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Strengthening  the fingers


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Hello everyone

I have a somewhat weird question.

Let's say that I was training to do a handstand on two fingers (one

finger per hand). Now, at this point, you're propably thinking "Is

this idiot crazy or what? He'll only break his fooking fingers!"

Let me explain; this is a "feat" I've been working on for quite some

time. I'm pretty light for my height and actually managed to do the

handstand by using two fingers of my right hand and one finger of my

left hand, but this was last year before my military service when I

was training quite a lot for the "feat".

  Back then, I primarily trained by doing a lot (and I mean a LOT) of

fingertip push-ups (using all kinds of finger combinations) and

fingertip handstands. However, I recall I had a couple of moments

where some of my fingers slipped off the floor and breaking my fingers

was very close. This has lead me to ponder if someone in this group

could recommend some good (preferably safe and progressive) ways to

train for this stunt.

  I've also been wondering would doing fingerlifts with the finger I

plan to use for the handstand be of any use ? I mean when doing the

handstand, the pressure seems to be almost fully on the fingertip.

Whereas  fingerlifts seem to stress the whole finger more. Do you

think fingerlifts would be of any use to me? Would they strengthen the

finger in a way that it would be less prone to injury when trying the


Thanks for all the help in this matter

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hub lifting is great for stregthening the fingertips.  maybe some fingertip closes on a light gripper too.  the only problem is these don't mimmic the movement you'll be trying very well.  they may supplement into your routine, but i'd say your best bet is to keep doing the fingertip pushups and what-not.

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If you have the TTK you can practice double digit and single digit press downs. Care must be taken to not injure a tendon.

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On ESPN I saw a guy shove his finger through an unopened can of Coke. Jabbed a hole right through the side of the can. He also broke boards with his finger tips using a jabbing motion of the hand. This was during a US national martial arts compition/championship - the breaking part of the comp. If it is this type of fingertip strength you are after you may ask a really good martial artist how they train open hand fingertip strength. Be really careful!!!!!

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I saw that guy on ESPN also.  The funny thing was how it compared to Joe Kinney doing the same thing on his videotape.  The martial artist got all psyched up to do this stunt, as compared to Kinney,who just did it rather casually.

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Guest skroah

I have to add, that plate walking really added a little strength and alot of dexterity to my individual fingers. At first I couldn't even hold a three pound weight very well with my pinky and thumb. I have not worked up to brookfields 25 lb plate walks but after a few sessions i'm up to a smooth 10 pound plate for many reps. For some reason this just feels like an exercise that is good for the hands all around.

My friend attributes his permanently bent index fingers to fingertip pushups, index and thumb. It's very nasty looking i'd watch out.

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3Crusher - It was still pretty impressive! I agree JK almost looked like he surprised himself with the ease of shoving his thumb through the beer can. JK used a much safer slow thumb push than the fast finger jab/stab of guy on ESPN. I would have to get more psyched to commit to an all-out effort in the stab than the way kinney did it. It is just too dangerous for me to even consider risking a finger to that kind of stab. Both were quite impressive to me.

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Guest skroah

Nothing will train that exercise like doing that exercise I imagine. So one thing you could do that climbers often do on their hangboards is take some of your weight off with innertubes, bike tubes work best I think. You could get a harness and a carabiner and clib into a hanging innertube then stand on your fingers with a fraction of your weight.

I found that 4 bike tubes doubly wrapped take all of my weight, 156 lbs.

Please do post some pictures of this feat if you ever do it, though. ;)

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Guest DaveF

In response to aatu's question, how about this idea?

Continue the fingertip handstands on, say, 3 fingers per hand then add SMALL amounts of weight (0.5kg, 1lb, 1kg??) using a weight vest (homemade or shop bought) not forgetting the weight of vest itself.

I have no experience of handstands at all, but I would reckon once you have worked up to a significant increase in total weight supported (significant = 15lb?) you could remove the weight then start using less fingers and begin adding weight, via the vest, again. The ultimate aim being to make the fingers stronger by progresive overload.

In reference to the reply from skroah, the bands from Jumpstretch, though quite expensive may be more reliable than innertubes and they come in different strengths. Another idea I've just had is that you could use the Jumpstretch bands crossed over your back and threaded around your palms the do fingertip push ups. These would be different to just adding weight as they add more tension as they elongate ie they give you variable resistance, with the hardest part being the lock out. Here's hoping you get to your goal and stay injury free getting there!

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