Grip Strength Training

wowzer

Level 1 Valued Member
Any recommendations on grip strength tools for S&S?

I've worked past timed Simple and am working towards Sinister and am wondering if anyone has any recommendations on devices or exercises to specifically focus on grip training for swings.
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Well...., I am probably in the minority here, but (personally) I have never found swings to be in the least bit taxing on grip. It’s not like you have to squeeze the heck out of the handle or anything like that. A nice relaxed grip works just fine. Lots of technique.
Full disclosure... I only swing up to 32kg

That being said grip exercises that mimic the type of grip used in swings could help if you really think you need it. Things like heavy farmers walks, heavy deadlifts, COC grippers to some extent.
 

wowzer

Level 1 Valued Member
Well...., I am probably in the minority here, but (personally) I have never found swings to be in the least bit taxing on grip. It’s not like you have to squeeze the heck out of the handle or anything like that. A nice relaxed grip works just fine. Lots of technique.
Full disclosure... I only swing up to 32kg

That being said grip exercises that mimic the type of grip used in swings could help if you really think you need it. Things like heavy farmers walks, heavy deadlifts, COC grippers to some extent.
I have no issues with grip strength up until 32kg. At 40kg I'm noticing that the bell is starting to slip out of my grip. My 40kg bell happens to also be slightly slippy on the bottom part of the handle, which makes things especially difficult.

I hadn't thought about heavy farmer walks, I'll give that a shot. I started getting into deadlifting and just got a COC gripper (I ordered the Trainer which is a little lighter than I expected; going to buy heavier ones).
 

SteveR

Level 5 Valued Member
Maybe also weighted hangs on pull up bar for time or swings with soft gloves that make the hold on the KB handle feel a little slippery so you have to grip tighter
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
One should do the pronation / supination as a tool to keep ones elbows healthy in any case, especially if they do pull-ups.

Plate pinches are also a great grip tool, and (some form of pinching) should be a component of well rounded grip strength; but less specific to the grip required for a KB swing.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Any recommendations on grip strength tools for S&S?

I've worked past timed Simple and am working towards Sinister and am wondering if anyone has any recommendations on devices or exercises to specifically focus on grip training for swings.
The more explosive your swing, the more taxing it will be on your grip. Try some one-arm swings as part of your S&S with a heavier bell. Otherwise, the simplest thing you can do IMO is hang from a bar for time.

-S-
 

Antti

Level 9 Valued Member
I think it's a good idea to add in some training with a rolling handle. So instead of hanging from a pull up bar, hang from a barbell on top of a rack, or such.
 

Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Any recommendations on grip strength tools for S&S?

I've worked past timed Simple and am working towards Sinister and am wondering if anyone has any recommendations on devices or exercises to specifically focus on grip training for swings.

Swings.
Once you incorporate any extra grip work, your CNS will be tired, and your grip strength in swings will actually go down.
Use chalk, keep swinging.
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 7 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
A few things you may have neglected

1. Warmup your grip too. A few heavier swings or snatches usually does the trick for me

2. Check how you grip the bell.. a slight adjustment can mean a lot more control

3. Use chalk
 

Shugyosha

Level 4 Valued Member
If I remember well, it's written in the second edition of Simple&Sinister that extra grip workout is not a good idea. Instead, it coulb be usefull to make the swings with rest pause.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
A few things you may have neglected

1. Warmup your grip too. A few heavier swings or snatches usually does the trick for me

2. Check how you grip the bell.. a slight adjustment can mean a lot more control

3. Use chalk
+1 to all that

And one more: use the grip recovery (finger extensor exercises with or without rubber band) between swing sets as describe in S&S.... and fast and loose (shake the limbs).
 

Dayz

Level 5 Valued Member
I'd like to add: a small amount of pinch grip training makes my hands feel really good after all the support grip of KB training. I've read articles from grip training enthusiasts that suggest this will be better for hand health than extensor training. I'll track them down when next on my computer.
 

Phil S

Level 1 Valued Member
If I remember well, it's written in the second edition of Simple&Sinister that extra grip workout is not a good idea. Instead, it could be useful to make the swings with rest pause.
Grip work, especially isometrics are very taxing - but also very specific to the position and angles used - and intensity. Working the thumbs and straight finger positions in pinching has had no negative interference to swings in my experience - even super setted. Hanging from a bar in the support grip however does. Sledge levers can interfere a little if the load is too high - but i do them for 10-15 and not to failure.
+1 to all that

And one more: use the grip recovery (finger extensor exercises with or without rubber band) between swing sets as describe in S&S.... and fast and loose (shake the limbs).
Rice bucket also works wonders if one isn't too sweaty. Much like part 1 of my reply reflects - My experience thus far is that more support grip messes with swings. But training all the other grip orientations in superset with swings appears to have no diminishing effects.

Moderate thick bar (1.5"-2.25"), crushing and rolling handle (same diameters) probably the most interference with support grip. Various pinches, extension, wrists much less.

A note on this is that obviously a timed S&S session doesn't work with this. If I'm gripping in superset it's probably swings then get ups then a grip set, resting as needed in-between. Still efficient - but no longer minimalism. I guess I'll have more data (n=1) soon though as my 40kg bell just arrived - a few weeks of 2H swings are called for first however. But i can confirm the 32kg has become quite easy to hold compared to 2 months ago. And beyond the immediate performance aspect - NO ELBOW PAIN. I've had elbow pain...like always. Super long lower arm segments - great for swimming, climbing - also great for tendon pain on the flexor origins. But these various exercises I'm advocating (and I unabashedly lifted from Adam T Glass) have kept those ticky joints working great, even as I swing and snatch on the regular.
 
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offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Elbow injuries... usually Medial or Lateral Epicondylitis.
Medial Epicondylitis usually caused by muscular imbalances in the forearm where the tendon attaches to the inside of the elbow. The hand supinating action of the biceps is battling with the pronating action of the palms away grip of the pull-up position. Pronation / Supination training with a hammer, or similar device is a good low-stress proactive training for the antagonist muscles in the forearm.
Lateral Epicondylitis involves the tendon that attaches the forearm extensor and hand supinator muscles to the outside of the elbow. Often times injury caused by repetitive grip work. Again the Pronation / Supination training is a great prophylactic for this as well as commonly prescribed treatment.

I can’t in medical terms properly describe in detail the mechanism(s) in play here, but I do know that pronation and supination work wonders for dodgy elbows...

Disclaimer / Caveats / Etc...
I am not a Dr. or Physio, or Sports Scientist, or anything remotely similar. But I am a high-mileage climber who over many decades has seen and experienced (and treated) in myself and others a lot of elbow issues related to climbing and training for climbing.

Note: Pull-ups are notorious for this, and although provide limited value to improving ones ability to climb hard, are a favourite of climbers the world over. (Myself included)

My tool of choice...
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