One of the things I've noticed is that short sticks are brutal on my wrists after I've been practicing for a prolonged period, but I don't tend to notice how brutal they have been until the next day (I have very strong wrists already, just not in a way that is conducive to working with short sticks).

I recognize that, on a fundamental level, the easiest and best way to get better at this particular aspect and condition my wrists for short stick is to practice more frequently with sticks. This, however, is not ideal since 1) I can't carry my sticks to work with me 2) I am having trouble recognizing my limits when my blood is hot from the workout.

So the question comes down to: What sorts of exercises can I do, preferably bodyweight or on-the-go, that I can do that will increase my wrist strength in a way that is suitable for short stick work?

  • Can you comment on the approximate weight of the stick(s)? Are these escrima sticks? In one of the styles I practice, hot oil massages were used on joints. I had similar problems with the Otta but it went away with these massages.
    – Reno
    Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 9:18
  • Not sure of the exact weight, but I believe they are made of oak and thus on the heavier end of the short stick spectrum. Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 15:39
  • If you can list some exercise with sticks that you wish to replace, or the movements most strenous to you, maybe we can help you better.
    – mart
    Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 14:39

3 Answers 3


Squeeze a stress ball. Or a tennis ball if you're manly enough. The idea is to also work your fore-arms.


Whole body strength first

As always, if you're not already doing generalized strength training, then that's the first place to start. Trying to target your strength gains as a novice is dramatically less productive than following a program for strength training novices.

The best approach for general strength training would be resistance training, such as with barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells. Deadlifts, Turkish get-ups, overhead and bench presses, and rows would seem to be in order.


If you're willing to buy minimal equipment, I'd buy a single heavy kettlebell, such as a 35 or 50 pounder. The kettlebell would allow you to do all get-ups, pressing, and rowing, as well as swings, cleans, and snatches. These are great whole-body movements that produce hip power and develop wrist strength.


If you can't or won't buy any equipment, I recommend doing gobs of pull-ups, dips, and push-ups. Ideally these would be in a formal workout with a warm-up and multiple sets.

Whole! Body! Strength!

Again, it's quite important to break out of the mentality that we should break the body into individual components in order to strengthen them. That's useful for high-level athletes and bodybuilders, but almost everybody else should just get strong all over.

Whole-body strength exercises such as the deadlift have a tremendous effect on the entire body, and trigger systemic changes that wrist-specific strength work cannot match without dramatically more time invested. If you're already deadlifting or performing feats of gymnastic strength, then maybe sport-specific exercise is in order. Otherwise, deadlifting, pull-ups, and presses seem in order.

  • 1
    correct me if I'm wrong, all exercises you mention leave the hand relative static in regards to the lower arm. with stick fighting however, a lot of action is exactly in the wrist. I'm not sure you addres the posters problem.
    – mart
    Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 14:38
  • 1
    @mart My entire point is that tailoring a strength program to a specific task ("wrist action") is folly for anyone who doesn't already have a substantial amount of non-task-specific-strength. This is a well-understood aspect of sports training: for novices (who the OP almost certainly is) general strength training improves strength for all tasks better than task-specific strength training even for the specific task. Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 14:41

1 stick-like object (eg 12" ruler) big enough to hold with 2 hands, string, weight (eg housebrick). Tie end of string round brick. other end goes round stick. Hold stick out in both hands and then keep rolling the stick in your hands to raise the weight up to your hands, lower and repeat. Do as quickly as possible, hell of a workout to get the blood to your hands. Most places you can find a weight so carry the string and stick. I've done this on business trips with bottles of water in a bag in my hotel room. Carrying bags - only use your 2 middle fingers and repeatedly curl the tips towards your wrist against the weight of the bag - helps with grappling grips anyway.

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