in many senses, the martial arts are really just a preparation for the real work - the slower, more meditative arts that we practice in our 60's, 70's and 80's. There is famous saying in India that when a Warrior sees a Yogi, he recognises him as a teacher, and when a yogi sees a warrior, he recognises him as a potential yogi.

    Good practice!


  3. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Quoted for truth.
  4. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

  5. Kraen

    Kraen Valued Member

    Fingertip push ups are another push up variant.

    I think they go wrist > finger tips > knuckles. I hear regular push ups don't do you too much good in the form of wrist strengthening.

    Oh, and for your ADDED pleasure, do them all on pavement. :D

  6. Mr Punch

    Mr Punch Homicidal puppet

    Couple of things to add to the mix.

    1) The wrist weight roller thingy pictured above is good, but try it with an empty two litre plastic bottle and a weight tied to it too. The standard one works the forearms nicely, but with a wider grip you get to work the wrists and grip better too, so there's less chance of you ending up with Popeye forearms and Olive Oyl wrists!

    2) If you're going to do the 1000 suburi method of course it works. However, if we use modern sports science with it too... don't forget to do dynamic stretching first: building up plenty of empty-handed arm swings to a greater and greater range of movement. If you don't there's a much higher chance of ending up with rotator cuff damage, neck muscle damage, and various other chronic problems in later life. Plus, doing it at the beginning of the class, while traditional and probably having other benefits, physiologically doesn't make sense. That kind of muscular endurance exercise should be after the stretching, the technical, the speed, the strength... as a warm-down. The idea of tiring out the muscles so you have to rely on timing, technique, structure etc is a good plan sometimes but not to be recommended for optimum gains in any area regularly, and can be pretty dangerous.

    3) Variation on the suburi and hand-wringing: this is from wing chun so I hope you'll forgive me, but it fits in beautifully with aiki suburi. Start with the weapon parallel to the ground at your shoulder level. Hold it hands together right at the end, not aiki sword style. Elbows in as far as they'll go comfortably (or slightly uncomfortably is better!). Sharply push the end down, leaving the far end at the same height as it started. You are aiming to straighten your arms (out a little from the body finishing at the tanden level or thereabouts) and be sure not to raise the shoulders or let the elbows flair out on the way.

    You are aiming for the kind of flick that gets the energy going out of the end of the weapon just as in aikido. You will need to find a natural wringing action to get this. Immediately raise the weapon again with a similar feeling. Repeat until arms fall off. I use a suburi bokuto (about 900g) with a 1 kg wrist weight on the end to mimic the weighting of a wing chun staff (I don't have one). If you're lucky enough to have one, you could work your way up to one of those monstrous 20kg suburi bokuto they sell for 40,000 yen over here!
  7. Mr Punch

    Mr Punch Homicidal puppet

    More time than I thought...!

    4) Punch things. Strengthens your wrists and forearms. Don't neglect your stretching and nutrition!

    5) "Wriggling out"! Have a partner gently flow into various wristlocks (he can just start by holding your arm) at a steady pace. You go with them as far as you can and then repositioning your body (you can try it with sinking one side or both, or taking steps), keep your handblade and just try to find the weak point in their posture or grip that allows you to evade the actual point of locking. They then try the next. There will be natural points of stopping in the practice but it's excellent for developing awareness of loose points and tight points, escapes, points of balance, and when it's necessary for you to force things (where your last resort is). Don't forget to tap if it's too much.

    When you get better at it, try it with one person on each arm. It's main purpose is develop a free idea of kaeshi waza and your tori henka waza. It's important to stay loose but not floppy and pathetic! Remember your basic stances and your relationship with the floor, the hips, the spine, the pelvic crease, the tanden if you like etc.
  8. Mr Punch

    Mr Punch Homicidal puppet

    Sounds great. I used to chop wood focusing on the same things. Fedor hits the tire with a sledgehammer, which in TCMA is a similar practice. No idea what he's thinking when he does it though :eek: It's clear he's using some sinking principles mind, and there's little bounce which suggests he's working on something similar.

