Success leaves clues & David Horne is one the most knowledgeable guys on the planet when it comes to all things grip. He is more than just a grip expert and has an extensive history in all strength sports. A true student of the game, he has a packed library with original publications from 1900 up to today.
Seeing as he is only 2.5 hours drive from me I went to spend some time with him and here are just 5 of many things I took away
Hand thickness not just hand size affects grip
What I’ve always heard is that the bigger/larger the hand the stronger the grip. That may be the general rule but it’s more complex than that as you need to take into account hand thickness.
For instance if you have a 2″ handle, and two guys with different hand thickness but same finger length, the guy with the thicker hand will have to hold the 2″ handle with his fingers more open. This would indicate that hand thickness can affect grip strength with larger diameter implements.
Liquid chalk is a no-no in grip competitions as you can’t effectively police it and reduces the chance of someone sneakily putting a more adhesive substance in it. David said the traditional Magnesium Carbonate chalk is what he uses but he sells a high quality loose chalk (Available Here) that was softer than what we have at the gym and seemed to make a difference.
Thumb-less Work for Finger Strength
David recommends you perform a lot of your grip training thumb-less to improve finger strength as he finds this more often than not the limiting factor. He also mentioned the psychological advantage of if you can perform a certain exercise at whatever weight without your thumb, when you get to competition you know this weight will be easy with the use of the thumb included.
Flex Wrists During Holds
By flexing the wrist during certain grip holds you can shift tension to spread on top of the fingers instead of it simply being a finger tip grip. This will offer a mechanical advantage and therefore an improvement in performance.
David showed us a fantastic finisher he likes to do with clients especially BJJ competitors. You take a small car tyre, pop weights inside of it, grip the tyre and rotate your hands around (Clockwise or Anti-Clockwise) in small steps. As you rotate the weight will adjust and stay at the bottom.
I highly recommend either going to see David Horne or contacting him if you want to learn more about grip strength. It is well worth the investment.