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Having a strong grip is essential for the martial arts, as well
as carrying over into everyday life. It’s hard to be manly when you can’t even open the pickle jar. Holding onto your opponent if
you’re a judo or jiu-jitsu player, holding on to your weapon (Bo, Sai, Stick, Bokken, Katana, Epee, Sabre, Foil, Tonfa, Nunchaku), Football tackling, golf clubs (although I really don’t count golf as a sport, it’s more of an activity), Tennis rackets, etc.  – All of these things need muscular strength and endurance in the hands and
forearms.  
Researchers studying national level judo players at the University of Granada, Spain, found that “the fatigue resulting from 4 successive bouts affects the maximal gripping strength that each hand can generate differently, with the dominant hand being more resistant and
recovering better than the dominant one……….The gripping techniques in judo are very important tactical aspects, which often determine the result of the bout.” {J Strength Cond Res 26(7):1863-1871, 2012} 
 
So, your grip can effect whether you win or lose, and your non-dominant hand recovers differently than your dominant hand.  What to do?

Conditioning within the Martial Ropes programs all contain elements of grip strength. 
The dynamic motion of swinging the ropes, whether it’s the 1 ½” or 2”, requires strength and endurance in a broad range of motions. I especially like the grip impact when using the 2” rope with a partner.  If you are holding the  end of the 2” and trying to send a burst down the 50’ rope (which weighs 50 lbs.), it can be a struggle if you’re not used to it. 
And if you’re the partner trying to control the other end – you get a grip workout too!

Add some sandbag exercises for a different kind of burn.  I prefer sandbags without pre-fixed handles.  Although handles are convenient, I think that I get a better and more realistic gripping effect by having to bunch up the fabric in a random fashion.  This closely mimics grabbing a gi or coat and having to still hang on.  
 
Kettlebells are also outstanding for your grip.  Thicker handles, having to deal with acceleration/deceleration, and passing the KB from hand-to-hand all force the grip to adapt and grow.  By using a towel wrapped thru the handle, you can also do curls, swings,
throws, or carries.  Again, this more closely simulates grabbing clothing or a non-firm
surface.

So, the next time you’re training, don’t forget to incorporate some grip specific work, especially your non-dominant side.





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