David asked a follow up question regarding his Convict Conditioning routine. “Two questions: I forgot to ask, how would you add grip, neck, & calf work in there too; and can you give a more in depth outline of circuit training – how you would plan it?”
In today’s post I’ll cover hand strength training. For grip work I would train the hands two or three times per week. You could probably even get away with one session a week and still make good gains. Pick one to three exercises each time and go after it. These are the main types of hand strength but these are the main ones. Depending on your goals you may need other exercises.
Wrist levering – This can include wrist rollers, sledgehammer leveraging, dumbbell wrist curls, etc. Even handstands are good.
Crushing grip – This is usually done with steel spring grippers but can be trained in other ways.
Pinch grip – Pinching plates is the easiest form, block weights are great too, and then you can do feats like card and phonebook tearing.
Support grip – This is any type of holding. Kettlebell swings certainly work this. Farmer’s walk is probably one of the best exercises.
And many exercises cross over in different area. Bending nails works the wrists and your crushing and support grip. Plate curls will work your wrists and pinch at the same time. If you’re short on time I’d advise doing exercises that give you more bang for your buck.
Also for better hand health you should look at doing exercises like finger extensions especially if you go heavy into working the grip.
You don’t need to do heavy volume. Just one to a few sets is all you really need for your hand strength training.
In the next couple posts I’ll cover neck training and circuit training.