Best Strongman Grip Strength Equipment Reviews 2016

When it comes to strongman training, you are going to have to get used to lifting heavy weight. You’ll be grabbing, gripping, pulling, pushing and dragging huge poundage all over the place. Yet your ability to perform is going to depend on your weakest link. For many people, that weak link is their grip. It doesn’t matter how powerful your lats, quads or pectorals are, unless you can hang onto the weight, you are going to fail. That is why you need to get serious about training your grip strength.

In this article, we will discover the best strongman grip strength equipment on the 2016 market. We’ll also examine grip anatomy and give you the best gym based exercises you can do without buying extra gear to develop your grip.​

Grip Anatomy

In order to develop the key forearm characteristics of grip and solidity you must work for balanced strength around the associated forearm joints.

There are six forearm motions that you need to be aware of. They are grouped in pairs:

  • Wrist flexion and extension
  • Wrist abduction and adduction
  • Forearm supination and pronation

In addition to these we should also consider finger flexion and extension.

Each of the above motions is the result of individual forearm muscles working together in groups. Muscle groups work against one another in pairs in order to stability. This is similar to the way guy wires on opposite sides of a tent pole support each other.

There is, however, one odd muscles group that does not work in partnership with another muscle. This is the brachioradialis. It has no muscle group working against it in the forearm. The brachioradialis works with two upper arm muscles, the biceps and the brachialis to bend the elbow. Their opposing muscle group, the triceps, is located in the upper arm.

​Any comprehensive forearm program should aim to achieve development all of the major forearm muscles. Achieving balanced development requires devoting equal effort to the opposing muscle groups. Only with such a balanced approach will you achieve functional strength - and massive forearms as well. As an additional benefit, balanced forearm development will greatly reduce the risk of injuring your wrists during athletic pursuits.

Of the six forearm movements, four of them - wrist flexion extension, wrist adduction / abduction - result mainly from four muscles working together in different groups. The remaining two movements - forearm supination / pronation -results primarily from three other forearm muscles working in groups.​

  • Flexion at the elbow is governed by the brachioradialis.
  • Flexion of the fingers is governed by the flexor digitorum (finger flexors)
  • Extension of the fingers is governed by the extensor digitorum (finger extensors)

Best Gym Based Grip Exercises

Plate Pimches

Source: bodybuilding.com

Plate Pinches

Grab a plate off the weight stack, pinching it between your fingers. Tuck your elbow in at your side and hold the plate out in front of you. You will immediately feel this in your wrists and forearms. Specifically, it will work the flexors and the extensors. Hold the weight as long as you can on one side, then repeat on the other side.

Farmer's Walk

Source: menshealth.com

Farmer’s Walk

Grab two dumbbells, holding them at your sides with feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure that you are holding the heaviest weights that you possibly can. Walk up and down the length of your training area, squeezing the weight as tightly as possible. Keep going until your grip fails.

Wrist Rolls

Source: newhealthadvisor.com

Wrist Rolls

A wrist roller is a fantastic piece of equipment to help you build your forearms and grip strength. You can make one simply by grabbing a wooden dowel with a three-quarter inch diameter and cutting it to shoulder width length. Drill a hole in the center just wide enough to thread a piece of rope through. Burn the end of any frayed rope to stop it from cutting. Thread the rope through the hole in the dowel and tie a knot at the top of the rope. Tie the other end of the rope to weight plates or any other weighted resistance.

You now have a very effective tool for working your grip, wrists and forearms. Simply roll the rope up and down until your forearms can no longer handle it.​

Hex Holds

Hex Holds

Source: builtlean.com

Grab a hexagonal dumbbell with one hand from the top so that your fingers are gripping the hexagonal angles. Lift it up to shoulder height and hold for as long as possible. Repeat with the other hand. Keep your elbows tucked in at your side to keep the focus on the forearms and away from the shoulders.

You now have a very effective tool for working your grip, wrists and forearms. Simply roll the rope up and down until your forearms can no longer handle it.​

Dead Hangs

Source: fitstream.com

Dead Hangs

Extend yourself from a pull-up bar with your hands at shoulder width. Hang at full extension for as long as you possibly can. This move will develop grip strength and endurance at the same time.

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The Best Strongman Grip Equipment 2016: Grip Thickeners

Fat Gripz

Fat Gripz

Fat Gripz are thick pieces of rubber that are about a half inch thick. They will, therefore, add an inch diameter to the thickness of the bar. They have a slit down the middle to allow them to be easily taken and off the bar. Fat Gripz slide onto barbells, dumbbells or pull up bars. This will improve your grip and forearm strength.

