Your thoughts on ankle and wrist weights

dnovice

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Hey guys and gals,

I was going to pose this question to my fellow wing chunners but I figured its more of a general question from which we can all learn so I'm posting it here in general.

I want to increase the speed and power of my punches and kicks. My solution to this is to get ankle and wrist weights. Is this a good idea?

Also, if you have any other ideas on how to increase the speed of your kicks and punches I am very interested.
 

shihansmurf

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If you are going for resistance training to increase speed and power you will be much better served by purchasing resistance bands and using them. Wrist and ankle weights plach a great deal of strain on the knees and elbows and actually serve to sublty change the from with which you punch and kick by causing you to utilize different stabilizer muscles during the performance of the technique.

If you are looking to increase power in general a weight training regimine will work wonders, speed drills that focus on increasing fast twitch muscles as well as reaction drills are valuable as well. I would stay away from Ankle and wrist weights.

Mark
 

Bruno@MT

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I'd say no.

Yes, you will increase punching power because you will need to accelerate the weight along with your fist.

But you will also potentially damage your joints. Because when your fist stops, the weights will have to decelerate as well. The force for this will be exerted on your wrist (and elbow).

A human fist does not weight that much by itself, so deceleration of the wrist is not that big a strain. Especially since the fist is a normal part of the body, and the wrist was made to support it.

The weights will probably be heavier than the fist. So the deceleration strain on the wrist will double or even triple. Depending on how you much you'd use them and how you'd use them, the risk of eventual injury could be significant.
 
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dnovice

dnovice

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If you are going for resistance training to increase speed and power you will be much better served by purchasing resistance bands and using them. Wrist and ankle weights plach a great deal of strain on the knees and elbows and actually serve to sublty change the from with which you punch and kick by causing you to utilize different stabilizer muscles during the performance of the technique.

If you are looking to increase power in general a weight training regimine will work wonders, speed drills that focus on increasing fast twitch muscles as well as reaction drills are valuable as well. I would stay away from Ankle and wrist weights.

Mark

Hey Mark, resistance bands sound like a very good idea, and probably real cheap too.

Also, what kinds of speed drills are you referring to?

I'd say no.

Yes, you will increase punching power because you will need to accelerate the weight along with your fist.

But you will also potentially damage your joints. Because when your fist stops, the weights will have to decelerate as well. The force for this will be exerted on your wrist (and elbow).

A human fist does not weight that much by itself, so deceleration of the wrist is not that big a strain. Especially since the fist is a normal part of the body, and the wrist was made to support it.

The weights will probably be heavier than the fist. So the deceleration strain on the wrist will double or even triple. Depending on how you much you'd use them and how you'd use them, the risk of eventual injury could be significant.

Thanks Bruno.
I knew I'd heard others state ankle weights were bad. I wanted to weigh out the pro's and con's of using them. It seems like Mark said above it's probably better to use resistance bands. Now if i could figure out a way to make those or something similar at home that'd just make my day.
 

girlbug2

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Occasionally in my training we use handheld weights for shadowboxing. Because I am small/weak, I use the 3 pound weights, but the stronger people go up accordingly. The idea is to train lightly, keep it moving with a good flow and as quick as you are able for several minutes. It is stressed that punches should be recoiled, not only for greater power but also because that protects against hyperextending.
THEN, we lose the weights and shadowbox for a few more minutes; suddenly I'm punching combinations faster than ever before now that my fists are a few pounds lighter, which is the whole point of the exercise.

This isn't something we do every day by any means. I would definitely do it under supervision the first few times, just to be sure you're not injuring yourself unintentionally.

I've never tried ankle weights, I'll have to ask my instructor his thoughts on that.
 
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dnovice

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Occasionally in my training we use handheld weights for shadowboxing. Because I am small/weak, I use the 3 pound weights, but the stronger people go up accordingly. The idea is to train lightly, keep it moving with a good flow and as quick as you are able for several minutes. It is stressed that punches should be recoiled, not only for greater power but also because that protects against hyperextending.
THEN, we lose the weights and shadowbox for a few more minutes; suddenly I'm punching combinations faster than ever before now that my fists are a few pounds lighter, which is the whole point of the exercise.

This isn't something we do every day by any means. I would definitely do it under supervision the first few times, just to be sure you're not injuring yourself unintentionally.

I've never tried ankle weights, I'll have to ask my instructor his thoughts on that.


Hello Girlbug,
I started doing something similar two days ago. I have 35 pound weights which i punch with 20 times. I'm going to do this everyday except sunday. Not sure if it would serve me better to get smaller weights but these are the only weights i have. I'm doing less reps and being careful.

I'm assuming like you said it doesn't have similar dangers attached to it as using ankle weights... hopefully...
 

searcher

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Get faster? Get rid of any wasted movement. Start some resistance training.
 

kaizasosei

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i think the weights are good. Especially with big movements, not that much snapping.

