“The great Mac Batchelor had quite a set of strong mitts. As reported in by John McCallum in The Complete Keys to Progress, Mac could pinch a wine cork between forefinger and thumb, press down as shown and split the cork in half.
A very simple way to build your hand strength is with a simple baseball or softball. This one has been drilled and fitted with an eye-hook which allows weights to be hung from it. It’s a surprisingly effective challenge.
Here’s a piece of equipment that you don’t hear about very often – mostly because there aren’t many people that know much about it! You might find this gyroscopic grip device called a “Sports Grip,” a “Rist-Rassler” or a “Broncho Gripper” (in the July, 1918 issue of Physical Culture Magazine.) It uses a gyroscope to build grip strength and just like the ad says – It bucks!
Kettlebells go back a long way but Chinese Stone Locks predate them by several thousand years. Martial artists in China have been using stone weights like these to develop their bodies for centuries. There are, of course, many ‘kettlebell’ exercises that can be done with stone locks, but they carry with them their own specific kind of training — and a specific set of results. Stone locks training is particularly good for grip and forearm work.
John Grimek trained in every way imaginable and he sure didn’t neglect his grip. One of his favorite pieces of training equipment for building grip and forearm strength was the simple wrist roller — and it’s still great choice.
Wrist rolling can be done as shown, or holding the arms downward with a heavier weight.
Grip developers have always been popular and the “Victor Master Grip” is a good one from way back, about 1926 or so. It’s got progressive resistance through a full range of motion and you can adjust resistance by the number of springs. You’ll still see this design around today.
We have long been making the case that grip strength is a valuable commodity to all athletes, case in point: The Killer Karate Krusher! If you have ever wanted ‘A Bone-Crushing Grip”, “Fingers as Tough as Steel”, and “A Fist as Tough as a Sledge Hammer” then the ‘Killer Karate Krusher’ is one to check out. The Killer Karate Krusher is the only exercise which permit full “finger bombing” for an extra-powerful grip — or at least that’s what is said in the ad. Who knows how many of these were ordered from outta the back of comic books?
Demonstrating is IFBB Mr. America, Mr. Universe and Mr. World, Chuck Sipes, who was clearly no stranger to forearm work.
Even though “working out” was a relatively new concept in the early 1920’s, when the Lind-Hendrickson “Big Giant” Grip Machine first appeared, people still understood the importance of building a strong grip… something which far too many folks neglect in their training these days.
There’s no question that the traditional barbell wrist curl has been and can be a very effective method for building wrist strength — but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon. This nifty piece of training equipment from Hammer Strength offers a few interesting possibilities: 1. a standardized range of motion and 2. the ability to do something that no barbell can match: negative accentuated training capability i.e. lift with two hands then lower with one… This is a technique very much worth experimenting with, if you happen to be lucky enough to have access to one of these devices (there aren’t many around.)