Muscles and steadiness

Muscles and steadiness

This is a discussion on Muscles and steadiness within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I know there're a lot of factors to steadiness, but a friend asked my advice yesterday. If you wanted to weight-train in order to build ...

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Thread: Muscles and steadiness

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array CanuckQue's Avatar
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    Muscles and steadiness

    I know there're a lot of factors to steadiness, but a friend asked my advice yesterday. If you wanted to weight-train in order to build strength or endurance (muscularly) in order to improve your steadiness while firing a pistol or rifle while standing, what makes sense to focus on?

    Weight-training is a standard part of my life, but I can imagine that working on 'low-weight endurance' would help, but also increasing the total strength I have while moving within that range would make everything else relatively lighter.
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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    I'm thinking wrist/forearm curls for gripping and forearm strength might make some sense. Couldn't hurt.

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    Senior Member Array Lish's Avatar
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    I read something recently about using half gallon milk jugs. I can't remember what article I was reading though.

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    I view it more as a whole-body thing, provided that all parts are available for service (obviously, if I didn't have legs I would focus on upper body).

    I'm steadier when I'm in entirely in shape and healthy. My stance is stronger/steadier when my legs are in shape, if my abs are weak, my back suffers and I can't shoot for very long. Grip strength is critical, particularly when shooting more powerful loads from light polymer/alloy platforms. And even ancillary muscles to shooting, such as triceps still provide assistance in stability, as there is a synergy when all muscle groups work together, vs. relying on just primary muscles that are directly addressing the task at hand. Probably most importantly is the cardiovascular impact of being healthy and in shape, which reduces "the shakes" during stressful events.

    I've had to re-invent myself from my youthful days of being a muscle-head, to being lighter and leaner as I get older. I've learned that brute-strength only helps so much in shooting, but most of it is over-kill. Having reasonably and frequently exercised muscle groups not only have an effect of combined greater strength, endurance and steadiness, but also protects against injuries.
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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    A water filled half-gallon jug weights about 4 lbs. Not sure what sort of exercises you have in mind. Wrist, arm, shoulder & core strength as well as general fitness all have positive effects on shooting. Our NCAA Shooting Team Coach gave it almost as much priority as trigger-time.
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    Senior Member Array NH_Esau's Avatar
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    I think like other SD, it's a whole package... Grip, core, forearm, and shoulders for sure, but you need a stable foundation (legs and core again). Endurance is key for fine motor steadiness, though - when muscles are starved of blood and oxygen, they get twitchy. That's what's always amazed me about biathletes - race around at AT, then unsling, take aim, and shoot with precision.

    An injury got me off the aerobic training bandwagon for a bit, and I can already notice the effect in my off-hand rifle shooting.

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    VIP Member Array slugger6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHEC724 View Post
    I view it more as a whole-body thing...

    That is my philosophy as well.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Being physically fit (to your ability) is as or more important than range time. That with H2H training gives you enough confidence to maybe use other than lethal means to stop a possible threat. Too many times folks go to the gun first.
    Endurance is important but the key is core strength and flexibility. In a RL situation you might have to duck, run, bend over, assist a fellow person who is down. And the ability to use the off hand as well as or close to your dominant hand is key also. Years ago we were trained to do every day task with your non dominant hand. Break and scramble eggs, brush teeth, clean dishes. The more we did this them more your brain gets wired to use the non dominant hand. Today I can do almost everything the same with both.

    Again, core strength is very important for stability when shooting.

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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    I'm getting too old for the physical stuff, have to work on the mental side. Hold up the weapon, and wait until it "jitters" by the target, it's all in when you pull the trigger.
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    Senior Member Array CanuckQue's Avatar
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    The advice to work on the core fits into the vibe of what I'm asking. That said, in what way is it better to 'tweak' the exercises for the core? Obviously, you want complex movements, but there're more options within that recommendation. More endurance exercises for those groups of muscles? More strength exercises?
    Our current plan for Universal Iron Lung coverage, just sayin'.
    Wisest. Retirement. Plan. Ever.
    Good thing the March of Dimes worked. How, why?

    Alternately, for those with a tool shed, ideas, or creative loved ones to tell..


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    The work outs are fine but somebody should go over the shooting basics with him. I bet there is some small tweaks in his postions that would help right away.

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    Kettle Bell swings and cleans. Ab exercises. Check IronMind for a wrist and forearm developer called Twist Yo Wrist. It is almost like it was made for pistol shooters. I've been using it for several years and it is absolutley the best thing I've tried. Don't confuse it with a typical wrist roller, it works the sides of the wrist, the area that takes pistol recoil, rather than the top and bottom. The only issue is that IronMind products are over priced. That said, in the years I have been buying from them I have never had a problem of any kind and the products always work as advertised. A buddy who is high level pistol competitor is sold on the beneifts of the Twist Yo Wrist.

    The company

    4" wrist roller for grip, wrist, forearm strength - IronMind-Ironmind Enterprises

    A pretty good youtube review

    Ironmind Twist Yo Wrist Overview - YouTube

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I'm thinking that the muscle is between the ears. Maybe I'm stupid and old. I work smarter now.

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    There is an old western where a girls wants to learn to be a gunslinger, and the old guy has her do wrist rollers to strengthen her grip and forearms. I have done those and it does burn after a few times. You can make one with a short dowel, like a cut down closet rod, and a piece of rope, and a gallon milk jug.

    But, we are not trying to lift and shoot 2lb Iron Six-Guns, my Glock doesn't weigh much more than my cell phone. So, not sure if that will help much.

    Practice with your own gun will help the most, the more time you spend firing, the more control you will develop. Remember, some of the videos you watch, like Dave Sevigny, where they are super steady have over 10,000 hours of practice. That, is what separates the experts from the casual shooters. (Just like any other sport).

    Cheers.

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    There is no magic gizmo or routine. Maintain a healthy diet, exercise moderately, don't forget your core, and have a positive mental attitude. Then go shoot, shoot, shoot, and shoot some more.
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