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Physical conditioning for pistol shooting

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Falconeer, Jan 23, 2006.

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  1. Falconeer

    Falconeer Member

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    Greets folks!

    Does anyone have any suggestions for exercises to help pistol accuracy, shooting, etc? I currently do 50 push ups in the morning, and 50 push ups and 50 sit ups in the evening, four days a week.

    I'm wondering if there is anything I could be doing for hand strength (help get rid of the 'shakes' :p), and what would it be?
     
  2. Oldnamvet

    Oldnamvet Member

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    I always found that, in the absence of actual trigger time, practicing holding the pistol on target would help. The human body is an unstable platform and you need to tone the muscles that you use for shooting. Hold the pistol at arms length sighting until you get tired. The more you do it, the more you will strengthen those muscles. Add a pillow to the end of your arm if you can't use the pistol (during breaks at work, etc) to give the weight needed. It takes time but eventually you will see the shakes take longer to appear and scores improve.
     
  3. mete

    mete Member

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    You can get a grip strengthener or use a tennis ball.You can do that excercise with weights on your wrist too.
     
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Dryfiring will train the exact muscles employed. Wrist weights and/or an old magazine poured full of lead will help as you get steadier.
     
  5. mister2

    mister2 Member

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    exercise

    Upper body strength is good, in general.

    For specific stances, I substitute a 10 lb or 12 lb weight and hold it in aiming position till muscle failure. Alternate with lifts from normal to shooting position. For grip, the popular exercisers are good, but I've found the musicians' finger exerciser (Gripmaster) good for individual finger strength and control, something that varies from one gun to another.

    YMMV
    My .02
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2006
  6. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    I don't know how much it applies to pistol shooting, but pretty much any time you grip something you are using your forearms.

    I have a wooden dowel about 1.5" in diameter that I drilled a hole in and tied some paracord to (about 5 feet of cord). I attach the other end of the paracord to a weight plate, and then hold the dowel out in front of me at shoulder level, and then start turning the dowel so that the cord starts wrapping around it (so the weight is being lifted).

    Again, I don't know how well this work for pistols specifically, but it will help your grip strength. I'm not a doctor or physical trainer, so do the above at your own risk, consult a physician, etc.
     
  7. Falconeer

    Falconeer Member

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    Thanks for the idea. Is this something that would help even sitting down? It would be nice to watch a movie and work on it. I suspect it wouldn't be quite as good as standing.
     
  8. pcf

    pcf Member

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    You can do these sitting or standing. Open your hand fingers spread apart, palm facing the deck, close palm into a fist, open hand again, repeat, do as quickly as possibly. Do 100 repitions.

    Arm circles
    Pushups
    Pullups (requires pullup bar)
    curls (requires weights of some sort, milk jugs work well)
    crunches
    leg raises
    trunk rotations
    Seated back release (requires a chair)
    Back extensions
    squats
    lunges
    walking or jogging

    Your legs and torso provides most of your upper body's stability when shooting. A good shooting platform is built from the bottom up on a strong foundation.
     
  9. Falconeer

    Falconeer Member

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    Good ideas! I'd like something I can keep at work also. Have any recommendations on a grip strengthener?
     
  10. Falconeer

    Falconeer Member

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    Ah! Good idea on the wrist weights. Fairly non-intrusive daily routine. :)
     
  11. Falconeer

    Falconeer Member

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    WOOT!! That's a goodie!! No equipment, fairly quick, can do at work! Thanks much! Just did it and definately felt the lower arm muscles.
     
  12. TrapperReady

    TrapperReady Member

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    The best grip strengthener I've ever used has been a hangboard -- as used by rock climbers. You mount them over a doorway, and then spend a few minutes a day hanging from them using a variety of holds. When I've been using ours routinely, pickle jars shake in fear when I approach. :)

    Metolius carries quite a few. If you follow the link, scroll down to "Training Equipment".

