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The best way to train the thumb for closing grippers


jackhammer922

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It makes a huge difference for TNS, whatever your opinion of how much it does or doesn't help with deep sets you have to admit that.

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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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Tearing decks of playing cards.  No lie. Its not a pad size builder, but your damn thumbs will turn into stubby i-beams attached to  atlas stones. Helped my set alot. 

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1 hour ago, Tommy J. said:

which does not apply to grippers since we use set blocks, or the set mechanics of parallel of whatever gripper we are closing. (Parallel is parallel is parallel on a #3 no matter who's hand it is in) meaning, fatness or girth wont change the distance the gripper needs to travel to close. 

It is not that it changes the range of motion of the gripper, it is that the gripper is sat further forward in the hand, and is less likely to slide back during the close if it is against the thumbpad in the "set" position.

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Alawadhi
1 hour ago, Tommy J. said:

Yeah.. in that same post you quoted i also said how to correct that. Change your technique. Tilt your wrist back, and roll your thumb forward. This achieves the same exact thing that having a meaty hand does.

 

the problem here is that Joe Kinney was the guy that said building the thumb pad up was necessary to close grippers. And he also said that guys who dont have a thumb pad tend to tilt their hand back to create a shelf for the rear handle. He made it sound as though it was a bad thing. 

And people have a tendency to think that every word he said was gospel. Im not a hater of Joe, but i certainly disagree with his saying slimmer handed guys are wrong for having a technique that makes up for not having a thick hand. 

Ok guys. Tommy here isn't talking about me. Tommy knows me but others and especially new people or the people who will join the forums in the future (when Joe Kinney in the future is a well known mythical creature just like Loch Ness Monster) might think I believe in Joe Kinney every word because I spoke about thumb pads. No I don't. I don't believe any of his claims like two finger #3 close, #4 close, 440 pounds squat in 60 reps (Ha what a joke!) and his silly monster gripper close which is beyond a BB world class by a big margin. I believe he was closing a #3 at some point based on Heath @Bearcat 74 meeting with the fictional character Joe long time ago when he gave Joe a filled #3 and he got it down quite bit but didn't close it. Of course the angle of how much he did depends on Heath view it can be 1/8 to 1/2 but it shows he was somewhat ok with grippers. And that's all. And for anyone who will say yeah but his handshake made Heath feel weak like giving him a pop or something. Dude, it can be anything. Handshake doesn't mean jack in grip strength. One of my uncle's has bone crushing hand shake and he barely closes a #1.5. Let alone a #2 (I am speaking about a guy who isn't into grip like setting and whatsoever, only take and close). I know another guy who is same. His hand shake feels he is AT LEAST a #3.5 closer. But he is not. Cannot even lift my 54KG inch fully. And let's not forget that Heath (please correct me if I am wrong Heath) went there and in his mind was this big wow of a man who can easily close a CoC #4 which world strongest men like Brian Shaw can't replicate in his dreams. That's is a mental pressure. Also the pop thing might be his hands were cold and Joe isn't and got a pop. It happens. I get pop sometimes by very weak individuals especially when I am cold.

So no Joe Kinney claims to me is nothing. I don't believe anything of it. Unfortunately I did believe him when I started back in late 2004 early 2005 but that's it (I did buy his DVD though lol just to see what new things he'll say). Plus most strong people don't believe in his fairy tales. Gazza and timmy is in the same boat too.

32 minutes ago, Tommy J. said:

Edit: and to my knowledge, Yori is still the strongest bw to rated gripper closer? And even if his record has been broken, Yori's report card still proves you dont need a big thumb pad to close some impressive grippers.

True, but a bigger/stronger thumb pad does help the gripper close. Anyone out there, try closing a gripper and DO NOT use your thumbs at all. I really mean do NOT. Don't move it, don't squeeze it, nothing. Then close the same gripper normally AKA using your thumb. Then try and close it thumbless. We see that thumbless is the hardest, then option 1, finally second option. Thumb surely helps but it doesn't mean it should be there. But better to have. And no this is my observation and then again I don't believe a word from the mythical creature Kinney and has no link to him.

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Alawadhi
8 minutes ago, Tommy J. said:

Bader, no one has said to not use your thumb on the close. I am saying that you dont need a big thumb pad to be effective at closing grippers. Period. I used 2 ACTUAL examples of ACTUAL people closing ACTUAL respectable grippers that did not have much of a thumb pad. There is no refuting that.

 

i also noticed how these threads always go in a direction where not so strong people end up trying to "educate" someone who is stronger at the exact implement we are debating. Lol funny how that works.

