John Brookfield's Grip Tips
By John Brookfield
Author of Mastery of Hand Strength Revised Edition, Training with
Cables for Strength, The Grip Master’s Manual, and Real-World Conditioning
Pliers Lever Lift
Here is another innovative exercise that I discovered recently. Some of you have practiced the pliers lifting exercise that I showed you in my book Mastery of Hand Strength. If you like that exercise, you will love this one.
What makes the pliers lever lift so unique is that it combines your crushing grip with the levering power of your wrist and forearm. This exercise can also be used as a feat of strength or to compete against someone else.
To start with you will need a pair of heavy-duty pliers, a table or work bench, a piece of shelving board, and some small weights or bricks. If shelving board confuses you, you simply need a board that is about 3/4-inch thick. Lay your board on top of your bench or table so that a small piece of the board hangs off the end of the table. Now you grab the end of the board with the pliers. From here, put a small weight or a brick or two on top of the board. You are now ready to test your crushing grip and also the levering power of your wrist.
Squeeze the pliers tightly onto the board and lift the board and the weight off the table, levering it up with the pliers. This move requires a tremendous grip and a strong forearm. The amount of weight on the board and the length of the board are up to you. You will find this to be an extremely demanding exercise, and it will also develop some toughness in your hands as you try to hold the weighted board. As you improve, you can hold the weighted board for as long as possible, or you can add some weight to the board. Be sure to work both hands equally.
You can also do this lift with both hands, using a pair of pliers in each. Doing this lift with two hands will help develop equal strength in both hands as well as identify any weak spot you have in any part of your lower arms.
You will learn to love the pliers lever lift as you get used to it. It will also help any of you who use IronMind's Captains of Crush® hand grippers. You have to squeeze the pliers so tightly to hold the weighted board that it will absolutely develop extra crushing strength on the hand grippers.
Editor's note: John Brookfield’s books Mastery of Hand Strength, Revised Edition, The Grip Master’s Manual, Training with Cables for Strength, and Real-World Conditioning combine John’s limitless creativity with his friendly, downhome manner. John’s articles are also regularly featured in MILO: A Journal for Serious Strength Athletes.
To learn more about IronMind's world-renowned Captains of Crush® Grippers and other CoC 2 Grip Tools, please visit the IronMind on-line store.