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
Stool Lift with Weight
Here is another fun and challenging way to build and strengthen your lower arm. As I have mentioned many times over, it is important to do things that are fun and exciting when it comes to your training, as this will keep you motivated. I call this one the stool lift.
Start by finding a stool or a small chair. Also grab a few weight plates around 10 to 25 pounds. If you don't have weights, you may want to use a bucket of sand or maybe even a few bricks. Now grab hold of the stool at the leg which is nearest to you. From here, lift the stool straight up off the ground, holding onto the leg of the stool. Once the stool is off the ground, and you are holding it out, place some extra weight on top of the stool and hold it there as long as you can.
There are many different ways to do this exercise. For example, you can continue to stack more weight on top of the stool until you can't hold it anymore. I personally like to place a couple of weight plates on the stool and as my arm gets tired, I take one of the plates off the stool and hold the one plate until I get tired, and then I remove that plate, which leaves me with just the stool to hold for a moment.
You may also wish to lift the stool off the ground with the extra weight already on top of the stool. This is fine to do; however, be very careful that the weight on top doesn't fall off the stool as you lift it. Also your stool may be so heavy that you don't need any extra weight on top. You will have to experiment a little bit to find the right stool and the right amount of weight to use.
I highly suggest that you work this exercise into your routine because its practice has great rewards. It works the entire lower arm and the upper arm and shoulder slightly as well. It is a great exercise for arm wrestlers and anyone trying to develop functional strength to perform strongman feats like nail and bar bending.
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.
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