 

i guess i'll just go ahead and say what i really think- you guys acting like your thin thumb pad is whats keeping you from closing bigger grippers are doing nothing more than making excuses why you cant close bigger grippers. You (anyone acting like thier thumb pad is holding them back) are looking for every reason you can find other than admitting your not strong enough. News flash, it aint the end of the world that your thumb pad is thin. And that your not closing 3.5's. There is no need to make excuses for not being able to do what 99.9999% of the populace also cannot do.

 

and if anyone tried to say that the only reason i have a stronger gripper close than they do is because of my thick thumb pad, then my response is- Yori also has a stronger gripper close than you do and he has a very thin thumb pad. What do you make of that? Is there something he also has that you dont? And if so, what is it? i think i better start taking notes. 😆

Not sure on who you mean here by trying you educate you on this matter. But going back to the original post the man is asking bigger thumb pads might help him in his gripper closes and he is right. It will help him and he got the advice from Joseph, Cannon,..etc. Yes it is not necessary but surely it'll help. Who is Yuri and what did he close?

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Alawadhi
8 minutes ago, Tommy J. said:

Yori is the lightest guy to ever close a #3.

what will help that guy more right now than making him believe he can grow his thumb pad in any reasonable amount of time, is to tell him how to create a shelf for the rear handle of the gripper by tilting his hand back and pushing his thumb forward.

 

everyone can sit and believe all they want that a bigger thumb pad is going to help your gripper close, but the truth is, grip training makes your hands grow so little over the years that it is a non point worth making. The OP is more likely to close MM5 in the next 2-3 years than he is to get his hands to get notably thicker.

its like telling someone "just plant a tree beside your house real quick. The shade from that tree will bring your electric bill down!"

yeah... no shit, in maybe a decade if your lucky.

Oh yeah it makes since lol. I was reading timmy post just now and how he made excuses back then (he was a fake and a gripper killer who torches and stomps his grippers) that IM isn't sending him a gripper for certs. Then he said he missed the cert because his thumb pads aren't big like Kinney on that day. That was sooo funny to read.

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Fist of Fury
8 minutes ago, Tommy J. said:

And if any new guy around here thinks im lying about grip training not growing the hands, all you need to do is grab a tight fitting pair of gloves, lay them aside for a year. Train your grip heavily for that entire year, then go back and see if all of a sudden the gloves dont fit. And youll know exactly what im talking about.

I've done so and guess what, they didn't fit! :laugh

Strangely, my left hand does not want to grow as much, not much of a difference there but the difference on before & after on right hand is very big.

Even more strange is that my left thumb is stronger than my right, but right thumb pad is larger :laugh

I have not done much thumb training, my hands only got bigger from closing grippers.

 

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Fist of Fury
8 minutes ago, Tommy J. said:

Im gonna straigh up call bullshit. Unless you started as a youth and now your a man. And in that case it wasnt the grippers that made your hands bigger. It was an all over growth. 

the reason i call bullshit is because i would bet that i have trained more grippers, at a heavier rate, and with harder grippers over the last 7 years. Along with various other grip training. And my hands have not grown. What is the most reps you have done with a #3? Or an Elite? Also, with your alleged hand growth from grip training, what was the hardest gripper you closed when you started, and what is the hardest gripper you can close now?

From the original #2 i closed that was later rated at 108, i ultimately got to a single rep on my 188lb MM5 replica with a mms.

thats an 80lb increase in 7 years on rated grippers from day 1. Granted, i havent been training grippers much at all over the last 2-3 years. So i could easily claim i did that jump in closer to 5 years. i wont even bother mentioning my other grip training over the years. So when i say heavy gripper training, i actually mean it. And my hands havent grown at all. they only did what i intended for them to do. Which was get stronger.

 

unless there has been some heavy weight training along side of your gripp(er) training, and a substantial amount of overall bw has also increased, then your hands have not grown.

 

And here is another factoid, your hand muscles arent what gets worked when you close grippers.. its your flexor muscles/tondons that are in charge of strength on a crushing movement. Which are located in the forearm. Lol, so tell me again how your hands got more muscular from crush training? 😉

 

Sure man, no problem: My hands got more muscular from gripper training. It's very simple, you train your thenar muscles when you're squeezing a gripper. During this time I only trained grippers, nothing else.

 

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Fist of Fury
10 minutes ago, Tommy J. said:

Rrrrriiiiiiiggghhhhtt... okay so howbout some answers about exactly what grippers you were closing before your alleged hand growth (from ONLY training grippers) and after your hand growth?

im eager to hear that answer.

In what way is it relevant? My hands got more muscular that's what matters.

This is the problem with you Tommy. You always try to belittle people you're having a discussion with.

