January 14, 2014
We have a few customers that utilize dowels in their martial arts/fitness endeavors, so we thought we'd make a post that allows one to see the relative ease of constructing your own DIY martial arts tools using simple materials like wooden dowels.
On one site we discovered that people use short wooden dowels in their push up routine, as a way to enhance gripping strength.
The dowels are held however your art dictates holding a knife. For us it was in a diagonal grip across the palm, either forward or reverse grip. Start with just 1" or so of dowel sticking out and gradually move it out.
You do it two ways: trying to stand the dowel on its end like a thrust, or more at an angle to simulate the force exerted on a blade bya slash. You can do supports or pushups for reps. One or two hands.
The idea here is that most people who practice cuts have no idea what it's like when a blade hits something harder than air. Like a button, buckle, zipper, bone, gristle... the amount of leverage exerted by a knife is substantial and you can easily have it torn out of your hand or (even better) find your hand sliding down over the blade, regardless of whether it has a guard or not.
The next method we discovered utilizes what are called "The Iron Crosses" in order to increase wrist strength and work one's muscles in a new way.
I drilled 9/32" holes an inch into 1 1/4" hardwood dowels and then tightly screwed 5/16" x 5 1/2" bolts into them. The reason I used a thick dowel was so that there would be a significant amount of bolt imbedded in the wood for structural stability. For this, the holes must be drilled straight!
The handles on my version are quite a bit wider than those shown in the demonstration above, but using a thinner dowel wouldn't allow enough support. Just think of mine as Fatbar Iron Crosses. Try doing a few pushups with these and just see how difficult they are! In fact, I would recommend using shorter bolts to start out with.
Now, the narrower handles would focus more stress towards grip strength, although my version is anything but negligable.
On the upside, my handles cost about a dollar each and take 10 minutes to make. You could throw a pair together and then see where you want to go from there.
Although we're sure there are many other ways in which one can utilize dowels in a workout routine, the last one that we wanted to share is the T-spine Dowel Stretch, which is awesome upper back stretch that helps to open up your thoracic spine and improve upper body mobility. Check out this quick demonstration clip here to get started!
That's all we've got for now but be sure to keep up with us this year as we're very excited for what 2014 has to bring! Check out our products here, and be sure to drop us a line whenever you think of other interesting ways to utilize dowels!
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