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Old 01-26-2009, 11:11 AM   #1
Jacob Rowell
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 388
Default Training grip for farmers

Alright, I'm trying to plan in grip work to get my farmer's under control. Right now, my PRs there are 240x2 @ 100' and 250x2 @ 70. Both times, grip was the limiting factor. The pick is fine, could probably use some work actually walking with it, but one thing at a time...

Last time, I though I could get by doing deadlifts, some axle work, rope climbs, etc.. No dice. Maybe it wasn't enough work over a long enough period of time, but it surely did not do the trick.

This time around, I'm thinking about picks and holds for time. Max efforts, starting with several efforts and fairly light weight, and hopefully move to more weight and fewer efforts over time.

Considering gripper work when I'm bored. I feel many will be skeptical of this, but as long as I'm not overtraining my grip, don't see how it can hurt, and not much of a cost in terms of time and energy invested.

I'll be doing short metcons, almost to the point of drawn out medleys with moderate weights. They make me fast, and at the very least mentally prepare me for medleys/distance and rep events. I'll incorporate grip work here, such as axle, rope climbs, sandbags,etc..

Anything you guys might add or do differently? Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:39 AM   #2
Derek Simonds
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Deland, FL
Posts: 4,204

I like all the stuff you talked about. An option you might consider in addition to or instead of gripper work is the standing barbell crush. You stand with your hands hanging in front of you holding a barbell and crush it by opening and closing your hand. Don't let the barbell roll all the way down your fingers just part way as you squeeze your hands as tight as possible. You can work up to some pretty solid weight on this. I have been working anywhere from 5 reps to 20 reps at a time. The exercise works similar muscles as grippers but allows you to train both hands at the same time and saves on the tendons.

I still do gripper work in the car and I also do extensor work in the car with a heavy rubber band. Like you said little energy expelled and very portable.
What we think, or what we know, or what we believe, is in the end, of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do. -John Ruskin

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Old 01-26-2009, 11:57 AM   #3
Craig Brown
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 216

I noticed on the rare occasions I've tried to do farmers with plain old dumbells- where the weight isn't hanging low & balanced- that it fries my grip fast. Don't know if that would be helpfull or not.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:17 PM   #4
Jacob Rowell
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 388

Thanks for the suggestions guys, I'll certainly try the barbell crushes.

Dumbbell farmer's certainly could work in some metcons.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:26 AM   #5
Adam Gagliardi
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 171

If your training grip for Farmers:
farmers holds for time
Farmers walks for weight
Farmers for distance
DB farmers/holds, as suggested, are a killer.
fat bar holds
Place fat bar over power rack, hang for time, dont use false grip, can also be done on reg bar, chin up
dont use straps, ever.
---all the CoCs, grippers, pinch grip stuff i'm sure doesnt hurt, but never did anything for my static grip strength
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Old 01-28-2009, 11:33 AM   #6
Paul McKirdy
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 87

Just some stuff I do...

I've recently started doing some work with a 10lb sledge. Seems to be increasing grip strength a mite...

Holding as low as possible on the handle rotating back forth for reps. Arm bent 90 degrees.

Holding as low as possible on the handle raise up over head, then chop downward towards body center and stopping the fast movement with grip when hammer parallel to ground. Idea for both low as possible on hammer grip and hammer brought down fast as possible to stop it. Let it naturally chop down to center, this wedges hammer handle between pointer-finger area and lower opposite thumb part of hand. This focuses grip strength towards pointer-finger side of hand

Holding hammer with arm extended down at side, hammer to the rear. Swing
hammer head up behind you let it fall fast catch with grip. Again, grip as far down the handle as possible to stop the hammer at parallel to ground. Also, again, get hammer moving downward as fast as possible. This focus on grip strength towards pinky-side of hand.

Hammer seems to be working well, anecdotally still, but grip really feels stronger. This has been really therapeutic for my arms too. I find I can do more grip work since starting this. Kinda like doing weighted foot drills now lets me pound my feet harder.

Weighted wheel barrow actually works grip in a farmers walk fashion wonderfully, probably similar to dumbbells, but I think you can overload distance\time\weight easily and safely with wheel barrow. Becomes a real concentration exercise to tell your body not to let go. 20yds fine, 40yds fine, 41 yds omg my forearms are on fire, 60 yds where am i?

Double overhand everything as heavy as possible.

My gym has a trap shrugger with the spinning different sized grips. I over load this for holds. The fattest is like a ridiculous 3 inch diameter.

Wrist roller. 2 inch inside diameter PVC about a couple feet long with rope around its middle slide over a shoulder height'ish bar sleeve. Weight other sleeve with a couple 45 pounders and tie weight to rope. Roll up roll down repeat. Flipping the PVC back and forth lets you change roll direction. Focus just as intently on lowering as raising. Don't overdo this one.

I have used a lighter gripper to do tabbata timed grip sets, that is an interesting experience.

Hold gripper closed. Open and close elbow joint rotating hand. Therapeutic I find.

Gripper holds for time. 1 minute or more.
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