Fitness, Grip

Pinch Swing

There are many variations of pinch movements than can be done to increase the strength of the thumb and fingers. Many of these variations are quite common with grip athletes such as loose pinching plates, the euro pinch (or equivalent) and the pinching of odd objects whether wide or narrow.

One movement that doesn’t seem to be quite common is the pinch swing. The movement effectively combines the kettlebell / dumbbell swing movement with a hand pinch.

The pinch swing is good for building up hand and forearm endurance as well as hitting the muscles in many different ways as the velocity of the weight changes throughout the movement. This can help break through some plateaus in your grip training and is worth trying out as part of a new programme.

For advice on correct swing form it is best to check out a video or article on kettlebell swings, but the idea is to use the muscles of the posterior chain to thrust a weight forward from being hinged at the hips, until your body is straight and then allow the weight to drop back down. The swing generally ends with the arms roughly level with the chest, higher then this is considered a high pull.

For the pinch movement I clamp some plates onto the centre of a 2” thick bar with some locking collars, and then load up both ends to the desired weight and VERY securely locking the outer collars. It is best to stick to smaller plates for this as you need to be able to get them comfortably between your legs, also due to the way this movement taxes the hands you will probably end up starting off around 30% or even less of your max pinch.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Start light! When I first started doing this I had them slip out my hands a few times, thankfully without anything/anyone getting hurt! I have never used more than about 50% of my 1RM two hand pinch for this movement, see the variations below for ways to make it harder without adding more weight.
  • Always chalk up properly between sets, chalk is pretty much mandatory for this exercise to maintain a strong grip on the plates.
  • Keep a few reps in the tank, if you go to failure you will end up loosing your grip on the plates and that won’t end well!
  • You will definitely feel a burn in the forearms and hands from this, make sure to learn the difference between getting a nice burn from it and your grip failing!

There are many ways to adjust the difficulty of this exercise, I will list a few variations that you can try once you have got the hang of it:

  • Vary the width to very wide or very narrow, this will change the focus to either more finger strength or more thumb strength. Along with the velocity changes due to the swinging this can be very difficult.
  • Use one hand instead of two, this also allows you to vary the weight for each hand if they aren’t evenly balanced.
  • Try to swing with more force and make an effort to pull the weight back down as hard as possible, this increases the velocity in both directions which can make the same weight require much more hand pressure to stop it flying out.
  • Instead of a swing do a high pull or even a snatch… be careful though as these are more likely to end up in you letting go and damaging yourself or your gym! Personally I see little merit in doing either of these compared with doing faster/harder swings as above, but I have tried them and the snatch is certainly interesting!
Grip, Strength

Worlds Strongest Hands Leg 2

Did the second leg of the Worlds Strongest Hands competition today.

I placed 32nd out of 46 competitors for this leg, I was slightly let down by my two hand pinch which was down on last time.  Although everyone else at David Hornes seemed to pull less than usual so its possible that the damp weather played a part there.


  • Two hand pinch – 64.8kg
  • Wrist Developer – Level 5, orange spring
  • Vulcan Gripper – Level 9, gold spring
Biofeedback, Fitness, Grip, Strength

Adam Glass, Online Coaching

Around January this year I decided to get my ass into gear and get myself in shape, around this time I also decided to get involved in grip competitions as I had just started bending steel and using grippers.  Around this time Adam Glass had started posting about biofeedback, which I started incorporating into my workouts although I was a little fuzzy on the details.

So back then I weighed about 165lbs, had 22″ thighs and a 35″ waist.  In my first grip competition in January I managed to pull 53.9kg on the two hand pinch and I was struggling with level 1 on the Vulcan gripper.  My max deadlift was around 115kg, I could do about 8 pushups max and about 4 pullups.  I most definitely was out of shape!!

So I spent several months using biofeedback which my knowledge on improved after watching Grip ‘n Rip DVD and about two months ago I decided to take up Adam’s online coaching.

So, its about 8 months now since I started this journey, so where am I at now?  Well I have dropped down to about 145lbs, 31″ waist and 20″ thighs and I am pretty damn lean!  In my last competition I pulled 67.1kg on the two hand pinch, which was more than my bodyweight, which puts me on a list of about 12 other people in the world that have achieved such a feat and I will pull more at the next leg in a weeks time!  Aside from my two hand pinch all my other lifts are dramatically up, I can do over 20 consecutive pushups, over 10 pullups, my deadlift is over 140kg now and I am closing the Vulcan gripper at level 8.

So I can tell you this, biofeedback has DEFINITELY helped me to get where I am today, in reality my gym sessions are actually pretty short, as you can see in my logs, but biofeedback helps you ensure that what you do each day is the best possible thing to be doing.  The content on the Grip ‘n’ Rip DVD is enough for anyone to get GREAT results, but if you a greedy person and you want to get AWESOME results then Adam’s online coaching is definitely the next step.

So whats so good about online coaching with Adam Glass?  Well if you want to get stronger, faster, leaner or bigger then he can help you.  Adam will answer your emails promptly with any questions you ask and I have spent at least one hour a week on the phone to him.  He has helped me immensely in improving my grip strength and given me plenty of ammo to move forward with training old time strongman feats of strength.  Also he has provided plenty of videos showing me variations of exercise and how to perform specific movements, which have been a MASSIVE benefit to my training.

So the conclusion really is this, if you want to get better and you aren’t using biofeedback then definitely grab the Grip ‘n’ Rip DVD’s.  If you want to take it further or you just want to dive straight in head first then get in touch with Adam Glass directly via facebook or via his website and take up his online/phone coaching!

Fitness, Grip, Strength

Worlds Strongest Hands Leg 1

Today was the first leg of the World of Grip, Worlds Strongest Hands series.

Overall I placed 37 out of 59 competitors from around the globe.

  • Two Hand Pinch – 67.1kg at a bodyweight of 66.4kg
  • Wrist Developer – Level 4 with orange spring
  • Vulcan – Level 8 with gold spring

Didn’t eat till the evening where I devoured a whole 6 piece boneless box from KFC… mmmmm


World of Grip Strongest Hands Leg 2

Competed in the second leg of the World of Grip Strongest hands competition today.  Was really happy with my results, setting personal bests in all events.  In the  two hands pinch I got 59.1kg, a gain of 5.2kg over my last result 3 weeks ago.  Weaver stick to rear was 2.7kg, an additional 0.1kg over last time, and on the Rolling Thunder I managed 58.7kg.

The next event I will participate in will be in April and I am hoping to start closing in on 70kg on the two hand pinch.