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Old 04-23-2008, 01:12 PM   #1
dave9nine
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exercises for wrist strengthening?

hi all.
i was wondering if anyone can recommend any exercises for strengthening and reinforcing the wrists.
i have been training a lot for the past year, and quite recently i have been experiencing throbbing in the wrists off the mat. specifically, kote gaeshi and nikyo have been taking their toll.
i came across a simple exercise for the knees, to strengthen them and maintain support, and it has seemed to work; so im wondering if there's a similar thing for the wrists.
if your advice is to lay off a little, this is tough, since being uchi deshi means im around for every class and can't really 'take a break' in that respect.
any thoughts?
-dave
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:33 PM   #2
dbotari
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

Dave,

Other than some stretches to limber up the wrists, I don't have much that will strengthen your wrist specifically. there are exercises that will strengthen your grip and forearms which may also lead to stronger wrists. Suburi with a good heavy bokken will help, as will any wrist/forearm weight exercise (wrist curls etc).

What exercises have you found that help your knees? My knees are troublesome at times and I am always looking for ways to strengthen them as well as increase flexibility around that area (hamstrings & Quads).

Regards,

Dan.
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:58 PM   #3
phitruong
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

Makiage kigu. okinawan karate folks use them. you only need a rod, rope and weight (water jug works too).
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Old 04-23-2008, 02:05 PM   #4
Eric Webber
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

Do you tape your wrists for practice? Sometimes doing this for some period of time gives the joints enough rest from being twisted and cranked that they can recover without having to stop practicing. Also gives an alert to your partners not to crank the living daylights out of your wrists. For strengthening I'll go with more bokken work, and try swinging it with just one hand (gripping at the bottom) rather than using both hands; that way you don't need to get a bigger heavier bokken, can use whatever is there and will seem heavier.
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Old 04-23-2008, 02:36 PM   #5
MM
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

Start doing "suit" exercises with the wrists. Instead of letting people crank your wrists/joints into submission, work on integrating your whole body into the joint such that when someone cranks on your wrist/joint, it actually feeds into your whole body and the ground. Search out Mike Sigman's posts on suit and exercises. You'll be amazed at the difference once you start putting the ground into your wrists. The better you become at putting the ground into your wrist, the less people will be able to crank on them.

Or, transfer to some fluffy aikibunny dojo where they'll train you to blend with "ki" and flow with the techniques so you won't have any pain.

Or go to karate and punch some boards.

Or go to MMA/BJJ because it's way better anyway.

But to stay and think that some "exercise" will improve being on the receiving end of nikyo? I just don't think it'll happen.

IMO,
Mark
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Old 04-23-2008, 05:09 PM   #6
dave9nine
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

thanks for the suggestions, i will definitely explore these options.

dan: for knees, i was refering to one where you sit in a chair, or on your back on the ground, and do repetitions lifting the leg at the knee (like the exercise machine that has you sit and, with the bar at the feet, lift up)...i was told to focus on the knees while doing this and try to have the impetus start in the knee (put the mind to the knee), especially at the places that seem like they need strengthening......also, using a stationary bicycle helps.

mark: thanks. I wasnt so dillusioned as to think nikyo will ever get easier to take , but i like that you have identified a difference between thinking one can "take it" by being stronger, versus changing the way one "takes it," as a better solution...i will work on that!
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:49 PM   #7
Janet Rosen
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

the thing about the knee is you aren't actually strengthening "the knee" but strengthening specific muscles (generally quads and hamstrings) that support the joint structure. difference with wrists is that except for a few lower forearm muscles, the ones that get bigger when you do a lot of weapons work, the structures comprising the wrist are tendons that cannot be bulked up. if they hurt, they are stressed (microtears or swelling) and need relief.
meanwhile, I totally second the poster who suggested learning to meet the pin with the whole body - exhaling and relaxing into it, and being sure to tap before the slack is so taken out that the only thing left is to damage the tendons.

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-24-2008, 06:23 AM   #8
lbb
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

Suburi. Hahahahaha!

Seriously, if your wrists are throbbing off the mat, I don't think strengthening them is the solution. I'm a big fan of taping, not just for practice but for all day, when something is inflamed -- it gives it support and lets the inflammation quiet down. Combine that with learning how to not do whatever's damaging the joint, and you're in business.
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Old 04-24-2008, 06:37 AM   #9
Randy Sexton
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

I agree with Janet Rosen. We all know the difference between being sore from exercise and true pain but as dedicated martial artists we tend to overlook or totally ignore "pain". Pain is the body's way to say stop! I need some attention! I recommend Motrin with food, daily ice is nice, slip-on ace supports are great while doing the activities for a while, and let the body part have a little time to chill and heal.
Doc Sexton

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will"
Gandhi
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Old 04-24-2008, 06:52 AM   #10
Beard of Chuck Norris
 
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

POWERBALL!!!



