Heavyhands exercise can be safer than other forms of
aerobic type exercise. We do recommend, however,
that you consult your doctor before undertaking any
exercise program that requires a significant
increase in physical activity.
You may be able to
benefit from Heavyhands exercise if you have a
physical handicap, reduced hand grip, suffer from a
prolonged illness, or have had problems such as
hypertension or other cardio-circulatory or
orthopedic problems. It is particularly important
that in any of these case, you work closely with
your doctor to determine the exercise program that
is best for you.
is aerobic in principle, and includes more
variations of movement than other forms of exercise.
No major muscle group
is neglected, and muscles already well trained by
sports and exercise can be even further upgraded by
The concept was
developed by Dr. Leonard Schwartz, and coined
“panaerobic exercise.” His book, Heavyhands, The
Ultimate Exercise, describes movements that involve
virtually every muscle in the body at the same time.
We recommend the book
for complete information about the theory and
practice of Heavyhands exercise.
weights are different than conventional dumbbells,
because they are moved or pumped through a high
number of repetitions.
Essentially, the key
lies in combined arm, leg, and trunk movement. The
weights put special emphasis on the often neglected
muscles of the upper torso, and work those
versatile muscles in combination with leg exercise.
is an incredible tool for developing endurance
conditioning, including your heart, which is
essential to endurance training.
Like other aerobic
activities, Heavyhands training pushes for duration
and intensity, working towards the largest rate of
oxygen consumption over the longest reasonable
period of time. Oxygen consumption is directly
correlated with calories burned. Thus, the more
oxygen consumed during exercise means more calories
and fat are being used up.
Welcome to Heavyhands
exercise, the unique exercise method that brings the
benefits of strength, endurance and flexibility to
your entire muscular system, while training your
concept was developed by Leonard Schwartz, MD
beginning in the late 70s and culminated in 1982 in
the first book, “heavyhands, the Ultimate Exercise
A later text consists
of a broad approach to heavyhands walking. Other
materials in the form of texts and videos will cover
other forms of Heavyhands exercise in some detail.
Heavyhands exercise is probably safer than other
forms of exercise at given work intensities.
Nonetheless, it makes sense to consult a physician
who is more than casually interested in exercise
before beginning any exercise that increases cardio
respiratory and/or mechanical action signification.
Beginners afflicted with certain medial conditions
may also benefit from Heavyhands type exercise. In
those instances working with an exercise specialist
Just What Is Heavyhands?
Heavyhands is hand
weight-assisted whole body exercise. The goal is to
include a high percentage of the body’s total
muscle, simultaneously. A second Heavyhands
principle relates to bringing the qualities of
exercise, things like strength, cardiovascular and
muscular endurance and flexibility to all those
Since the number and
variety of Heavyhands movements is practically
endless, it is likely that your Heavyhands workouts
will increase your motor skills and sheer physical
power over time: those improvements in turn will
help make your exercise ‘feel’ easier. The
Heavyhands method itself suggested the structure of
its special hardware. We needed hand weights that
would continue to be comfortable during prolonged,
high repetition movements.
The soft material
that covers the shaft and strap portions of the
weights lends them a glove-like quality that lessons
the need to grip them tightly. This feature
diminishes fatigue and may lessen blood pressure
elevations in some who are susceptible to that
About The Weights
are cushioned for comfort and specially designed to
fill the specific requirements of Heavyhands
ergonomic design and flex fit back strap feature
spares the muscles of the hand, wrist, and forearm
from overstrain and cramping, delays fatigue, and
promotes better and a more skilled performance.
The back strap design
is self-adjusting, allowing the handle to fit hands
of different sizes and shapes. Although the straps
are very strong and durable, care should be taken
not to overstretch the strap.
The Heavyhands add-on
weights are balanced for consistent performance, are
attractive, and will last a lifetime with proper
weights are made of steel, and if left outside, in
the rain, mist, or fog, they will rust.
After use, wipe dry
and store inside away from moisture.
You can protect them
from rusting by spray painting them with a rust
I have found that a
$3 can of Rustoleum paint will stop any rust. The
flat black color both looks good and hides dirt.
The ergonomic grip
may be easily cleaned with warm water and a mild
cleaners, bleaching agents, or the use of stiff
How To Hold Your
The straps should be
positioned behind the knuckles so that the rounded
fitted ergonomic grip fits comfortably in the palm
of your hand. The strap may also be positioned
across the fingers between the knuckles and first
finger joints if that is more comfortable.