    As has already been said, if you read the early weightlifting gurus and even bodybuilding gurus you'll see just how important core was to them: plus not over isolating (even for early bodybuilders which is interesting); plus mixing up methods including plenty of isometrics etc in their right place.

    I think, although the points about holding postures and breathing follow, this is essentially a huge misapprehension.

    1) In TCMA, even the so-called internal ones, there certainly used be a lot of what we would now see as basic weight-training.

    2) 'Yoga' means 'forceful'. While there is of course the whole thing about relaxing into the posture, holding it and focusing on your breathing etc, a lot of these postures still kick my **** as much as heavy weightlifting. In weightlifting you have to start out with puny weights and sometimes to assistance exercises before you can hit the big compound lifts: it takes many years to be able to lift twice your own bodyweight etc. In yoga it takes many years of easy developmental postures before you can hope to attain some of the famous pretzel poses!

    I went to a daito-ryu/juukendo/yari based seminar the other day that was basically practising deep horse stances, shiko (the sumo exercise, not shikkou, the aiki knee-walking), and various other deep and slow stance work. Again, the emphasis was on relaxing into the postures etc, but those initial postures are extremely demanding for anyone.

    3) If you watch the squatting seminar available on google vids by Dan John, you will hear a lot of stuff about sitting at the bar (bell - not in a pub! :D ) focusing, concentrating on your breathing (the abdominal brace in weightlifting is almost word for word the same as someone describing the process for breathing into your tanden in aikido, down to the use of different parts of the abdomen and chest in the breath... and very similar to some forms of yogic breathing practice), finding the connection between your shoulder blades, the weighting on your feet etc... it sounds like some of the more internal stuff in aiki/tai chi/yoga.

    4) The endless repetitions of moves after cold static or ballistic stretching in a lot of eastern MA that is soooo bad for your body is not through any revolutionary or long-found wisdom: it is through mistakes and ignorance. Of course, I'm not saying this is the only way it is found over here, but it's as much of a norm as the average western gym-rat doing endless bicep curls!

    The plank is excellent! When they get tired get them to move to a side plank, then a rear plank (like a straight bridge - also evil) and then back to the other side. Of course, they shouldn't 'touch down' on the way!

    QFT! I was the most supple young aikidoka in my dojo 20 years ago; now I'm the biggest knacker! I took too much for granted and followed the stupid warm-ups in otherwise sound dojos for too long! Wish I'd discovered people like Thomas Kurz all those years ago!

    Again, you're talking about the men's magazine brigade. The sensible trainers have always been there. Just see how many programmes you can find based solely around the squat and the deadlift, that just don't mention curls or leg raises.

  9. David Rubens

    David Rubens Valued Member

    I don't know about TCMA, but having seen quite a bit of Goju Ryu, which I believe shares many of the same roots (and I am sure that I am going to open up a whole new can of worms with that!), I would use the word 'conditioning' rather than 'weight training', in that there is little if any concentration on lifting in order to be able to lift more, but rather using it as a way of develping body coordination. So you have the Chishi (Stone lever weight), Ishisashi (Stone padlock) Kongo ken (Oval metal weight),Nigiri game (Gripping jar), as well as the Tan (Barbell) and Tetsu geta (Iron clogs), all of which are used within karate contexts rather than for pure weight lifting purposes.

    I have been playing around with yoga for over thirty-five years, and I have never heard it translated as 'forceful'. I would be interested to know your source for that. The whole thing about yoga is that it is brutally tough, but that doesn't mean it is done forcefully. The power comes through the maintaining of the posture, and then using the breathing to relax into the position, rather than bust through it.

    As far as the pretzel poses are concerned, yoga is yoga, not contortionism! The advanced poses are interesting, and each have their own lesson to bestow, but the value of one's practice is not defined by the intricacies of the postures that one can achieve (and it certainly doesn't go into the extreme competetive yoga that has developed from Bikram yoga, amongst others).

    I also like the side plank, I find that a couple of rounds of that in the morning and evening gets rid of all the little niggly aches and pains that I have - as well as giving me the feeling afterwards that I am floating through the world, rather than having to wade through quicksand!

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