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The best way to train the thumb for closing grippers


jackhammer922

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jackhammer922

I feel that I need to take more advantage of my thumb power in order to close heavier grippers. That being said, I wondered what all you guys (and gals) thought the best way to train the thumb would be. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks

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Actually, I had said Warren was the guy who "basically invented the modern heavy grippers".  I guess "invention" was a poor word choice on my part.  Maybe I should have said, "re-introduction". Either

My typical pinch routine right now starts with 2hp on either the euro or flask but I have started with one hand pinch on each device as well. I normally then go to a wider pinch such as blobs or thick

Funny. I have been lurking on the thread while at work and skimming the conversation. I'll read through it tonight in detail and let you guys know my thoughts. I am big gripper nerd after all. bu

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Alawadhi

Pinch blocks and two hand pinch. Thick bar is good. Specific thumb training for grippers is TTK but don't overdo it.

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42 minutes ago, jackhammer922 said:

I feel that I need to take more advantage of my thumb power in order to close heavier grippers. That being said, I wondered what all you guys (and gals) thought the best way to train the thumb would be. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks

Hello!

I got myself a cheap pony clamp from Lowe’s and do reps and holds with it for the thumb super setted with thick rubber band extension work on off days while watching television. My thumb pad has gotten very thick in a short period of time with this method. I had a titans Telegraph key but got rid of it as it did not seem as effective and so easy to do anywhere as a cheap 2 buck clamp. Plus you can add rubber bands to the clamp to increase resistance. Hope this helps. I do that in addition to what my man Bader “Alawadhi” already stated!

Joe

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4 hours ago, Joseph Sullivan said:

Hello!

I got myself a cheap pony clamp from Lowe’s and do reps and holds with it for the thumb super setted with thick rubber band extension work on off days while watching television. My thumb pad has gotten very thick in a short period of time with this method. I had a titans Telegraph key but got rid of it as it did not seem as effective and so easy to do anywhere as a cheap 2 buck clamp. Plus you can add rubber bands to the clamp to increase resistance. Hope this helps. I do that in addition to what my man Bader “Alawadhi” already stated!

Joe

I totally agree with this.  You cannot beat the pony clamp.  And, if you watch the store, in the next week we should have a "Pony Pinch Kit" you can buy to turn a spring clamp into basically a "poor man's TTK".  I have used the one I made for years and it's my favorite way to train thumbs. 

Also, a bit of history that I didn't know until recently.  "Pony" was actually a major brand making spring clamps.  They went out of business and I see original Pony Clamps selling for $30+.  I found some articles that the company is coming back to life, which would be cool.  But the spring clamps that are on the market now are basically knockoffs of the original pony clamp.  So "pony clamp" is like Kleenex where the major brand kind of took over the name of the object.   

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2 minutes ago, Cannon said:

I totally agree with this.  You cannot beat the pony clamp.  And, if you watch the store, in the next week we should have a "Pony Pinch Kit" you can buy to turn a spring clamp into basically a "poor man's TTK".  I have used the one I made for years and it's my favorite way to train thumbs. 

Also, a bit of history that I didn't know until recently.  "Pony" was actually a major brand making spring clamps.  They went out of business and I see original Pony Clamps selling for $30+.  I found some articles that the company is coming back to life, which would be cool.  But the spring clamps that are on the market now are basically knockoffs of the original pony clamp.  So "pony clamp" is like Kleenex where the major brand kind of took over the name of the object.   

Here is a cheap Home Depot way......

 

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7 minutes ago, Cannon said:

I totally agree with this.  You cannot beat the pony clamp.  And, if you watch the store, in the next week we should have a "Pony Pinch Kit" you can buy to turn a spring clamp into basically a "poor man's TTK".  I have used the one I made for years and it's my favorite way to train thumbs. 

Also, a bit of history that I didn't know until recently.  "Pony" was actually a major brand making spring clamps.  They went out of business and I see original Pony Clamps selling for $30+.  I found some articles that the company is coming back to life, which would be cool.  But the spring clamps that are on the market now are basically knockoffs of the original pony clamp.  So "pony clamp" is like Kleenex where the major brand kind of took over the name of the object.   

