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
The Bucket Drill
In this month’s Grip Tip, I will show you a unique exercise that will greatly enhance your explosive grip. This type of grip strength is crucial for performance in sporting activities. You will be working the entire hand, including your thumb. This exercise, the Bucket Drill, is also unique in that you will be working against yourself.
To get started you will need a mop bucket, a small home version, not the industrial type. Think of the type you wash your car with. You will also need some sand or some soft dirt. Fill up the bucket about half full of sand (or dirt) to start. Grasp and hold the bucket by the corner with your left hand. Now with your right hand drive down into the sand grasping and clawing at the sand. Drive and claw as vigorously as possible into the sand over and over again. You will quickly notice that the left hand will have to fight to maintain its grip on the bucket. The harder and more explosive the right hand explodes into the bucket, the harder it is for the left hand to hold onto the grip of the bucket. Be sure to change your grip to your right hand holding the bucket and your left hand grasping at the sand. This will ensure equal development and also help you last for longer durations. As you improve, work to drive harder into the sand while grasping harder and harder. This will also force the opposite hand holding the bucket to get stronger and develop more endurance. Also as you get stronger, place more sand into the bucket. This will add more resistance to both hands throughout the exercise. Once again be sure to change hands and use equal time with each aspect of the exercise. You will find this exercise very motivating and results producing. Also, as you continue to improve, you can move to a larger bucket to hold more sand. Try the Bucket Drill and take your usable hand strength to new heights.
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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