“Get a grip!!” This is a phrase that we have all heard before. Usually people tell us that we need to get a grip in a figurative way; meaning we need to get our head on straight about something, to get things under control. But we grapplers need to consider “getting a grip” from a more literal perspective. To be a strong BJJ practitioner, wrestler or MMA competitor, a powerful grip is simply a must!
I recently had the opportunity to try out a new grip strengthener, called the Finger Master Grip Strengthener, and now that I have checked it out I am going to give you an overview and review from a grappler’s perspective. So if you have heard about this gripper that is geared toward us BJJ practitioners and other martial artists, be sure to read through every word of this review to find out if it is right for you.
We all know that BJJ is a martial art that is all about proper technique. You have to spend countless hours on the mat and in class in order to become proficient. However, we also know that conditioning is essential for all grapplers. It’s not enough to have great technique; to be truly competitive; you have to make sure that you are strong and fit as well. Grip strength is a key component that we could all stand to work on a little bit more.
The cool thing about the Finger Master gripper is that you can actually individually customize the resistance that each finger works against. There are 5 individual pistons that you press on to exercise your fingers. You turn a dial on each piston to either increase or decrease the resistance. When you do grip exercises all the fingers tend to work together as a unit. This means that with conventional grippers, the weaker fingers are always lagging behind. But by allowing you to change the resistance to a lower level for the weaker fingers, the Finger Master allows you to strengthen those weaker fingers on a more individual basis.
So far, I have been speaking about grip strength in relative terms. But since the Finger Master Grip Strengthener is designed with grapplers in mind, I wanted to touch on how this device can really help with specialized BJJ grip training. So how can you do that kind of training with this gripper? Think about the different grips that we use when rolling – pistol grip, hook grip, etc… How can you train to improve/strengthen those types of grips? Well, it’s pretty easy with this gripper. Mimic the grip while firmly grasping the gripper. Then you just crank out the reps. If you notice that you cannot do as many reps with your weaker fingers, dial down the resistance a bit until those digits get stronger…
Experimentation and making use of the channel locks (2 little metal hooks that allow you to lock down individual pistons on the gripper) will allow you to work on your most used grips and to customize the gripper configuration accordingly. Sometimes I like to lock off the fourth piston, and really stretch out the pinky finger to improve both finger flexibility and strength at the same time.
Like me, you probably don’t have tons of extra cash sitting around to put into training equipment. I prefer to spend my hard-earned money on more important things (BJJ training fees, kettlebells, new gis, etc…) With all that being said, however, I consider the cash I spent on my Finger Master to be a pretty good investment.
Here’s the deal: This gripper only cost me $15. That isn’t much money. And in return for that small price, I got a solid gripper with innovative features. It is custom designed for grapplers, and allows me to really focus in on the finer points of grip strength training. Oh yeah – there is also a lifetime guarantee on this gripper! So even if I break it by using it every day (not likely that it will actually break, judging from the solid construction, though) I know that the manufacturer will replace the gripper, per their guarantee!
Let me recap for you: The Finger Master is the first gripper I have found that is designed for grapplers. It has innovative features that you cannot find on other hand strength training equipment. It is pretty fun to use, and easy to stash in your pocket when you’re on the go. And finally, it comes with a lifetime guarantee! With all of those things in mind, I really can’t think of any reason why a serious BJJ enthusiast wouldn’t want to purchase and use this grip strengthener!
Great product and I have had a blast using it so far!!
– Jake Matson
Combat Sport Athlete, and Science of Skill Contributor
Coach Daniel is the founder and head publisher at Science of Skill, LLC. A martial arts black belt and self defense instructor, Dan has spent years training with and interviewing some of the world's best self protection experts. His passion lies in encouraging others to train smart and to improve the skills that make them safer and stronger.
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