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Grip and forearm training by Tony Horton

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The argument is circular and not just limited to the topic of grip. This debate extends to fitness training in general. There are those top shooters who believe that grip training or fitness training is important to their success. There are other top shooters who do not believe it is important and thus it is not something they invest a lot of time or energy in. Individuals from both groups are successful so how can we say that one position or the other is correct or incorrect. We have to decide for ourselves what is best for us.

For me I have chosen to put an emphasis on working out. While I believe this will be a positive for my shooting the real driver behind that decision has more to do with my health in general. Being overweight and out of shape was starting to cause some health concerns.

I also choose to invest some time in grip training. I feel like it will be a positive for me and the time investment is pretty minimal. Outside of my normal workout I spend 10-15 minutes about 3 times a week training grip.

What is a bigger time investment for me than grip training is the stretching and Flexbar work that I do to keep my elbows in shape. I spend at least 20 minutes a day on this. My elbow problems were entirely related to my shooting. My elbow pain got better when I started training grip.

Edited by ToddKS

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"IF" I ever decided to concentrate on working my grip, which I highly doubt I will ever do. I would definitely use the Captain of Crush Grippers or whatever they are called. In my opinion, the little springy grips trainers are worthless....

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What is a bigger time investment for me than grip training is the stretching and Flexbar work that I do to keep my elbows in shape. I spend at least 20 minutes a day on this. My elbow problems were entirely related to my shooting. My elbow pain got better when I started training grip.

Thanks for posting that useful information, and the great analogy to overall fitness. Can you clarify what part of your grip training helped your elbows? and what part of your shooting was bothering your elbows?

As long as ranger trace endorsed a method of grip training, I should also, in hopes of getting sponsorship someday. I officially endorse riding a 50hp dirtbike through rough desert conditions as fast as you can for hours at a time as the most effective grip training. :devil:

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Baseball players, as a group, are widely thought of as having superior grip strength but very few would be considered meat heads.

Maybe in your world. Here on earth, baseball players are the kings of meatheadedness. ;)

Good point about farmers tho. Thanks for supporting my point, which is that athletic or hard-working people may not need to work on grip strength, whereas sedentary people and couch potatos do.

I think maybe we have different definitions of the term "meathead". Actually, we definitely have different definitions. Typically it is used to describe guys who spend all there time in the gym "gettin big, bro!" If you are implying that baseball players generally behave like dumbass frat boys and have a general aversion to hard physical training then I completely agree.

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At the end of the day, the physics are plain that grip strength will reduce muzzle flip.

Not as much as solid technique will, in my opinion......

Plus -- you're overthinking it -- just let the recoil be what it's going to be. As long as the sights settle back where they were, you're ready to fire that next shot -- and given how rapidly guns cycle, it's really cycle time that determines how quickly you can fire the next round....

If you feel like you're waiting on the gun, then my guess is that your grip isn't neutral and you;re not letting the gun/sights return to the same spot.....

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What is a bigger time investment for me than grip training is the stretching and Flexbar work that I do to keep my elbows in shape. I spend at least 20 minutes a day on this. My elbow problems were entirely related to my shooting. My elbow pain got better when I started training grip.

Thanks for posting that useful information, and the great analogy to overall fitness. Can you clarify what part of your grip training helped your elbows? and what part of your shooting was bothering your elbows?

As long as ranger trace endorsed a method of grip training, I should also, in hopes of getting sponsorship someday. I officially endorse riding a 50hp dirtbike through rough desert conditions as fast as you can for hours at a time as the most effective grip training. :devil:

When I started shooting Steel Challenge I also started to do a lot of dry fire, particularly a lot of work on my draw. I went from shooting with my buddies on the weekend to dry fire almost every night with no transition period to prepare my body for that new strain. The result was tendonitis in my elbows, really bad in the right elbow. I made it worse because I didn't really understand what was going on. I knew my elbows were sore but I didn't really understand why so I just kept trying to work through it which was not the right call.

I got a great deal of relief from the elbow pain following the exercise plan I found here from Chad. Those 4 exercises are still the base of my elbow maintenance but they are now part of my "gym" workout. Here are some of the grip exercises that have helped my elbows:

1. Plate curls, palms up: I do these light and like to do a lot of reps. The hand position on the plate seems to hit some areas around the elbow that the normal curls do not.

2. Plate wrist curls: Also light. I do a lot of reps but not high rep sets. I like to do 5 or so then pass the plate to the other hand, do 5 reps and then back to the other hand, etc. I will do 30+ reps total at a time.

