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
Rope Grasps and Release
In this month's Grip Tip, we will take a look at a unique way of developing your grip strength as well as your entire upper body. As many ways that there are to develop grip strength, this method will build explosive strength and crushing strength at the same time. It will also help make tough hands, which are a must for the true gripmaster.
For this exercise you will need a piece of rope and a bar, tree, or rafter to hang the rope over. I would suggest a rope 1-1/2 inch in diameter and a good 4 feet in length. If your rope is longer, simply let the excess rope pile on the ground; there is no need to cut the rope to a shorter length. The height of the bar or overhang can vary as long as you can throw the rope over it and easily reach the two ends that hang from the bar.
Once your rope is set and hanging over the bar, grasp the ends of the rope with one end in each hand and pull yourself off the ground. While you are hanging, with your feet off the ground, and grasping the rope, it is time to go to work. Quickly let go of the rope and immediately grasp the rope again before you slip off. You will need to really explode with yor grip to re-grip the rope before you fall. This will really work your explosive power.
Start the rope grasp fairly high up on the rope - as you let go and re-grip you will slide down the rope a bit. IronMind® | Photo courtesy of John Brookfield.
This drill can be done without your touching the ground. However if you are heavy or your rope is short, you can let go and quickly re-grip with your feet still on the ground. If you do use this method, however, be sure that you don't use your legs for too much support; just keep your legs bent so that most of your weight is held by your grip and arm strength.
Continue gripping, releasing, and then re-gripping the rope over and over without hesitation. If you slip too far down on the rope toward the ground, grip the rope up higher, and start from the top of the rope again.
This exercise requires extreme focus and timing as you grip and re-grip the rope. IronMind® | Photo courtesy of John Brookfield.
Another good exercise similar to this one is to jump from the ground and grab the rope and hold your weight off the ground. If you are up in bodyweight and this exercise seems too difficult for you, you can support a bit with your legs as your body drops downward. As your grip gets stronger, use your legs less and less until you are jumping, grabbing, and supporting all of your weight with your hand strength. Give this drill a try—with a little work and adjustment, you will get the feel of it and greatly enhance your explosive and crushing girp.
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.