And Captain Crush shkveezing devices
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:52 AM   #11
Michael Douglas
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

Jo made a good point.
Grip-strengthening really toughens the wrist as a side-effect (in my experience). I made my own devices (squeezers) but you can buy them.
And maybe stop doing the pushups on bent wrists?
Joking, but plenty old-school Aikidoka do that one ... it never suited me though.
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:16 AM   #12
Dazzler
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

If your wrists are inflamed then you probably want to rest them, not do more excercise.

Add ice and elevation to the strapping suggestion and you have good old RICE.

The suggestion about finding an Aikibunny is quite a good one.

Practice with folks that are good enought to apply aikido without needing to hurt you to prove it works.

If that makes them aikibunnies...then find a warren.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:38 AM   #13
bkedelen
 
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

I see a lot of wrist flexibility exercises above, but basically no wrist strength exercises. To strengthen your wrists, you should probably consider putting them under a load, preferably in the course of a movement which results in work being done within a functional context. My suggestion would be pull-ups, hang power snatches, and turkish get-ups. If you (dubiously) lump together grip strength with wrist strength, I would add kettlebell swings and ring exercises such as the muscle-up which utilize the false grip.

Last edited by bkedelen : 04-24-2008 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:55 AM   #14
MM
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
I see a lot of wrist flexibility exercises above, but basically no wrist strength exercises. To strengthen your wrists, you should probably consider putting them under a load, preferably in the course of a movement which results in work being done within a functional context. My suggestion would be pull-ups, hang power snatches, and turkish get-ups. If you (dubiously) lump together grip strength with wrist strength, I would add kettlebell swings and ring exercises such as the muscle-up which utilize the false grip.
I guess I disagree with these methods. My cousin is a union carpenter and he's got some very strong wrists from 20 years of work. Yes, it can be done, but it takes a long time.

Sooo, knowing that there's always someone physically stronger out there, why spend 20 years strengthening two wrists when you can spend ... maybe 3 years and build the body/structure so that joint locks don't work anymore? Heck, in one year I've gotten fairly good at not being able to be locked. The exception to that is those people who have good internal skills and they are of a waaaay smaller minority than those who are physically stronger than I am.

Plus, if you build the body/structure, you'll find that those people with very strong muscular wrists will be affected by your applying nikyo.

To help understand what I mean (and really, it has to be felt) by structure or suit, start with an uke who has you in a beginning nikyo. Not yet applied, but getting ready. Now, notice not only your wrist but more importantly, your shoulder joint. Both of these joints must be integrated to allow the suit and structure to work. There can be no "play" in either.

By "play", I mean if uke just gives a horizontal push into you, uke should feel like he/she is pushing on a wall. (To help with that, think of your upper arm bone being pulled into the shoulder socket and clicking/locking in. At the same time, think about energy going from the back foot up and out through the forward arm. Energy in and out at the same time.)

Now, when the "play" is gone, let uke start to apply the nikyo. Relax just enough so that the muscles in your arm aren't compressing or tightening but don't relax so much that you put "play" back into the joints. Keep the intent of energy going in and out.

As uke starts the nikyo lock, use your intent/focus to picture that what uke is really doing is trying to twist your whole, entire body. Feel the twist go from your fingers through your forearm through your shoulder and down your back/spine.

Important points to remember. You aren't just receiving uke's energy. Let uke be uke and forget about him/her. Instead, focus on getting your energy/intent to go outwards from back foot to forward arm (the one where nikyo is being applied). AND at the same time, pull that energy inwards to lock/click that shoulder socket in place. Try not to tighten the back shoulder muscles when you do this. Work on getting them relaxed enough to let the twist go through your body.

Anyway, it's something I play with. I work on sankyo, ikkyo, also.

Mark
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:43 PM   #15
phitruong
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

physical strengthening and internal/body are not either-or. you can do both. small hose can handle certain amount of flow, larger hose can handle more. personally, I do both; when you are smaller than other folks, you want to use everything available in your arsenal. but then I don't try to resist all the much. I preferred to go somewhere else safe. grounding is fine, but then you sacrifice mobility. strong person can afford to sacrifice some mobility; smaller and weaker cannot. as I said, you can do both. Shaolin kungfu folks took the same approach, physical conditioning along with internal. much more formidable that way.
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Old 04-24-2008, 03:42 PM   #16
MM
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
physical strengthening and internal/body are not either-or. you can do both. small hose can handle certain amount of flow, larger hose can handle more. personally, I do both; when you are smaller than other folks, you want to use everything available in your arsenal. but then I don't try to resist all the much. I preferred to go somewhere else safe. grounding is fine, but then you sacrifice mobility. strong person can afford to sacrifice some mobility; smaller and weaker cannot. as I said, you can do both. Shaolin kungfu folks took the same approach, physical conditioning along with internal. much more formidable that way.
Hmmm ... don't know about the grounding you're talking about. The grounding I'm working on also has very good mobility. For me, though, I can't do both physical body/muscle training and structural training. Right now, they are diametrically opposed. One interferes with the other. I've felt the power from people who have muscles and the power from people who have structure. There is no comparison -- structure is much more powerful. That's why I work on structure and ground and aiki and etc, etc.

