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Fingertip Pushups What Should Be The Goal? What Can You Do?


VahnCruz

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Not exactly grip related but not off topic. Fingertip pushups the building block of functional hand strength (well I think so) and strong hand bones, there are near unlimited variations. What should be striven for? I personally had a very weak left wrist for most of high school due to a cyst. So I couldn't do normal pushups without lots of pain. So I began doing them only on fingertips. Eventually getting good enough to do them and clap between each. Now 4 years later (no more cyst and much stronger wrists) and I can do them on only my thumbs or even fingertip handstand pushups.

What is a good initial goal? Or for someone like me where do I go from here?

And what can you do?

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A good initial goal is probably to do them at all, a lot of people struggle with these to start with, especially heavier guys. I can only manage about 10, thumbs seem to be the weak link, although haven't trained them that much. I agree they're a good exercise though. You could try adding weight if you haven't already.

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I like the idea of adding weight, I have been playing with the idea of getting a weighted vest. Maybe those of us who are a bit heavier could start from their knees. That or they can just not even do push ups and just assume the proper pushup position and just do a plank on their fingertips and hold it for a set time.

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timiacobucci

A handstand pushup by itself takes allot of coordination and stabilizer strength, I can't imagine the hand and finger strength to do it on your fingers, that is nuts man. You should definitely get a video of that if you have the opportunity.

I just did 12 and it started to feel not good. I just finished a big steel scroll though so my hands are a bit shot, I think I should be good for 20 at least fresh. I have no idea how that rates, it doesn't seem very impressive to me though. I think at least 50 would be a good goal.

Also planches or progression up to them will put allot more force on your hands so working those on your fingers might be something else for you to try, also you can stack regular plates on your back for pushups without a vest so you could just try it that way on your fingers as well.

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I can just about manage (use to be much easier) push ups with one hand and just using thumb and finger tips of index and middle, for about 5 push ups.

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Bruce only used one finger & thumb.

Then again, the man was about a buck twenty-five dripping wet.

I did them "4" a while.

Ha ha, I knew you'd try to work that in! :D

Did reps with either arm.

Wow, good "4" you! :happy

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vikingsrule92

Apparently this is not one of my strong points, I just did 20, and 2 with just thumb, index and middle. I'd imagine if you could do 50 straight that'd be amazing, especially considering how much it starts to wear on your fingertips after a while. Also a few with any considerable weight, with one hand, or with only a few fingers would be pretty elite feats.

Edited by vikingsrule92
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VahnCruz, a little piece of advice. Don't care for numbers so much, but for quality. Avoid hiperextension of the last joints, a tipical mistake, according to many experts who have suffered the consequences of overdoing fingertip push ups. If you follow this advice, you will probably be humbled. I can do a decent amount of "normal" fingertip push ups (over thirty), but I can't do one , without dropping my knees to the ground, of this modified and stricter version. However, the benefits of improved grip and hand health are here.

I have currently substituted fingertip pushups with this drill, which grip expert Brad Johnson, another victim of traditional figertip push ups, recommends : "Place a cloth on a hard, smooth floor and get into the fingertip push up position, RESTING MOST OF YOUR WEIGHT ON YOUR KNEES-unless you are a kung fu master-AND, MOST IMPORTANT, KEEPING YOUR FINGERS BENT AT THE FIRST JOINT TO REDUCE THE CHANCES OF INJURY. Begin with your fingers in a wide claw position and then pull all of your fingers toward the center until they meet each other. Return to starting position."

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I'll try to post pictures cause I don't have a video camera. But it is way harder in the "claw" position Iron back is talking about. As for handstand pushups on fingertips I have to have someone hold my feet or go against a wall for stabilization, I would love to do them free standing.

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timiacobucci

Yes I forgot about the whole "claw" thing. Hyperextending your fingers does not feel good at all. I assumed the claw type was what we were talking about, but static. That crazy cloth squeeze thing sounds nuts, I would give it a try but my index finger only stopped bleeding a little while ago after I ripped half of it off during a steel scroll. I will try it when I can though. I am certainly curious as to how some of the guys like Tommy on here will fair with your fingertip squeeze exercise there.

I'll try to post pictures cause I don't have a video camera. But it is way harder in the "claw" position Iron back is talking about. As for handstand pushups on fingertips I have to have someone hold my feet or go against a wall for stabilization, I would love to do them free standing.

Even against a wall that would be cool to see, even a picture will demonstrate that clearn enough I would think. Can you do a normal handstand pushup freestanding? Is it just the additional strain on the fingers trying to stabilize freestanding that is stopping you?

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ControlledChaos

You, new to training handstrength, guys out there, don't

try this at home until you develope some strength in

your extensors through grip or pinch training.

BEWARE, it can hurt you real bad to do fingertip

pushups of any kind if you are not ready.

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No I just haven't learned how to do a handstand, I don't have the balance thing down yet. But a normal handstand is one of my goals. One of my favorite sites for that kind of stuff is beastskills.com there are some very nice tutorials on that gymnastic stuff and bodyweight exercises for anyone that is looking (not trying to advertise or anything).

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Yes I forgot about the whole "claw" thing. Hyperextending your fingers does not feel good at all. I assumed the claw type was what we were talking about, but static. That crazy cloth squeeze thing sounds nuts, I would give it a try but my index finger only stopped bleeding a little while ago after I ripped half of it off during a steel scroll. I will try it when I can though. I am certainly curious as to how some of the guys like Tommy on here will fair with your fingertip squeeze exercise there.
I'll try to post pictures cause I don't have a video camera. But it is way harder in the "claw" position Iron back is talking about. As for handstand pushups on fingertips I have to have someone hold my feet or go against a wall for stabilization, I would love to do them free standing.

