18 MONTHS ON from my jaunt down Death Road which ended in a broken and dislocated wrist with three metal pins inserted, I’ve slowly had to rebuild my arm strength again.
Being right-handed and single at the time, well intentioned friends assured me that a subscription to Bangbros would soon whip my wasted forearm back into shape.
Instructions from my Bolivian physio to rehabilitate my arm after the pins and cast were removed were vague at best, not lest because my Spanish was poor.
Enter Doctor Google.
Steadily increasing the range of movement of the wrist seemed to be the best option but I wanted to restart a weight-lifting program and wasn’t willing to wait months for something as trivial as bones to heal.
Wrists are delicate little pricks at the best of times, made up of tiny little bones working in tandem to create such delicious moments as picking your nose with your pinky. I continued to workout at a snails pace, using machines where necessary to avoid unnecessary stress from ‘bells on my flailing joint.
On a podcast with author Tim Ferriss (The 4 Hour Work Week), Pavel Tsatsouline (strength coach extraordinaire) discussed ways to improve grip and wrist/forearm strength. The most effective way to make gains in this area is with grippers.
I bought plastic grippers from an exercise store after my injury to work on the atrophied muscle but didn’t find it challenging enough, so I was a little sceptical about Tsatsouline’s claims. However, I decided to give it a go after reading further reviews of the Captains of Crush (CoC) Grippers.
Fairly pricey at over 30 euro per gripper (including delivery), I chose one of the lower levels (there are eleven different strength levels) – TRAINER. The difference between the Ironmind grippers and the store-bought plastic gripper was massive.
The CoC felt like a mini workout. After only a week, my grip strength and complimentary gains in pull-ups and deadlifts convinced me to ‘level-up’ and buy a stronger gripper after outgrowing my current one, still keen to adhere to Tsatsouline’s grip routine (no more than five reps per sitting, throughout the day – 1 to 2 thirds of max).
Because you’re working small bones, you need to be very careful not to force the issue especially with history of injury or even worse broken bones.
After a couple of months exercising within my safe zone I have full range in my wrist, a greater base of strength than pre-injury and a new addiction that tears up my prissy palms into something that you could light a match on.
image credit – wikipedia.org