Hold out a broom with a small weight closer to the sweep bristle side. Deceiving in its toughness, this will build some nice looking shoulders and will thicken those wrists! Damn hard to add weight progressions as well.
MATCH STICK BREAKING
Hold a match stick between straight fingers and try to break it in half using strict form (ring and index fingers pushing up while middle finger squeezes down). Much tougher than it looks! Try it closer to the palm of the hand to make it easier or inch closer to your nails to make it HARD. Some old time strongmen could snap the stems of small diameter sticks and clay pipes! That’s some scary strength.
CHAIR LEG LIFT
This one is badass. So simple, yet the leverage here is nonexistent and the thickness and shape (square/round) of the legs affect the lift greatly. It’s a cool party trick, too. Impress the girl, and scare off the interloper males. Kill two birds with one chair!
BEER CAP BENDING
Try to bend a beer cap in this exact position. WAY tougher than it looks. Try not to use 2 hands! I have found that with tougher caps, you can kink it with your two fingers and then transition to a crush in your palms. Cool party trick.
I know not many people get newspapers these days…but this is a cool one to try before you throw it out! Get about 6-10 sheets of newspaper and roll it up into a cylinder shape. Then, twist (like giving an Indian rug burn to your sibling!) inwards with your left and outwards with your right hand. Continue until all the paper tears! Keep the hands about three inches apart…or closer if you want more of a challenge.
This will have you sweating in no time! Kind of like the little cousin to the vaunted rafter pull-up, this grip exercise might turn a few heads. First, use a pinch grip on the door with all 5 fingers. Squat down and lean back. Hold with sets to failure. Practice with both hands! Once you master that, remove a finger and repeat. Keep going until it’s just your thumb and index finger. It will be very difficult. The last variation (and toughest) will test you mightily and will improve your muscular agility and response time. Grab the door as before, then fall back and squat down violently…hopefully catching yourself before you slam to the floor. Do this with constant practice and vigor, and you will surprise yourself with the results!
CLOTHES PIN PINCH
An oldey but a goody. Find an ordinary clothes pin that is a bit stiff and tough to close. Put a penny between the ends of the peg and between your thumb and forefinger…and squeeze! This will test your endurance gripping powers as opposed to pure strength. See how long you can keep the pressure up without letting the penny fall. 60 seconds is a good try!
BOOK FINGER LIFT
Here’s a weird one for you. It’s a single-finger lifting exercises (pinky/ring/middle/index)…but not in the way you would think. Lay your hand upside down on the end of a table, making sure ONLY your fingers are touching the table. That point is VERY important. If the back of the hand touches the table at all, the major value of the exercise will be lost. Next, lay a book of some heft on top of them. Don’t make it too big! Starting with the index finger, raise the book as high as you can, and then lower it gently. Repeat 20 times. Do this down the line until you finish with your pinky. Do 3-5 sets with minimal rest. You will soon discover how weak your fingers are in this awkward position. Most likely, you will need different sized books for both pinky/ring and index/middle fingers. You can also lift a heavy book using all 4 fingers, lift a medium weight book in a “piano” finger fashion, or, reverse your hands and do it backwards! This unique exercise will workout small, underutilized muscles in the lower forearm and will noticeably thicken the wrist.
Here’s an old and simple one. It looks dumb, but it’s not. It’s an exceptionally good exercise to work the wrist in awkward positions (very helpful for BJJ and wrestling). Grab a light weight dumbbell by the end, put your elbow on the table, and then revolve the dumbbell 10-15 times to your left. Reverse the direction and do the same thing. Switch arms after that! Do 3 sets total for each arm. Sneakily tough!
OK…here me out. This one’s cool. Go to a squat rack, tell the douche-bag wearing his stringers and short shorts to scram. Put a little bit of weight (seriously, only a bit) on the ends, pick it up, and hold it to your nipple line. Don’t forget to dig your elbows into your sides. Now, keeping the arms rigid, turn the hands upwards and downwards to their fullest extent BY WRIST ACTION ONLY. Keep a firm grip on the bar at all times. This will fry your forearms and will oddly enough work your abs! Win-win.
SINGLE FINGER LIFT
Here is one that only a few people will be good at from the get-go. This baby will destroy your forearms…in a good way. Want thick, muscular, forearm tendons? Try this out and follow this step-by-step: (1) Go get some turnbuckles that have an eye about 1″ wide. Next, (2) grab a carabiner and loading pin and link it up to the turnbuckles. (3) Now, put a 45 pound plate on the loading pin and get your middle finger ready! (4) Hook your middle finger inside the lifting hole and HOIST that sucker. Do it like the man in the pic below is doing. Switch hands and fingers to work all angles. Heavy singles will force your hands to grow and turn into legitimate grappling hooks.
Big aged-whiskey drinker? What about a wino with a taste for something raw out of a cask? You are in luck! Your vices are now becoming a virtue. Praise the Lord. Grab that empty cask/keg (look online…they sell little one-gallon casks all the way to fifty-five gallon casks – they are not THAT expensive). Fill it up all the way with lead shot or two-thirds of the way with water. Water is especially devious, as it will slosh back and forth and make your life miserable. Water is about eight pounds per gallon. Grip the keg on the ends with your fingertips, and then lift it! Clean and press it, toss it high and away, strictly pinch grip lift it, somehow hoist it upon your knee and then toss it up to your shoulder…there are TON of things you can do with a cask. It’s an all-in-one grip tool that will destroy you physically. It’s a full-body workout.
CREDIT: Molding a Might Grip (Jowett, George F)
CREDIT: How to Develop a Powerful Grip (Aston, Edward)