3. Behind the back wrist curls: These I try to move some weight on. Hits the forearm muscles in a different way then the dumbbell wrist curls that I do. (Typically part of my gym workout)

4. Supination/pronation hammer work: I use a dumbbell with a small plate on one end instead of a real hammer. Rotate back and forth from 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock.

5. High rep LIGHT gripper: I found that pumping reps on a light gripper really helped my elbows. The gripper I am currently using for this is a cheap Walmart model that rates about half of what my CoC Trainer is rated at. I bought the Walmart gripper to test the theory. I have a set of Iron Mind Zenith grippers on the way to replace the cheap POS gripper.

I am eager to get the Zenith grippers and will probably post my thoughts on them once I get to check them out. CoC grippers get all the press but part of me thinks that for shooting most might be better served with the Zenith.

I train grip a couple times a week but as you can see the grippers are just a small part of that. I also do some plate pinching and other things that I didn't list above as those have really been neutral as far a my elbows. Worth noting that while I do the light grippers as active recovery several times a week I only train my heavier grippers once every 7-9 days. The hands need time to recover from a heavy work out just like your legs do when you squat heavy.

To your point about your motorcycle riding, that is definitely grip training as well. Doubtful that you need much else with that as a hobby. I threw the shot put and discus in college and spent a lot of time lifting weights. When I was doing that I didn't train grip and don't think I needed to.

Edited by ToddKS

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How about a bucket of sand:

That won't work me and lots of other people, as it will quickly turn into a cat litter box :)

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How about a bucket of sand:

1) You must drive your fingers into the sand.

2) The sand must be HOT!

3) You must do both hands equally

4) you must wear a silk robe and have a shaved head.

5) When you are done, you must brand your forearms with a tiger and a dragon.

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I use heavy grips (cheaper version of captain of crush grips).

I definitely notice an improvement, but it's really quite hard for me at least to get past the next level. I feel like I've been doing them for a while with little improvement. It has helped with my gripping and recoil control though since my hands sweat quite a bit.

I don't know if you guys have seen this, but as a medical/kinesiology student, I really liked this episode from Colion Noir.

https://youtu.be/vT9IamQhSeI?t=1m32s

Edited by SlvrDragon50

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On March 4, 2015 at 9:23 PM, RangerTrace said:

"IF" I ever decided to concentrate on working my grip, which I highly doubt I will ever do. I would definitely use the Captain of Crush Grippers or whatever they are called. In my opinion, the little springy grips trainers are worthless....

This^

 

I ordered a pair of level 2 on eBay for $12 to try them out.  I kept them on my desk at the office and actually looked up the training routines, and it still took 6 months before I could close enough to touch metal.  Only person I met that could come very close to closing it was a legit 7 ft 365lbs ex Euro BBall player that looked Andre the giant but bald 

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My gun handling abilities increased noticeably during that training period as well.  That and an SIRT pistol did more than a year of live fire could have done for me.

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Other fun tidbits - since grip strength is largely derived from strong forearms, Farmer's Carry is also worth spending some time on.....

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Pull ups and chin ups...... lots of them.

 I work out every day doing calisthenics and in can close a 260 cock gripper which is a number three I think. Slowly work your grip up the switch to false grip pull ups, also vary in bar sizes. (1.25 up to 2.50)

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No doubt the CoC grips are great, but they're spendy.

A buddy who arm wrestles turned me on to the Iron Woody grips.

https://ironwoodyfitness.com/product/the-woody-gripper/

 

Adjusts from 45-345# and  costs 25.00

 

He suggested doing 15 squeeze reps, then to squeeze, hold, and bring your wrist in 90° and hold for 15 seconds,doing three sets.

 

I've been doing it for a couple months and noticed considerable increase in grip strength.

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On 9/12/2018 at 5:20 AM, Jamese35 said:

Pull ups and chin ups...... lots of them.

and in can close a 260 cock gripper 

 

That...sounds painful. lol

 

I do agree with pull ups being good for grip. Nice natural way to gain some grip strength without overstraining like some of those gripper-exercises.

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2 hours ago, jmtyndall said:

 

That...sounds painful. lol

 

I do agree with pull ups being good for grip. Nice natural way to gain some grip strength without overstraining like some of those gripper-exercises.

LMAO I was told once why would you want one of them cock grippers, when I first started training and the term stuck lol. If you need more force in your grip you can do false grip pull ups as well.

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