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Hammer leveraging

Guest Matt Brennecke

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Guest Matt Brennecke

Is the overhead levering of a sledgehammer signifigantly easier than the leveraging done from the floor? I can hold the very end of an eight pounder at arms length like in Brookfiels picture, and lower it in control to my nose and then back up easily, but picking it up from the floor and keeping it level I can only do from about the middle of the hammer.

Also, playing around with my hammer I held it upright head facing up with my arm in front of me. I lowered it to the floor and then curled it without letting the handle touch my arm, flexing the wrist back at the top and letting it go forward to the bottom. A true hammer curl! This may be childs play, but after doing a couple sets of ten adjusting the length of the handle, my grip and my wrist were done for the evening.

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Yes, absolutely, the overhead levering is significantly easy.  Here would be my list of order of difficulty:

-The easiest is holding the hands a waist level in front and tilting the hammer back towards the head.

-Next would be the hands out to the side and the hammer leveraged down.

-Off the floor like a reverse Weaver stick.

-Off the floor like a forward Weaver stick.

I found it perplexing at first that the overheads were easier, but think about it for a moment, starting at the top of the list the stress is back against the bone structure of the thumb, and the wrist can only twist back so far.  The second hardest the wrist can twist a little more, but the thumb still holds the weight.  In the off the floor lifts the fingers must hold the weight and you don't inherently have the bone structure helping the lift along.   It is somewhat analogous to the weight that you can support compared to what you can lift (e.g., you can walk back with much more weight than you can squat with).  It is my understanding that Slim cantilevers the hammers off the floor using a small board.  He does not do a strict lever off the floor, if he did, that would be the most impressive part of the lift and the overhead lever would be nothing in comparison.

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