Bowling, rock climbing, gardening, martial arts, handgun shooting and opening pickle jars share all this trait: adequate finger, hand, and wrist strength that allows you to grip, pull, twist, support, strike and hold.
I thought I had strong hands after many years of garden installations and 8 years of rock climbing. But 3 intro classes in self defense, made it clear that it was time to work on hand strength. Philipino Silat (knife), Jiu Jitsu (Japanese kicks and punches) and mixed martial arts (MMA), had me walking out their doors, cradling my right wrist, quietly saying ‘Owwww’. My wrists weren’t up to these challenges. Add to that, in 2014, the tip of my middle finger got sliced off. In some kind of integrated muscle matrix, the strength in the adjoining finger, my right hand’s index finger, was notably reduced.
But the body responds eagerly to well informed exercise and strength conditioning.
I’m lucky to have a mentor, a retired Major in the Marines’ Special Operation Command, who for 20 years specialized in biomechanics and trained men to undergo the most arduous missions. That was then. Now, he boils down his elite education and training and delivers it to a level that I can understand and execute. It’s S-l-o-w strength training . It’s highly effective, and only inexpensive gear is needed.
The first 3 are static exercises where you hold an object. If / when you can do each of the following for 90 seconds, then it’s time to increase weight and resistance.
Go slow and go far! From easy to more challenging, they are:
HAND WEIGHT HOLD
ROUND WEIGHT HOLD
REVERSE WRIST CURL
This 4th exercise shows the movement you strive for in super slow strength training. I’m still perfecting it myself, but you want the initial movement, upwards, to be slow; and the downward release, even slower. Here it’s important to support the forearm and wrist area to focus the muscles to be strengthened. Very slow repetitions, until you can’t do anymore is how new muscle is laid down. It really works. All four strength conditioning exercise took me about 5 minutes (sitting in my backyard on a nice day !)