Functional Hand Strength

Functional Hand Strength

John Wood's Blog of hard training and unusual strength development


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3.29.2009

The Climbing Rope Attachment Clamp


We receive many requests to be able to purchase the steel attachment clamp for our climbing ropes separately. If you would like to do so, you certainly can. Please visit the following link for more information: The Climbing Rope Attachment Clamp

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Functional Hand Strength Functional Hand Strength

9.18.2008

2-Inch Manila Climbing Ropes


A closer look at out 2-Inch Manila Climbing Ropes, keep in mind that 2-inch ropes are likely more than you can handle, we would highly suggest beginning with traditional 1.5-Inch ropes ropes first. This picture is roughly life-size and, as you can see, 2-Inch ropes are no joke.

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5.04.2008

The Bowling Green State Strength Clinic

The Bowling Green State Strength Clinic

Just got back from the Bowling Green Strength Clinic -- and was it ever a great time! Coach Hillman and everyone else involved put on a great event with top-notch speakers, top-notch demos and a great opportunity to get down to what real strength training is all about.

No question that Coach Hillman runs one of the top strength programs in the country and one look at his brand new weightroom will lets you know immediately that those Falcons don't mess around... Power racks, Log Bars, Kegs, Sandbags, Lifting stones, Machines, platforms, hand grippers... and plenty more!

Name a piece of equipment that would be necessary to develop stronger, tougher and better conditioned football players and Coach Hillman has it.
The Bowling Green State Strength Clinic

Anyhow, I think I speak for everyone in attendence when I say the opportunity to hear Mike Gittleson speak was worth the price of admission by itself -- Mike has learned a thing or two over 30 years "in the trenches" as the Strength Coach at the University of Michigan and fortunately for us, he is willing to share.

Now, Mike's topic was on "Developing the Grip for football: from fingertip to forearm" -- that's a topic that I know a little about, but you can bet I nearly filled up a yellow pad with notes while Mike spoke.

As I have said many times - "School is never out for the pro." It always helps to learn how other people approach the same thing you might be doing. Yes, much of it will likely be similar, but everyone has their own "style" and seeing how they do things will undobtedly help you take a critical look at what you're doing.

Now, here's a few things that Mike talked about:
The Bowling Green State Strength Clinic

Sledge Hammers: Mike showed everyone several different for building "fine" grip strength using a simple sledge hammer. Mike has a special exercise that he uses for quarterbacks - evidently it helps give them a little more "touch" on the ball -- of course, all players at all positions will benefit.
The Bowling Green State Strength Clinic

Ropes: There's many different exercises that you can use with ropes for training athletes besides "climbing." Mike has one he calls the "Rope-a-Dope" that he uses for building mental toughness in his players. Yes, I know this one well - and it's a killer. Hold the line!
The Bowling Green State Strength Clinic

Wrist Rollers: The highlight of Mike's presentation was his "bag of fun" in which he brought some of the pieces of equipment that he has used to torture, uh, I mean train his players.

One of the things that Mike is big on is training some of the different functions of the hands with specially designed wrist rollers -- and you aint never seen wrist rollers like Mike has, he brought about a dozen different kinds...

And that sure wasn't all...

In any case, that's just a brief look into what you missed, and if you weren't there, you certainly did miss out. Keep in mind that anyone who wants to can purchase a ticket to an event like this, doesn't matter if you're a strength coach, or competitive lifter, or just someone who trains in the garage -- it's about strength and no matter who you are and what you are training for, you are guaranteed to learn something new.

Oh, and as to why I'm not a little more detailed on some of Mike's exercises -- it's because if you want to learn from the best, you gotta be there!

So... you gonna make it next year?

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4.07.2008

Making Your Own Climbing Rope

Hang in there!When I go to the hardware store, I'm like a kid in a candy store. It's always a lot of fun going through the aisles looking for something interesting that I can make at home that might come in handy for my training.

And I've got a lot of things I've tinkered around with that have turned out to be pretty useful for different kinds of exercises.

However, I also understand that not every type of equipment fits into the "do it yourself" category and one of those pieces is a climbing rope.

Yes, I'm sure there are folks out there that would argue the opposite, that they found an old piece of rope and tied it to a tree in their back yard that works just fine.

Well... that may be fine for them and hopefully so but I only like to do my gambling in Vegas and whenever possible, only like to bet on the sure thing which is why I would only want to deal with a climbing rope assembled by a professional.

If you are one of those folks who can live with the "hope" that your homemade climbing rope doesn't snap you are while 20 feet off the ground, let me point out a few other important things to keep in mind.

Ever try to tie a knot in a 1-1/2 or 2” thick rope?

It aint easy – and that rope has to be attached somehow, and not just "attached," but attached safely and securely. Don't know if you realized this but all our attachment hardware is rated at over 1800 lbs before it shows any sign of wear.

Not that you should, but you could tow a truck with it.

And what happens when you want to move your climbing rope to the other side of the garage?

If you have one of our ropes, you unclip the L1 link and clip it wherever you want it – takes about 3 seconds to attach and unattach.

Otherwise, you'll have to untie (or un-splice) the rope and re-do it elsewhere. Of course, Ive heard some folks just double the rope over and use a roll of duct tape on it – so much for saving some dough. And if you have a loop spliced into your rope, keep in mind that every tie you use it, theres going to be friction right on the rope material itself against the grain.

Oh and the steel rope clamp attachment hardware for our ropes? It starts out as a flat piece of steel, then it's blacksmithed to have a slight curve in it, hydraulically pressed and then drilled and tapped through the steel plate itself before it's welded in place.

Needless to say, there is nothing safer and more secure than this setup which allows NO play from side to side.

I saw someone else out there who took a piece of pipe and simply drilled through it to attach their rope – looks good, but the rope material is moving back and forth during use, creating an ever so slight "sawing" effect every time it's used (and inside the pipe, away from view.)

I dont want to think about those possibilities...

In any case, if you want to make your own climbing rope, I will not attempt to change your mind.

What I can do is simply provide a better option, one that is safe and more efficient to use… and our climbing ropes, the very best climbing ropes in the business, can be found right here: climbing ropes

Train hard,
John Wood

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4.18.2007

5 Different Kinds of Rope Training

You know, they say that 'marketing' is simply the spread of a good idea which is one reason why the interest in our climbing ropes has recently skyrocketed.

All of a sudden lots of people realized just how fun and useful rope training might be to their program and it just took off from there.

In fact, check out the latest issue of Scholastic Coach for a full article by Michigan State Strength Coach, Ken Mannie on how he trains his players with manila climbing ropes.

The thing is, 'climbing', while useful, is only one way to train with climbing ropes which I'm sure will be of a lot of interest to those folks without the room to hang one.

Heres a few simple ideas:

1. Hooked to a pulling sled for one-arm, two-arm, backwards or sideways pulling.

2. Arm-over-arm pulling - which should be done standing, not like you see on the 'truck pull' on tv

3. Attached to a high or low pulley

4. Tug-o-war

5. Timed hangs, pullups, hanging leg raises etc

Those are a few that I have used just off the top of my head. I could probably list many more if I sat down to think about it. Regardless, the lesson here is to open your eyes to things besides the obvious.

Train hard
John Wood

P.S. In Need a climbing rope? You can get the best right here:
Top Quality Climbing Ropes

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1.20.2007

Rope Climbing in Australia

Our friends from Bondi Beach sent this in:


They ordered an 18 foot manila rope from us about a year ago. If you want to follow in their footsteps, Click Here.

Train hard,
John Wood

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