Lee’s Strength Routine
This exercise strengthens your arms, forearms, shoulders, biceps, lats, triceps, chest and abs. “This exercise works almost your whole body,” Wong says. “It’s really good; it’s effective. But it is also very difficult. Although Bruce lifted a lot of weight, most people can’t. I remember trying to lift what he used, and I couldn’t even hold it.” To begin, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Squat, grab the barbell with an underhand grip and stand up. Keeping your elbows by your side, raise the weight straight out, hold for a second, return and repeat.
Do three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. When you’re done, do three sets of 8 to 12 reps withan overhand grip.
Punching With a Dumbbell
This exercise improves your shoulder endurance, which is vital for sparring.
“Bruce did this drill a lot.” Wong says.
Hold a five-pound dumbbell in each hand, assume a fighting stance and alternate throwing punches with each hand.
“Do these moderately fast,” Wong says.
To prevent an injury, however, don’t throw your punches too fast. Do two to three sets, 10 to 15 reps per set.
One-Hand Dumbbell Drill
This drill strengthens your wrist, which means your punches will be stronger. Lee used this exercise to enhance his one-inch punch, Wong notes.
“When your wrist is strong, you get more power,” he says. “And it’s good when you’re in close range because there isn’t much room for your wrist to travel. This is a good drill for the one-inch punch.”
To begin, stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, and hold a five-pounddumbbell in your right hand. Keeping your arm to your side and using only your wrist,raise the dumbbell as high as you can and lower it as far as you can. Do two sets of 25 reps. When you’re done, do two sets of 25 reps, moving your wristfrom side to side as far as you can.
“This is isometric training for power punching,” Wong says. “It was one of Lee’s favorite drills because it built speed and punching power at different ranges.” To do this, you can use a jump rope, a karate belt or a strand of rope. To begin, assume a fighting stance and hold the rope in both hands. Place your left hand behind your back, wrap the other end around your shoulder and throw a short-range punch. Hold it for five seconds, extend your punch to ¾ distance, hold it for five seconds, extend it to full range and hold. For each arm, do five sets of five reps.
This drill is for leg strength and mobility.
“This exercise really puts pressure on your knees,” he says. “It’s intense.”
To do this drill, you’ll need a four- foot long board with a shoulder harness strapped in the middle. To begin, assume a fighting stance on the board and place the harness around your neck. Exerting a constant upward pressure, lean forward and then lean back.
“This drill enables you to develop explosive power and to close the gap [more
efficiently],” He says.
Do three sets of one minute. As you improve, increase your time.
Hand Isometric Drills This drill strengthens your forearms, which is great for trapping and punching. You will need the board for this exercise also. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, wrap the straps around your forearms and exert pressure upward. Do three sets of one minute. Don’t rest more than one minute between sets.
Bull Worker for Punching
This drill also strengthens your punching power.
To do this drill, you’ll need a Bull Worker, which you may be able to find at a sporting goods store.
Assume a fighting stance, hold the bow straps in each hand, and throw as many punches as you can, as fast as you can.
“Do these real fast, and do as many as you can,” Wong says.
Do two to three sets. You can throw backfists or straight punches. This device also enables you to adjust the tension.