June 13, 2011

Developing Grip Strength

Anybody who knows anything about judo or brazilian jiu jitsu knows how important having a strong grip is. In any contest whether standing or on the ground the person with a stronger grip and deeper knowledge of grips and grip fighting has an advantage. So, it would be a good idea for anyone to be sure they have a strong grip!

How would you do this? Squeeze stress ball, tennis balls or those captain crunch things? Others might but certainly that is not the way it’s done at Scranton MMA! Squeezing an object countless times might give you more endurance in the wrist and forearm but the resistance is just too little to build any real grip strength. Should you then incorporate a load of grip strengthening exercises into your training regime? Only if you have time to add them into your already limited schedule available for conditioning and chances are you don’t! So what to do?

Adapt your training! First, rule out doing countless sets of wrist curls, reverse bicep curls, etc in favor of adapting what it is you do during your with regular exercise regimen. In regards to strength training, use free weights, kettle bells,  perform Olypmic lifts and grip the bar tightly. Pullups are also great for grip strength, they work better than reverse curls giving you more bang for the buck and a simpler workout!  Wrap a gi around the barbell when doing dead weight lifting to make it twice as thick and grip that. When doing pushups or squatthrusts or burpees, try to push the ends of your fingers into the floor, as if trying to get a grip on a basketball. Try rope or rock climbing — one of the best (and most functional) exercises for improving grip strength. Everytime you finish a session and take off your gi, wring it out a few times as if you’re trying to get the sweat out. Take a bath towel, fold it over, grip it as tight as you can and try to pull it apart. If you succeed it doesn’t cost much to buy another one! As a final suggestion, when you randori, make a conscious effort to do a degree of grip fighting but not so much that you won’t be getting any throws in.

Make these changes and before you know it you will have the gripping power of an anaconda and your sparring partners and opponents alike will quake in fear! See you on the mats!