But just to put it out there. I was an adult when I started grip training. When I started my crush was around COC#1, then I stagnated and could do about 10-15 reps with the #2 and occasionally close the #2.5. My hands grew the most when I did RRBT. Then I went from around 125 RGC to 145 RGC. My best close is 153 RGC with authority. But my hands have not grown since I did RRBT, I have not trained for hypertrophy since then either, so I would not expect them to grow. Maybe they won't grow anymore, I don't know but they sure have grown and that's a fact.

I did not gain any weight at all either during this period when I did high volume gripper training.

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5 hours ago, Tommy J. said:

Btw im not trolling this thread. I too have a tendency at times to over analyze details that really dont matter in the grand scheme. I just had a guy the other day pretty much tell me in my bench thread that i needed to stop messing around, and that if i wanted to get good at benching, i just need to bench. And weather i like it or not, that is 100% correct.

There is nothing more true than that. If you want to get good or great at something you must do it... perfect practice makes perfect results. We don’t get our dreams of strength fulfilled just by dreaming, it comes by doing! Give that man a cigar for that advice! And that goes for any other endeavor in life.

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Not jumping in just sharing my experience a couple weeks ago-  I had a bowling ball fitted for me about 4 years ago( my BWT at the time was 220) and played in league,etc then gave it up. Fast forward- 2 weeks ago I took my family bowling after 2 year absence on lanes and my finger and Thumb not even close to fitting my bowling ball and could not use it(my BWT 223) My fingers, thumb hand have all gotten bigger- I have done grip training roughly 17 months not much grippers but lots of thick bar so maybe that's why my hands have gotten thicker.

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1 minute ago, Kluv#0 said:

Not jumping in just sharing my experience a couple weeks ago-  I had a bowling ball fitted for me about 4 years ago( my BWT at the time was 220) and played in league,etc then gave it up. Fast forward- 2 weeks ago I took my family bowling after 2 year absence on lanes and my finger and Thumb not even close to fitting my bowling ball and could not use it(my BWT 223) My fingers, thumb hand have all gotten bigger- I have done grip training roughly 17 months not much grippers but lots of thick bar so maybe that's why my hands have gotten thicker.

With a 112lb key pinch, id imagine the thumb hole would need to be in the vicinty of a silver dollar in diameter. You could probably bowl fine with just your thumb as the only available hole:D

i

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1 minute ago, KapMan said:

With a 112lb key pinch, id imagine the thumb hole would need to be in the vicinty of a silver dollar in diameter. You could probably bowl fine with just your thumb as the only available hole:D

i

Ha Ha, I certainly did not have the skills of F. Flintstone on the lanes.

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7 minutes ago, Kluv#0 said:

Not jumping in just sharing my experience a couple weeks ago-  I had a bowling ball fitted for me about 4 years ago( my BWT at the time was 220) and played in league,etc then gave it up. Fast forward- 2 weeks ago I took my family bowling after 2 year absence on lanes and my finger and Thumb not even close to fitting my bowling ball and could not use it(my BWT 223) My fingers, thumb hand have all gotten bigger- I have done grip training roughly 17 months not much grippers but lots of thick bar so maybe that's why my hands have gotten thicker.

My gloves from last year no longer fit me. Not even close. The muscles in between my metacarpals and by hypothenar eminence have gotten noticeably more dense. Genetics comes in to play on how much muscle you develop anywhere on your body, it definitely from the combo of all the grip training and sledgehammer work. One might not get that from just closing grippers or even at all depending on your genetics.

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Fist of Fury
45 minutes ago, Tommy J. said:

The only people who have a problem with me are people who have high emotional response to hearing something they dont agree with.

 

so back to some cliff notes. Your saying your hands grew from doing nothing more than a progression from a #1 to a #3 close? Good progress on the grippers btw. But how is it do you think your hands have grown more from doing less work, for less time, at a less intense rate than people who have done more work, at a higher intensity, with harder grippers?

and some more important questions pertaining directly to the topic at hand,

has your alleged hand growth increased your rate of gaining strength on grippers, or improved your gripper closing ability? Because in regards to the topic at hand (which is that hand girth helps gripper performance), why is it that your gripper performance has not continued to increase due directly to your hand growth?

because if the hand girth thing were true, then not only would you continue making gripper gains, then you would also be making the gains much faster as your hands grew.

I'm definitely not emotional about this. I know what I have experienced with gripper training. It was funny that you mentioned gloves because this has actually happened to me. Several of my gloves I have (it's cold where I live so I have many) does not fit my hands anymore.

