This will be the last post on hand conditioning in this series. I'll pick up the series in a couple of weeks with another type of body conditioning, but it's time to get back to the workouts and such. These last types of hand conditioning are not entirely different than the previous versions. In general, hand conditioning requires that you strike something that is hard in order to increase bone density and skin toughness.
Hand Conditioning Method #4: Makiwara (Striking Post)
A makiwara is a striking post used in Karate. There are actually striking posts or dummies in other martial arts, but I'm just using this as a reference. Essentially, you just need something hard that would imitate, like a heavy bag, an opponent. You will not be able to hit it hard at first, but you can work your way up to it. In general, if you are going to be doing any kind of makiwara-type training, I would recommend trying to condition your whole hand and not just the knuckles. Punch, knife hand, ridge hand, backfist, hammer fist, finger poke-- whatever. You may do conditioning for a length of time every day or for a number of repetitions, but don't go overboard. You have to remember that this is on top of any other training you might be doing. 10-15 minutes on hand conditioning isn't much, but it's time well-spent.
Here are some links for reference:
Hand Conditioning Method #5: "Giving" Materials
By "giving" materials, I mean materials that are going to "give" when you strike them. For instance, if you punch sand, gravel, steel shot, or dry bean, they will move out of your way. It's a way for you to punch something that has a certain hardness, but also for it to give like a human body. For instance, if you punch someone in the stomach, the rest of your hand will touch the person's body, not just the knuckles used for striking. Start with sand or dry beans and then work up from there. You can use tree bark, small gravel, medium size gravel... I think you get the picture. Use many different strikes here, as well.
I hope the options I've given you in these last three posts will be useful for your training in whatever martial arts style you practice (or, even, wish to practice). There will be more body conditioning following, but I think it would be good to start with this and perhaps add more later.
That's all for now. Until next time, good luck and train hard!!