Strengthening exercises Part 2:
Fingers and Hands
To me, balancing the strength evenly throughout the full range of motion of the fingers is crucial. I believe this helps to relieve or prevent those repetitive stress type injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome.
When most people think of working their hands, they only think of executing squeezing type motions (squeezing a tennis ball for instance), but thats only working one direction. remember last weeks “weak link in the chain” saying? Think for a moment about the weakness’ you create when working movement in only one direction.
The left, right, and back motions must also be worked to give a balanced strength to the hand. This is very necessary especially in Balisong manipulation, where force is put on all angles of your fingers………. if the strength isn’t there, the Bali falls to the floor.
Balance of strength…………… thats what we’ll concentrate on this week.
Lets start with the sideways motions
The first exercise will be working on spreading your fingers out, or away from each other.
~ Hold out the Index and Middle finger of the right hand in front of you.
~ Now take the Thumb and Index fingers from the left hand, and place them (fingerprints “in”) on the outside edges of the two right hand fingers. Placement should be just below the fingertips.
~ Now try to spread the right hand fingers out, and away from each other. The left hand fingers should not squeeze in, but merely provide the necessary resistance to work the right hand fingers.
~ Alternate so all fingers are worked on each hand.
~ You can also use an elastic band to provide the resistance if you prefer.
This exercise will work on squeezing your fingers together sideways.
~ Start with the same two fingers of your right hand, as in the above exercise.
~ This time take the Index and Middle fingers of the left hand, and stick them BETWEEN the fingers of the right. Placement should be; outside edges of the left hand fingers against the inside edges of the right.
~ Now squeeze the fingers of the right hand together.
~ You could also use a piece of foam or something similar to provide the resistance.
This motion is probably the most important, yet also worked the least.
~ Start by making a loose fist with the right hand.
~ Now place the left hand over the right, covering it.
~ From here, slowly straighten out the fingers of the right hand. The left hand should only provide resistance.
~ Again, an elastic band could also be used to provide the resistance, by looping one end around a fingertip and pulling back against the band. The other hand should hold the band and pull downward slightly to increase the resistance.
Another great exercise I’d like to add, makes use of Chinese Meditation balls. You’ve probably seen them before…….. two steel balls that usually come in a decorated box.
I swear by these things!
The concept is very simple…….. rotate the balls clockwise and counterclockwise in the palm of your hands. Sounds simple, but the results are amazing!…………. strength, dexterity, and one of THE best stamina builders you’ll find, all in one simple exercise.
Stay clear of the hollow sets with the chimes in the middle……….. Get the largest diameter, heaviest ones you can find. They’ll do the most for you.
These are all movements that you no doubt have never really concentrated on………… so it goes without saying that ALL the exercises mentioned above should be practiced in moderation in the beginning.
DO IT………. BUT DON’T OVER DO IT!