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4 Ways to Improve The Kink in Reverse Bending

If you are bending steel with the reverse technique, you may be having trouble moving on to the next bending level. Chances are the thing holding you back in the reverse technique is your kink strength. If you get a good kink on the nail, bolt, or stock, it will be that much easier to finish the bend off. However, if your kink is weak, you will have to work harder in the transition to double overhand.

To clear a few things up, if you are new to steel bending, here are some pictures to show you what exactly I am talking about.

Reverse Bending (also known as Terminator Style)

reverse-nail-bending

LOTS OF TIPS ON REVERSE BENDING IN THIS POST ==>

In reverse bending, this is the initial grip used to get the kink started. The idea is to get a sizable arc into the piece of steel with the kinking grip. From there, if the objective is to crush the steel down into a U-shape, then a transition to double overhand is made.

Kink

kink_grade_8

The kink is the first arc put into the steel. A small angle is usually called a wobble, but generally the goal is to bend the nail as far as possible. In reverse bending contests, the objective is to bend the steel to a 40-degree angle within 30 seconds. (40 in 30). For a certification bend, such as for the Red Nail, there is a transition to DO.

Double Overhand

double-overhand-nail-bending

DO is usually the way steel is finished off in order to get it to the U-shape. The transition from reverse to DO is usually a quick one, so the steel stays warm and the bend can be more easily completed.

With these terms established and explained, now let’s look at some ways to strengthen the kink.  Again, if we can improve on our kinking strength, then we can improve our chances of finishing the nail off.  Let’s list several possible errors that take place with the reverse bending technique, and the follow it up with how to correct them.

Loose Upper Body / Bending the Nail with the Grip ONLY

Many benders make the mistake of being too loose in the upper body when bending. Although bending is associated with grip strength, it is not done solely with the grip alone.

I suggest to new benders and those trying to move up to their next level bend to flexing the arm pits prior to hitting the bend. What I mean by this is squeeze all the muscles around the shoulder – pecs, delts, lats, etc. This creates radiant tension from the upper torso down into the hands. Radiant tension should always be initiated prior to any bend, not just reverse style.

As you tighten up, you should be able to feel the radiant tension travel down your arms as it moves from the shoulders, to the upper arms, through the elbow, into the forearms, through the wrists and into the hands and fingers. Once you can feel that tension pulsing down your arms, then hit the bend.

Establishing this radiant tension will also help you transmit as much force into the nail or bolt as possible. If you are loose, you not only bend just with your lower arms, but you can also be unstable. If you shake a lot or if the nail or bolt moves around erratically while you are going for the kink, then you may need to assess your radiant tension a bit more.

Applying radiant tension correctly takes practice, and you have to go by feel in order to get good at it.

Short Cutting the Kink

Some benders are guilty of short cutting their kink on easier bends. Instead of powering through the kink and continuing the first pull on the nail or bolt, they give it just enough effort to put a wobble in it and then transition into DO. I suggest holding the kinking effort for a longer period of time or hitting it twice to work the wrists and go for a bigger kink, especially on pieces you murder. By working through your normal kink ranges, you build endurance, and this could mean a sizable difference in the amount of kink you get on your next attempt to bend a PR piece of steel. Remember, some bolts, like the grade 8, spring back, so you have to either pull through far enough or hard enough to negate the spring-back.

Loose Wraps

Wraps need to be tight, whether you use suede, cordura, or towels. Tight wraps make a huge difference when bending. If wraps are loose, they slide around when you try to bend the steel. If the wraps are tight, then the force you generate from your body will translate into the steel more efficiently. I wrote a post about this last year: The Best Way to Wrap Steel

Using Only One Action Hand

When bending reverse-style, as I mention in my Nail Bending eBook, one hand takes the roll of an anchor and the other is the action. Sometimes benders get into a habit of over-preferring one hand as the action hand. After a few near-maximal bends, if you use the same hand as the action hand every time, that hand is going to eventually get tired. While one hand may be stronger, or it may seem that one hand is more coordinated than the other, I suggest using both hands as the action hand. This will keep them more balanced in strength and will result in a better kink in the long run because you can hit it with your strong hand first and then follow it up with the other hand and get a few more degrees.

