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Tales from the Texan!

Get a Grip!

Travis Burkybile

Today's post is a quick hitter. For those of you who don't know what the red and blue grips on those dumbbells are, this post is for you! They are called Fat Gripz. They are removable and work on any standard cable attachement, dumbbell, or barbell. They are virtually unbreakable and have a number of benefits for any trainee from beginner to advanced. If you are training to rip phonebooks, or improve hand strength for rehab purposes you need specific grip exercises. If you are looking for variety and a bit of a spark to your normal routine consider the following.

  1. They reduce the L vs R asymmetry in the upper body. No peer reviewed research to prove this, just observation as a coach and conversations with other coaches. 
  2. They improve movement patterns- Beginners often struggle with the timing and sequence in pressing movments. By keeping the weight centered in the hand and good balance during the lift these grips force good technique. Be prepared to use 15-20% less weight or more the first time you use these.
  3. Great for reducing wear and tear- 2 reasons. You must typically lighten the load, and you must have better technique. Older lifters with elbow and shoulder issues can often lift pain free with the thicker grip.
  4. More motor unit recruitment- These make you "turn on" more motor neurons and the muscle fibers associated with them. You are forced to use more of what you have. 

If you are a frequent gym goer grab a set of these and sub them in place of a standard grip in a few exercises each workout. Prepare to be humbled!