Stronger Hands = Mo’ Better Kettlebell Workouts – Part Deux

Yesterday, Jedd Johnson, RKC, World Grip Champ, kicked off a blog series on grip strength. Catch the first installment here if you missed it.

Here’s Part 2…

2.  Band Tension Pre-Exhausts

One way to trigger improved endurance in a movement is to pre-exhaust the body part prior to the movement.  What we will do is pre-exhaust the hands before doing snatches, only instead of just holding the kettlebell alone, we will attach an exercise band to it in order to make it even more challenging to the fingers.

Perform 3 sets with each hand for near maximal time.  This could be 10 seconds or it could be 30.  Save a couple of seconds “in the bag.”  Don’t hold on until it rips out of your hand, as this could cause injury, too.  After performing 2 or 3 sets with each hand, attempt your Snatch Test or other endurance-based kettlebell training.  You should feel the difference in your hands fairly quickly.

3.  Jedder Swings

Write down how many one-handed swings you can do in a row…

When it comes to Grip endurance, the thumb is a very important digit as it helps anchor the fingers down during a lift, helping to secure the Grip.  If we take this “insurance policy” away, we cause the fingers to work even harder.

Now, the number you just wrote down is your goal with which to perform Jedder Swings. Jedder Swings involve performing swings exactly as you normally would, except do not allow yourself to put your thumb in contact with any part of the fingers or kettlebell handle.  You will have to hook your fingers around handle hard and concentrate on squeezing hard.  But you can’t allow yourself to give up early just because your thumb is out of the equation.

Your goal is written somewhere close by.  Obtain it with Jedder Swings, which are really just Thumbless Swings.  The concept is extremely simple, I just didn’t want to give it away.  Your fingers will get stronger and hold up longer after doing this kind of training and you will feel stronger for a longer time when you get back into your normal endurance style training.

4.  Snatch Plus Shot Palming

Over the years I have assembled a fantastic collection of Grip training equipment.  In this collection I have some industrial ball bearings.  They are similar to the shots used in Track and Field competitions.

You need to get something like this.  Here is how you will use it.

While you are Snatching with one hand, hold one of these shots in the other.  This will pre-exhaust your hand and make you have to work harder when it comes time to switch to the other hand.

You may lose a few reps employing this technique due to switching hands, but remember the objective here is increasing your hand endurance over the long haul.

If you want even more information on improving your grip strength you should check out Jedd’s new DVD – “Nail Bending – How to Melt Steel With Your Bare Hands.” Since Jedd is a certified Ironmind Red Nail Bender, I think we’re going to learn a few [more] things here that will definitely fast-track our kettlebell progress.

5 comments… add one
  • Paul Straw Nov 30, 2010 @ 11:03

    Hey Geoff,

    Great info.

    How would you incorporate these into the Burn 2.0? I am going into Phase 2 Wednesday. My workout days are W, F, Sunday? I used a 40kg for the swing portion. I can tell that my grip will be challenged going to one hand for the 15/15. That is why I am asking.


    • GEOFFN Nov 30, 2010 @ 21:17

      Hey Paul,

      A little bit before “Burn” as practice, but not to fatigue is a good way to start.

  • steve Nov 30, 2010 @ 21:12

    Awesome series guys, grip training has brought a whole new level to my training progress, thanks for the ideas and the knowledge you have shared.

    • GEOFFN Nov 30, 2010 @ 21:17

      Glad to help, Steve!

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