There’s a few techniques you can use to build up the strength to finish off tougher bends. If you need more information, please check out the Nail Bending eBook. I have more tips just like these, plus a ton of other exercises you can use to build more wrist strength to help you blow through the next piece of steel on your list of goals.

All the best in your training!

Jedd

Get the Nail Bending eBook and start bending nails, bolts and other pieces of steel, today! = = > How to Bend Nails

Want more posts on bending?  Check this out = = > Bending

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17 Responses to “4 Ways to Improve The Kink in Reverse Bending”

  1. F. Max Says:

    Is also vital to contemplate what you are attempting to realize; building Mass, definition, strength or all three. As a beginner it’s necessary to stress on evaluating the simplest bodybuilding exercise since the first factor everybody …

  2. Jim Smith Says:

    No doubt about it. Nail Bending is a feat of strength that creates a large amount of stress in the joints and you should be prepared for that before going into it. There are much better options for mass building than nail bending. However, Nail bending is great for a fun way to train with intensity and for mental toughness.
    -Jedd-

  3. Ben Edwards Says:

    Just wanted to say again that I enjoyed the info in the “4 Ways to Improve The Kink in Reverse Bending” article! Thanks for putting that out for the masses!

  4. Jim Smith Says:

    Thanks Ben. Glad it helped you out, brother!
    -Jedd-

  5. Gregory Jimenez Says:

    Hello Jedd, I have ironmind nails and the benders bag from fat bastard, i have a pile of bent nails in my gym, my question is can i hammer these bent nails back to straight i have a vice to use as well, then bend them again or as some of my friends have said is the nail/metal now weaker, if so what % weaker would you say the nails get? how about if i bend the opposite direction to the first bend or 90degrees to the original bend? I will try to reuse my old nails just asking i figure you will know the answer? i havnt yet bought your naild bending dvd but i evetually will. Thank you for reading my question .. Gregoryj

  6. Jedd Johnson Says:

    Gregory.

    This is a good question. I am glad you asked this, as I have never heard this asked before.

    I have never heard of anyone straightening their bent nails in order to bend them again. I’m not exactly sure if the nail will be weaker or stronger when you straighten it, but I am betting it will be a heck of a lot tougher to bend because you won’t be able to get it perfectly straight – it is going to have a wave in it. If you try to bend it with the wave in it, it could shift around on you and cause you issues.

    However, if you are looking to get more mileage out of your nails, one route to consider is to go for breaking the nail instead of just bending it into the U-shape. Basically, for breaking, you warp it into about a 110 -degree angle, and then straighten it back before it cools, and then immediately hit it again over and over until it snaps. I have done this with light stuff, but was never interested in trying with anything at the level of a 60D or heavier.

    Keep in mind that you can also use your bent steel for weight in a keg or an extensor bucket.

    I must say, in closing, I do not recommend trying to straighten bent stock with a hammer or vice in order to bend them again. It doesn’t sound safe. I hope you understand what I mean.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Jedd

  7. johnnyboy Says:

    Hey Jedd, just want to say I love the bending dvd, Tons of well thought out material. I must say I have to get the book now to fill in some of the gaps. I would like to ask, what is an extensor bucket, and how do you use it..? I believe i may have seen one at your place full of bent nails. Thank you, your a great teacher!

  8. johnnyboy Says:

    hey you can scratch my previous question. I just found one of your posts explaining an extensor bucket. Thanks!

  9. Jedd Johnson Says:

    Thanks Johnny.
    The ebook has a lot more information in regards to the different stock, but the DVD really dials in the technique stuff and injury prevention. The two really go well together. Thanks for the compliments on my teaching ability! I have had plenty of good ones so being one myself has not been too hard.
    Jedd

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