Hand/Wrist Strength for Stand-Up Fighters

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by mschatz, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. mschatz

    mschatz Hamma: I has it

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    It seems like there are new threads every other day or so about hand or wrist injuries suffered while training in Boxing, Muay Thai, or some other form of stand-up. I also was a victim of that when I first started pounding away on bags, mitts and heads. While the majority of the strains and hand problems may be caused by novices using poor form, it's not always possible to hit your target exactly the way you want to. This is especially true when you're sparring and your opponent just isn't cooperating.

    While it may be coincidence, I have not suffered any kind of hand or wrist injury since I began seriously training and improving my wrist and hand strength. I like to think that my improved strength in these two areas help keep my wrists from hyper extending and keep my hands/knuckles from being damaged. You don't hear stand-up fighters talking about this area of training much, but there are some historical references to it. Georges Carpentier, the famous French boxer who lost to Jack Dempsey in what was then the biggest boxing match in history was known to train his hands religiously. He kept a small rubber ball in his pocket and squeezed it constantly though the day. Jack Dempsey was know to soak his hands in brine in hopes of toughening the skin on his hands. Muhammed Ali used to hit the hard canvas bag bare-fisted until the knuckles were scabbed and cut. He would then peel off the scabs and go back to work until he had layers and layers of calluses on the tops of his knuckles.

    In my personal opinion, the best way to train your hand and wrist strength is by improving your grip strength. Now, you will not have to grip anything in your hands while boxing, but I have just found that to be the most effective way to improve these areas. I use 5 methods to train my hands, and it takes barely any time. These movements can be added at the end of a workout or just whenever you have an extra 5-15 minutes.
    1. Heavy-Duty grippers: Don't bother with the plastic grippers you can find at a sporting goods store. You can purchase a great set of grippers at ironmind.com for about $20 per set. The trainer level or the #1 is a good place to start. One thing that has helped me a lot is by using a gripper that is too strong for me to close one-handed. You can use the other hand to get it closed, and then used timed holds for how long you can keep it locked in a closed position.
    2. Pinch Grip Deadlifts: Take 2 weight plates and set them right next to each other. Grip them with one hand as tight as you can and stand up. That's 1 rep. 2 25 lb plates together is a good place to start for people with decent grip strength.
    3. Farmers Walks: For Ross Enameit fans, he recommends these as part of his GPP training, but it has an excellent carry-over to grip strength. Grab the two heaviest dumbbells you can lift without dying and just walk until your grip gives out.
    4. Levering: GREAT for wrist strength. Sledgehammer levering involves holding the hammer upright at arms length and then leaning it back towards you face until it touches you on the nose, twist it back upright using only your wrist strength. Do the same thing only leaning the hammer away from you. (description borrowed from Strength & Power forum's FAQ)
    5. Hex Grip Dumbbell Holds: Take the biggest hex grip dumbbell you get wrap your fingers around and do timed holds. I can only go up to a 25 lb dumbbell because I have small hands, so Ill do timed holds with this, holding it upside down for 30 seconds or so per set.
    So, there you go. This may or may not do anything for you, but I believe it has helped me in a pre-hab/re-hab sense for my hands and wrists.
     
  2. Jubacat

    Jubacat Rope Belt

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    Great write up.

    The only thing I would add is knuckle or finger pushups.
     
  3. T.J.T

    T.J.T Green Belt

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    when i started i had bad wrist pains, 4 months in and 4-5 physio appointments id say my left wrist it 95% and my right is 90% but both feel way way better then the first month i started training.

    I use tennis balls and squeeze them like you explained and also i find knuckle pushups can be hard to do but actualy feel good on my wrists after a couple reps.

    great write up.
     
  4. Centaur

    Centaur Black Belt

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    Look at Mr. Fancy Mod with the fancy fonts.

    j/k


    Nice write-up, M'am.

    I actually just did 2 x 25 PG deads, and they're harder than I though. I have pussy hands compared to most though.


    Edit:

    Just thought of one to add, (if you don't mind, your Modiness):
    From the mind of Ross Enamait.*

    Door Grips - Grab around the edge of a door and lean back. This is good for when you don't have any plates or DB's.


    I started doing this but I also move the door as I do it, getting different angles. This is useful is simulating grabbing the wrist in MMA with the guy moving it to get leverage and break your grip.
     
  5. Jubacat

    Jubacat Rope Belt

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    Congrats on the Modship.
     
  6. mschatz

    mschatz Hamma: I has it

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    Adding stuff from Ross is appropriate for any subject.


    Thanks Jubacat
     
  7. steeljaw2

    steeljaw2 Black Belt

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    nice thread...
     
  8. brian80

    brian80 White Belt

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    I would heartily reccomend finger extensions of some sort. I will wear rubber bands on my wrist just so I can do high-rep finger extensions throughout the day.
     
  9. The_Bear

    The_Bear Purple Belt

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    do heavy bag training with no wraps or gloves. It will condition your wrists, help you with distance and range (if you train for bare knuckle), you'll learn to strike with solid impact and not skid along the bag (your bloody knuckles will let you know if your doing it wrong).

    Do wrist, finger and forearm exercises and in high repeition 3 to 4 days a week. It's tough but you will have a grip and forearm strength and power that will crush many guys (in terms of grappling... squeezing, pinching, grabbing, and pulling)

    I have been training for 11 years and it's done wonders for me.
     
  10. Rinksterk**

    Rinksterk** Banned Banned

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    Pfft. Pussy. I do my work outs by hitting the concrete on the sidewalk. Sure I break my hands all the time but when they heal, they'll be strong as steal.

    I also recommend having sexy time with yourself daily for wrist strength.
     
  11. fightingrabbit

    fightingrabbit Banned Banned

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    I know a majority of people say hitting the heavy bag with no wraps or gloves is just stupid. But i just cant stop doing it for some reason. The impact is just so much more satisfying. I hope it doesnt give me arthritis and shit later in life..
     
  12. goosebumps88*

    goosebumps88* Banned Banned

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    Jerking it is the best exercise you can get. Theres pleasure and theres workout!:icon_lol:
     
  13. Fozzy1

    Fozzy1 Guest

    Use hand wraps and gloves.

    Come back to this thread in 5 years when you have bad arthritis and nerve damage in your wrist and hands and try typing 'I wish I had used hand wraps and gloves like foz suggested'

    :)

    ~Foz
     
  14. fightingrabbit

    fightingrabbit Banned Banned

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    Dont tell me what to do! You're not my real dad!

    *runs away*
     
  15. woogie12

    woogie12 Purple Belt

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    all this will also help greatly for clinching for you mma and mt fighters as well.


    clinching with gloves is stupid hard and taxing. hooray CoC grippers.
     
  16. Chonbody

    Chonbody Guest

    Awesome writeup. Off to a great start, Moddy.
     
  17. WEF

    WEF Banned Banned

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    I agree that strengthening your hands and wrists can definitely make a huge difference in the amount of injuries a fighter may experience. Wrists and hands are commonly broken, sprained or torn. I jotted down a few good exercises to help train them on my site: World Extreme Fighter.
     
  18. DrBdan

    DrBdan Something clever

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    I thought that was just a given?

    Thanks for the great post mschatz. I do need to work on my hand strength and hopefully this will motivate me.
     
  19. MMAftfw**

    MMAftfw** Banned Banned

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    I have been doing pull ups gripping towels. Shit tears your hands and forearms the fuck up. All you need if your already doing some bag work and stuff as far as im concerned.
     
  20. Jake Martin

    Jake Martin Amateur Fighter

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    I think everyone neglects grip/forearm work...until they get injured.

    Put me in that category.
     

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