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Why I'm Not Fond Of Grippers Anymore


Volko Krull

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Volko Krull

Hey guys and gals,

I thought it couldn't hurt to start a thread of a somewhat provocative nature.

I'm not strong enough on grippers to offer any kind of authoritative opinion, but I'd like to share

the reasons for which I've grown to dislike grippers:

1. To close a gripper, one needs to apply rotational force. Everyday tasks almost never call

for the production of rotational force via one's hand grip, with the big exception of pliers, bolt cutters etc.

2. A gripper handle is only 1/2" (?) thick. In the everyday world, tasks asking for great grip strength

almost always involve objects that are much thicker.

3. The resistance of a gripper increases as it approaches the shut position. Most grip-intensive

everyday tasks however require the application of grip strength by an almost open hand against

a static resistance or one that wields only very slightly.

(4. A personal reason: my hands are a hair under 7" long.)

Now don't get me wrong; I still love grip work, especially anything involving a thickbar and pinching.

I have simply come to feel that, although great feats of strength can be performed using grippers,

they don't hold much functional value (now this is where I readily admit that my own lack of strength

might skew my perception; after all, someone who can close a #3 must have very strong hands).

Anyone one here who has come to think the same over time?

best regards,

Volko

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I love grippers so much. Closing them is very satisfying to me. Therapeutic practically. I like to hold them and not even close them. Here is a haiku about grippers: A worthy challenge Rock the awe

oh yeah!! Hello Chris!! pleased to argue with you Let us take two athletes- one does grippers (e.g. closes 3.5 gripper from 20 mm block), pinching and thick bars - other one does pinch and thick b

I do agree that things like thickbar and pinch have far more carryover to real life than grippers. But then again, love is rarely logical. I still love grippers.

Josh O'Dell

I dont really use grippers to produce fuctional strength,

I close grippers to close grippers. I produced hand strength

from blacksmithing and manual labor my hole life. That said

i see them as one more way to test myself and to set a goal.

But reallity is i no i have gained even more hand strength using

grippers for months on end. For instance it helped my crush big

time in bending and bending helped my gripper strength. I think

Grippers along with a combo of other pinch, thickbar, bending

even just using your hands to make something. Plus i think people

get way to caught up on just grippers i do my gripper training go

However long it takes and forget about them for a while, focus

on the hole body then hit grippers when you are healed up

you get a hell of alot stonger if you let your shit heal up

that said i f!@#$/ Love grippers!

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Autolupus

Well #2 shows how much thought you've put into this!

Just get a tape measure out if you think an average gripper handle is 1/2"!

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Volko Krull

Autolupus: I've just measured the handle on my #1 at 1,85cm or 0,73" in thickness.

Alright, so I was off by about 50% looking at it without anything to compare it to. So what?

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Mephistopholes

Well...

I don't think they're the best way to build grip strength. But, like most things, I feel they have their uses. The problem is they often get way too much emphasis placed on them, when the reality is, I think they should be treated as an "accessory lift" to better grip training movements, rather than getting treated as a "primary lift" like they so often do.

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Cannon

I love grippers so much. Closing them is very satisfying to me. Therapeutic practically. I like to hold them and not even close them. Here is a haiku about grippers:

A worthy challenge

Rock the awesome crush power

This spring finally falls

(Haikus traditionally reference the seasons, see what I did there ;) )

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Autolupus: I've just measured the handle on my #1 at 1,85cm or 0,73" in thickness.

Alright, so I was off by about 50% looking at it without anything to compare it to. So what?

Technically each handle is roughly 3/4 of an inch thick and when you close a gripper and the handles touch that is roughly 1.5 inches. Just saying. No one does anything with a gripper by holding one handle (at least not that I know of).

Edited by Chez
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Mephistopholes

That being said, they're fun to use. Closing them has this sort of conquering feeling about...

And some of them are beautifully made pieces of equipment.

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Autolupus: I've just measured the handle on my #1 at 1,85cm or 0,73" in thickness.

Alright, so I was off by about 50% looking at it without anything to compare it to. So what?

Technically each handle is roughly 3/4 of an inch thick and when you close a gripper and the handles touch that is roughly 1.5 inches. Just saying. No one does anything with a gripper by holding one handle (at least not that I know of).

and while your closing it (before the handles meet) the handles are spread apart so its even wider. alright, I leave that point alone now :)

Edited by Chez
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Autolupus: I've just measured the handle on my #1 at 1,85cm or 0,73" in thickness.

Alright, so I was off by about 50% looking at it without anything to compare it to. So what?

Technically each handle is roughly 3/4 of an inch thick and when you close a gripper and the handles touch that is roughly 1.5 inches. Just saying. No one does anything with a gripper by holding one handle (at least not that I know of).
Nonsense. I squeez the shit out of only one handle sometimes as i cuss the gripper out.

LOL. I probably do that when I have too much wine and just forget about it.

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Anthony C.

My grippers are my family members. You sir, have insulted my family. I challenge you to a duel. :D

Edited by Anthony C.
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Cannon

I do agree that things like thickbar and pinch have far more carryover to real life than grippers. But then again, love is rarely logical. I still love grippers.

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Josh O'Dell

My grippers calm me down sometimes i just rate and

Oil them just to be messin with em!

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gripmaniac

At the end of the day they're just a piece of training equipment - albeit with the potential to be quite addictive!

Being wrapped up in solely attempting to close progressively harder ones tends to lead one away from the er. . . ."righteous path" of achieving and maintaining strong overall hand strength. Solely bending or pinching has the same affect.

Sometimes it's nice to specialize or focus on particular piece of equipment or facet of hand strength for awhile (particularly if you're goal-minded).