You need to read my post again. My hands have not grown anything since I stopped doing high volume gripper work, at least not what I can see or feel. My strength has gained a slight amount and this is due to technique mostly and training specific for heavy 1RM closes. Also hypertrophy is no different than strength. A person only have a certain amount of potential on a certain amount of body mass. Progression is not linear forever, not for hypertrophy, nor strength.

I'm stronger with grippers in my meatier hand indeed. Which is also pretty interesting since I can set the gripper so much better in my thinner hand (due to unbalanced upper body strength).

I'm not sure if a larger thumbpad helps me or not but a stronger thumb definitely does. You say you can change your technique, I'm sure you're absolutely right about that but that doesn't mean that a larger thumb pad is not beneficial as well, both can make gripper closes easier. I find it more important on wide set closes where the handles easily slides back in your hand making it much harder. If not big thumb pads help you there, certainly STRONG thum pads will, to keep the gripper in place.

 

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Fist of Fury
9 minutes ago, Joseph Sullivan said:

My gloves from last year no longer fit me. Not even close. The muscles in between my metacarpals and by hypothenar eminence have gotten noticeably more dense. Genetics comes in to play on how much muscle you develop anywhere on your body, it definitely from the combo of all the grip training and sledgehammer work. One might not get that from just closing grippers or even at all depending on your genetics.

Yes very true, genetics, that's what determine ones growth, or lack of.

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3 hours ago, Tommy J. said:

I will use Eric Milfeld as an example to debunk the hand thickness necessity for closing grippers. Eric has some fairly thick hands when he is up in BW. And has been pretty good with grippers over the years. If you'll notice back to when he went down to the 74k class, he lost a lot of weight. All over his body. Even in his hands during the time. I recall because i remember visiting with him during the time when he had lost all the weight and remember noticing how slim his hand had gotten when i shook it.

 

but he seemed to have not lost anything gripper wise as a result. In fact, he even did his GHP7 cert while he was super thin.

there really is no magic in grippers guys.. you just have to train grippers to get better at them. And like with any strength goal, it can be a slow process. There are no tricks that are going to make you close that next gripper tomorrow, or next week, or even next year besides hard work with grippers. From the first time i touched Ironmind grippers, it still took nearly 2 years to cert the #3. At first i thought it was taking too long. And i kept thinking there was some secret i was missing. When in reality, i was a by product of the technology "now now now" mentality. I felt as though my name belonged on the #3 list a lot sooner than what it was taking me to earn that spot. But then when i realized that all i needed was repetition (i realized what i needed to do about 6 months in), it eventually happened.

 

and if indeed you are one of those guys that can do it in less than a year, then the proof will be in the pudding. But i will say this about the guys that come up on grippers fast.. you dont ever see them making threads like this one. They are doers. Thats not to say you wont eventually get there too. But guys who go on to close big grippers tend to not ask gripper advice. They typically know up front (or soon thereafter) that just training grippers will get them there.

 

same goes for pinch or anything else. You didnt see Kody on here wanting to know how to make his pinch stronger before he went on to take the record. The main guy that helped Kody along on pinch simply corrected his form. And that was Chris Rice. To my knowledge, his form was the only thing Chris corrected on Kodys pinch. Kody put in the hard work afterward.

 

and, if youll pay attention, the only advice i have given to help the OP out, was a form correction. Much like what Chris did for Kody. Take that for what its worth.

 

Edit: and to my knowledge, Yori is still the strongest bw to rated gripper closer? And even if his record has been broken, Yori's report card still proves you dont need a big thumb pad to close some impressive grippers.

 

"Don't let the truth devastate. Let it motivate" - Tommy Jennings Jr.

I  agree with how people seem to think they should be closing bigger grippers a lot sooner than they should be by performing a technical tweak or by some special formula. Most people mistakenly do not approach the grippers as they would say a max bench or deadlift. Not giving it the same respect as to how hard it really is and the time needed to be put in to make the progress. They fail to see that the tissues of the hand need to adapt to the great stresses being placed upon them just like the rest of the body with other strength lifts. Just as important is the central nervous system adaptation process required to recruit the muscle fibers to generate the power to close them. With all good things they take time. Treat your grippers as you would any other powerlift and you will progress. It will just take time. The true test of how much you want something, how much passion you have inside of you is how far and how long you are willing to go to achieve your goal! 

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21 minutes ago, Joseph Sullivan said:

My gloves from last year no longer fit me. Not even close. The muscles in between my metacarpals and by hypothenar eminence have gotten noticeably more dense. Genetics comes in to play on how much muscle you develop anywhere on your body, it definitely from the combo of all the grip training and sledgehammer work. One might not get that from just closing grippers or even at all depending on your genetics.

