Dessert For Your Workout – 5 Finishers to Work Your Grip
Before you grab yourself a piece of cake, do these 5 Grip Movements for your Workout Dessert
No doubt you love your strength training and want to get the most out of it, whether you are a strength enthusiast, athlete, or coach.
I’ve spoken for years with you about the importance of including Grip training in the strength training program.
Benefits of a Strong Grip
A strong grip helps you in many ways:
- It helps you perform better in the weight room by being able to lift and control the bar or dumbbell better
- For athletes, it helps you perform better on the field
- Strong hands and forearms are more resistant to injury and heal faster
- AND recent research shows that a strong grip is an indicator of how long you will live
However, although everyone knows grip training is important, sometimes they have trouble figuring out where to put it into their program.
The way I do it is this: I complete my warm-up and either upper or lower body training in the first part of my workout and then I go into my Grip Training after that, essentially having another completely separate workout for Grip that sometimes lasts longer than the upper/lower body training I’ve done.
Full workouts devoted to Grip Training are not a necessity for most people. I do it this way because I compete in Grip Contests. This kind of volume would be a waste of valuable time for most people and likely lead to injuries due to not being conditioned.
In most cases, it would be better for you to use Grip training as the “dessert” for your workout, something that you add in at the end.
I actually do this quite frequently, especially when I de-load my grip or if I have no contests coming up. I will devote a little extra time to my upper/lower body training, and then pick one or two Grip movements that I will do for only 15 or 30 minutes to stimulate the grip that day.
Here are some of the movements I use most often for Grip Finishers.
I have grown to absolutely love training with the Mace. I use the Stronger Grip Mace/ Core Club from StrongerGrip.com. The dynamic nature of the Mace Swing causes you to clamp down hard with the thumb and the last two fingers. I also like to wear gloves on these to make the Grip emphasis even more challenging.
VOLUME: I like to hit 4 to 6 sets of 20 repetitions with my Mace, alternating between having the right hand and left hand on top each set.
Also, what is great about these devices is that their weight is adjustable. They are filled with shot through a hole in the head and you can get started light and gradually work up as your technique gets better.
If you’re interested in picking up a Mace, click here => Stronger Grip Mace. I work with Ryan at SG as an affiliate, but that isn’t why I recommend them, it’s because these things are cool, tough, and fun!
Club Swinging is similar to Mace Swinging in that the movements require a strong grip in order to perform the movement correctly. If you have weak hands or wrists, then there is no way you can do a lot of the movements with the Clubs unless they are very light. I keep the clubs loaded to capacity with steel shot and keep the movements simple in order to focus on dynamic hand and wrist strength.
One thing you may not realize is that Clubs and Maces also require substantial engagement from the lats in order to perform swings with them, especially if you are going heavy. For that matter, I like to hit some simple casting movements with my Club prior to bench, overhead press, and pull-ups.
VOLUME: I like to hit 3 sets with each hand. I stick with groups of 12 reps. The first set is done with a regular cadence, starting with my hand near my rib cage and ending there as well. I then do a set that involves quite a bit of momentum and speed, focusing on whipping the Club forward over my shoulder back to the order position. My third set is then done with a dead stop behind my back and then blasting back to the order position. This really is great for stretching the tricep and loosening up the shoulders.
There are literally dozens of more variations you can do with these, especially if you stay very light, but I generally stay on the heavy side for that Grip Strength emphasis.
This is where you can pick up your fully adjustable Stronger Grip Clubs. <= Click there
Forearm Rotation Work
Forearm Rotation (Pronation and Supination) is a must for anyone who plays sports and runs the risk of developing forearm pain like epicondylits (Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow). When I do a good job keeping this in my routine, my forearms are pain free. I’m guilty of complacency just as much as anyone though, and sometimes I do forget, but for the last couple of months, I have been hitting these at least once per week again and I am feeling solid.
For years I did Forearm Rotation stuff seated with a sledge hammer, but I have been getting a lot more stimulation recently by doing them standing with my forearm parallel to the ground.
I often just use a sledge hammer or a leverage bar, but Stronger Grip also has a loadable Leverage Ball that I used with my baseball players when they were coming in the Summer and early Fall.
I think these things are great for Baseball and Softball players and I think they would also be great for Football players, especially Quarterbacks and Running Backs/Kick Returners because it requires a more Open-Hand position while maneuvering the forearm than sledge hammers and leverage bars do.
This is where to get your Leverage Ball => Stronger Grip Store.
VOLUME: I like to hit 3 sets of 10 to 15. I like to move the hammer really slow in order to feel it the whole way up my forearm.
Kettlebell Flipping / Juggling
You saw my recent post on kettlebell flipping with gloves on. That was VERY TOUGH. But usually I just do these without gloves on and I try to get as many forward flip and catches as possible.
This works the Grip big time. It is very dynamic and you must have strong fingers and thumbs in order to reverse the momentum of the flipping kettlebell and bring it back up for another repetition.
Kettlebell Flipping also requires a significant work load from the posterior chain, and from the postural muscles in the back and shoulders. Because so much muscular activity is taking place, you get breathing very heavily, so this one has the added benefit of increasing your conditioning as well.
VOLUME: It really depends on how I am feeling and how rusty I am. When I do these regularly, I can hit 20 in a row alternating between hands, no problem. My hands get slow if I haven’t done it in a while, but I shoot for 4 sets of 12 to 20 reps with the 95-lber.
Dragon Door makes outstanding Kettlebells. You can buy them here => Dragondoor Kettlebells.
Sledge Hammer Chain Twists
I honestly feel that this may be the toughest Grip Exercise I ever “invented.” And when I say invented, I simply mean I came up with it on my own. For all I know the Mighty Atom or Slim The Hammer Man might have been doing this for decades before I even knew what Grip training was.
Sledge Hammer Chain Twists literally hit every single aspect of your lower arms.
- They hit the flexors and extensors of your elbow
- They inflate the muscles on both the front and back of the forearm
- They can stimulate the extensor muscles if you pay attention to form
- Your pinky and thumb pads are flushed with blood for an hour after doing them hard
In order to do these right, I am convinced you HAVE to use a chain for accommodating resistance. I like to just wrap the chain around the sledge handle and tape it on with athletic or duct tape, otherwise it may slide around on you while you are working the movement.
VOLUME: I generally do just one set with the right hand on top and one set with the left hand on top, because these are brutal. I use a hammer that is 8-lbs and then the chain is like 20-lbs, so it gets pretty heavy.
Sledge Hammers are available all over the place – hardware stores, amazon, different sites. Just google it and you should be able to find something, but get something you like because they are pretty expensive.
Look, you know you need to work your Grip and what you do for it needs to be high impact. If you are looking for High Impact ways to get strong from the elbow down, these 5 ways have my backing.
Any questions, let me know.
P.S. Click the banner below to sign up for my Nail Bending Newsletter…
Articles You Might Also Like:
- New Way to Swing a Mace?
- How to Perform Mace Swings
- Tools for a Seriously Strong Grip
- Demolition Club Update
- Hammering Strength into the Wrists – Part Three