Avoid gripping too
tightly. This will help to consciously relax your
grip during exercise. Gripping tightly during
prolonged exercise can cause cramping, and early
Do not hold your
weights by the back strap. This can damage your
WRONG WAY TO HOLD
Start with smaller
weights and work gradually upward to the heavier
ones. Heavyhands weights are easily interchangeable
to fit your increased strength and growing
It is advisable to
have a variety of weighted ends on hand. Twist-on
weights are available from 2 – 20 lbs.
Be sure the black
flanged washers are in place and the weights you
select are securely tightened to the handles.
The best procedure is
to hold the hand weight horizontally and grasp the
weighted ends. Twisting each end in opposite
directions will tighten both simultaneously.
Simply reverse the
procedure to loosen the weights. Avoid holding the
weights by the straps to tighten or loosen.
As with all physical
activities, warming up is not only advisable, but
essential. Always start slowly, working into your
Give yourself plenty
of room, especially when exercising with a group. In
time, moving your Heavyhands weights will become
Be careful not to hit
yourself on down-stroke movements where the weights
pass close to your body.
Here are some basic
movements that may be included in your exercise
program. Once you have mastered these starters in
combined exercise, you may spice up your routines
with countless variations. These exercise may be
Changing the size of
Changing the pace or
number of repetitions
Changing the range of
The range of movement
for many of these exercises are the following:
Level One – Each lift
is to waist height or 1 foot
Level Two –
Each lift is to shoulder height or 2 feet
Level Three –
Each lift to head height or 3 feet
The higher the level
employed, the greater the intensity of work being
done at a given pace. Like all aerobic exercise,
including running, Heavyhands is a heart condition.
Your pulse rate is the best way for you to monitor
your body’s response to exercise. Pulse monitoring
techniques are described in many exercise books,
The higher the level
employed, the greater the intensity of work being
done at a given pace. Like all aerobic exercise,
including running, Heavyhands is a heart
conditioner. Your pulse rate is the best way for you
to monitor your body’ response to exercise. Pulse
monitoring techniques are described in exercise
books, including Heavyhands.
The exercises included will be useful both to
beginners and aerobic enthusiasts.
For an in-depth
discussion of the theory and practice of Heavyhands
exercise, refer to Dr. Schwartz’s book, Heavyhands.
Pump ‘n Walk.
A basic exercise that
converts the modest effects of a stroll into a
respectable conditioner by involving your four
Grasp the weights in the thumbs-up, palms-in
Arms at full
extension by your sides.
Lift or curl the right arm while the left leg
Lift or curl the left arm while right leg strides
Remarks: Repeat. This
is simply an exaggeration of the arm-leg movement of
ordinary walking. Avoid shortening the down stroke.
Let the hand reach the position on each downward
If reasonably fast
tempos and maximal range of motion (or lift heights)
feel too easy, add weight, one pound at a time.
To Pump ‘n Walk in
place, simply move your right arm and leg together,
then your left arm and leg, etc. In this variation,
raise the heel about 12 inches for each step.
by their nature, reduce the need to travel, i.e.,
the need for users to have ample space to move while
engaging in physical activity. Heavyhands workouts
of any intensity can be done while remaining
primarily in one place while practicing knee dips,
lunges, kicks and a host of other leg movements.
By enabling users to
create a whole-body exercise experience within
confined spaces, Heavyhands is one of the most
practical and space-saving options on the market.
Who is Heavyhands For?
Heavyhands exercise will surely benefit all who
haven’t special reason for not doing it!
Age appears not to be
a disadvantage so long as entry into the method is
gradual and proceeds under the guidance of expert
advice. Simple arm and upper body additions to
walking strides are quite enough to get you launched
on the road to whole body fitness, lifelong!
We recommend the
Heavyhands systems for those who would like to add
muscle strength and cardio respiratory endurance
along with some new lean body mass, while losing
substantial sub-skin fat.
Both genders are well
suited to practice the method. The techniques are
particularly useful for those who don’t always have
time for long workouts. Research has shown that 5-10
minute exercise sessions throughout the day can
bring benefits that can be at least as great as the
traditional 30 to 60 minutes of uninterrupted
individuals who are already well engaged in other
favorite exercise methods will find that adding
Heavyhands for the specific benefits it promotes
makes good sense.
