Have you ever seen Bruce Lee's two finger push-up? It's an awesome feat of strength that has become a cult example of a skill attained by one that is dedicated to their discipline. Some of the skills we learn translate over to everyday life and make us stronger, faster, more mobile and healthful. Others are simply just for show and are arguably more risky than rewarding. Cool fingertip exercises are likely in the latter category. But that's no reason not to work toward them - like any other goal you must do so with care and intelligence. That's why we've put together 5 Impressive Finger Strength Exercises to Wow Your Friends.
It's probable that you've never specifically trained your fingers before unless you're a climber, martial artist or gymnast. For those of us that aren't, we likely give our fingers a decent enough practice through vinyasas, pushups, handstands or any other movement where we actively grip the floor. However, if you want to work towards the impressive exercises we're going to talk about here, you'll need to get specific to give your fingers the required strength and stability. We're going to do that using the classic method of progressive calisthenics for fingertip pushups.
Foundational Finger Strength Using Fingertip Pushups
Due to the delicate nature of the fingers, it's integral that you take finger strength training slowly. The only thing you'll be rewarded with by skipping the training is a strained or even broken finger (or two).
With the following exercises you will slowly increase the stress on the fingers by lengthening the lever. You should complete 6 sets of 10 reps before moving to the next level. Your training structure should look something like this:
- Week 1, Day 1: 3 sets of 3 reps
- Week 1, Day 3: 4 sets of 3 reps
- Week 1, Day 5: 5 sets of 3 reps
- Week 2, Day 1: 6 sets of 3 reps
- Week 2, Day 3: 3 sets of 4 reps
- Week 2, Day 5: 4 sets of 4 reps
- Week 3, Day 1: 5 sets of 4 reps
- Week 3, Day 3: 6 sets of 4 reps
- Week 3 Day 5: 3 sets of 5 reps
- And so on...
The slowest and safest possible way of doing this is increasing 1 rep at a time, but if you're comfortable you can certainly increase by 2-3 reps with each 3-6 set cycle. If you're already fairly competent you'll probably want to start on Level 2 or 3. We recommend taking a minimum of one day's rests between training sessions.
Level 1: Wall Fingertip Pushup
Stand by a wall at an arms length away. Place all ten fingertips on the wall, shoulder width apart. Bend your arms, keeping the elbows tight to the body until your nose almost touches the wall. Press away, finishing back where you started.
Level 2: Kneeling Fingertip Pushup
Start in a kneeling position with your hips over your knees. Bring all ten fingertips to the floor. Keeping your elbows tight into the body, bend the elbows and bring your chest towards the floor. Press back up, finishing back where you started.
Level 3: Extended Kneeling Fingertip Pushup
Start in a kneeling position, but rather than hips over knees, bring your knees back to where your feet were before. Bring all ten fingertips to the floor. Keeping your elbows tight into the body, bend the elbows and bring your chest towards the floor. Press back up, finishing back where you started.
Level 4: Fingertip Pushup
Start in a classic pushup position. Bring all ten fingertips to the floor. Keeping your elbows tight into the body, bend the elbows and bring your chest towards the floor. Press back up, finishing back where you started.
5 Impressive Finger Strength Exercises to Wow Your Friends
Now that you've built the necessary finger strength, let's get stuck into the cool things you can do with it! The stress on the fingers and hands when performing these exercises is significant. Before attempting them, ensure you can comfortably perform 10 repetitions of a full 10 fingertip pushup. Without the adequate training, the risk of a broken finger, hairline fracture in the hand or damaged joints is a high possibility. Always warm up sufficiently before attempting these exercises.
3 Finger Pushup (2 Handed)
Come to a kneeling position and place your hands in the usual position you would for a regular pushup. Come up onto your thumb, index and middle fingers, creating a 'Y' shape with your thumb at the base nearest your body. Step back into a pushup position, so that your fingertips and toes are your only contact point with the ground. Keeping your elbows tight into the body, bend the elbows and bring your chest towards the floor. Press back up, finishing back where you started. This is a long way off Bruce Lee's classic 2 finger pushup, but it's a great starting point and still looks pretty cool. You can take it to the next level but dropping down to 2 fingers or switching to a one handed, five fingertip pushup.
The classic vinyasa of plank, Chaturanga, Upward Facing Dog, Downward Facing Dog - except on your fingertips! Begin in plank position on all ten fingertips. Lower down into Chaturanga keeping your elbows tight into the body. Bring your shoulders forward and up, drop your hips and flip onto the top of your feet into Upward Facing Dog. Lift your hips, push them back and up, bring your head between your arms and flip onto the balls of your feet into Downward Facing Dog.
Begin in the lotus position, or if that's not accessible for you, half lotus or cross-legged. Bring your fingertips beside your hips, engage your core and lift. Think about bringing your knees up towards your chest and pushing your shoulder blades down. Hold for as long as desired. You can practice lifting your butt only if lifting you legs is too difficult.
Begin in a seated position with your legs out in front. Bring your fingertips beside your hips, engage your core and legs, point your toes and lift. It will help to consciously depress your shoulder blades. Hold for as long as desired. You can practice lifting your butt only or with bent legs if lifting you legs is too difficult.
Fingertip Bakasana (Crane/Crow)
The most advanced movement of the lot which should only be attempted if your fingers are extremely conditioned! From standing, squat down and place your fingertips on your mat about shoulder-width apart. Keep the hands and feet where they are but lift the hips way up toward the sky, bend the knees and lift the heels off the floor so just the balls of the feet are down. Gently press the knees in to the backs of the triceps and begin to shift your weight into the fingertips, picking one foot at a time off the floor. Bend the elbows if necessary for balance. Use the core to draw the navel in toward the spine to stabilise and find that “lift” in the center of the body that eventually allows you to straighten the elbows and hold. Be sure to bring your gaze just between the hands to maintain balance.
That's all folks! We'd love to see you in action with these finger strength exercises. Tag us on Instagram @SoWeFlow