Friday, October 11, 2013

The Stronger Your Grip Is, The Stronger You’ll Be

           Why is grip strength so important? It’s essential to our everyday lives and not just for training or getting in a good forearm workout but it has the ability to save a life or help someone in need. A surgeon needs his hands to construct, repair or save another person’s life, a massage therapist needs strong and supple hands, an athlete needs strong hands to throw a ball or tackle someone, even in soccer at one point you need to throw the ball out into the field to get the best advantage of scoring a goal. A parent has to have some strength in their hands to carry groceries, help keep their baby up, play with them and so on. Catch my drift here?

            Your grip is a major key and I’ll get into different types of grip strength in a second but let me point a few things out. In the world of the strongman, your grip cannot be neglected because if you’re going a specific feat of strength, the majority of the time you’re going to be using your hands. You can’t bend steel if your grip isn't up to par, you can have strong wrists but you need to keep a lock on a bar a spike, if you’re Ryan Pitts at Stronger Grip you can’t swing another human being on his human swing set without having a solid grip and if you’re like Dennis Rogers, there’s no way in hell you can lift a fridge with one finger without training your grip. Now the majority of us aren't strongmen or a specific athlete or really big with genetic gifts of strength; most of us don’t realize how important our grip is, to hold onto a child, to carry a gurney to put in the ambulance to take someone to the hospital, to rescue someone from a burning building, to fight in combat as a soldier. The stronger your grip is, the stronger you’ll be.

            There are different types of grip strength; there’s pinch gripping which is having that alligator type snap, crushing strength like from grippers and thick bar lifts or using fat gripz, working the fingers like fingertip push-ups, twisting strength, working the wrists, playing an instrument like playing the piano or guitar hell even the drums, for carpentry you need precision and accuracy in your hands to build and carve things and also lifting something like the blob; there are many ways to develop your grip but focus on the ones that geared toward a specific goal. The more you focus on a particular type of grip strength, certain things fall into place where your whole body becomes apart of the exercise. A lot of people think isolating the lower arm will make them stronger, which is true in certain cases but when you engage your whole body as you focus on the lower arm, bigger things arise like your conditioning, strength in other place, muscles being used that aren't normally used. Think of Arm Wrestling, its not just slamming another guys arm down, it’s a full body effort.

            Mighty hands build mighty things period. A key thing to remember is to focus on the tendons and ligaments when you’re training your grip, this is where it’s most neglected because people mostly focus on the muscles and only do half the work. The more you focus on the tendons the more you realize that’s where your strength falls into place and will prevent you from getting injured. Using different implements like Sledgehammers for example to strengthen the tendons will help you succeed in your life. The most common injuries in sports and the work place are torn tendons/ligaments and carpal tunnel, you can prevent these if you focus on your tendons. Isometrics work very well with this because it gives your body the maximal effort without moving a single muscle. Steve Justa makes this very clear and it keeps things in perspective. Make it a habit to include grip strength in your training and you’ll see how much stronger your body will become just adding a good amount of tendon work. 

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