Mark
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:40 PM   #17
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Sooo, knowing that there's always someone physically stronger out there, why spend 20 years strengthening two wrists when you can spend ... maybe 3 years and build the body/structure so that joint locks don't work anymore?
Your statement assumes they are mutually exclusive when in fact the neurological adaptation which occurs when doing multi-articulate weight bearing functional movements has been proven in multiple, repeatable, statistically significant studies to have the most beneficial effect possible on body learning. These studies are generally accepted and used everywhere by serious athletes to adapt their bodies to sport-specific modalities. It is a scientific fact that gymnasts learn new movements faster than any other type of athlete. Why not study gymnastics and a few other proven methodologies in addition to internal strength practice. Lets face it, learning internal strength is a painstaking process. Anything I can do to help me learn more and faster is definitely going to get a try. If people can make both work for them, then instead of being internally strong and fat and weak, they can be internally strong and externally strong, and have the bone density, metabolic health, and neurological framework to enjoy using their newfound strength long after the fat, weak practitioners are dead from diabetes and heart disease.

Last edited by bkedelen : 04-24-2008 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:43 PM   #18
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
One interferes with the other.
Being physically fit does not make you retarded. You can choose to use strength or not. I know plenty of weak people who try to muscle me around the mat. It just works even worse than when a strong guy does it.
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Old 04-25-2008, 05:20 AM   #19
Michael Douglas
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
Being physically fit does not make you retarded.
Exactly the opposite according to many, including some ancient Greeks.
Good posts Benjamin.
On topic : Do you not think grip-strengthening has a wrist-strengthening effect?
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Old 04-25-2008, 06:36 AM   #20
phitruong
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

my personal favorite, fingers push-up. or if you know karate or some such, then do those long nasty kata like kusanku while your fists holding dumbbells.
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Old 04-25-2008, 10:46 AM   #21
bkedelen
 
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

Greetings Michael.
Before giving my opinion about grip strength and wrist strength, I have to admit that I am a grip strength junkie. One of my side goals with this training has always been to see if I can get wrists comparable to those of Ikeda Sensei. In my experience, grip strengthening definitely has a wrist strengthening effect. With that said, I believe that working grip strength is only the second best way to improve wrist strength. The best way would probably be to put the wrist itself under load, like in the overhead lifts. Also my experience is that doing movements with significant grip requirements (pull-ups) is a more effective way to train grip strength than to use wrist rollers and grip trainers. There are plenty of 200lb people who can close a 200lb gripper but cannot do a pull-up.

Last edited by bkedelen : 04-25-2008 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 04-25-2008, 08:29 PM   #22
dps
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

Daily take the newspaper and one page at a time hold it by the corner with the thumb and forefinger of your hand and slowly crumple the paper into a ball using only the thumb and fingers of your hand. Try it.

David
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Old 04-25-2008, 08:39 PM   #23
dps
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

Or you can try this.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...vKXWBA&hl =en

I think I posted this before.

David
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:17 PM   #24
Michael Douglas
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
... I have to admit that I am a grip strength junkie. ... In my experience, grip strengthening definitely has a wrist strengthening effect. With that said, I believe that working grip strength is only the second best way to improve wrist strength. The best way would probably be to put the wrist itself under load, like in the overhead lifts. Also my experience is that doing movements with significant grip requirements (pull-ups) is a more effective way to train grip strength than to use wrist rollers and grip trainers.
I think we agree on the topic then.
I also think maybe we both haven't anything like typical wrists.
While I don't train any specific wrist-strengthening regime I do Smith part-time, handle heavy power tools most days and pull a 95-lb longbow so 'in my experience' might not really help the original poster so much.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:40 PM   #25
sunny liberti
 
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Re: exercises for wrist strengthening?

I've been plagued by wrist issues for a while now. This has been hands-down the best thing to rebuild after much damage:

cat's paw

You have to use it with meticulous alignment, but it works like nothing else I've found for strength and flexibility - which I used to think were mutually exclusive. It opens the joint like you won't believe!

There's an instructional video to the right of the page I linked.

Good luck!

Last edited by sunny liberti : 04-28-2008 at 01:47 PM.

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
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