Anyone in fitness for any amount of time knows about Dr. Leonard Schwartz of Heavy Hands fame. His massive volumes on the use of hand weights to enhance fitness should be on the shelf of anyone interested in improving their conditioning level. Of course no form of fitness is complete within itself. Handweights allow resistance to be placed on the upperbody to create an overload. The theory is that the upper body is less conditioned than the lower body.
Most of the bodies mass is located in the upper body and is neglected in alot of fitness programs. By using small handweights and total body movement, you can distribute stress to the whole body and still do the work of an elite athlete in terms of output. In many ways, using the upper body and resistance can be found in kettlebell lifting, cross country skiing, boxing, and kayaking. The use of small weights however can be found throughout this country in fitness facilities, clinics, and community centers. I think Dr. Schwartz is an outside the box thinker whose ideas have infiltrated many sectors of the strength and conditioning world.

Dr. Schwartz’ latest toy is something he calls “IsoToneMetrics”. He finds ways to clasp his hand and interlace fingers into “HandClasps”. He then goes through full body motions that elevate heart rate, improve strength, and increase flexibility dynamically. I am sure that many iron junkies will not see this as having an application to improving one’s deadlift or Olympic Snatch. I really don’t think that is it’s purpose. This offers an equipment free method of fitness that can be applicable to a broad spectrum of the population. On the more elite side, it offers a new dimension to Joint Mobility, Morning ReCharge, and Dynamic Flexibility, for seasoned athletes. I can readily see a bedridden patient rehabbing with this technique after surgery, or a World Class shotputter using it as part of his warm up ritual. Simple is Powerful.

Here is Dr. Schwartz’ Website and short instructional.–

Tom Furman