Barrel Grippers

For a bone crushing grip and extra thick forearms,
try Barrel Grippers, a w
eightlifting accessory

(Barrel Grippers consists of 2 Wooden Parts that slide onto a 1″ dumbbell handle)

Barrel Grippers

Barrel Grippers replicate an old-time exercise used to increase grip strength.  Barrel lifting was very popular with the old-time strength athletes.  For developing the fingers, hands, wrists and arms, there is nothing any better but barrel lifting is also great for general bodybuilding.  Since a barrel is not the handiest thing to have around the house, Mike Brown has recently introduced a new product that will substitute for lifting a barrel.  By using Mike Brown’s equipment you will increase your ability for lifting heavier weight through grip,

Barrel Grippers consist of two wooden pieces (pine with natural shellac finish) that slide onto a 1″ dumbbell handle outside of the weights on the handle.  You grab the grippers using your thumbs and fingers to lift the weight, doing sets just like any other exercise.

You can use as little as 1.25# plates on a regular dumbbell handle or as much as you can lift that will fit.  A regular dumbbell handle comes in different lengths (14”-20”) so your goal of the weight you want to lift may be what determines what length(s) you need.

Barrel Grippers on Thick Handled Dumbbell

Why is barrel lifting so great for building grip strength?  Let’s make a couple of comparisons.

First, you might want to read George F. Jowett’s “Molding a Mighty Grip” available from:  Super Strength Training

Barrel Lifting is illustrated repeatedly in this book.  In his prime, George F. Jowett could grasp a 160# anvil by the horn and lift it overhead with one arm.  It is doubtful that anyone today can duplicate that feat.

Barrel Lifting

Second, let’s consider the barrel gripper compared to the hand squeeze “grip developer” sold in the sporting goods stores.  Pick one of them up.  Squeeze it.  Notice that half of what determines your actual grip strength—your thumbs—is isolated.  It doesn’t get exercised.

Third, notice that the fingers—with the hand held halfway open—makes a semicircle.  The squeeze grippers make a straight line.  Some fingers get considerably less work than others.

A barrel, such as a nail keg, works in a completely different fashion.  When you grip it by the chimes (the lips at each end of the keg), the thumb is fully engaged.  The fingers are formed in a semicircle in order to grip the barrel (which itself is round).  That is all the muscles relating to the fingers, the palms, the wrists, and the forearms are engaged in gripping the barrel.