    The Grip Saver they have there is also good. It works like squeezing a tennis ball, but also allows you to build strength as you extend your fingers.
     
  13. made2cut

    made2cut Member

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    Get a lightweight .45 and shoot it for a while. ;) After shooting my 45's the 9mm feel like .22's to me. I get the shakes too and they seriously su*k :mad:
     
  14. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    You did not specify what type of pistol shooting you intend to participate in. I can tell you; in IDPA/USPSA being smooth is more important than being strong. Dexterity is more important than overall strength. In USPSA you will have to run a little further than the 10 yd max limit of IDPA, but you’re not likely to become winded on many stages. Squeezing a spring for a few hours a day might help if you intend to shoot an HK P7; however, your time will be much better spent doing dry fire drills. Practice will help your shooting much more than working out.
     
  15. thorazine

    thorazine Member

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    Lot's of coffee and lot's of cigarettes!
     
  16. JMusic

    JMusic member

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    When training for Bullseye shooting and PPC we were advised to "strengthen our grips". Morticians clay was what was giving to us to use. That was along time ago, ballistic clay is very simular, but the stress reducers sold over many Drug store's should be as effective. This will give you you strength in your hands and forearms.
    Jim
     
  17. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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  18. Falconeer

    Falconeer Member

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    That would be a cool think to have at home. :) Thanks!
     
  19. Falconeer

    Falconeer Member

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    While most fun, I don't think my co-workers would go for that during the work day. :p
     
  20. Falconeer

    Falconeer Member

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    At present I'm looking for consistent accuracy, but I hope to do some IDPA in the future. My current goal is a good, solid, motionless grip. The P226 with the M6 has a bit of weight out at the end of the arm. :)

    I certainly agree with the practice. Unfortunately I'm only getting to the range once a week, and I want to do what I can in between times. :)
     
  21. Falconeer

    Falconeer Member

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    Thanks for the input! I've seen those Gripmasters, but didn't know if they were any help. That looks like the perfect item; keep it on my desk at work and use it during the day. Anyone else have any experience with it?
     
  22. johnnytang24

    johnnytang24 Member

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    Hi,

    I'm pretty new to shooting guns, but I have put a little time in grip strength. I think every shooter could benefit from an improved grip strength. When people refer to 'grip strength', they don't realize there are many aspects to a strong grip: wrist strength, finger strength, crushing strength, and static strength.

    For wrist strength:
    Someone already mentioned a wrist roller.
    You can try taking a sledgehammer and while keeping your arm straight, lowering the hammer's head towards your head, then raising. It's called levering.
    You can do are wrist curls with a barbell, or doing bicep curls while holding a weight plate.
    Try tearing a deck of cards in half (or folded newspaper).

    For crushing and static strength:
    Grippers (don't bother with the cheap Wally World ones). Get a good one from somewhere like the Captains of Crush, Heavy Grips, or elsewhere. These can be done for repetitions, or you can get a difficult one and just hold it closed (which will probably help with gripping a gun).
    Try wrapping a towel around a barbell or dumbbell and doing exercises with it.
    Try putting a towel over a chinup bar and grabbing both ends to do chinups.
    Try taking weight plates, and with the smooth sides facing outwards, picking it up by pinching the plates together and lifting. Hold for time.

    There are many other things you can do, but this is plenty. I think the most important aspects would be a strong wrist and static grip strength.

    Thanks.
     
  23. Black Majik

    Black Majik Member

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    I was gonna suggest the opposite. Lay off the caffeine, no soda or coffe at any time during or near the range session! :D
     
  24. johnnytang24

    johnnytang24 Member

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    The only reason I wouldn't recommend these is that they very quickly get too easy.

    If you are really interested in improving your grip strength, check out gripboard.com

    Thanks.
     
  25. f4t9r

    f4t9r Member

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    Go shoot everyday for two weeks then call me the next mourning.
    Dont forget to drink plenty of water and eat right.

    Its like playing pool the more you do it , the better you get at it !!!!!!
     
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