View Full Version : Physical Exercise To Strengthen Arm

July 9, 2009, 06:35 PM
Considerations - I`m 73 years old in reasonably good shape. Did shoot competitively in the National Guard when I was a youngster but mostly rifle.
Just re-joined NRA and a local shooting club.Do ok with rifle ; but am shaky and wobbly with my revolver a S&W 38 special Model 14 -7 1/2 "barrel , a gift from my wife , who probably just wants me out of the house.

Any suggestions on how to increase my arm and hand strength ? I remember being told many years ago to grasp a filled one quart bottle by the neck and hold it out straight at arms length for as long as possible. Then when shaking occurs to lower it and then repeat the process and keep doing it until muscle tone is increased and gun control is improved. Any other ideas or suggestions ? Thanks in advance. Buckley

July 9, 2009, 07:08 PM
Lots of double-action dryfire will help. Every 3-4 days to start. Your recovery time is longer than it used to be.

Front dumbell raises - no higher than shoulder height - are good. Use a weight that will allow you to do 25-30 reps. You're not looking for raw strength; endurance is the goal.
Pushups are real good, too.

Back in the early '80s, I shot in the standing category at an international IHMSA match. This was an 80 shot match and the targets were at 50, 100, 150 and 200 meters. Control and endurance were necessary to get through it. I was standing next to the woman (!) who held the 40 shot world record. Since I had set the first 40 shot record I was interested in seeing how we each did. She led through the 1st 40 shots, but then she started to get tired. By the end, I was in the lead - just barely. Neither of us placed in the trophies.
My point: I'd been doing zillions of pushups and front dumbell raises to strenghten my shoulders. She was a better shot than I was, but I was stronger.

BTW, I'm 63.

Also, get your testosterone level checked. At least half of men over 60 have low levels and it's a major contributor to muscle loss, weakness, joint pain, muscle pain and so much of the crap men just accept as part of getting old.
I'm serious. Get it checked.

July 9, 2009, 09:38 PM
tricks we used in wrestling, back when...

1) Buy a container of racketballs. Squeeze racketball in hand, until you reach fatigue. Switch to other hand, and repeat.

2) Buy one of those spring style grip trainers, with plastic or wooden handles that you squeeze together. Work both hands.

3) One you can assemble from household stuff: Get a thick dowel or cutoff broomstick, 12"-18" long. (Or you could buy a gym style pulldown handle, costs more but has U ring attachment already affixed.) If using dowel or stick, drill hole transverse through center, drive in carriage bolt. Tie light rope to carriage bolt or U ring. Tie other end of rope to a 5 or 10lb weight plate, or some item of your choice in the 5-10lb range. Use hands to roll stick, causing rope to coil around stick and lift weight. Do this until weight touches fingers, then reverse, slowly, until weight is on ground.

As your hands get stronger, use a heavier weight.

Good luck.

July 9, 2009, 09:40 PM
This has the advantage of strengthening both your grip, and your wrists and forearms.

July 9, 2009, 11:10 PM
Shoulder Shrugs, rehab squeeze-balls, gripper-coils, dry-firing a DA revolver (with snap-caps), free-weights, dumbells, start light (2 1/2 - 5 lbs.) and go higher as you progress, it's about consistency, and GRADUALLY increasing the ability of your body (the muscles) to 'do work'. Incrementalism.

Burn in the muscles - GOOD. Pain in the joints - BAD (stop well before getting to that point).

The grip/hold/movement at different angles 'twitches' the many various muscles in the fingers/hand/forearms. Principle: repetitive enough to twitch the muscles groups (causing 'burn'), not so repetitive that it will cause risk of injury to the joints (strain/tear).

July 10, 2009, 12:32 AM
i think lots of time with your weapon practicing your hold and dry firing would be the way to go. not real sure a workout would be the solution

July 10, 2009, 02:55 AM
The OP asked about improving his strength for performance in a HD/SD scenario, or maybe simply for target shooting.

The muscles of the body, every second of every day, are either getting bigger (hypertrophy), or getting smaller (atrophy). Condition your body to have the capacity to do more work than is needed during 'performance', and the 'performance' itself is will be an endeavor which is less physically fatiguing. Athletes know this principle, and one needn't be an athlete to benefit from the wisdom. YMMV. good luck.

July 10, 2009, 01:11 PM
I would look for 2 things:

1) an 8-12 Kg Kettlebell (get a good quality Russian one, and a DVD - better yet watch the vids on youtube or the net for free) This should be $25-$37 for the weight

2) go to http://www6.mailordercentral.com/ironmind/products.asp?dept=8 and look at some of the lighter grip tools. I would get the "sport" weight unless you are already weight training. $19.95 Wear a glove - the grips on these have an aggressive bite.

July 10, 2009, 03:06 PM
for endurance,do 'walk throughs', 3 bars low weight, use a straight bar, a Z bar and a D bar. 10 of each straight after each other, keep repeating till you cant lift any more, your arms will feel like lead for the rest of the day but it works for me

July 10, 2009, 05:44 PM
After a hand injury I got set of Cando Theraputty (http://www.fabricationenterprises.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=FAB&Product_Code=10-1482&Category_Code=) in six different resistances from "xx-soft" to "x-firm." I was amazed at how much my entire arms strengthened from using them, not just my hands.

July 10, 2009, 06:14 PM
I want to applaud all members who have shown restrain.

July 10, 2009, 07:08 PM
I want to applaud all members who have shown restrain.

We were just waiting for you to show up.

July 15, 2009, 01:20 PM
When I was in the academy, some of the exercises they had use do were pretty simple and did not require any weights. Just hold both your arms straight out in front of you and move them in circular motions. Do that for a couple of minutes without stopping then move them straight out to your sides doing the same thing. Doesn't sound like it does much, but you do this for 10 minutes straight without dropping your arms and by the end, you can hardly hold up your arms. I played football in college and use to be able to bench press over 400 lbs, but these little exercises will really start getting your arms burning. I guess if you didn't want to do it for long and get the same work, you could add some weight. If you want to improve your hand strenght, go to academy or walmart and buy one of those cheap things with the coiled metal with the grips. I forget what there called, but you just squeeze them over and over. I have one in the front seat of my patrol car and use it all the time when I'm driving around

July 16, 2009, 02:55 PM
I'm surprised no one mentioned this doohickey:


Granted, it takes a bit of dexterity to get going, so may not be best if you are having problems already, but this puppy can give your hands/fingers/wrists/forearms a good burn all around, and I for one find it more fun than some of the other products mentioned.

July 16, 2009, 03:03 PM
Love my Gripmaster (http://www.amazon.com/Gripmaster-Exerciser-Medium-Tension-7-Pounds/dp/B0006GC5D8). It really works ... as long as I do. ;)