Benefits of Heavyhands
benefits of exercise continues to lengthen. The
addition of Heavyhands to other basic physical
activity allows users to benefit even more from the
exercises they already engage in.
the following health benefits when used properly:
Physique control in the form or proper maintenance
of appropriate fat/muscle ratios; Muscle strength
and endurance during whole body movements; The
reduction of many health risk factors that are well
known to the heart; And a general sense of well
Here’s a partial
summary of the advantages of the Heavyhands
More muscles engaged simultaneously (muscle loading
High intensity exercise feels easier
Whole body movements that generate strength,
endurance, and flexibility
Endless movement options
System is very portable
muscles, injuries, readily bypassed
Higher caloric loss per minute
Heavyhands technique lends itself to improvisation,
Inexpensive, adjustable, comfortable equipment
Excellent for either solitary exercise or class work
Useful for TV watching and/or exercising to a
variety of music
Hand Weight options make Heavyhands exercise well
suited for mixed groups
More on Heavyhands
product was conceived after the technique had been
‘discovered.’ It became clear that a glove-like hand
weigh construction was necessary to best secure the
desired fitness benefits. Since strength and
flexibility were part of such benefits, along with
cardio respiratory effects, interchangeable end
weights were necessary to provide these options.
The Heavyhands text and the concept were published
before this hardware technology had been developed.
The Correct Heavyhands
Hand Weight handles were designed for comfort, hard
wear, balance and attractiveness. Used properly,
they will bring you many years of faithful
Be sure your
Heavyhands fit. Only the largest hands need the
large size, the other choice being ‘regular.’ If
your handles are a bit too snug, a gentle steady
‘outward’ pull at the central portion of the strap
will give you more room.
Remember that the
strap portion of the Heavyhands handle should ride
over the back of the hand, behind the knuckles.
Gripping the strap could eventually cause damage.
End Weight Selection
Heavyhands offers a
variety of end weight options in order to most
effectively complete the different exercises. For
example, if you wish to use pump n’ walk as a
primary exercise, high pumps may require smaller end
weights than you could manage at lower pump heights.
Many handlers use a
number of different end weights according to the
workout they select. We recommend the heavy/light
option to which heavier end weights are used with
exercises that demand less range of motion and
relatively slow tempos, as opposed to light ‘n’
lively stride/stroke combinations with relatively
In the beginning, one
pair of handles and a set or two of end weights will
suffice nicely. You may soon wish to extend your
Heavyhands equipment with some additional end
weights and handles. Research has taught us much
since the early days of Heavyhands exercise. Both
our muscles and our cardio respiratory systems
respond favorably to a wide selection of movements.
It is important to
note that a highly respectable form of whole body
strength can be developed with the Heavyhands hand
weights of any size. When the weights are relatively
small, strength may be pursued in the form of faster
tempo exercises and hand speeds, as well as with
increased ranges of repetitive movements (a in high
pump walks, or in shadowboxing).
The goal in all
Heavyhands techniques should be to gradually and
comfortably increase the dimensions of the exercise
load within the bounds of safety whenever possible!
When choosing your end weights, take into
consideration the types of movements your chosen
activity will demand. Be sure to choose weights that
will promote cardio and strength endurance, while
also being appropriate to your body’s capabilities.
Any type of exercise
can injure. Overdoing any exercise can lead to
injury and minimize returns on your health,
performance, and appearance. Make good choices when
deciding on the end weights and movements that will
work for you.
Where to do Heavyhands
Heavyhands can be
done just about anywhere. Heavyhands movements were
designed to allow users to exercise in a wide range
of environments. While many prefer the outdoors for
their workouts, larger and larger numbers will find
that exercise in front of their TV screen along with
entertaining or instructive programming can be a
winning combination. It is an effective response to
the frequent lament that exercise is boring and a
sheer waste of time!
Because of the design
of the movements themselves, a small, fixed floor
space offers the exerciser all the options they need
to build the sort of fitness that they desire.
Therefore, almost any room in most homes will be
weights are the most effective and comfortable means
of adding the entire upper torso to leg and trunk
exercises. They finish the job of converting to
whole body strength and aerobics.
There isn’t a single
reason for not engaging the great volume of muscle
that lies north of our waistlines! Studies have
shown that by taking this whole-body approach, we
can bring more intensity to our workouts.
Incidentally, we can lose more calories while
training by way of more ‘mastered’ movements, either
indoors or outdoors.
Our weights are
relatively inexpensive, durable, balanced, and
comfortable, The design of the weights also allow
for longer intervals of exercise without fatigue.
And with interchangeable end weights, users have
endless exercise options.
A Few Heavyhands
This is hardly the
place for an in-depth presentation of literally
hundreds of Heavyhands movements. Three texts have
been devoted to that topic, and new and expanded
versions will soon be available along with more
Heavyhands Hand Weight Assisted Movements as
follows: Ambulatory Exercise, which includes various
forms of Heavyhands walking and jogging; Whole Body
Calisthenics; Shadowboxing; Dance; Special Effects
Exercises; and Sports Training.
