April 2019: Single Hand Pinch Grip High Pull
Back to basics this month! This exercise is primal but very effective. It will build fantastic strength into your thumbs, which in turn will make it easier to hold onto a barbell, dumbbells, or a chinning bar (think of how your thumb wraps around your fingers on a standard 1 inch diameter barbell, locking them inti place). Simply grab the pinch block as tight as you can and pull straight up. Try a mix of heavy, low reps and higher rep sets for endurance. Watch your feet! Make sure you hold the weight off to the side a bit in case you drop it.
Actually, it's not quite that simple; the proper grip/finger placement on the block is absolutely critical (check out the Instruction Section [Grip Handles sub-menu] from the Home Page to see a series of pictures that should be helpful). You can pull the block high in a smooth, controlled fashion, as if you are doing an upright rowing motion; or you can pull it up explosively, as if doing a one-hand clean pull. Or you can simply pull it to the mid-position and hold it there for as long as you can (if that gets to be over a minute, put more weight on the loading pin). Or do a "pinch grip farmer's walk" with it. Try all these variations during different training sessions to prevent boredom.
Simple, primitive, EFFECTIVE. Give it a try.