Very interesting! That must be why the clerks in hardware stores look at me like I have  10 heads when I ask for pony clamps. None of them know offhand until I describe it!

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12 minutes ago, Cannon said:

I totally agree with this.  You cannot beat the pony clamp.  And, if you watch the store, in the next week we should have a "Pony Pinch Kit" you can buy to turn a spring clamp into basically a "poor man's TTK".  I have used the one I made for years and it's my favorite way to train thumbs. 

Also, a bit of history that I didn't know until recently.  "Pony" was actually a major brand making spring clamps.  They went out of business and I see original Pony Clamps selling for $30+.  I found some articles that the company is coming back to life, which would be cool.  But the spring clamps that are on the market now are basically knockoffs of the original pony clamp.  So "pony clamp" is like Kleenex where the major brand kind of took over the name of the object.   

Another thing about TTK.... very easy to inadvertently cheat. Can’t cheat a spring clamp or gripper. 

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4 minutes ago, Joseph Sullivan said:

Another thing about TTK.... very easy to inadvertently cheat. Can’t cheat a spring clamp or gripper. 

right but with a simple attachment the spring clamp could have better purchase for your fingers and offer more variety for pinch positions.  While still retaining the "no cheat" benefit ;)

I agree with you though.  Long live the spring clamp.  I was re-reading Heath Sexton's article at Farm Strength in there.  He reiterates as much there.  Paraphrasing "there are lots of ways to train your thumbs but you just can't beat a pony clamp."

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I use the imtugs for thumb stuff and like them. You can close them against your palm with just your thumb, or do a fee pinch variations. 2 to 4 are good strengths for thst stuff.

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Tom Flesher

Hey folks, it seems to me like key pinch lifts would be helpful here but no one has suggested it yet. Is key pinch not as good for building thumb strength as I thought, or just not Big Joe’s thing? :)

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Boulderbrew

I may be alone on this one, but in my experience I don’t think it’s neccessary to train the thumb specifically in order to close big grippers. I am far from an expert, but just my two cents. For what it’s worth I think training thumbs is really fun, just don’t see the translation to grippers very much. 

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1 hour ago, crushonomics said:

Hey folks, it seems to me like key pinch lifts would be helpful here but no one has suggested it yet. Is key pinch not as good for building thumb strength as I thought, or just not Big Joe’s thing? :)

I think that key pinch is a good USE of pinch strength but not a good builder for the thumb pad. To build I think you need the dynamic action and reps. Reps on a key pinch or hub is like a bunch of static holds. I feel it’s just not the same. 

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9 hours ago, crushonomics said:

Hey folks, it seems to me like key pinch lifts would be helpful here but no one has suggested it yet. Is key pinch not as good for building thumb strength as I thought, or just not Big Joe’s thing? :)

Yes very good point! I am not a pincher in general but I’m working on it since getting @Lucasraymond inch pinch and shallow inch pinch! Very good tools and low chance of web teearing!

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7 hours ago, Boulderbrew said:

I may be alone on this one, but in my experience I don’t think it’s neccessary to train the thumb specifically in order to close big grippers. I am far from an expert, but just my two cents. For what it’s worth I think training thumbs is really fun, just don’t see the translation to grippers very much. 

Tanner,

Training the thumb pad builds a bigger bed for the gripper to be set in deacreasing the distance needed to close it.

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Boulderbrew
1 minute ago, Joseph Sullivan said:

Tanner,

Training the thumb pad builds a bigger bed for the gripper to be set in deacreasing the distance needed to close it.

Right, but I don’t have a big thumb pad at all and I don’t feel impeded by the lack of thickness there. In fact, I set the gripper so high in my hand that the thumb pad isn’t what stops the gripper from sliding back. Could just be my unique hand shape (long fingers with an average palm)

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Boulderbrew
9 minutes ago, Joseph Sullivan said:

Tanner,

Training the thumb pad builds a bigger bed for the gripper to be set in deacreasing the distance needed to close it.

