Friday, August 7, 2009
Grip Training - Harold Ansorge
by Harold Ansorge
Most body culture enthusiasts are desirous of developing a hand grip of which they are proud: one that will make the other fellow “sit up and take notice.” Among the exercises I have advocated are:
1.) One Hand Dead Lifting.
2.) Lifting Barbell Plates by the Edges.
3.) One Finger Lifting.
4.) Dipping on the Fingers and Thumb.
5.) Hanging From a Bar By One Hand.
6.) Tearing Large Catalogues.
7.) Card Tearing.
8.) Spike Bending.
All of these practices will give you a super-grip if practiced consistently along with your regular workouts with barbells, dumbells, etc.
Within I will be including three very advanced feats of strength. You will have to have an excellent grip to master them correctly. So, first I am going to outline for you a program to give you that grip. Your program will include the following exercises:
1.) One Hand Dead Lift – heavy weight – 2 sets of 12 counts.
2.) Flex Hands on Knees – medium weight – 3 sets of 15 counts.
3.) One Finger Lifting – medium weight – 1 set of 10 each finger.
In the above program, the One Hand Dead Lift is executed as follows: Straddle the bar. Place the free hand on the corresponding knee. Lift the weight about a foot from the floor, replace it and repeat. Use both hands and alternate.
For Exercise 2.): Sit in a chair. Place your forearms on your thighs but let your hands extend over your knees, palms up. Flex hands to the fullest extent while holding a barbell. When you extend your hand allow the barbell to roll away to the end of your fingers. It is here that you will receive the main part of your gripping exercise.
For One Finger Lifting: Secure a 1½ inch diameter rope and attach it to both the ends of your barbell. With a glove on your hands to protect your fingers, lift the weight with one finger at a time. Go easily at first so as not to tear your tendons or flesh.
Practice this program daily, once you have become used to it. When commencing, twice per week will be sufficient as your wrists and hands will be too stiff to exercise more often than this. Gradually increase the weights you are using and exercise more days per week until you are resting only one day and exercising six. Two months of this should see great progress in your gripping powers.
Once you have your gripping powers developed, start to learn the feat pictured in Photo Number One. Here I am pictured lifting two smooth plates by the gripping powers alone. When commencing this feat take a smooth 25 lb. plate and place a short dumbell bar through it. Add small weights to the bar and collar them on. In this way you can increase the poundage until you are able to lift smooth 50 lb. plates. The do the same with them until you are able to master the smooth 75 lb. plates. Do not practice more than three times per week at this feat or you will find your powers growing weaker instead of stronger.
In Photo Number Two I am lifting two smooth plates with the thumb and index fingers only. Commence this feat in the same way you did the aforementioned feat, with a 25 lb. plate, or 15 lb. if your grip is not yet that strong. Be careful at first not to overexert your strength and strain your index finger.
In Photo Number Three we have another great feat of finger and gripping power. This is bending bottle caps with extended index finger and thumb. Many have practiced this feat with the thumb and side of the forefinger. In this bending progress you place the thumb on top of the bottle cap and the bottom of the cap against the forefinger. This is much easier as the side of the forefinger affords a much better base for the cap than does the extended forefinger. To learn this feat, commence by holding the cap as follows: have the open part of the cap UP as pictured. Place your thumb directly against the side of the cap and have it in the middle of the end joint of the thumb. Place the other side of the cap in the middle of the end joint of the forefinger. Now, press your thumb up and against the cap, trying to roll it over as you press. At the same time exert force with the forefinger against the cap from the other side. Press the fingers together slowly and feel your strength and the direction it is taking or else you might flip the cap, as it is trying to escape with the effort.
When starting to practice this feat, assist your hand with the free hand and pinch the finger and thumb together. Gradually throw more and more strength onto the hand doing the actual bending until you can do it without the aid of the other hand.
A fine exercise to build the necessary strength for this feat is executing floor dips on the forefingers and thumbs only. Practice this dipping but twice per week and the actual bending 5 days a week for about 5 minutes. Do not tire the hands out too greatly.
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