At the end of the day I find them to be a useful addition to my grip training - but I wouldn't go so far as to say they're my favourite piece of training equipment or that they're the most beneficial.

My $0.02

Dave

Hmmm. . . ."Most Beneficial". . . .that'd make for a good discussion thread . . .

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climber511

Hmmm. . . ."Most Beneficial". . . .that'd make for a good discussion thread . . .

The Olympic barbell has more potential for developing a world class grip than any other single item.

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Ivarboneless

I'll throw you a bone Volko!

I closed a 153lb #3 with a block set at nationals last year in the 74kg class (and some other #3 with my left), so I suppose I'm decent at grippers; however, I have grown to dislike them. I loved grippers when I first got into grip, and progressing to the #3 was very exciting, but now they seem to be troublesome. My grip in other areas seems to be perpetually increasing, but my grippers stay relatively stable. I don't ever lose strength even when I put the grippers down for months (or a year) on end, but I don't make gains like I do in the other lifts.

I'm sure I could train grippers hard and bump myself up to at least a 160s elite, which would be awesome, but it doesn't seem to be worth it in the context of my overall goals for one reason: the grippers give me tendonitis when I train them heavy. I'm primarily an armwrestler now, so I focus most of my training on armwrestling exercises, but I find that grip has a strong carryover to the table. Grippers, for example, thicken my hands nicely. I can train other lifts such as 2HP, axle, hub, plate curls, sledge work, etc. with no trouble, but grippers are almost an impossibility if I'm training on the table hard. I also used to bend, and bending fell by the wayside as well.

Man, I'm typing this wishing I could train grippers without the tendonitis. I do like them, I'm just frustrated that I can't train them as hard as I'd like to. Maybe this is a case of don't hate the player, hate the game. I suppose I have somewhat of a love-hate relationship with grippers.

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jvance

Grippers are hard on the hand and elbow but offer little benefit to overall hand strength. If you're too focused on grippers you're wasting your time if you are trying to build stronger hands. They are fun to close though and it is neat to close a gripper ya once thought to be impossible - like me when I first closed the 3. But if you want freaky strong hands and want to go anywhere in the comps - put down the grippers 11 months of the year and get stronger.

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Josh O'Dell

I think if you progress to bigger and bigger grippers

there making your hands stronger.. i think if you was

to compare say your dead lift strength when you started

And when you got to the 3 or 3.5 you would be suprized how

much better you could hang on to the bar... you do get fuctional

Strength from grippers in certain respects.

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MadMardegan

"Strength is never a weakness"

They may not have the best carry over to other areas but if you're improving on grippers you're still gaining hand strength

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Ivan Beritashvili

Volko, I didn't fully understand, you are a troll or seriously so far from grip-sport?

Closing grippers is a MUST for grip-athelete. Nothing else will strengthen your finger tendons like grippers.
It gives you carryover to overhand grip deadlift on oly bars (which will eventually give you carryover to axle), to vertical supporting strength, especially on cones and thin V-bars, to rope climbing.
If you don't regulary train with grippers forget about big weights in one-two finger lifts or Dinnie ring lifts. Forget about rock climbing without pain in tendons.

Try some unbraced steel bending in reverse and Double-underhand. You will see, how your weak finger tendons will void applying your wrist strength if you have any.

Seriously, your post looks like trolling the GripBoard forum.

Edited by Ivan Beritashvili
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bencrush

I do agree that things like thickbar and pinch have far more carryover to real life than grippers. But then again, love is rarely logical. I still love grippers.

Well said!

Grippers are the strippers of the grip world. We love them. Even though spending time with them doesn't have a ton of carryover to many other things. At least grippers aren't as likely to give us an STD.

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Josh O'Dell

I do agree that things like thickbar and pinch have far more carryover to real life than grippers. But then again, love is rarely logical. I still love grippers.

Well said! Grippers are the strippers of the grip world. We love them. Even though spending time with them doesn't have a ton of carryover to many other things. At least grippers aren't as likely to give us an STD.

Mine gave me crabs...
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Volko Krull
Seriously, your post looks like trolling the GripBoard forum.

Well, Ivan, forgive me; I might not be terribly active on here but I've been with this board almost six years. So rest assured: I'm not a troll.

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Volko, you have some real solid reasoning! In truth a human needs less crushing strength in life to hold , manipulate and transfer body power than to crush anything. Perhaps a combo of a crush with an iso hold at the end in varying ranges would be idea. Try some 3" block, or blob lifts or borrow a Pops gripper that can work the thumb in a choke pinch position, adjusted for range of motion ,and do static holds as well! I like grippers but they truly are only a part of grip strength. Good luck !

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climber511

Volko, I didn't fully understand, you are a troll or seriously so far from grip-sport?

Closing grippers is a MUST for grip-athelete. Nothing else will strengthen your finger tendons like grippers.

It gives you carryover to overhand grip deadlift on oly bars (which will eventually give you carryover to axle), to vertical supporting strength, especially on cones and thin V-bars, to rope climbing.

If you don't regulary train with grippers forget about big weights in one-two finger lifts or Dinnie ring lifts. Forget about rock climbing without pain in tendons.

Try some unbraced steel bending in reverse and Double-underhand. You will see, how your weak finger tendons will void applying your wrist strength if you have any.

Seriously, your post looks like trolling the GripBoard forum.

Ivan - I'm going to have to disagree with you on this. Grippers (at least Torsion Spring Grippers) are not necessary to build a good grip - sure they can help - but TSGs could easily be replaced by other things with good results. I seriously dislike TSGs and I don't believe I'm a Troll. :)

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