Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Wrist Strength

Source: cidio.net


T
he Kata Tensho, from Goju Ryu Karate, has some excellent techniques for improving the strength – and flexibility – of the wrists.


In fact, I have used a section of four hand movements from the Kata numerous times in my health and safety consultations, especially for folks on production lines who need that extra support when faced with a lot of repetitive work.

In martial arts training, these four movements lead to incredible wrist strength. Indeed, some Goju Ryu practitioners have been known to break concrete blocks with the back of their wrists after much practise in this Kata.

However, line workers have a different goal altogether. One woman in her thirties, whom I saw on a Tuesday, was suffering from pain in both wrists. Her job was to fashion croissants out of dough and she was making enough of this product on a daily basis to feed a small town. I showed her some easy stretches along with some pressure points plus I showed her the wrist techniques from Tensho. When I saw her again on Thursday, she was feeling a lot better. She then decided to do the exercises every day in order to prevent future problems with her wrists.

In Tensho, these four movements – along with others – are first performed on the right side, then on the left, and finally with both hands at the same time. The level of performance is deep and the breathing very strong. The arms move with a flowing style of dynamic tension.



1. CURL THE WRIST UP



Curl the wrist up slowly -  and hold for a second or two


Now, gradually open the hand as you slowly lower your wrists. The wrist will form a depression with the fingers pointing ahead and slightly up at a slant. If you’re practising with your right hand, the palm faces to the left. Hold this position for a second or two.



2. CURL THE WRIST DOWN




Slowly lower the wrist, fingers pointing up as much as possible

Now, gradually open the hand as you slowly lower your wrists. The wrist will form a depression with the fingers pointing ahead and slightly up at a slant. If you’re practising with your right hand, the palm faces to the left. Hold this position for a second or two.





3. CURL THE WRIST OUT TO THE SIDE




Curl your wrist slowly out to the side


Without moving your elbow – curl your wrists slowly out to the side. Hold for a second or two.





4. CURL THE WRIST INWARD




Without moving your elbow - curl your wrists slowly to the inside


And the lest part – without moving your elbow, slowly curl your wrists  toward the inside. Hold for a second or two.

As I mentioned, in Tensho Kata you’ll perform these movements in sequence first with the right hand, then with the left hand, and finally with both hands. I would follow this example. Plus, if you wish, you can incorporate Tensho’s breathing techniques. (I had 40 to 55 year old men and women do this with the breathing at their workstations. It was like watching a Karate class!).

As you curl your wrist up – inhale. Hold for a second or two only. Curl your wrist down – exhale. Hold for a second. As you curl your wrist out to the side – inhale. Hold for a second or two. As you curl your wrist toward the inside – exhale.

Doing the sequence like this produces a very fluid type of strength in the wrist. Repeat the sequence as much as you like. Follow it up with some wrist stretches.

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