Starting Sledgehammer Training

Yes, I absolutely recommend it.

The first time I was introduced to the concept of using a sledgehammer to work out was actually a Grapplearts post from 2012 (which is actually borrowed from Diesel Crew). Mark had told me about levering in the Budo Club, though he actually told me to use a sword and practice cuts and levering to a light switch and stopping just above the switch. Since I’ve cared a lot about grip strength for awhile now I actually ran across Indian club exercises a long time ago and sort of discounted them. I was seeing good gains with grippers and gi work and didn’t really see the benefit to adding another exercise into my already limited workout time.

About a month ago though I was talking to a good friend of mine who said he actually had started doing Indian club style exercises with a sledgehammer. Yeah. A sledgehammer. One of those long handled 8 pound (~3.63 kg) hammers. My interest was piqued, but I didn’t really do anything about it. He hadn’t seen the Diesel Crew/Grapplearts post so I told him about levering in addition to his Indian club exercises.

The really long and short of it is that when I’m not training I’m insanely lazy at everything else. I eat like shit. I stop really working out in any other sense except maybe hand grippers and whatever yard work I’m still capable of doing with the injury. Then about two weeks out I kind of spaz out and realize I’m too out of shape to go back as is. There’s an expectation with your skill that you’ll be a certain amount of good even after an injury and the problem is that grappling is a very physically demanding art. So over the weekend I got a 12 pound (5.44 kg) hammer.

As noted, I definitely recommend it. After a five minute session with just wrist exercises on the hammer on Saturday I’m closer to closing the GNC 200 hand gripper than I have been in a really long time (again, serious schmuck when I’m out on an injury). Just simple levering choked up on the 12-lb hammer caused my forearms to burn like the first time I had done gi pull-ups did. That’s a good feeling. It means progress.

Since this has been a lot of rambling about how I found training with the hammer, I’m going to make a separate post of the exercises in case you’re interested in trying them yourself.


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