T Nation

Grip Strength Exercise

I know there are plenty of grip strength exercises out there already but I happened to discover one by accident.

Disclaimer: If someone has already discovered this one, I apologize as I have never really done much research on grip strength training.

On each floor of my fraternity house we have water coolers. Generally when someone notices that the cooler is empty he'll go down to the bottom floor and get a new jug. Given that I'm not a lazy bastard I generally carry up 2 at a time. Well one night I decided that instead of throwing them up on my shoulder I'd just grab them around the top (or bottom, whatever, where the water comes out) and carry them up the two floors that way. Well by the time I got to my floor my forearms were on fire. Just so you know, they were 5gal jugs, so that works out to 40lbs per jug.

I realize that for some of you this might be light so you could always add some sand. If it's too heavy, obviously use less water.

But, using less water poses a possible problem. That being, if the jug isn't completely full, the water is going to splash around making it harder to control as you move. However, I see this as a good thing. As the water is splashing around, your grip will constantly have to adapt to the movement of the water. For those of you into martial arts, this might simulate an opponent trying to free himself from a grappling hold.

Just to clarify, what makes this exercise difficult is it's almost impossible for any of the weight to rest in the palm or on the fingers because the jug will probably be perpendicular to the ground if you are using enough weight.

Let me know what you guys think. Like I said, I just kind of stumbled on to this idea.

Derek, I agree that this is a great idea. Carrying a 40 pound jug of water seems to be about 5 times harder than a 40 pound dumbbell.

I assume that is because the "handle" is on one side, which means all the weight is on the other. The extreme imbalance makes it a bitch to do. I've had some achy forarms from the very same thing.

I never incorporated it into my program, but "water jug farmer's walks" might not be a terrible idea. Could even be fun! Thanks for the idea, brother.

Just to clarify, I meant that the jug should be carried around it’s “neck”.

Are you saying you open hand pinch gripped the 40lb. water jugs over the neck? If so, I don’t believe that. It would take some serious training before one could accomplish that feat. Or did you cup the neck in your hand? I’ve done that before when I was a freshman in college and I will attest that it is a forearm burner.

Over the summer I did farmer’s walks with buckets of water in each hand. I don’t think it was 40lbs , however, it was still pretty effective.

Ok, if the jug was empty the way I had it gripped is as if you were going to beat someone with it. Like a tennis racquet if you will.

That’s funny; last summer, I noticed that the Poland Spring Water delivery guy had the largest, most vascular forearms that I had ever seen. Seriously, this guy was probably 150-160 lbs. at 6’ or so, and they were as big as Poliquin’s. I guess it just goes to show that they are stubborn strong like calves and respond to constant stimulus with significant TUT.

Sound like an excellent idea, throwing in the moving water factor sounds like one would be able to take his/her grip strength to new levels.

Great idea