I also suggest moving and practicing in water for resistance.


j
 

shihansmurf

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Hey Mark, resistance bands sound like a very good idea, and probably real cheap too.

Also, what kinds of speed drills are you referring to?



Thanks Bruno.
I knew I'd heard others state ankle weights were bad. I wanted to weigh out the pro's and con's of using them. It seems like Mark said above it's probably better to use resistance bands. Now if i could figure out a way to make those or something similar at home that'd just make my day.

Focus mitt training, striking a pad within a window of opportunity before your partner can remove the target,hand at the side punch drills to a head level target before the target is removed, that sort of thing. Paul Mill's kenpo org has a serious focus on speed, any of the members that work with his material would be a great resource on this topic. Mostly though, practice and internalize your techniques. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Holding weights in your hands for shadow boxing has a few of the same disadvantages as the wrist weights,namely changing the form of the punch due to working different stabilizer muscles throughout the motion, but as long as you don't snap your punches and fully lock out your elbow the stress on the joint is significantly less. Just be careful not to fling the weight!

You could try bungee cords in place of the resistance bands but a decent set of bands only runs 15-20 dollars, a small price to pay to avoid having the metal bit of the bungee strap fly around and smack you while training your right cross.

Mark
 

IcemanSK

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If you are going for resistance training to increase speed and power you will be much better served by purchasing resistance bands and using them. Wrist and ankle weights plach a great deal of strain on the knees and elbows and actually serve to sublty change the from with which you punch and kick by causing you to utilize different stabilizer muscles during the performance of the technique.

If you are looking to increase power in general a weight training regimine will work wonders, speed drills that focus on increasing fast twitch muscles as well as reaction drills are valuable as well. I would stay away from Ankle and wrist weights.

Mark

I couldn't have said it better.

Save your joints: use resistance bands rather than weights!
 

mook jong man

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Practice your Sil Lum Tao form , most of what is needed to develop speed and power in your striking and kicking is contained within the form .
 

geezer

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Hey guys and gals,

I was going to pose this question to my fellow wing chunners but I figured its more of a general question from which we can all learn so I'm posting it here in general.I want to increase the speed and power of my punches and kicks. My solution to this is to get ankle and wrist weights. Is this a good idea?

In the Wing Tsun branch, at least, we do a lot of reps, snapping our punches out to full extension, locking the elbows. So I would definitely advise against using wrist or hand weights since they will put additional stress on the elbow and shoulder joints. Also, practicing "shadow-boxing" and combinations is more appropriate for boxing than WC/WT, since we respond more to energy and "feel" than visual cues like a boxer. Instead, I'd go with what other 'chunners have recommended, "air punching", wall bag hitting and, if you want, resistance band work.

Oh, and if you are intent on learning WC/WT, don't "recoil" or forcefully withdraw your hits. Our punches are relaxed and snappy, Yang going out and Yin returning. You don't want to pull back hard since your opponent can borrow your force and ride it back into you! (Think chi-sau).
 

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I like the idea of the resistance bands over the weights. However, if weights in what you want to use, then IMO, I'd start slow and light and build up from there. Rome wasn't built in a day, so the notion of starting heavy will produce quicker results isnt correct. Starting too heavy will result in injury.
 

Carol

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I'll admit to being a bit of a weight nazi but in this case weights would not be the first thing I reach for.

Speed and power first and foremost stems from excellent body mechanics. If its an option, consider a private with your instructor so the two of you can really dig in and hone your mechanics in a level of detail that may not be able to be reached in class. After drilling on what s/he's teaching, then consider additional exercises. :asian:
 

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I, too, am against the use of weights in this manner. Definitely focus on form...do some heavy bag work as well. Then develop a strength program that will build the muscles you need (triceps, back, abs, LEGS!!). Maybe use resistance bands...but don't use wrist/ankle wieghts or hold DB's.

It's rough on the joints (stoppign the extra weight. Also, it's not working the muscles in the way you want. Gravity is pulling down on the weight so a lot of the muscles you're working (particularly at full extension) will be trying to keep the weight up...not really doing as much to push it out. That won't do much for your punching power or speed IMO.

You might feel faster without the weights but I'd be willing to bet there's not much added effect on your punching that can't be found through safer and more efficient means.
 
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dnovice

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Practice your Sil Lum Tao form , most of what is needed to develop speed and power in your striking and kicking is contained within the form .
hello mook jong man, i practice my slt 6 days a week. not now though because of my knee. i'll start again next week.

I like the idea of the resistance bands over the weights. However, if weights in what you want to use, then IMO, I'd start slow and light and build up from there. Rome wasn't built in a day, so the notion of starting heavy will produce quicker results isnt correct. Starting too heavy will result in injury.

very true, unfortunately those 35 lbs dbs are only weights i have. i'll take it slow with like 20reps total.