2E6998D8-C0AD-4B60-9EC3-CFC25D09AE85.thumb.png.8301e2e59ac893301b1f330928d7a9a4.pngkind of a lousy picture, but you can see how high up in my hand the gripper is. I wrap my thumb over my fingers which effectively takes the thumb pad out of the picture

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Tom Flesher
7 hours ago, Cannon said:

I think that key pinch is a good USE of pinch strength but not a good builder for the thumb pad. To build I think you need the dynamic action and reps. Reps on a key pinch or hub is like a bunch of static holds. I feel it’s just not the same. 

Thank you!

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47 minutes ago, Boulderbrew said:

2E6998D8-C0AD-4B60-9EC3-CFC25D09AE85.thumb.png.8301e2e59ac893301b1f330928d7a9a4.pngkind of a lousy picture, but you can see how high up in my hand the gripper is. I wrap my thumb over my fingers which effectively takes the thumb pad out of the picture

In general that is why it’s done. The thumb pad is still in play even the way you have it placed. I am no expert either, only been using grippers less than a year.... but since beefing my pad up the gripper seems to close much more comfortably than when I first started. May be different for some though I suppose. 

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46 minutes ago, Joseph Sullivan said:

In general that is why it’s done. The thumb pad is still in play even the way you have it placed. I am no expert either, only been using grippers less than a year.... but since beefing my pad up the gripper seems to close much more comfortably than when I first started. May be different for some though I suppose. 

I tried to post a pic on here but it doesn’t let me so I will post a video of a gripper warm up set to show you how it is in my hand. It sets nice in the crook of my thumb pad.

 

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richcottrell

This is my chance to plug the CinePinch.  More comfortable then the TTK and you can make one out of wood as the weights used are not excessive. 

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Alawadhi
On 2/23/2018 at 4:13 PM, Joseph Sullivan said:

In general that is why it’s done. The thumb pad is still in play even the way you have it placed. I am no expert either, only been using grippers less than a year.... but since beefing my pad up the gripper seems to close much more comfortably than when I first started. May be different for some though I suppose. 

Yea his hands seems build for it but if he gets a bigger thumb pad it will also work better. Keep it even more stable and thumb muscles will also push on the gripper so you need to close less actually.

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richcottrell
On 2/22/2018 at 11:30 AM, Cannon said:

Also, a bit of history that I didn't know until recently.  "Pony" was actually a major brand making spring clamps.  They went out of business and I see original Pony Clamps selling for $30+.  I found some articles that the company is coming back to life, which would be cool.  But the spring clamps that are on the market now are basically knockoffs of the original pony clamp.  So "pony clamp" is like Kleenex where the major brand kind of took over the name of the object.   

Matt, 
where did you see the old brand "Pony" clamps selling for $30 or more?  

I ask because they are very commonly used in the TV and Film business.  I have a friend who probably could fill a few boxes of the old Pony ones.    And I am sure out in LA there are plenty of them as well.
Also, I bet there are many college film programs they have boxes of them as well.

I am sure someone has a chance for  some Ebay gold mining.
rich

0123B24D-CBB8-4934-9A2A-8399F74850CF.jpeg

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3 hours ago, Tommy J. said:

Agreed. Never pinched to get my max gripper close up

My guess, though, is that from things like maybe climbing and manual labor, you and Tanner both actually had a thumb pad to start.  Meaning that you did the work at some other time even if it wasn't to close grippers specifically.  Not everybody does.  Especially on women for example, but I see a lot of hands that do not have a thumb pad to speak of.  I can't really say I had much of one when I started.  There is no denying that closing the gripper against something solid makes it all go better.  Think about how advantageous it is to brace the palm-side handle a little with your thumb.  I can go up an entire level of gripper that way.  

It's exactly what @Boulderbrew illustrated in his "I wrap my thumb over" picture above.  The gripper handle is absolutely buried under a cue ball of a thumb pad.  Lots of people don't have that.  The thumb pad is absolutely not out of the picture.... it's probably more than half the equation for what's going on in that picture.  

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