View Full Version : strengthen the old wrists

4th July 2002, 16:00
Anybody know any surefire ways to strengthen the wrists, aside from the old fashioned knuckle push-ups? The years of wrist locks and stuff is catching up I think...:D

4th July 2002, 16:21
Work on deadlifts, overhead dumbbell side press, farmer's walks, and clubbell swings http://www.RMAX.tv/clubbell.html

Steve C
4th July 2002, 16:35
I train in renaissance western swordfighting, (as well as karate,) and we use an exercise called 'building the bridge' for wrist strength. I think it might be a chinese exercise originally. Here's how it's done.

You're going to open and close your hands 49 times in seven different positions. This works the muscles of the forearms both aerobically, and anaerobically, and very quickly strengthens your forearms and wrists.

For all of these positions, you are standing up, shoulders relaxed and pulled down. Here are the different positions;

First position; hands down. Hold your hands down by your sides, as they would be if you were loitering on street corners. ;)

Second position; Out front. Now hold your hands out in front of you, elbows bent and palms face down. Imaging trying to put your arms around a big fat tree.

Third position; Crucifix. Hold your hands out to the side, palms down.

Fourth position; Reach up. Hold your hands straight up, palms facing each other, as though you were holding a ball over your head. It's about this time you'll start to feel the anaerobic burn hit in.

Fifth position; he-man. hold your arms as though you were showing off your biceps; straight out at the shoulder, bent 90 degrees at the elbow. Keep your palms facing each other.

Sixth position; crucifix 2. Same as third position, but your palms are up.

Seventh position; begging Hold your arms out in front, palms up.

So you go through the seven positions, clenching your fist then spreading your hand all the way out. When you clench your fist, make sure you pull the thumb in. After a few positions, you'll start feeling the burn in your arms. At the end, your arms should be nicely exercised.

The good thing about this exercise is that it's low-impact, quick, and doesn't require weights. You shouldn't do this more than about twice in a day, though, to give yourself a bit of rest.

Hope that's helpful,


Ginzu Girl
4th July 2002, 17:41
I really like those wrist exercises. I'm going to have to try them! (With some loose change in my pockets, in case the cops catch me.);)

One thing I'm wondering though, is if you might also be suffering from repetitive strain, rather than a pure lack of strength. What you describe sounds like an accumulation of injuries. Doing strength exercises without including stretches too, might actually make things worse? :cry:

I mean, technically, your wrist is mostly ligaments, nerves, and bones--there isn't a whole lot of muscle in the wrist itself. Strengthening exercises help build up the muscles in your forearm, which enable you to put more power through the wrist and into your grip. :D

In that case, you might consider exercises that stretch your wrist ligaments. I'm just getting started learning joint locks, but it seems as though they really put the pinch on those wrist structures. I've found that stretching out all my joints, before and after a workout, really helps keep the soreness away. (And now that I'm less of a spring lamb and more a bell wether, the list of aches only seems to grow!):rolleyes:

Hang in there!

5th July 2002, 14:04
Hi all,
I agree wholeheartedly with Anita on this..From experience I have found that when training (Especially in Kote Gyaku type movements) the best way to ensure that there is no serious damage is to thoroughly rotate the wrist in all directions to its maximum extent..Do this slowly as the actual wrist is not too strong in itself and can be easily damaged..Push the hands back (Fingers to top of forearm), down (Fingers to underside of forearm), and in both directions left and right until you can't move them anymore...This helps to prepare the area for the exact type of punishment it will be put through and done repeatedly helps to get the area 'used' to the stress.
Also, I have found that as far as overall strengthening of the area goes I have been helped by the bodybuilding I used to do...Deadlifts, dips, all press type movements etc help in two ways..1; they build up the muscle that supports the wrist and 2; they force the bones in the wrist to thicken over time and this provides a stronger base for the wrist in training. Generally many types of 'basic' weightlifting help to strengthen and thicken the frame and can be useful in preventing the types of injuries you describe....IMHO;)
Take PLENTY of Calcium supplements also...This allows the bones to grow strong and (again) given time will help to stop possible damage to the area.
Lastly....I know you said no push up's needed mentioning but we train a variation on the ones you describe by placing the the wrist on the ground with the hands bent in and palms up so that the actual push up is being done through the wrist directly rather than through the fist first...This will be hard if you already have damaged the area but can help if you haven't....

Budoka 34
5th July 2002, 19:10
I like Saburi (cutting drills) , small medicine balls palm catches, and bo drills.
Look for saburi drills in Kendo and Iaido books.

I toss and catch a small medicine-ball palm down 100 times per hand three times a week. Works grip and wrists.:D

Then I hold a bo as close to the end as I can support and make circles with the far end. Keep your elbow close to your side like all good technique. I'll do this in both directions(R and L) and back and foreward.
Then fifty wrist turns left and right holding the bo verticle and letting it turn down until parallel to the ground.
Do your best not to let it drop lower than parallel.

I do casts (like fishing) over my head with motion only from the wrist.
If you try these, start with something smaller like a jo and don't forget to stretch, stretch, stretch.
Let me know what you think.


6th July 2002, 14:46
Wow, Thanks everybody...this is exactly the info I was looking for. I think by the time I'm finished trying all of this stuff I should have wrists and forearms like Popeye...lol :laugh:
again, thanks