I'll admit to being a bit of a weight nazi but in this case weights would not be the first thing I reach for.

Speed and power first and foremost stems from excellent body mechanics. If its an option, consider a private with your instructor so the two of you can really dig in and hone your mechanics in a level of detail that may not be able to be reached in class. After drilling on what s/he's teaching, then consider additional exercises. :asian:
haven't been to class in a while because of school n work. so what i dont know i ask , think thro n experiment.
I, too, am against the use of weights in this manner. Definitely focus on form...do some heavy bag work as well. Then develop a strength program that will build the muscles you need (triceps, back, abs, LEGS!!). Maybe use resistance bands...but don't use wrist/ankle wieghts or hold DB's.

It's rough on the joints (stoppign the extra weight. Also, it's not working the muscles in the way you want. Gravity is pulling down on the weight so a lot of the muscles you're working (particularly at full extension) will be trying to keep the weight up...not really doing as much to push it out. That won't do much for your punching power or speed IMO.

You might feel faster without the weights but I'd be willing to bet there's not much added effect on your punching that can't be found through safer and more efficient means.

bluekey, ive been thinking about the disadvantages to using db, that you guys mentioned, and see them as valid . i also came up with a solution to minimize the strain on my joints.

using db while lying on my back. this gravity will minimize the strain on my joints . your thoughts on this...
 

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hello mook jong man, i practice my slt 6 days a week. not now though because of my knee. i'll start again next week.



very true, unfortunately those 35 lbs dbs are only weights i have. i'll take it slow with like 20reps total.


haven't been to class in a while because of school n work. so what i dont know i ask , think thro n experiment.


bluekey, ive been thinking about the disadvantages to using db, that you guys mentioned, and see them as valid . i also came up with a solution to minimize the strain on my joints.

using db while lying on my back. this gravity will minimize the strain on my joints . your thoughts on this...

That is a partial workaround. It eliminates the gravity pulling in a wrong directin equation. Unless you're on a bench, this may affect your range of motion (not able to pull arm back all the way) and it eliminates the usage of your legs, hips, core in the punch which could be problematic from a technique perspective. It does not eliminate the risk of hyperextension because you have to stop the weight's upward progress. Actually, this may lead to tehcnical problems because with weights, your body will ahve tot stop the "braking" process sooner than you would normally do ion a non-weighted punch. this is just specualtion though and not bas3d on any hard data.

Personally, I'd stick with keeping my technical training someone seperate from my strength and condiiton training....benefits from the latter will certainly carry over into the former.

Peace,
Erik
 
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dnovice

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That is a partial workaround. It eliminates the gravity pulling in a wrong directin equation. Unless you're on a bench,
Thats what i'm refering to. you lie on something that provides free range of movement of your arms, like a bench or a thin enough elevated surface


this may affect your range of motion (not able to pull arm back all the way) and it eliminates the usage of your legs, hips, core in the punch which could be problematic from a technique perspective.
but it serves to strengthen your back, triceps and punch power, without your lower body. Then once you supplement this with your lower body structure, the power and speed rises.

It does not eliminate the risk of hyperextension because you have to stop the weight's upward progress.

It minimizes the risk of hyperextension in relation to standing up. Gravity is your friend here. You can fully extend your punch and have weight pull your punch back down. This downward pull as your are punching would lessen the strain on your joints.

However, for this to work you must you the right weight. I think my 35 lbs would serve me well here.

Actually, this may lead to tehcnical problems because with weights, your body will ahve tot stop the "braking" process sooner than you would normally do ion a non-weighted punch. this is just specualtion though and not bas3d on any hard data.

Not in this case, I think. Here the weight and gravity serve as your brakes.

Personally, I'd stick with keeping my technical training someone seperate from my strength and condiiton training....benefits from the latter will certainly carry over into the former.

Peace,
Erik

very good point. Thanks bluekey88.
 

mook jong man

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I did the hand weights and ankle weight things years ago mate and to be perfectly frank it did Jack **** . Then after that more experimenting with high reps / low weight and then low reps / high weight and none of it made my Wing Chun any better .

Sure I looked fitter and was healthier but it didn't do anything for my Wing Chun . What the top masters will tell you is to just practice your Sil Lum Tao form and they are correct , but I also would add that hitting the wall bag , kicking the heavy bag , hitting focus mitts , kicking hand held shields , thai pads and also punching and kicking in the air will definitely help as well .

But the most important is the Sil Lum Tao form supplemented by the equipment I outlined above and the mental discipline to try and relax as much as you can and execute everything from your proper stance . Relaxation is very important , the strike or kick must be like a deadweight for maximum aceleration , and any tension in the muscles will cause power loss because it provides a conduit for the recoil force to travel back into your body instead of going into the target .

Pay close attention in trying to relax your shoulders and your hips and also in our lineage we use an internal contraction to lock the upper and lower halves of the body together also so that we can maximise our force.
 
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