Thursday, September 24, 2009

No B.S. Grip Strength

By Jon Doyle

Note: The following is an excerpt from the best selling baseball training book “Diamonds” and is being published here due to the enormous amount of mail I received concerning grip training and baseball.

To be rather blunt, grip, wrist and forearm strength training for baseball is severely misunderstood. If need be, I will be the one to tell you that wimpy wrist and forearm curls and rotations will not do anything except make your forearms burn. To this point almost everyone has told you this works.

Well, they were dead wrong! They have very little carryover onto the baseball diamond and are simply a waste of time. As is my mission on every piece of advice I give, I am here to cut through the BS and provide you with the truth about how to develop strong, ripped forearms that won’t quit and will skyrocket your performance on the baseball field, fast.

Ok, so now that you have tossed the muscle magazines that are simply a waste of time, let’s get down to business. If you want strong forearms you need to overload them with exercises that force the body to handle very heavy loads. Now that does not mean you have to load the Smith Machine with 7 plates on each side. It means you must use gravity and imperfect object to stimulate the forearms and wrists in unique and effective ways.

During certain Focus Lifts the forearms get a tremendous amount of stimulus that actually carries over to the field. Power Cleans, Power Snatches and Deadlifts all rely heavily on the forearms as part of the chain.

That point if key. When you swing a bat, you swing with more than your forearms and wrists. They are part of the whole “chain.” It should be this way in your training as well.

If you are isolating the forearms you are missing the boat. Just like isolation training doesn’t work for making you a stronger, more explosive athlete, forearms training is no different.

In my opinion, one of the quickest ways to increase grip and forearm strength is by climbing or pulling a thick rope. Doing so will literally force your forearm muscles to respond with a grip that won’t quit.

Ropes used to be in every gym class in the country, but are now very hard to find. In fact, the only one I have seen in an educational facility in the last ten years was at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Chances are you are going to have to set up your own if you want to reap the benefits of this tremendous drill.

Another very useful tool is towels. Towels placed over a barbell can prove to be a tremendous tool for increasing forearm and grip strength. Deadlifts, rows and pull-ups can all be performed with towels.

Another section that should be referenced in this book is the “Weighted GPP” portion. Exercises such as Wheelbarrow Walks and Farmers’ Walks will not only do wonders for your overall conditioning, they will also provide a tremendous stimulus for the forearms.

To recap simply drop the isolation work for your forearms and train them along with the other aspects of your training.

If you are interested in learning more about grip strength and baseball drills in general be sure to check out “Diamonds”

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