Even against a wall that would be cool to see, even a picture will demonstrate that clearn enough I would think. Can you do a normal handstand pushup freestanding? Is it just the additional strain on the fingers trying to stabilize freestanding that is stopping you?

I must add about the claw drill : itis productive even on your knees, even on a wall and standing, even leaning on a table, even static. Don't turn a very productive exercise into a very dangerous one, please. Tendons are difficult to heal

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On the Dogtown and Z boys skateboarding film, there's some footage from an early competition that shows a guy doing a fingertip handstand on a moving skateboard, which is pretty cool.

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  • 1 year later...

VahnCruz, a little piece of advice. Don't care for numbers so much, but for quality. Avoid hiperextension of the last joints, a tipical mistake, according to many experts who have suffered the consequences of overdoing fingertip push ups. If you follow this advice, you will probably be humbled. I can do a decent amount of "normal" fingertip push ups (over thirty), but I can't do one , without dropping my knees to the ground, of this modified and stricter version. However, the benefits of improved grip and hand health are here.

I have currently substituted fingertip pushups with this drill, which grip expert Brad Johnson, another victim of traditional figertip push ups, recommends : "Place a cloth on a hard, smooth floor and get into the fingertip push up position, RESTING MOST OF YOUR WEIGHT ON YOUR KNEES-unless you are a kung fu master-AND, MOST IMPORTANT, KEEPING YOUR FINGERS BENT AT THE FIRST JOINT TO REDUCE THE CHANCES OF INJURY. Begin with your fingers in a wide claw position and then pull all of your fingers toward the center until they meet each other. Return to starting position."

There is a reason why Kung Fu artists do it the way we do. It is to prevent screwed up chi flow. With this NEVER go on finger tips. It will cause chi damage to the eyes. This can have bad long term effects. Do it on the pads of the fingers.

I also do not do these for reps but for time. I go into a low isometric finger tip pushup and hold it for as long as I can.

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  • 1 year later...
hellswindstaff

I'm working on a lock out device to load the lock out position of the push up... imagine having 300lbs on your back while on three fingers. You're fingers will have tendons popping out of tendons.

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AdamTGlass

VahnCruz, a little piece of advice. Don't care for numbers so much, but for quality. Avoid hiperextension of the last joints, a tipical mistake, according to many experts who have suffered the consequences of overdoing fingertip push ups. If you follow this advice, you will probably be humbled. I can do a decent amount of "normal" fingertip push ups (over thirty), but I can't do one , without dropping my knees to the ground, of this modified and stricter version. However, the benefits of improved grip and hand health are here.

I have currently substituted fingertip pushups with this drill, which grip expert Brad Johnson, another victim of traditional figertip push ups, recommends : "Place a cloth on a hard, smooth floor and get into the fingertip push up position, RESTING MOST OF YOUR WEIGHT ON YOUR KNEES-unless you are a kung fu master-AND, MOST IMPORTANT, KEEPING YOUR FINGERS BENT AT THE FIRST JOINT TO REDUCE THE CHANCES OF INJURY. Begin with your fingers in a wide claw position and then pull all of your fingers toward the center until they meet each other. Return to starting position."

There is a reason why Kung Fu artists do it the way we do. It is to prevent screwed up chi flow. With this NEVER go on finger tips. It will cause chi damage to the eyes. This can have bad long term effects. Do it on the pads of the fingers.

I also do not do these for reps but for time. I go into a low isometric finger tip pushup and hold it for as long as I can.

^^^^^ :laugh Chi Flow and Eye Damage? How did that statement fly on a board of people who are so obsessed with scientific numbers that postal scales are used to figure out how many ounces are in washer weights on lifting apparatuses? that gave me a nice chuckle

Hey for the device to load finger tips, make sure you get some up close look at a kung fu guys fingers before you get too crazy. Most people fail to mention how deformed they made their hands pursuing the 5 palm death stroke. it's not a bad idea, but its useful to know what you're paying for before you buy in.

There is a very specific reason people fail so early on finger tip PU and such, building a mechanical work around may not be a smart idea. :erm

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hellswindstaff

Adam, I only do holds (push-up top position)on the fingertips not pushups and I'm already up to a 5 finger hold. Basically I'll overload the holding position and hold the weight like 1/2 sec and go for weight... not time. My assumption is that the device I'm building will just make my fingers thick and connective tissue strong, but not deformed, but your second opinion would be nice.

Most martial arts guys with messed up hands have defied all laws of common sense and have been beating their hands on solid objects:mariwakas(ms?) and big rocks; for years though right?

Also why do you say that so many people fail at fingertip pushups early on?

Edited by hellswindstaff
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hellswindstaff

In regards to making the bones and connective tissue thick... I mean something that looks like Stanless Steels fingers.

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I'm working on a lock out device to load the lock out position of the push up... imagine having 300lbs on your back while on three fingers. You're fingers will have tendons popping out of tendons.

whats this device you speak of .. ? sounds interesting.

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Im building it... not finished with it... its like a 1/2 hr on the weekends project.

When you've finished it get some pics up, if you dont mind. i love homemade training equipment. it will be interesting to see what you've russled up.

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hellswindstaff

I think that it should be reserved for people whose bodyweight no longer poses a challenge... otherwise you're just asking for crimping and joint damage.

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climber511

Fingertip pushups are fine - but trying for max weight or single digets etc??? Sounds like a real good way to blow a tendon - and trust me this sucks - it took me over two years to heal a partial tear I got climbing and it still isn't 100%. Not sure this is a great idea. I know several climbers with bow back fingers from A1 and A2 pulley tears or ruptures - it ain't pretty. Be smart out there.

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