Being practical is something that not all of us can lay claim to. While we may be smart enough and successful enough in other capacities, some of us just seem to flounder when it comes to screwing something together or putting up shelves. And frankly it’s a little embarrassing.
Part of the reason for this often comes down to the sheer physicality of putting up shelves and things. The fact is that many of us can’t drive a screw into a piece of wood because we find it wobbles around or doesn’t go in straight and this is often simply because we aren’t strong enough in our wrists or forearms to drive it in properly. Meanwhile we might find that our hand starts to hurt, or that we slip and stab ourselves. Then our Dads come along with their workman’s hands and make it look easy.
To fix this though, we can get training, and actually training by using DIY related tasks can help build a lot of functional muscle as well. Here we will look at a group of exercises in a single workout that will help to build the strength needed to do these tasks well and help us to craft our physique.
Screwing things into wood requires an awful lot of forearm strength, and this is something that many of us simply lack. You can get better with time though by simply practicing, so take a screwdriver and a plank of wood and practice screwing into it to see your forearms start to bulge like Popeye’s and your hands start to toughen up so that it doesn’t hurt every time you try. It’s cheaper than a lot of gym equipment too and you can leave it in the shed the rest of the time.
Rope Pull Ups:
The other thing you need to be good at DIY and practical work is a strong grip and tough hands that won’t slip or hurt when you’re trying to hold a piece of rough wood still. So stop moisturizing your hands before bed and try this – drape a towel or piece of rope over a pull up bar and then grab one end in each hand. Now using just your gripping strength to hold on, practice doing pull ups and you’ll find your hands quickly toughen up.
Ice Water Slapping:
This isn’t the kind of training you’ll find in your local gym, but it’s something that Shaolin Monks allegedly swear by. What you are going to do here is to have a tank of freezing cold water with ice floating in it and then practice slapping it to toughen up the palms of your hands and reduce your pain threshold. If you don’t get it then look it up on YouTube for a demonstration or type in ‘Iron Palm’. You’ll also develop the ability to knock out mules with a hand plant which may come in useful (I resisted the urge to say ‘handy’).
Squats are one of the most useful exercises for developing functional strength and getting your muscles to work in unison. This kind of pushing power also comes in incredibly useful when you are pushing furniture around the room and is one of the best ways to toughen up your core as well.
This will train your triceps, shoulders and pecs and is also very useful for pushing, this time working the upper half of your body for moving heavy items.
Ashton Jones is an expert home renovator who works on major construction activities in and around Perth, and in projects that need Repave of roads.