As those of you have read in the “Training Like A Strongman: Basic Course”, the real strongmen, of every culture, try to combine skills and training whenever possible. As such, I would like to point out the Shaolin Circles exercise. I will spare you the Chinese, especially since I also can’t pronounce their word for the exercise, but Shaolin Circles are one of the very best hand toughening exercises I have ever done.
The only superior exercise is the spinning ball move, but it does not translate well to still photos. I note this because those of you who have the Stone Sphere Wall Charts have a sequence photo series of the Shaolin Circles. As a little bit of added description, if you use a granite sphere for the move, instead of the medicine balls that many of the gym owners actually substitute, the twisting of the hands is like using a heavy grit sand paper on the entire palm.
Of course, the Shaolin Circle move will work the grip, all the muscles of the arm and upper back, as well as the crushing power of the chest. Amazingly, you do not need a super heavy stone to perform this exercise. Yet, it is a real shock to your system, as the only athletes I have met who are strong enough to immediately move beyond a 56 pound sphere are wrestlers. I believe the wrestlers have this odd sort of functional strength specifically because of the wrestling itself. Of course, that means a movement like this would be particularly helpful for the training of wrestlers. I learned the Shaolin Circle when I met the Shaolin Monks in New York City.
I hope this helps out with your hand toughening skills. Thanks to all of you who sent in messages asking for this related topic. If you want to see more on the stone balls and Wall Charts, then check out these links:
Of course, you can check out the various stone lifting DVD and courses at this link: