Want to take your workouts up a notch? Throw in a bit of short steel bending. Love it.
If you're ready to give nail bending a bit of a run, you'll be pleased to know there are only three things you need. You'll be bending within hours.
I ventured in to the world of short-steel bending fairly recently (2007), following a shoulder injury that ruled out my usual lifts for a while. This is the book (review) that got me started; detailing everything from wrapping techniques to the many types of bending available.
A couple of years later, I still refer to it regularly.
When it comes to unbraced short-steel bending, this is the perfect place to start. Brilliant.
At first I tried using a couple of chamois car cloths from a local auto accessories place. Once I got my hands on the real thing, however, my bending abilities seemed to shoot up instantly.
It's worth getting a decent pair of wraps. Here are a few of my favourite online sources :
Alternatively (or while you're waiting for your online purchases to arrive), try one of these :
Although a set of good leather wraps will instantly make a huge difference, these alternatives will still protect your hands during the bend.
Finally, nails. There are essentially two sources of nails, bolts, screws and other fun things to bend - hardware stores and online suppliers.
The local hardware store is usually fine for those just starting out; it's pretty easy to get your hands on a few 60D nails or similar (Imperial -> Metric conversion).
When it comes to more challenging supplies, online suppliers such as IronMind are the first port of call. Here are a few others to check out :
The Bending eBook above details a number of techniques for short-steel bending. In my case, I found the best strategy was to learn a particular technique, try it out for myself (usually starting out with a 60D), and then return to the book for a spot of fine-tuning. Rinse and repeat.
It also helped to watch a lot of bending in action, using the various techniques available. Here's just one of the many clips that came in handy at various stages :
There's actually quite a bit of info (both online and offline) available on short steel bending, including :
Bending is one of the few strength-related activities that I perform at least once a day (and usually several). Once you try it, you'll understand why.