Category Archives: grip strength

Get A Grip: The Program

Admit it…you’ve never really given your grip strength serious thought.  Grip strength is only given any consideration when truly needed, such as when you’re hanging over the edge of a cliff, à la Sylvester Stallone in Cliffhanger, rolling on a ground with a perp who’s trying desperately to wrestle your handgun away from you, or when the wife is prying the credit card from your (soon to be broke) hands. And if you ever find yourself in either of these situations, you’ll soon realize that the time to have started your grip strength training is long past.  

A bit too late to be wishing you’d been training your grip

In my blog post 3 Tips for A Strong Shooting Grip, I demonstrated a devastatingly effective grip strength program utilizing hand grippers.  Since that posted, I’ve received numerous request for an expanded grip program, employing equipment commonly found in commercial gyms.  This 4 week program, delves deeper into grip training techniques, which will not only improve your firearm handling abilities, but in controlling resisting subjects, regardless of whether you grab a jacket, arm, or leg.  For a review on the importance of grip strength for law enforcement/military personnel and the responsibly armed citizen, review my blog post 3 Tips for A Strong Shooting Grip.

Here’s the program:

A1. Wrist Extensions – Decline 3 sets x 10-12 reps

rest 60 seconds

A2. Pronating Forearms 3 sets x 15-20 reps

rest 60 seconds

B1. Wrist Flexions – Incline 3 sets x 10-12 reps

rest 60 seconds

B2. Supinating Forearms 3 sets x 15-20 reps

rest 60 seconds

The notations A1 and A2 mean to superset those 2 specific exercises.  For example, you would do one set of the A1 exercise, rest for the prescribed amount of time, and then do one set of the A2 exercise, alternating back and forth until all sets for both exercise are completed.  Start all exercises with the non-dominant hand.

An added benefit of a properly design grip strength program, is the reduced incidence of overuse injuries, such as tendonitis, due to the balancing of strength levels among the different forearms muscles.  Additionally, to further accelerate your grip strength levels, make certain to perform my “prehab rolling” I have included towards the end of the video.

From personal experience, I have found that the optimal training frequency for grip strength is twice per week, with at least 2 days of rest between your 2 grip training workouts.

Give this program a try and don’t be surprised to find your ability to mitigate firearm recoil greatly improved!  Just be certain to send me some photos or videos of your training.

An advanced grip strength program, which has been widely utilized by SpecWar and security contractor personnel, can be found here. For only $1.99, you will have complete access to my 3 phase, 9 week grip strength program.  Check out the free preview!

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Firearms and Forearms: Relieving Forearm Pain for Shooters

If you’ve been shooting firearms for a considerable period of time, chances are, you’ve experienced forearm pain.  Generally, the main cause of forearm pain among firearms enthusiasts is due to the over development of the forearm flexors.  Utilized when squeezing firearm grips and/or stocks, you overdevelop these muscles at the expense of your forearm extensors, muscles utilized when curling your wrist backwards.  The strength and usage differences between these two muscles grip is what primarily leads to what’s referred as golfer’s and tennis elbow.  However, forearm flexor pain is not only experienced by firearm enthusiasts, but anyone practicing any of the grappling arts (BJJ, wrestling), as well as construction workers and auto mechanics.

The solution is simple, to relieve the tension in the tight muscles, but not always easy to implement.  Hiring a qualified bodyworker to manually release the tension, can cost upwards of $250/hour.  Fortunately, there is both a simple and effective, but little known technique you can utilize RIGHT NOW.

The key however, is to practice the one of the techniques on a consistent basis.  Keep in mind, 2-3 five minutes sessions daily, will prove more effective than 15 minute session twice a week.  Also, once you forearm pain has diminished or been relieved, it’s vital that you keep performing these techniques.  As we say in the USN diver community “it’s easier to keep up, than to catch up.”

3 Tips for A Strong Shooting Grip

If you’ve spent any time reading firearm blogs or forums, you’ve noticed that the subject of shooting speed is one of the most discussed.  And usually, the most popular recommendations include handgun slide cutouts and/or experimenting with recoil guide spring rods.  I usually chuckle a bit when reading these recommendation, because however well-meaning, they overlook the most obvious answer: grip strength.

Possessing a strong grip, not only aids weapon retention, especially in slick conditions, but also assists with recoil management.  A strong grip can significantly reduce recoil, allowing your firearm’s sights to return on target considerably faster between shots.

After watching the video above, here are some additional pointers for your consideration:

Tip 1

  • This is also a great technique to utilize when a gripper exceeds your current grip strength capabilities.  Perform as many normal reps as possible and finish with a few of these special reps.

Tip 2

  • You can perform repetitions with both spring positions back-to-back.  Begin with the spring pointed downward, perform as many repetitions as possible and immediately perform additional repetitions with the spring pointed upward.
Tip 3
  • This technique is strongly recommended for law enforcement officials.  Recent advancements in non-lethal technologies have provided law enforcement officials with a greater choice of safer use-of-force-options, but this technology comes with a price: it adds to the equipment an officer must diligently protect from a takeaway.  Accordingly, law enforcement officers must possess grip strength capable of generating force in a multitude of positions, defending their weapons from attack in multiple directions.  The grip strength required to defend an item located on the rear of your duty belt is considerably different from the strength required to protect your firearm located on your strong side.  This difference in grip strength requirements is due to the different positions of the hands and forearms when generating strength.
If you feel your grip is lacking, or if your shooting partners have sufficient time to go to the local Starbucks when you’re between double taps, give my three tips a try.
FYI: Every pair of Captains of Crush grippers I own, were purchased with my own funds at full retail price.  I receive no compensation recommending these grippers.  I endorse them, because of their quality construction.