After seeing the risks of improper use of weapons with an incorrect muscular setting, here’s a useful exercise to strengthen our arms:
- Let’s buy a modular handlebar (those commonly used in gym workouts)
- Let’s choose the weights that we think we can safely lift with one arm (let’s do not overdo it, the progression should be gradual)
- Let’s move the weights on one side of the handlebar and let’s firmly fix them (as shown in the picture)
- Let’s perform a short warm-up / stretching for wrists, fingers and arms (read How to correctly perform warm-up)
- Let’s grasp the handlebar on the opposite side of the weights
- Let’s bring the arm down the side (position A, the handle is parallel to the ground)
- Let’s bend the elbow and let us stop an instant when the handlebar become perpendicular to the ground (position B)
- From this position let’s bring the dumbbell behind our back and let’s stop for a moment (position C)
- Let’s go back to the B position, pause, position A, pause, position B, pause, position C (cycle)
- The pause is about 0.5 seconds
- When we can run the effortless movement we can gradually increase the weights (let’s give attention to the increase, especially about the wrists)
- Given a certain ability with the movement we can alternate the position C with lateral rotations on the wrist (to the right and to the left, first one and then the other)
- Finally, after gaining extensive motion control, we can begin to perform simple free spins of the handlebar (simulating the most basic movements of the weapon for which we are training)
Once we adapted our arm to a training with a 3-4 times heavy and awkward tool of what we want to master we will no longer be the victim of the problems mentioned in the last article.
It’s important to say that forcing our bodies does not speed up our martial growth, but rather leads us to harm us and to slow down (or even stop) our evolution, so:
- We have to use soft, circular, slow, and continuous movements
- Especially in the beginning, we do not train more than 3-5 minutes per arm
- We need to start with very light weights or we will hurt (especially on wrists)
- At the first hint of excessive tension / pain we must immediately interrupt the exercise
In future articles of this discussion, we will see other exercises useful for this purpose.
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.