Training Techniques


Thick Grip Handles

This is a short review on two of the thick grip sleeves abounding the internet these days and a specialized pulley handle. These popular little additions help spice up normal training and are alot cheaper than buying thick bars themselves.

The thick grip sleeves that I want to talk about are the Manus grips and the Ironbull Tgrip 2.5. Both are made of very resilient rubber and fit easily onto all the equipment I have, dumbells, barbells, one handed pulley handles etc..all work fine with thee 2 sleeves. The manus grips have a type of knurling on the inside which is marketed as an aid to minimize slipping on the bar. Personally I have found this to make no difference at all. The Ironbull has no knurling and doesnt slip anymore than the Manusgrip. The biggest differences between the two sleeves is that the Ironbull is slightly thicker (at the center) than the manus grip, and it also has a tapered shape to its design, that does feel more ergonomic in the hand. Both of these products come in a number of colours and are very similar in cost. The only downfall with my purchase of the Ironbull 2.5 was with shipping, it took forever to get to me from Canada, roughly 2 months. The company owners were sympathetic and offered to send me more for free if my order did not show at all.

Exercising with these is really only limited by your imagination, some of my favorites are dumbell wrist curls, barbell one handed hook lifts and dumbell rows, but they can be adapted for almost any lift.

An interesting side note is that people with wrist pain when benching often say that their pain when doing this exercise is reduced when using thick bar sleeves, I guess its because the weight is distributed through a larger surface area than before.

Now, this weird cone shaped Handle. This handle was originally purchased on ebay by a Melbourne Armwrestler, I bought it and adapted the shape to being more specific for Hook training. The idea is not mine to claim, I first saw this type of handle on Igor Mazurenko's webshop. Buying from Armpower (Igors webshop/site) is not as easy as it could be so I asked our resident Armbreaker Jesse Johnson who is a fitter and turner to lathe down the original handle to something like the polish version. A month later it came back and was much better than I had hoped, Jesse had also made finger grooves in the plastic. Now if yous are wondering how this helps with hooking the give away is obviously the shape. by holding the handle with the narrow end up by the thumb theres very little pressure on the top fingers and much more on the bottom two digits just like when forcing a hook. Now that my broken pinkie finger has roughly healed I can give this handle a good run and see if it helps me in getting a solid, vice-like hook/wrist.


Melbourne Equipment Review

Just a small sample of the training kit available to train on for Armwrestlers residing in the greater Melbourne area.

The first piece of equipment on the far left (see top photo) is a Thick Revolving Handle being sold on Ebay at the moment from a seller in Israel. They retail for around the $100 dollar mark. They come in 2 different styles with one being just a normal thick handle and the other being slightly offset. They are very smooth with no knurling and pin very well. This is the type of handle a Hook puller would cut his teeth on....great for working the wrist cupping movement and extremely taxing on the fingers as we all found out doing heavy static holds at our last training session.

Next in order (left to right) is a piece of equipment called an Orbigrip. It is a very solid well made object made by the grip master David Horne who lives in Stafford, England, and you can see it in action here .This is a great all round wrist strengthening tool as it will uncover any weakness in almost any angle that you have in your wrist. It pumps massive amounts of blood into the forearms so it is also a great recovery/prehab/rehab machine.

Moving on down the line we have the Heavy Handle Dumbell. This is a great dumbell to work off-set movements that are otherwise hard to mimic. You can load for example, 5 kg to the front arm and 8kg to the side arm and vice versa. The thick bar also works the open hand aspect which is obviously very beneficial to ArmWrestling. The only drawback is that I have been told they dont ship outside of the USA, so you need to arrange other ways to purchase it.

Last we have the Thick Handled leverage bar sold by the same company who make the Heavy Handle Dumbell. While I heavily endorse making your own equipment where possible, the sheer convenience of this thick bar sold me. Its so easy and quick to change eights and they are very secure and its got great knurling too. Rear levering is a real treat as the ring and pinky fingers get a blasting from the thick handle.

So there you have it, our first equipment review for the year, we hope you find some of it useful.


A different kind of training

Just stumbled across a couple of great training videos Martins Lorencis put together using equipment you would find in any standard gym.

Read more

Brendan Chinup Custom bar

Latest contraption from the garage of Brendan Downes is this awesome fat grip chin setup. After a few earlier safety issues with welds I think Brendan has nailed this one and it's not going anywhere judging by the size of that supporting beam. This chinup station is the perfect width to work on cupping strength with the 2.5" handles, and next few sessions we will move into some plates on the weight belt. Checkout the training video below:

Post Gallery Example


Backpressure training

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