Heavyhands Walking and Joggin
Ambulatory exercise will continue to be a mainstay
for ‘handlers’ around the world. The simple addition
of the alternate arm ‘pumps’ simultaneously with
strides of the opposite leg is all there is to it.
Pump n’ Walk can be as simple or complicated as you
like: strides and ‘strokes’ can be varied
endlessly. Just be careful to not overdo it!
expenditure of the Pump n’ Walk movement has been
measured extensively and has been found to be the
exercise of choice for many. Note! Heavyhands
walking is really an entire system of whole body
exercise. Plain Pump n’ Walk is only the beginning.
To see all the variations of this one exercise,
refer to The Heavyhands Walking Book by Leonard
Schwartz, M.D. (Panaerobic Press 1991). For the
serious exercises, this text contains a cache of
ideas related to the art and science of exercise,
Remember: the height
and frequency of your pumps will determine to a
great extent the energy you expend during Pump n’
Heavyhands is for many handlers an all-purpose
exercise regimen As long as you keep your arms and
legs moving rhythmically at a comfortable intensity,
you are sure to benefit and even enjoy doing this
activity. Footwork can be airborne or shuffling, arm
strokes of any tempo or range of motion you select.
The Heavyhands shadow boxer needn’t worry about his
less than professional look.
As in other forms of
Heavyhands, it’s the effect that counts. For
example, you may find that you wish to do your
shadowboxing using a more symmetrical stance even
though it doesn’t resemble conventional boxing much.
Or, your footwork might be more complex than what
most boxers would likely use. It’s all up to you.
invaluable in the preparation for most sports,
whether we’re talking about strength, muscle and
cardio endurance, or flexibility. Golfers, for
example, can use a range of Heavyhands whole body
movements to lengthen their drives and iron work.
Working with Heavyhands can also improve the
multiple joint flexibility that is incorporated into
every great swing.
For a sport
such as baseball, the necessary fitness factors
needed for sprinting and swinging the bat can be
cultivated through a number of Heavyhands exercises.
As in other sports, a series of characteristic
movements are basically condensed into prolonged
power laden strength and endurance routines.
The Duck Walk and pump is basically an alternate
stride/stroke pattern. With the Duck Walk, the left
side strides and knee dips while the right arm pumps
to various heights. Rarely do we find those who can
fuse the waddle and pump ‘n’ walk – those who can do
high pumps while the flexed knees leave the thighs
absolutely horizontal. I like to reserve these two
moves for advanced handlers and the stronger
Most of our Special Effects moves are related to a
series of combinations that include the abdominals
and low back.
Last Minute Tips and Reminders!
There are dozens of core movements we might have
chosen to detail here. These few were suggested for
their likely appeal to large numbers of Heavyhands
Make sure end weights are good and tight before
launching into “Heavyhands exercise!” It takes only
a second or two, and might prevent a very sore toe!
Don’t give up on those moves you don’t like much at
first blush. Some are destined to become your
Try the “heavy-light” system: but don’t’ choose your
‘heavies’ among weights you can’t move repeatedly
for at least 3 comfortable minutes.
If you have other exercise preferences, gradually
add a few of the Heavyhands moves until you
establish a combination that feels good to you.
Learn to take a radial (wrist) pulse and use it to
estimate your work level. It’s probably the best
single indicator of where you are on in terms of
Mix those moves! It’s one of the routes to exercise
pleasure and what some gurus call “compliance.” (Or
just sticking to it!)
Stay away from movements that hurt. There are too
many Heavyhands combinations to risk getting hung up
on painful routines.
Exploit the Heavyhands system to prepare you for
your preferred sports activity: Scooping grounders
or hitting forehand and backhand tennis shots can be
Almost any sport contains certain “characteristic”
moves yearning to be included into exercise/health.
Expect 24 to 48 hour post-exercise soreness after a
tussle with some hard new movements.
Don’t ignore the importance of a good diet! Food
ultimately fuels your exercise ambition.
There are two major concerns with diet: how much to
eat, and what to eat given the particulars of your
body, personality, lifestyle and exercise game plan.
Learn to love exercise! A love of exercise is a
reward for years of diligent, sensible practice.
There is always something new to learn! Apply your
fitness gains to bunch of tasks in your life and
don’t be afraid to invent!
When exercise helps to make your life performance
easier and more graceful, love is automatic!