Sports and Martial Arts
Health and Fitness


The Metal Rod Exercises were developed in 2002 by Dr Lawrence Whitmore as a means of training and developing core stability, grip strength and endurance. They combine techniques of resistance training with grip and stance producing a highly effective set of exercises for developing all aspects of physical strength. The main advantages of the exercises are their simplicity, cost efficiency, and effectiveness in a wide range of applications from sports training and martial arts training to general health and fitness.

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The main physical aspects developed using the exercises are:

Tonic Strength: Strength in the muscles that stabilise the skeleton and the posture
Core Stability: Strength in the abdominal region brings stability for posture and movement
Phasic Strength: Strength in the Prime Mover muscles primarily involved in moving and lifting
Bilateral Dexterity: Equal strength and coordination for both the left and right sides
Coordination: Different parts of the body working together to perform complex movements
Grip Strength: Strength in the forearms, wrists, hands and fingers
Dynamic Range: Strength working over a large range of movement and position
Flexibility: Increased range of motion and reduction in muscular stiffness and cramps

Each of these is discussed in detail in the book.

A brief summary of exercise structure is given in the table below.

Phase Number of Routines Duration Emphasis
Phase I 12 5-6 weeks Grip Strength and Handling Skills
Phase II 12 5-6 weeks Tonic Strength and Grip Strength
Phase III 16 5-6 weeks Phasic Strength and Tonic Strength
Beyond Structure personalised Open ended Continually builds and maintains physical strength

Beyond the three phases the system is designed to be personally adapted to suit individual needs. As an example, for cycle sport certain exercises can be chosen and used all year round to provide intensity and flexibility, or for swimming and tennis specific routines can be emphasised to build and maintain strength and endurance in the back and arms. Using a lighter rod, the exercises function on a more therapeutic level helping to regulate muscle tensions, flexibility, posture and coordination.

Further applications are given for sports training, martial arts training and health and fitness.