Grip and Forearm Exercise Equipment. When deciding on which grip and forearm exercise equipment to invest in and use – your best plan of attack is to look at what training tools hit which aspect of grip and forearm strength. In other words to identify the minimum amount of training tools you can use to cover the various aspects of grip strength without breaking the bank.
Obviously the tools and exercises that are suited to a powerlifter are different to the ones that will suit a martial artist or a rock climber.
It is beyond the scope of this article to identify what equipment and exercises are suitable for every different trainee.
There have been books written on that subject which have already been mentioned in this section.
My goal in this article is to identify what is the minimum amount of equipment that will cover crushing grip, pinch grip, explosive grip, individual finger strength, wrist and forearm strength.
So for the trainee who wants decent all round forearm and grip strength for Iron game training, work and for improvements in sporting performance – the following equipment will do the job.
A shortlist of essential grip and forearm exercise equipment:
Thick handled barbells and dumbbells
These are excellent tools for crushing grip, forearm and whole body strength. Two inch thick dumbbells and up to three inch thick barbells are excellent tools if you have them in your gym or are lucky enough to own either.
If you live in the UK you get some great thick handled equipment from Watson Custom Strength or Black Iron Strength in the US.
However if this excellent equipment is out of your range or you have nowhere to play with it you can still benefit from thick bar training by grabbing yourself a set of fat gripz which will attach to virtually any dumbbell or barbell and increase the diameter of the grip to between 2 and 3 inches.
These really are the best piece of grip and forearm exercise equipment you can invest in. I have been using my set for about two years now and my grip and forearm development has really gone through the roof.
Rope for climbing or pull ups
An inexpensive addition to your grip and forearm exercise equipment toolbox is a length of rope for climbing. However, if you don’t have the space or facilities to perform rope climbing you can get just the same effect from doing pull ups with the rope.
Invest in a piece of rope around 3 feet long and at least an inch in diameter and throw it over a chinning bar or the branch of a tree and perform chin ups from it.
If you’re not strong enough to perform chin ups then just grab the rope and hang from it for as long as you can and as your strength increases begin to pull yourself up.
Rope climbing or chinning from a rope will greatly improve your crushing strength, wrist strength, forearm and upper body strength.
Basically any size blocks that you can get your hands around and are heavy will do. The sawn off ends of dumbbells are perfect as they come in different sizes, shapes and weights. Gripmaster John Brookefield said that his gains after using block training were superior to any other training that he had used.
That in itself is a good reason to give this sort of training a try because this man has used every type of grip training you can imagine. I must confess I haven’t used this kind of training yet but it is definitely on my ‘to do’ list.
Some exercises you can perform with these blocks are:
- Block toss – tossing the block from hand to hand.
- Farmers walk – picking up a couple of heavy blocks and walk for time or distance.
- Clean and press – the same as the barbell exercise except with blocks.
- Block snatch – the same as barbell or dumbbell snatches except with the blocks.
Block training will increase your pinching grip and the strength in your individual fingers and upper body strength.
Bag catching is a great exercise for developing explosive grip strength and you can make this grip tool yourself. All you need is a money sack like the ones used by the banks. Simply fill it up with steel shot or tiny screws from the hardware shop.
Once the bag is filled tightly cover the whole thing with duct tape which will reinforce the bag and make it last longer. To perform the exercise simply toss the bag in the air at around head height and grab it out of the air with the other hand.
The trick is to grab the bag as fast and hard as you can. Continue until you are tired, take a little rest then perform the same amount of ‘grabs’ with the other hand. This will develop individual finger strength and also explosiveness.
So there you have it – 4 pieces of grip and forearm exercise equipment that will work all aspects of grip strength without spending a fortune on a multitude of training tools.