Training Your Grip

By | June 22, 2022

In a recent class we looked at grip training and featured some of the grip toys we have. A lot of people don’t really think much about their grip. Yet, across the broad spectrum of martial arts training, there are so many instances, whether empty-handed or using weapons, that could benefit from an improved grip. I know whenever one of my business associates focuses on grip training, their hand and wrist pain (from years of repetitive computer work) completely goes away.

Before using anything else, I tend to “warm up” with skill balls, also known as Chinese meditation balls. There are a number of exercises you can do with them, believe it or not, and they come in a variety of diameters. I find the practice very relaxing. The great grip master, John Brookfield, also uses them, and I think when I ordered them from Ironmind a few years ago, they came with a manual he wrote.

Next, I move on to some expand-your-hands rubber bands. I place all five fingers in the band as it rests/loops around the fingernails; I stretch my fingers outwards, opening my hand. In my opinion this is great for balancing out the grip work that requires so much flexing of the fingers and hands.

After warming up and stretching, I get down to the basics: Captains of Crush grippers, pinch grip tools, and various wrist strengthening tools like the Twist Yo’ Wrist and a Wrist Roller.


Everyone loves these. They’re kind of addicting, and every time we’ve brought them out for LEO training courses, they just can’t get enough of them. COC grippers come in many different strengths, starting with the “Guide” with 60 pounds of resistance. Most of you men out there will probably be able to start with the sport (80 pounds) or the trainer (100 pounds). It’s hard to say for women, and you’ll have to experiment to find out where to start. For strength, I would recommend training every other day and doing about 3 sets of 5-6 reps per hand. Once you get into the groove, there’s certainly more you can do. As a general rule of thumb, we say it’s time to move on to the next looper when you can do 10 good reps with one looper and are able to loop the ends together as you close it. If men can close a number 2 (195 pounds) they are entering very respectable territory. The same goes for women who close the number 1 (140 pounds).


We’ve got the hub grab (who needs tools to loosen lug nuts when you’ve got your monster hands?) and the block grab (for your C-clamp – great for shooters!). We use Olympic size loading pins (with clip). These are awesome and you can just pick them up or even take them for a little farm walk. I won’t be kidding you. Using these clamp grippers isn’t an incredibly exciting workout, but you’ll definitely benefit from the time you put into it. We also have several of the IMTUG grippers for two finger grip. These help you build strength in individual fingers.


I have a love-hate relationship with them. They’re great, but they hurt like hell. I have a “Twist Yo’ Wrist” tool. It’s cylindrical and you grip it like you’re removing a glass lid. With the weight attached, roll the climbing rope onto the cylinder and back down. It will set your forearms on fire! It mimics the wrist rehab exercises for ulnar and radial deviation.

I made my own wrist pulley using PVC pipe, climbing rope, metal washers and a clip. I drilled a hole in the middle of the tube and fed the climbing line through it. I attached a clip so I could add Olympic plates. Similar to the “Twist Yo’ Wrist,” I roll the string up and down and stretch my arms out, palms down. I suppose you could use it palms up, although I’ve never done that. I’d rather do regular wrist curls for this.

In addition to all of the above aids, kettlebells work wonders for your support. Some people want to wear gloves because they hate calluses, but they’re really missing out on the added benefits of hurling those little cannonballs. John Brookfield does a number of different things for grip that cost little or no money, including “bone dry”. All you do for this exercise is fill a bucket with water, dip a towel in the water and wring out as much water as possible, hence the name, bone dry! Rope climbs and towel pull-ups are huge for grip. Picking up sandbags that shift weight can also be good for grip. We have many guides of grip training ideas and the possibilities are endless!

Thanks to Steven Mosley | #Training #Grip

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