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Review : IronMind hand gripper

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IronMind makes great products. I have a friend that owns a couple of their grippers and he loves them. I'm too cheap to buy them so I do farmer's walks with two 5-gallon buckets with 70lbs in them. This is pure hell but has improved my grip tremendously.
There are lots of ways to train your grip without spending any money. One thing I like about the grippers is that they are so portable. That and the fact they make a great conversation piece that will often lead right into heavy utility knives.

In my school of the Cao style Wing Chun training, we're told to do chop-sticks twisting to increase the gripping power and wrist power needed in our forms. We start off using the bamboo type and slowly progress to the iron type when power devolops. Cheap and works well.

Cliff, I'm buying a Captains of Crush gripper. Please tell me about the difference between the "Trainer" and "#1".

The Trainer is much harder than even the "heavy duty" plastic grippers. They increase in resistance very quickly from that point on. Iron Mind says if you can do ten with a specific model it is time to move up and you still will not be able to close the new one. This was basically how it was for me. Copfish has my trainer and number 1, you might want to drop him an email about the difference between the two.

Thanks Cliff! I have the handshake from hell now!
I really noticed a difference in the Trainer to the cheap plastic ones. The #1 is a killer, but I can do 8.... so two more and I will need a 2!
Bought a #1. I am still unable to close it but am 1.1 cm from closing it. I see what you mean Cliff about the knurled aluminum digging into your hand. I like that feeling too. It doesn't bother my hands and they don't slip. You can really pack all the strength you have into closing without any slipping. My hands feel good after the workout. I have gotten progressively closer to closing it, i.e. you can see the handles getting closer to touching. Other forumites purchasing the grippers may wish to measure, and record, how close to closing them you can come when they first arrive in the mail. Then you can see your progress. BTW IRONMIND isn't set up to take Net purchases. You need to send them a check/money order.

I was at a hardware store the other day and they had some large clamps that would make a decent very cheap alternative to the Ironmind grippers. They were plastic and I would not expect them to last a long time of steady use however at only $2 each they would be a decent way to see if it would be something of benefit to you. The ones they had I would estimate as being similar in resistance to the #1 .

I wanted to mention another IronMind product - I also have the Titan's Telegraph Key, which is great for strenghtening the other half of your grip (thumb), which the hand grippers don't exercise(as well as finger strength). I've noticed a major improvement using both pieces. I don't need grip strength for work (unix engineer - but it is cool to crush a mouse or fracture a keyboard with your thumb!
), but I do lots of work around the house (put in ceramic tile, electrical work, etc.) The increased finger strength from the TTKey really makes some things a lot easier (twisting wires,etc.) I didn't really realize how wimpy my finger strength and grip strength were until I started using IM stuff.

...plus, I never drop any beer cans anymore!!
Cool product! You guys also might want to check out DigiFlex..... I don't have a link or manufacturer but we use those professionally with the advantage being you can train not only the flexors in your forearm but the intrinsic muscles of your palm. The DigiFlex offers the advantage of being able to work one finger at a time as well as thumb in each 'plane' of movement which is important because of the type of joint it is and the muscle attachments involved. You can save some money on the 'step up' equipment like IronMinds gripper by buying one that is too hard for you to press and simply focusing on an isometric 'hold' then progressing as your strength increases. Isometric incorporates more muscle fibers during repetitions and is VERY efficient at building strength. For a no-equipment workout, squeeze your hand, then squeeze your thumb and each finger in a pinch grip then walk your hand down into a martial arts fist moving one set of joints at a time ending with a 'hold'. for all these you then work your way up to being able to do a full 10 reps which is good for being able to build strength but my advice is to develop a routine starting with three set of 15, then 12, then 10 with the last one being all you can possibly do. Also, don't forget to stretch before and after as well as throughout the day to decrease soreness.

I know I can't hold the hate inside my mind
'Cause what consumes your thoughts controls your life
So I'll just ask a question
What if?

What if your words could be judged like a crime?
-CREED ('What if')
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