John Brookfield's Grip Tips
By John Brookfield
Author of Mastery of Hand Strength, Revised Edition, Training with
Cables for Strength, The Grip Master’s Manual, and Real-World Conditioning
Wringing Out the Towel
Here is a very simple, very effective way to train your entire lower arm. In fact, it is probably one of the best exercises I have ever found for the lower arms overall, and I have found a way to make this exercise a little more challenging than you might think.
Probably everyone in the world has grabbed a soaking wet towel or a wet shirt or pair of pants—one that is completely saturated with water. It is amazing how heavy a large beach towel or a pair of blue jeans become when they have been completely submerged in a swimming pool, river or ocean. You have probably then tried to squeeze some of the water out of the towel or clothing.
We are going to use this old concept for this Grip Tip. However, we are going to make it much more challenging—and therefore motivating—than just trying to wring some water out of some trousers the way Aunt Ruth did fifty years ago. I discovered this little game a couple of years ago and found it useful for gaining hand and wrist strength as well as packing on some forearm size, if performed consistently.
To start, you will need a large bucket: a five-gallon bucket will work well, or a large deep basin will also work. It is important to have a bucket or basin with enough depth. Fill it up about 75-80 percent full of water. Once the water level is right, mark the water level exactly with a marker on the side of the bucket or basin; you will want to be very precise and careful about marking the water level.
Now find a heavy bath towel and a stool or chair. Sit down over the top of the bucket and carefully place the towel into the bucket of water so that it is completely submerged. Let the towel stay under the water for a moment or two so that it gets completely saturated with water. Pull the towel out of the water with both hands so that the towel stays completely over the top of the bucket at all times. You don't want to lose any water on the ground around the bucket.
Now start to squeeze and twist the towel as tightly as you can. Be sure that the towel stays over the top of the bucket so that all the water you wring out of the towel goes back into the bucket. Continue to squeeze and twist the towel with both hands with great force. If you have not figured out the object of this yet, it is to squeeze all of the water out of the towel so that the water level in the bucket ends up reaching the mark you put on the side of the bucket.
This is not so easy to reach the same mark. You will have to really bear down to squeeze the last little bit of water out of the towel. Remember to squeeze and twist the towel for the best results. Once the water reaches the mark on the side of the bucket, repeat the process, submerging the towel again and squeezing and twisting the towel until it is dry.
Editor's note: John Brookfield’s books Mastery of Hand Strength, Revised Edition, The Grip Master’s Manual, Training with Cables for Strength, and Real-World Conditioning combine John’s limitless creativity with his friendly, downhome manner. John’s articles are also regularly featured in MILO: A Journal for Serious Strength Athletes.
To learn more about IronMind's world-renowned Captains of Crush® Grippers and other CoC 2 Grip Tools, please visit the IronMind on-line store.