How often do you think about them?
How often do you use them?
I’m going to make an assumption here. I assume you use your hands a lot more than those biceps or rectus abdominis that you love showing off!
If you’re reading this blog you are very likely a person who swings kettlebells, does pull ups, deadlifts, plays Judo/BJJ, goes climbing, mountain bikes as well as doing all the normal stuff modern life asks from us.
Look through that list and you’ll see that everything requires the hands to be in good nick. Everything on that list requires the grip to be strong and better than just string, but reactive and enduring.
Training usually requires a closing grip, which means our finger flexors on the inside of the forearm take a beating. Our forearms are one of the sets of muscles in the body that are deliberately imbalanced, the flexors that close the hand are far stronger than the extensors that open the hand (as I explained this one day to Son no 1, he jumped in, “You mean like a crocodiles mouth” which is the best explanation you could ever get.)
Problems arise of this imbalance gets to far out of line, or the forearm flexors simply get tight from all use.
I do see people quite frequently who struggle to do a simple push up comfortably because of the fore arm flexors being tight.
There are some very simple and highly effective exercises that are used by gymnasts and traditional martial artists the world over to prep the hand/wrists for the hard training to follow, and also to keep the hands fresh and aid recovery from the training.
The two that I recommend you add into training today are: Finger Pulses and Palm Pulses
This video takes you through the finger pulse:
And this one is the Palm Pulses:
Both these exercises can be practiced nice and light, just going through the motions for releasing any excessive tension held in the muscles, say the day after training, or as part of a warm up. Or you can put some weight on the hands and challenge the tissues to develop some strength, nice to do after a grip intensive session such as Deadlifts or Kettlebell Snatch.
Add them into your routine and let me know how you feel.
These drills are just two of the exercises featured in the Hand and Wrist Mobility video available from my Vimeo on Demand page here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/handandwristmobility
Dave Hedges www.Wg-Fit.com