Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Put the Finishing Touches on Your Grip - Harold Ansorge (1947)

More on Grip Training by Harold Ansorge:

Many of my readers will be at the point in their training where their grip is "good" but not "excellent." That is, they will be able to execute some of the above ordinary feats of gripping power but will not be able to perform the feats requiring a very high caliber of forearm strength. This article will show you the quickest way to put your grip, that is in ordinary condition, in first rate condition. 

As a supreme developer of the gripping powers I place the "one hand deadlift" first on the list. I will describe the correct way to practice this lift for best results. I recommend that all use the "hook" grip as heavier weights can be handled with greater benefit.  

The correct way to get the hook grip is pictured below . . . 

. . . First, place your hand over the bar in the proper place for balance. Press down vigorously upon your hand so as to get your fingers as far under the bar as possible, figure A, photo above. 

Next, place your thumb around on the wider side of the bar as far as possible, figure B.

Then, grip your fingers around the bar and over your thumb. Some have a difficult time because of short fingers or a thick hand. I find some cannot do it, even with much practice, on regulation bars of 1-1/16" diameter.

Next, place your non-lifting hand upon the corresponding knee. Bend your legs, keeping your back flat and lift the weight to above your knees as shown in the photo below. . .   

Note that the lifting arm is held straight and locked at the elbow. A record lift should be lifted above the knees. Keep the trapezius tensed at all times.

For exercise purposes, lift the bar about as high as shown in the photo below: 

Lower it to the floor and re-lift it again without changing your grip. Commence with a weight you can do with great effort -- for 12 counts (repetitions). Do three sets on each hand. Practice three times per week. 

After you complete the dead lift exercise, take two kettlebells as shown below: 

Swinging two kettlebells is a great grip developer. 

Grip both kettlebells in one hand, as shown. Now, swing the bells forward and up as far as possible, gripping them very tightly. Then swing way back between the legs and repeat for 25 counts, going higher each time. 

You will discover that the bells are very difficult to handle and will tax your grip severely. This is just what we are looking for. Be sure the bells do not slip from your grasp when you begin to tire, which will be about the 17th count. Do three sets of this exercise. It can be performed with two dumbbells as well as two kettlebells, providing the bells have a long enough handle to enable you to place them together so that they can be gripped with one hand. Do this exercise three times per week after the one hand dead lift. 

Be careful when commencing you do not overexert or pull a ligament in your wrist or hand. Commence easily and increase as your strength grows. Use about the same weight you use for the two hands curl.

Next, we have an excellent exercise I have practiced for years. I find that next to the one hand dead lift it tires my grip the most and adds the most in the way of increased gripping power. Grasp the barbell and pick it up to the position shown below: 


 Keep your feet almost together and execute 10 counts of the side to side exercise; that is, bend the body from side to side, keeping your disengaged hand on the corresponding hip. Now, still holding the weight as shown, step over the bar with your right foot and get the bar between your legs as shown: 

In this position do 10 one hand dead lifts; now, still holding the bar, change hands with the bar between your legs. Execute 10 one hand deadlifts with the other hand. Then, step over the bar and execute 10 side to side movements. Now, you have exercised one section of the exercise. 

Set the bar down and rest one minute and repeat until you have performed it 10 complete times. This latter exercise is excellent as a few practice periods will convince you. Now, as for the weight you should use, let me advise you to commence very slowly to become accustomed to the exertion. At first you may think the exercise is too difficult. This will be because you will have too heavy a weight. 

You will not feel it first in your gripping muscles at first because your weight handled will not be sufficient heft; however, as you increase the weight and your back becomes used to the strain you will commence to tire after the first set of side to sides. 

The stepping over the bar is not difficult if your grip is secure. Be sure your grip is okay and look out for your toes. Better have catchers the first time your try it. It is fun to see how many pounds you can do and how many sets your grip will take before tiring.   

These exercises will put your grip in first class order. If you combine them with your regular barbell exercises, do not do the two hands dead lift as this will work the back muscles enough. To combine the two would constitute overwork. 

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