Grip it and rip it!
We’ve all heard the phrase. And there’s good reason for that. A fundamental fact of disc golf is that the stronger your grip is, the more distance potential you have. There are plenty of good explanations out there as to why.
Two really good articles over at Heavy Disc help explain the role of disc golf grip strength in a throw:
Heavy Disc – Slow Down and Throw Far
Heavy Disc – Right Pec and Some Grip Answers
The bottom line is that if you grip the disc like a metrosexual kitten, you’re just not gonna get a lot of distance. The more grip strength you can muster, the more distance you’ll usually get. Like any other physical skill, this can be trained. To help you in your quest for a more beast like grip, here are 3 ways to train for more grip strength.
Disc Golf Grip Training
First is the old stand by, grip trainers. Most of you are familiar with these or have at least seen them. There are some options that are better than others. The ultimate standard in grip strength trainers comes from the Captains of Crush. I started with their trainer level grip trainer. I’ve since progressed to more difficult models. On my desk at work sits four of them. One that is easy (now it is anyway), one that I am training with now, one that is pretty challenging, and one that I have a hard time believing I’ll ever be able to squeeze closed.
The best way to train with this type of implement is called “greasing the groove”. Basically that means that you grab them every hour or two and knock out 10 reps with each hand. Over the course of a day at work, I’ll end up doing 100 or more with both hands. Before you know it, you’ve gained noticeable grip strength.
The second way to really help your grip strength comes in the gym. If you do any weight training at all, a simple addition to your routine will net some nice grip improvement.
They are called Fat Gripz. You attach them to the bar on any pushing exercise (bench press, military press, dumbbell presses, etc.). Instead of gripping the bar, you grip these. They make you squeeze the bar a lot harder to maintain control. A nice bonus is that they also help prevent elbow and shoulder strains while lifting. I’ve used these for the last couple of years and never hit the gym without them.
The third way to improve grip strength also comes in the gym. This time in the form of a single exercise. Adding farmer’s walks, also know as loaded carries, to your workouts are great for you in many different ways. One of them is significantly increased grip strength. I’m currently in the gym 3 days a week. One of those days I do farmer’w walks. I pick up 80 lb. dumbbells, walk across the gym and back (roughly 30 seconds), and set them back down. Rest 90-120 seconds and repeat 2-5 more times. In 5-10 minutes, you’ve worked just about every muscle in your upper body and every muscle that has anything to do with grip is burning like crazy.
I’ve integrated all three of these things into my regular training routine and I credit those additions with both added distance and control. It also make me feel confident when I step up and can squeeze the tar out of the disc. I really believe that if you add any or all of these techniques, you’ll see the same benefits.
There is also a much forgotten grip strength technique straight from the mind of Sylvester Stallone. If you wear a baseball hat, simply turn it around backwards. Your strength, disc golf grip, and everything else, will instantly go through the roof! I’m not kidding! See the classic movie “Over the Top” for proof!
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