Physical Training Apr 2002

Ten Ways: To Stronger Forearms

by Kim Taylor Kim Taylor

Everyone can use a stronger grip, whether you practice weapons, grappling or kick/punch arts. Here's a quick set of exercises you can do at home watching TV or talking on the phone. While you're at it, why not do them from a nice deep horse stance to give the legs a workout too. You should start all these exercises in sets of 10 to 20 and work up as you get used to them.


1. Stretch your arm straight out in front of your shoulders. Turn your palm up and use the other hand to bend it down toward the ground. Now turn the palm down and bend the fingers up toward the sky. Just for good measure do the same stretches with the palm facing right and left.

2. Now push down on the back of your hand (you can keep the arm straight or let the elbow bend, try both) as you try to touch your wrist with the thumb of the stretched hand. Don't cheat and touch the wrist with your other thumb. Do these exercises up, down, right and left.

3. Finish off by bending each finger and thumb back one at a time.

Now your hands and arms should be good and tingly, it's time to start working.


4. Stretch your arm straight in front of your shoulders again. Open your hand and roll it around clockwise, then counterclockwise. Try to make the biggest circle you can with your fingertips.

5. Close the hand into a fist and roll it around the same way.

6. Now wave the hands back and forth and up and down in the same motion you used when doing the stretches. Really strain to get the maximum motion possible.

7. Grab a couple of soup cans and do the rolls and waves again.


Here's the hard part, are you ready?

8. Stretch the arms as far forward as possible in front of the shoulders. Now bend the wrists so your palms are facing forward (fingers up) like you're trying to stop a car or runaway elephant. Starting with the little finger first, tighten each finger in turn and then fold the thumb over in a fist. Squeeze the fist shut. Open the hands and repeat.

9. Now do another set of the same exercise but this time open the hands as much as possible, spread the fingers wide and "squeeze them open" before squeezing them shut again.

10. For the last exercise do sets of 50. Open and close the hands as fast as you can while counting out loud.


When you're done the workout, stretch like you did to warm up and finish by relaxing the hands and shaking them down by your sides, at shoulder height and finally, above your head.

Keep this up and you'll have forearms like Popeye in no time at all!

Physical Training Apr 2002