Iron Palm Hand Conditioning

8 04 2010

Iron palm is the method of hand conditioning I have had the most results with over the years. I find it to be the least damaging in the initial training phase and the results are also some of the quickest that I have found.

One big advantage of the Iron Palm method of hand conditioning is that the same set of techniques works equally well for most if not all areas of the hand, be it the flat of the palm, heel of the palm, backhand, edge of the hand (for knife hand) or knuckles.

Iron palm is possibly the best technique available for breaking bricks, planks or other solid objects due to the way that energy is transferred, it isn’t as good for more flexible objects but that is why you train the whole hand rather than just the palm.

There are several phases involved in training Iron Palm but by far the most involved is the first phase when you are carrying out the initial conditioning of your hand. During this first phase, training must be done daily, however once the first phase is complete the schedule can become a bit more flexible

No training regime is going to give you some sort of invincible hand of death and certainly not in a couple of months, it takes years and years of training to fully condition your hands, but this method will show good results in a short space of time and by the end of it you should certainly notice a difference to the conditioning of your hands overall.

In order to carry out this training method you are going to need the following

1 x large canvas or sack cloth bag about 2 foot long and about 1 foot wide (canvas is more forgiving on your hand so you might want to start with that)

Enough small round stones to fill the bag half-way, stones around 1” would be perfect

An old towel or piece of sacking

Breeze blocks / Cinder blocks

A Large bucket


Dit Da Jow – Click here to see how to make your own

Stack the blocks in front of you until they are about belly button height, you can carry out this training either sitting or standing so make sure that the height of the stack reflects which way you wish to train.

Make sure that the top layer of blocks are level and nice and flat, if for some reason they aren’t you could put a paving / patio slab on top, once your surface is flat place your towel or piece of sacking over the top.This is going to be your striking surface so make sure everything is nice and stable, if not things could go wrong when you start striking.

Take your bag of rocks and double it up, place it on your striking surface with the opening on the underside, this will prevent any of the rocks falling out of the bag.

Massage some of the Dit Da Jow into your hands; I find it best to start mid way up my forearms and work down, make sure that all your hand is coated and that you rub it in well. It is important to rub vigorously and to make sure that you use a downwards direction away from your heart.

You are now ready to begin striking!

It is very important to note that with for all of the strikes you are not trying to go hell for leather, there is no need to start trying to exert yourself or show how strong you are.

When you are striking keep your arm relaxed, breath deeply and simply let your hand drop onto the surface, let your breath out whilst you are striking. Do not tense your arm or shoulder whilst striking as you run the risk of injury by doing this.

There are three parts to each training session:

Part 1:

Using the flat of your palm strike the bag 30 times, when all 30 are completed shake out your hand and flex it vigorously  for 15/20 seconds.

Repeat this process again for your knife hand, palm heel and the back of the hand.

Do NOT strike the bag with your fist at this point, we will be dealing with the knuckles later on in step 2 and 3.

Once you have completed this with one hand repeat for the other if you wish to train both. Once you have trained both hands massage in more Dit Da Jow and allow a five minute break before moving onto step two.

Part 2:

For part 2 of the training you will want to take the bag with the stones off of your striking surface so that you will only be hitting the towel or sacking, as before I would recommend that you use a towel at first as sacking can be quite abrassive.

Again you will follow the same sequence of 30 strikes each for palm heel, flat palm, back hand and knife hand with the same shaking and flexing after each set of strikes.

This time you will also be striking with a straight fist, remember you aren’t punching the surface you are merely dropping your hand onto it.

Once you have completed all 5 set of strikes apply more Dit Da Jow and again allow a 5 minute break before moving onto step 3.

Part 3:

For the 3 step of the training you will be moving away from your striking surface and utilising the bucket filled with sand.

The purpose of the sand is to enable you to toughen your skin and also to condition other areas of the hand that you couldn’t condition by striking blocks etc.

Do 50 spearhand strikes into the sand, after a few weeks you should be able to increase the number of spearhands to 100.

After you have completed the spearhands then you can move on to dropping 30 straight punches onto the sand, again you would be looking to build this number to somewhere in the region of 75 punches.

Once you have completed both sets of strikes for each hand you can take some of the sand and rub it between your hands, this will help toughen the skin up very quickly however this step is purely optional.

After you have worked through all three parts of the training you should massage in one final application of the Dit Da Jow.

Consistency and repetition are the two main keys to this type of training, some training methods state that you need to train at the same time everyday and that if you miss days that you have to start again.

This regime is nowhere near as strict as that, yes it would be best to train every day however if y0u miss a day or maybe even two it won’t be the end of the world.

After 3 months or so of training with this method you should notice a real improvement in your hand conditioning and after 6 months or so you should be at a stage where you would possibly look at training only 2/3 times a week in order to maintain your conditioning.

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