Hands conditioning: first approach with a bag of rice

Hands strengthening

Why and how?

An at least basic impact conditioning (read Conditioning check for the impact) of the body is a key aspect for those who want to:

  • Be able to face a real fight (eg. for self-defense)
  • Reduce the risk of serious damages (eg. missing a target)

In relation to this purpose, one of the first focus is to strengthen the tip of our” core weapons”: the hands (even if we plan to use only palm strikes).

A note by Master Kongling – Despite what many people say, there is absolutely no need to destroy our hands to reach a more than satisfactory result: we can maintain a “normal” hand aspect and at the same time, preserve its integrity (bones, etc.).

A gradual path

The first type of hand conditioning we are going to address may appear light but if we do not force the right graduality, we risk to seriously compromise its normal functionality.

A note by Master Kongling – You cannot imagine how many people come to me asking what to do after having ruined their body (and especially their hands).

The hands are both powerful and delicate, our first goal is to fortify them a bit (knuckles, fingers, muscles, etc.), enough to avoid damaging our bones:

  • Hitting our opponent in a bad way
  • Hitting our opponent in the wrong area
  • Missing a target

A note by Master Kongling – Of course, the ability of a fighter to preserve his integrity in case of error is not limited to the reinforcement of his body structure but to a set of factors (read for example 6DKF’s interactions: from the strong blow to the light touch).

A first practice for hands conditioning

Here is a simple exercise that almost everyone can do without big difficulties or risks: the one with the bag of rice.

The exercise

What we need:

  • Let’s take a fabric bag and some rice
  • The bag must be filled at 75%
  • The bag must be firmly graspable with one hand

The preparation:

  • Let’s grasp with one hand (with very firm grip) the bag
  • We have to hit the bag with the other hand (and then vice versa)
  • The hand with the bag must not move, it has to absorb the hit (it is part of the training)

The first weeks let’s do not impress any type of power.

How to hit:

  1. First, we have to hit in sequence, with each knuckle individually (with the one of the index finger, then with the ring one, etc.)
  2. Second, we have to hit with each finger (again in sequence); outstretched, then curved, then folded in half and then closed
  3. Third, we have to hit with the palm, with the back and with the 2 remaining sides of the hand
  4. Forth, we have to hit with the 4 sides of the wrist
  5. Fifth, we have to hit with couples and trios of fingers (both closed together both separate)
  6. Sixth, we have to hit with lunges, beatings and directional pressures (down, right, etc.)
  7. Seventh, we have to hit with fingers in random positions (crossed, leaning, etc.)

IMPORTANT – After each blow, we should certainly feel a vibration but in no case a crescent stress nor pain. Particularly at the beginning, we must be careful and learn to feel the conditions and the limits of our body.

How to optimize the exercise:

  • We can freely mix the various types of stimuli but we have to maintain a general balance of the totals
  • With the time, we have to gradually aim to hit at the maximum power that we can express but always without being hurt (to force the pain slows down our evolution, especially at the beginning)
  • Let’s do not waste time dedicating only to this practice, let’s connect it to other activities (eg. standing stamina development)
  • If we are doing all correctly our hands should redden slightly but must not in any way remain injured nor aching

IMPORTANT – This is an introductory exercise to conditioning (it helps us to pass to other types of stimulations) but even if it should not be very harmful: if we feel pain, we have to immediately interrupt and wait for a few days for total recovery (if the problem persists even after 4-5 days we have to immediately consult a doctor).

In the next article of this series, we will continue our combat conditioning path.

A note by Master Kongling – Let’s do not be stupid, our fingers are extremely precious; let’s do not try to develop skills like Iron Palm, Diamond Finger (etc.) if we do not have the patience to follow an incredibly slow evolution (we talk about years).

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Questions

Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • How do you feel your knuckles?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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