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
I am going share with you a great exercise that will pack added size to the forearm, as well as help keep you free from unwanted injuries. It is also unique in that it combines two different movements which together work every bit of the lower arm region, including the entire forearm, wrist, and fingers. It also gives the wrists a good stretch, working muscle fibers that are often unused, and the stretching of the muscles will also help prevent injuries. The Plate Seesaw is perfect for any athlete who needs lower arm strength, and it is also a jewel of an exercise for those seeking hand health.
For this one, all you need is a handful of weights. If you don’t have any weights, a brick or thin landscape tile could even work. To start, hold the weight at your side in a pinch-grip position with the back of your hand facing forward. Now flex your wrist backward so that the weight is pointing backward. From here, lower the weight to the starting position and raise the weight to the front by flexing your wrist forward. You are actually doing a form of a traditional wrist curl, first to the back, then to the front. However, this technique works the lower arm in a much different way as you will feel. It also utilizes the pinch grip because the weight is held down at your side.
Be sure to concentrate throughout the movement as you are getting a feel for it. Continue flexing your wrist backward, then forward. This will give you an unbelievable blood pump as you work to hang onto the weight. You will also get a great thumb workout as you seesaw the plate backward and forward.
You can go for reps, use a heavier weight, or even pause at different spots during the movement. I urge you to try the Plate Seesaw to enhance your lower arm strength as well as improve your hand health.
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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