John Brookfield's Grip Tips
By John Brookfield
Author of Mastery of Hand Strength, Training with
Cables for Strength, and The Grip Master’s Manual
Here is an absolute blast of an exercise, one that is great for anyone trying to enhance his wrist strength, like an arm wrestler. It simulates the hand motion of someone turning the door knob to open a door, and it is an easy set-up to get started. You will need a table or a work bench; you can also use the edge of a deck, as in my case. You will also need a sturdy stick, broom handle, or even a thick steel bar. The thickness of the bar or stick needs to be about 3/4 inches up to about 1-1/4 inches in diameter. A one-inch diameter round stick would probably work best. You will also need some light to medium weight rope. The last item you will need is some weight - it can be a barbell plate, or a bucket of sand or bricks, or the like.
Once you have assembled your materials, tie the rope to the weight. Tie the other end of the rope around your stick. Place your stick so the end is lying on your table or bench, or the edge of your deck, as I'm doing. Remember that the higher your table, the more rope you can use. You will have to experiment a little with this exercise to get it just right, finding just the right amount of rope and weight to use. With the end of your stick in position over the table, the weight, which is attached to the stick with your rope, should be dangling slightly off the ground or resting on the ground. Grasp the end of the stick with one hand and turn it clockwise as though you were opening a door. As you continue to turn and twist the stick clockwise, the rope is wrapping around the stick and the weight is rising. Continue turning until the weight reaches the top and touches the stick.
From here, start turning your wrist counterclockwise, unwinding the rope and lowering the weight to the ground. Continue turning your wrist, first clockwise, raising the weight to the stick, then counterclockwise, lowering the weight to the ground until you are fatigued, then change to your other hand and repeat the movement. Remember, the higher your bench, the more rope you can use. However, the main objective is to continue the twisting movement until you are tired.
The rotation is an outstanding exercise for the wrist that I know you will love to perform and a high-caliber weapon in your grip strength arsenal. Rotate your way to wrist strength!
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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