Hand Conditioning Martial Arts

How To Condition Your Hands for TaeKwonDo

Hand Conditioning Martial Arts

It is often assumed that within Taekwondo it is kick dominant and little to no punches are taught. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Punching is a large part of Taekwondo curriculums and to advance in rank you must perform proper form when throwing punches. With that said, many new students to Taekwon have a common question about hand strikes.

How do I condition my hands for Taekwondo? It’s a very good question and we’re going to explain everything about how to go about hand conditioning for Taekwondo. Starting first with what not to do and then go into various methods you can do for conditioning your hands.

How To Properly Condition Your Hands For Taekwondo

Here is a list of ways you can condition your hands for Taekwondo.

Hand Stretching

You can dramatically increase your hand durability for Taekwondo just by stretching your hands a few minutes a day. Here is a list of hand exercises you can add to your body stretches that should be done daily. 

  • Open and Close Hand: Straighten your arms in front of you and open and close your hands for 10 reps. Repeat this motion with your arms to the side and above your head. Doing this stretches and activates all of the tendons.
  • Wrist Rolls: You can’t forget about your wrists. Roll your wrists up and down, side to side, and around in both directions for 10 reps. Then grab your fingers pulling them back for 10 seconds each.

Bar Exercises

Many martial arts athletes including those in Taekwondo do strength training routines with olympic bars and pull up bars. Particularly doing pull exercises that not only condition their muscles, but also the grip strength of their hands.

Some of those exercises with the exercise bars include:

  • Pull ups
  • Rows
  • Deadlifts
  • Romanian Deadlifts
  • Presses
  • Holds(This is just where you either hold an olympic bar off the floor or hang on a pullup bar.)

Dumbbell Exercises

Doing dumbbell exercises is another weight training method to strengthen your punches for Taekwondo. Mixing the following dumbbell exercises along with bar exercises and your normal Taekwondo training will definitely condition your hands.

  • Dumbbell Rows
  • Farmers Walks
  • Shrugs
  • Curls
  • Wrist Flexion

These five dumbbell exercises will definitely strengthen and condition your hands.

Push ups

Good old fashioned push ups are a tried and tested way to condition your hands while building strength. All you need is your body and a little room to perform them.

There are three basic push ups you can do to condition your hands for your Taekwondo training. Here are the 3 methods going from easiest to hardest.

  • Basic Hands On The Floor
  • Knuckle Push Ups
  • Finger Push Ups

Start with basic push ups and then work your way up to knuckle push ups and the fingertip push ups.

Taekwondo Training

Yep. The best thing you can do to condition your hands for Taekwondo is do your normal Taekwondo training.

Over time after you develop proper technique and do thousands of repetitions punching, your hands will be conditioned. When doing your normal Taekwondo training, remember the following about your form when throwing punches.

Hit With Your Top Two Knuckles

When you make a fist, you’ll notice that the knuckles of your index and middle finger stick out the furthest. These are the two knuckles you hit with whenever you throw punches.They are the two strongest knuckles in your hand and better at absorbing impact than your other two knuckles. 

Straight Wrist

Always keep your wrist straight and strong whenever you throw your punch. Punching with a bent/weak wrist will lead to you severely damaging your wrist from bad form.

Turn Fist Over

When throwing straight punches, you always need to turn your fist over. This will ensure you hit with your top two knuckles and not the smaller two.

Punch Through Your Target

To ensure you properly condition your hands and land strong strikes, always punch through your target. Punching through your target makes it to where you hit your target with the maximum force from your punch. Coming up short and not punching through your target leads to weak punches and possible injuries from not fully committing to the strike.

How to not to condition your hands

On Instagram and Youtube, you’ll often see people do crazy things to condition their hands or show how strong they are. If a normal person were to do some of these things, they would surely break or shatter their hands. Forcing them out of training and into possible surgery and months of rehab.

Here is a list of hand conditioning methods you should never do.

Punching Hard Inanimate Objects

Trying to condition your hands by striking hard inanimate objects as hard as you can is probably the worst idea possible. In trying to strengthen your hands by punching hard objects as hard as you can, you’ll just end up breaking your hands. Avoiding punching hard objects such as metal poles and concrete or hardwood walls.

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Punching Frozen Ice

You may have seen videos of monks punching ice water in a frozen river. Do not attempt this ever.

The ice not only numbs your hand, but can easily cut your hand. It is extremely painful and can leave severe cuts on your hands. 

Bare Knuckle Bag Work

It may seem like a good idea to toughen up your hands, but with unconditioned hands and improper form this is a bad idea. A variety of negative things will probably happen.

You’ll most likely strike incorrectly and damage your fingers or wrists. The other thing that will probably happen is cutting your knuckles up from repeated punches. Now your hands are injured and you can’t train.

Last Thing To Remember

The most important thing to remember when conditioning your hands for Taekwondo is that it takes time and patience. Conditioning your hands is just like training a muscle. 

At first it’s weak, but overtime and with persistent training they get stronger. Remember to train your punches in your Taekwondo training consistently and in time your hands will be conditioned to throw solid strikes.