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Grip Training By Michael Derecola, ATC, CSCS

This week I would like to discuss the importance of grip training. In my opinion, grip strength is the most under developed and the forgotten element of functional training. Your hands are the end point of the kinetic chain, so they must be developed if we hope to transfer the power created and accumulated from our body and express it through our hands. Wrestling, Jiu-jitsu, Judo and MMA requires grip strength. Nothing is more frustrating then when your opponent has an “iron” grip. It makes you work much harder with your technique. Possessing an incredible grip will enable you to add another dimension to your game! An individual’s grip consists of the thumb, fingers and forearm muscles. Thus, grip training should consist of the following actions to properly and completely develop one’s grip.

Crush grip
This is the most common thought of as grip. The hand-shake-type grip is when the object being gripped rests firmly against the palm and all fingers; squeezing action.

Spring/Hand grips

Ball squeeze

Grenade pull-ups

Inverted alternating bar squeezes

Rope sled row

Pinch grip
The fingers are on one side of the object and the thumb is on the other; the object does not touch the palm of the hand.

45# plate pinch for time

3 or 4 – 10# plate pinch

Single-arm sledge hammer finger walk

DB pinch hold for time

Support grip
This involves holding an object for a long period of time.

DB farmer walks

Iron cross hold

Tire hold sled drag

Handle sled drags

Extending grip

This is the ability to open the hand by extending the fingers and thumb.

Rubber Band Finger Extensions

Container Finger Extensions

Wrist actions
Theses are flexion, extension, pronation, supination, radial deviation and ulnar deviation.

Cable & bar wrist rolls
(Flexion & Extension)

Sledge Hammer Rotations
(Pronation & Supination)

Sledge Hammer Front & Back Lifts
(Ulnar & Radial Deviation)

Also keep in mind, when performing a dead-lift variation or a pull-up variation DO NOT use straps! Using straps will only hinder your grip strength. Lose the straps! So the next time you train, try some of the exercises above! If you have any questions regarding this article or need more information about grip training do not hesitate to contact me.

Michael Derecola, ATC, CSCS

7 ways Brazilian Jiu-jitsu improves health

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that focuses on grappling and ground fighting techniques. It is also referred to as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Those learning its techniques are taught how to gain a dominant position over the opponent with the help of techniques such as chokeholds, joint-locks and compression locks. The art was derived from early 20th century Kodokan Judo, which descends from Japanese Jujutsu. This martial art has gained popularity in recent years, making it far easier to find classes than in the past.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a great method of self defense, and has been especially recommended for women. Since women who are attacked are most often thrown to the ground, the techniques taught in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are particularly effective in helping women learn to fight from this submissive position. In addition, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is thought to be particularly effective for women because it does not require a lot of size or strength to be used effectively. However, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu offers benefits to your health, too. Here are some ways practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can help you.

1. It increases endurance – You can begin practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at any fitness level. However, over time, you’ll find your endurance increases because of the requirements of the sport.

2. It increases flexibility- – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s moves will require you to move in ways that are unfamiliar, at first. However, as the moves become easier, you’ll find that you’ve increased your overall flexibility.

3. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu builds muscle – Over time, even without weight training, you’ll find that your muscle tone and muscle mass have increased.

4. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu increases your aerobic capacity – This is a great workout – and you’ll find that you have greater aerobic capacity after a time. You’ll likely lose a few pounds, too, especially if you practice another aerobic exercise, like running, biking or swimming, on your off days.

5. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu increases your confidence level – The knowledge that you can defend yourself against an opponent is very powerful. When we believe our bodies are strong, we feel better physically and mentally.

6. Practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu reduces stress – Like any physically challenging exercise, practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a great way to reduce stress by taking out your frustrations on your opponent – or just on a practice bag. You’ll find you’re more relaxed and sleep better.

7. Jiu-Jitsu improves your focus and concentration – This sport requires mental concentration as you anticipate your opponent’s next move and formulate your own plan for defense and attack. This forced concentration helps you be better able to focus your mind during practice – and for other tasks, as well.

As you can see, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a great all around sport. You’ll increase your fitness level and reduce your stress level. And, perhaps most importantly, you’ll gain the skills to protect yourself in the event of an attack, and the confidence that goes along with the knowledge that you are capable of self defense. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes are easier than ever to find – so go out and sign up for one today!

Training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts burns over 800 calories a workout.

Most people are overweight and out of shape. Going to the gym is not an option for many, since the training is unsupervised. Motivation is really needed when you are with a group of people and have a common purpose to what you want to achieve.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA are really good martial arts to work out to. Since the current craze of the UFC, MMA has been a very popular sport among people who are interested in fighting. While you are learning the martial arts, you will be burning a tremendous amount of calories per hour. Most people really don’t believe it till they experience it firsthand. Imagine if you are using every muscle in your body to attack and defend against your opponent. In most sports, you will only use 1 body segment at a time. For instance, in lifting weight, you would be only using your arms or legs. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you will be using all of your body to control your opponent against any moves, and this what gets the whole body involved.

In MMA, you are learning to strike, kick, and clinch. Most of the calories are burned when you are clinching your opponent since you have to involve your whole body. This is why you rarely, ir never, see any mixed martial artist that is out of shape. Most have to use so many calories to involve themselves in the sparring session.

Training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will help you get fit, as well as, learn great self-defense. In this art, you are using every muscle in your body, and with that in mind, you can burn up to 800 calories per hour. More than any workout at any gym.

This art requires one to learn to defend the guard, pass the guard, and learning submissions. Submissions only comes when one understands the control one should have over their opponent. It is essential to stabilize the other opponent before applying the submission, otherwise the opponent will escape and you will have to start again.

Also, one has to be careful since there are so many moves with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. One can get confused, and pay attention to the basics which will carry them through to the next level. Many of the successful MMA fighters in the world started in Jiu Jitsu, and use that as their core martial art.

Learning the martial art is something special, and something that everyone should look into. Take care in evaluating an academy, and pick your programs wisely. Most schools are not supervised well, and you have to look at how they treat their students, their peers, and how they clean their school.
Look at the programs and start with something that is basic. Diving into an advanced program will only make you quit early and you will never give yourself a chance to participate in the martial arts.
Finding an instructor is also important, and paramount in furthering your skill in the world of the martial arts.