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
Power Walking 101
Here is an interesting workout that will build the whole body as well as give your cardiovascular system a boost. It will also test your motivation to continue and work through the urge to quit. To start, you will need a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells; you will want to use a fairly light pair for this exercise.
Start by holding your weights at your shoulders in the clean position. Walk forward while pressing the weights overhead, alternating hands. Continue walking forward while pressing the weights overhead. This movement will really work your core muscles, not to mention your shoulders. You will also find that it is quite aerobic. Because you are moving forward, you will probably want to press the weights slightly forward as you walk. This will actually happen somewhat naturally after a few times with this workout. Continue alternating the pressing as you walk forward. Once your shoulders fatigue, allow the weights to fall to the clean position, resting at your shoulders. Continue walking forward with the weights in this position. As soon as you can, start to perform the alternating presses again as you walk. Continue this method of pressing and resting and pressing and resting as long as you can. Remember to keep walking, no matter whether you are pressing the weights or holding them in the clean position.
It is up to you how fast you do the pressing, fast or slow will work; simply find the right rhythm for yourself. You can do this training in a variety of settings; for example, you can do this on the street, or around your yard or a track, even back and forth if space is limited. As you improve with what I am calling power walking, you may wish to try to walk up some steep hills, or you may wish to try even a light jog. In any fashion, study and learn Power Walking 101 to boost your performance.
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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