Bet watches need to get new straps with how much your levering

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4 minutes ago, Tommy J. said:

Not at all to troll you guys, but is amazing at how the hands apparently are all of a sudden growing at these noticeably higher rates with moderate grip training when in prior discussions here on the board, that has not been the case.

i actually remember a thread not so many years ago where nearly all of the elite grip guys, including non elite ones claimed that their hands had not grown at any noticeable rate, or at all during their grip training.

 

While the bowling ball story is the only one that gets my attention, i actually wonder if what your dealing with is inflammed thumb joints more than it is growth? Either way, how fascinating of an epidemic is this! Hand growth never has been reported around here before to such a prominent degree. 

 

And it kind of makes me wonder if this is a placebo affect more than anything else in a lot of cases. A lot like when someone decides they want to diet and eat healthy, then 3 days later overtighten the belt they are wearing so they can walk around and lift their shirt up to everyone and show how they have gone down in the waist already. Lol

Lol, okay. so your in agreement that strength is the factor. Now were talking!

 

 

 

 

 

Could be inflammed joints sure. 

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23 minutes ago, Tommy J. said:

Not at all to troll you guys, but is amazing at how the hands apparently are all of a sudden growing at these noticeably higher rates with moderate grip training when in prior discussions here on the board, that has not been the case.

i actually remember a thread not so many years ago where nearly all of the elite grip guys, including non elite ones claimed that their hands had not grown at any noticeable rate, or at all during their grip training.

 

While the bowling ball story is the only one that gets my attention, i actually wonder if what your dealing with is inflammed thumb joints more than it is growth? Either way, how fascinating of an epidemic is this! Hand growth never has been reported around here before to such a prominent degree. 

 

And it kind of makes me wonder if this is a placebo affect more than anything else in a lot of cases. A lot like when someone decides they want to diet and eat healthy, then 3 days later overtighten the belt they are wearing so they can walk around and lift their shirt up to everyone and show how they have gone down in the waist already. Lol

Lol, okay. so your in agreement that strength is the factor. Now were talking!

 

 

 

 

 

Wasn’t that the whole point of dicusssing the thumb pad? To get it stronger! A fat pad won’t help but a muscle pad will.

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Just now, Joseph Sullivan said:

Wasn’t that the whole point of dicusssing the thumb pad? To get it stronger! A fat pad won’t help but a muscle pad will.

The hands will not get bigger.... but they will get more dense and hard and some increased prominence in the areas of the thumb pad and in my case on the top of my hand in between the metacarpals.

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53 minutes ago, Tommy J. said:

Not at all to troll you guys, but is amazing at how the hands apparently are all of a sudden growing at these noticeably higher rates with moderate grip training when in prior discussions here on the board, that has not been the case.

i actually remember a thread not so many years ago where nearly all of the elite grip guys, including non elite ones claimed that their hands had not grown at any noticeable rate, or at all during their grip training.

 

While the bowling ball story is the only one that gets my attention, i actually wonder if what your dealing with is inflammed thumb joints more than it is growth? Either way, how fascinating of an epidemic is this! Hand growth never has been reported around here before to such a prominent degree. 

 

And it kind of makes me wonder if this is a placebo affect more than anything else in a lot of cases. A lot like when someone decides they want to diet and eat healthy, then 3 days later overtighten the belt they are wearing so they can walk around and lift their shirt up to everyone and show how they have gone down in the waist already. Lol

Lol, okay. so your in agreement that strength is the factor. Now were talking!

 

 

 

 

 

Tommy, I hope my hands are inflamed. I cant imagine how much more I would pull if not imflammed on the Axle (363 easy at contest Last December) 71.9lb IM Hub(easy same contest) 107.12(WR shallow hub key pinch at OSH'17)  can you imagine how much more my 2" 224.7lbs crusher pull in training would be w/o inflamed hands? or my 19 lb rear pickaxe? Or my 315lb Tips tester? I know you might not of heard of a word called OUTLIER - look it up. Epidemic? that's when kiddos think they can gain 125lbs on their bench press in 18months and magically be at 400 drug -free LMAO

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Climber028

My fingers have gotten slightly thicker from climbing but I can't see any change in the hand itself. 

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Just now, Tommy J. said:

Lol looks like triggered some more emotion. You know what, since your so sensitive to the drug-free talk, it must be because you use them? Why else would that be such a focal point for you?

you just said it yourself. Your an "OUTLIER". Could that be because of the drugs your using? Or could your hand growth "in 17" moths be because of some GH your using as well?

Lol, kiddo keep bench pressing 225x5 and big talk keyboard talk. You hating because Iam strong as fudge drug free- period

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