Thursday, 05 April 2012 06:08

Grip training - using NO equipment

Grip training is (or should be) an integral part of any workout. A strong grip is an absolute pre-requisite for any genuine athlete, strongman, or fitness professional - not only that, but your grip strength, or lack of it, can actually limit your gains in other exercises that require a solid grip.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of proper, regular grip training, and when I say this, I'm not referring to athletes, boxers, fitness pros etc alone - I'm also talking about how important grip training is for the average Joe next door. Yes, my friend, that includes YOU too - a strong grip will help you immeasurably in a variety of day to day activities as well. A strong grip will also ensure you stay clear of the much dreaded Carpel Tunnel syndrome, which, given the pre-ponderance of computers everywhere, is a huge problem these days.

On a side note, I've read that some of the old time strongmen used to unscrew the wheel nuts on their cars by HAND - think about the finger/grip strength these guys must have had!

And today, I'd like to talk about a very simple exercise that will build the ENTIRE grip - forearms, wrists, tendons, fingers, everything - and it requires NO equipment at all.

That's right, NO equipment. No "wrist rollers", no dumbells for wrist curls (not a particularly good exercise anyway), and for those of you that are wondering, not even a chinning bar or somplace to hang from. Now, that last one is actually a GREAT grip builder, but I said something which requires no equipment, and thats what we'll talk about in today's email.

It's an exercise that the old timers used to perform with great regularity. It's an exercise done by most serious martial artists, wrestlers and boxers the world over. And it's something YOU need to do as well.

What is it, you might ask?

Well, the answer is: finger tip pushups - as in, pushups done on your digits. Sounds simple enough, and it is - but believe me, finger tip pushups WORK.

This exercise is an incredibly good grip builder - and it works EVERYTHING from the elbow to the tips of your fingers. It's important to remember that grip strength is not just depending upon strong muscles in the forearm - you need strong fingers, ligaments and tendons as well. And there are few other exercises that do a good job of training all this - with no equipment - than the finger tip pushup.

As I said, this exercise has been used for ages by martial artists, wrestlers and other sports people - but (as with many other GREAT exercises),  it seems to have fallen by the wayside these days. Let's face it, you'll hear folks talking about closing grippers, doing the "farmer's walk", or hanging from chinning bar - and while all these are fantastic exercises, we rarely find folks talking about doing fingertip pushups in their routine.

And for those who claim that fingertip pushups aren't a great way to build finger strength - well - work up to 4 sets of 25 fingertip pushups in good form, and then tell me how you feel. Most average people (even those who've been doing pushups) would find it tough to do ONE set of 15 fingertip pushups, let alone 4 sets of 25.

I myself use this exercise regularly in my training routine, and while it's NOT the only grip exercise I do, I make sure I do it on a regular basis. And the best thing is, you require nothing but your own bodyweight to get it done - so there's no more excuses for not training your grip!

Make sure to incorporate this humble and often forgotten exercise into your daily exercise routine - and let me know when you work up to 4 sets of 25 done in good form! 

Best regards,


PS: Pushups are a fantastic exercise, and I cover them in excruciating detail in Fast and Furious Fitness; be sure and grab your copy now!