I have had my grip trainers (I have the Navy first run in case you were wondering) a fair while now and I have found them an useful tool cycled in and out of training, the type of grip you use determines the loading so, Bunching type grips will allow for more loading that pinching or pocket type grips. Bunching type grips are great for compound pull type exercises where as more tenuous grips work terrifically for lighter accessory back work. I generally cycle grip trainer usage every 4 weeks with thick bar work as I find this gives my fingers and joints time to recover. These are a few of the grip trainer variations I keep finding myself reusing beyond just straight forward pull-ups and seated rows.
Pullups are cool and all, but there is so much more you can do!
Single Arm Cable row
This kind of row teaches the athlete to both retract and posteriorly tilt the scapula. If you are someone with suffers with shoulder pain I have found this can be performed without aggravation. You can either take a staggered stance like Tim in the picture or stand with both feet about shoulder width apart.
Eagle lat row
Keeping an upright posture and a proud chest you kneel and pull the shoulder blades together before initiating the pull. This is great for teaching the athlete to squeeze and retract the shoulder blades.
The facepull is great for strengthening your rear deltoids and lower trapezius, pulling your upper body into its natural alignment, with the shoulder blades back and down. The grip trainer takes the place of conventional rope. You can either double up on handles like we have or use the rope attachment.
Supine Row finally a use for the smith machine! It is a terrific back builder and excellent for those that suffer from back issues bent over rowing. Just be sure to not let the hips sag. You can put your feet on the floor or to make it more challenging on a bench.
Suitcase row with lighter loading allows us to use pocket grip. By using a Barbell this eliminates swing, which doing the same lift with a kettlebell or dumbbells. You can anchor the barbell either in a landmine attachment or in a corner much like a T-bar row, just be sure there is something between the bar and the wall you don’t want gym management to kick you out for scuffing the paint work!
Band Press Downs
I like to use this as a finisher on upper body training days, high rep press downs combined with grip trainer misery. While pressing down I try and resist ulnar deviation as much as I can.
So there you have it my favourite grip trainer variations. If you have any you want to share drop over to the scramble facebook page and let us know!
This is an ongoing series of articles from guest blogger and Strength & Conditioning coach William Wayland of Powering Through. And thanks to Tim Stokes of BKK fighters colchester for modeling!