Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Get To Grips With Kettlebells

Question - What is the limiting factor on practically all effective strength exercises ?
Answer - Your grip. Your hands are what attach you to the dumbbell, barbell or kettlebell. Your grip strength is what transfers the force generated by the rest of your body to your implement of choice. Therefore if your grip is weak and is giving up before your legs or upper body, then you are not getting all you can from your training.
Unfortunately most people have pretty poor grip strength, in fact most new clients complain about pain in their forearms when performing pulling exercises rather than in their lats. This is a pretty good sign that the targeted muscles are being shortchanged. So how do we fix this weak point? By training it until it's a strong point. Thickening the grip on a barbell or dumbbell will always challenge the grip further. However thick grip barbells are pretty thin on the ground in most gyms, so we came up with a cheap and effective alternative - rope training.
The rope provides a thick, uneven handle which effectively targets the gripping muscles of the forearms and is extremely versatile. You can adapt most exercises for use with the rope and are limited only by your imagination. In the video below we show some variations using a kettlebell.
Stick to one or two exercises per workout using the rope and perform them at the end of your workout, otherwise you will fatigue your grip before your other exercises.
Here are some ideas to get you started, more to come soon!

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