John Brookfield's Grip Tips
By John Brookfield
Author of Mastery of Hand Strength, Training with
Cables for Strength, The Grip Master’s Manual, and Real-World Conditioning
Three the Hard Way
In this month’s Grip Tip you will learn a simple way to develop explosive power and hand–eye coordination at the same time. This simple training method will greatly help you develop athletic strength which will transfer quickly to any athletic endeavor. One important thing in training is to learn methods that transfer well and teach you how to use your strength, power and speed during movement.
Quite often, people train in the same “comfortable” body position all the time. With this type of training you can get strong; however, your strength and power is quite limited and greatly reduced when movement or any type of adjustment come into play. As everyone understands, sports and real-life situations usually have movement and changes that come at you very quickly and without warning. With this in mind, let’s take a look at this training tip which I call “Three the Hard Way.”
The only thing you will need for this exercise is a tennis ball or a baseball. The tennis ball of course has more give to it, but either one will work. Once you have your ball, hold it in one hand in a palm-down position at about chest level. From here, let go of the ball quickly and then quickly grasp it with vigor as it starts to fall down. Be sure to grasp the ball very quickly in the same palm-down position. As soon as you explode on the ball and grasp it again in this position, very quickly release it and then quickly explode and grasp the ball from the side with your palm facing inward toward your opposite hand. Once again, be sure to grasp the ball with power and vigor. Once you have the ball in the palm-facing-inward position, without hesitation let go of the ball quickly and then quickly and powerfully grasp the ball from underneath in the palm-up position.
You have now quickly and powerfully grasped the ball from different positions and three different angles. Start the drill over without stopping or hesitating and go through the palm-down grasp, the palm-inward grasp and the palm-up grasp as quickly as possible. Continue going through this cycle and push yourself to maintain your speed and power as you release and then grasp and explode on the ball.
You will find this drill very tiring and effective if you push yourself to explode and maintain your power. Continue for as long as you can maintain your speed and power with one hand, and then move to your other hand and go through the same cycle while pushing yourself. You will find “Three the Hard Way” very interesting and effective in the gains it brings to your chosen battlefield.
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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