The bulging biceps of Arnold Schwarzenegger… the rippling chest of Sylvester Stallone… and the mighty finger of Fu Bingli? Finger strength is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of awesome body development and fitness, but 39-year-old kung fu master Fu Bingli, from Lianyungang in eastern China, could make you think again.
“My index finger has as much strength in it as most people’s entire body”, says Fu Bingli, demonstrating modestly that strength training for the hands also does wonders for one’s personal confidence. That’s quite a claim – but his demonstrations prove it.
Doing either one-handed pushups or two-handed single-finger pushups is a challenge for most fit athletes. Fu, however, performed twelve consecutive pushups on one finger on October 19, 2009, winning himself an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.
He can also perform a one-fingered handstand – turning himself upside down and supporting his entire weight on just his right index finger.
While women in bars don’t usually check out a man by looking at his finger muscles straight off, finger strength is immensely important in most forms of martial arts. Exceptional displays of finger and grip strength are as common in martial arts lore as are tales of feats like karate master Mas Oyama’s favourite party trick of killing or dehorning a bull with one blow.
Aside from being able to perform impressive single-finger displays – something that seldom helps in a dark alley encounter – Fu Bingli’s thirty-two years of finger training give him a real advantage over his opponents in any movement that involves grasping, grappling, twisting, or finger-jabbing.
And besides that, he never has trouble unscrewing the lids from stubborn jars.