Fat Gripz are made from a military grade, high density compound. Once you slip it onto your barbell, dumbbell, pull up bar or cable attachment, it will hold like a clamp. The grip will not compress in your hand, providing you with a true thickness. They are lightweight and will fit into the corner of your gym bag, allowing you turn any bar into an axle bar.

Fat Gripz have also come with their Fat Gripz extreme, which is a thicker version of their standard model. This one will add to the thickness of your grip by a huge 2 inches, making the simple act of holding the bar that much more challenging.

Globe Gripz

Globe Gripz

Globe Gripz are small ball like products that can add a whole new feature to your training. They have a slit that allows them to attach easily to any barbells, dumbbells, cable handles or pull up bars.

The unique thing about Globe Gripz is that they convert any straight bar into a multi angled curl bar, depending on how you hold your hands. It can also convert any straight bar into any angle of neutral grip. You are able to grip the Globe Gripz many ways. You can work your weaker fingers (usually the little finger and ring finger) by experimenting with the grip.

Globe Gripz are about the same size as a baseball or cricket ball. That makes them ideal to perform when training for pitching and bowling. Because it is the natural shape of your hand, Globe Gripz are the most ergonomic grip enhancer on the market.

Globe Gripz are very effective at reducing tension in the forearms and elbows for people who have tendon problems. The natural neutral shape is very comfortable, taking away a lot of the stress.

Gorilla Gripz

Gorilla Gripz

Gorilla Gripz are made from high density silicone rubber. By disbursing the weight over a large surface area they prevent wrist injury and the build-up of calluses. They also provide cushioning to the hands to make the lift more comfortable. Gorilla Grips will not compress, even when you’re deadlifting your maximum weight. They are also slip proof. They slip on easily and fit very securely.

The ergonomic design of Gorilla Gripz will add comfort to your lift while increasing muscle activation.

Best Pinch Gripper 2016

Rogue Hub Style Pinch Gripper

Rogue Hub Style Pinch Gripper

The Hub Style Pinch Gripper is a unique device that Rogue have put out the dramatically increase the power of your pinching grip.

It consists of a 3 inch diameter heavy duty steel circular plate that you attach to a weight plate via a carabiner and chain. You then pinch hold the hub and suspend it for as long as you can. This provides you with a unique challenge to improve your finger gripping power.

Best Finger Developer

Hand-X Band

Hand-X Band

The Hand-X Band is a big rubber band that has finger loops in it. You simply slide each finger through its respective loop. You then simply open up your hand to exercise the fingers. Opening and closing the hand counts as one rep.

​The Hand-X-Band is slip resistant so the loop will not fall off your fingers. The bands come in varying resistance levels. You need to do your reps slowly to avoid using momentum to open the band. Performing two to three sets of 15-20 reps every day will soon develop your finger strength.

The Hand-X Band is compact, durable and easy to use.​

Best Pinch Gripper 2016

Captains of Crush

Captains of Crush Grippers

Captains of Crush grippers are made of aircraft grade aluminium. The handles are knurled to maximize grip. They come in 11 different resistance options. Their most popular core grippers are No.1, No.2, No.3, and No.4, which range in pressure from 140 pounds to close all the way to 365 pounds.

The No. 4 crusher has only ever been closed by 5 people in the entire world. Iron Minds, the makers of Captains of Crush, recommend a practice gripper, to warm up your hands, and then a goal gripper, which is the grip you are trying to close. For men, you should start with the Trainer gripper as your practice gripper (100 pounds of pressure), with the No.1 being your practice gripper (150 pounds of pressure). Women should start out with the Guide, which provides about 60 pounds of pressure, as their practice gripper, and the Sport as their goal gripper, which requires 80 pounds of pressure.

With 11 models in the Captains of Crush line, progressing through them can get quite expensive. However, they are not overly expensive and are a very high quality product. The knurled grip will solidify your grip, but will make the gripper slightly uncomfortable to hold. For the grip benefits that you’ll get from the Captains of Crush line of grippers, however, a little hand discomfort is a small price to pay.

Conclusion

If you want to compete in Strongman, you have simply got to pay attention to your grip strength. That means purchasing specialized equipment that will allow you to ramp up the intensity of your forearm work. Grip thickeners are great because they will turn any workout into a grip workout. The best on the market is Fat Gripz. There are, however, a range of other great training devices out there, from the unfamiliar Hand-X-Band to a new take on an old stand-by, the Captains of Crush pinch gripper set.

​Now that you’be got your grip equipment sorted out, you need to focus on training gear that will help you in stone lifting competition. Check out the latest and best range of strongman stone lifting equipment here. Click here to read our latest best Strongman training equipment review.