You've waited all winter for this a long, winding ribbon of road that weaves downhill and screams around corners.
No need to let a limp-fish grip stop you. Let John Graham, director of the Allentown Sports Medicine and Human Performance Center and strength coach to Olympic sprint silver medalist Marty Nothstein, show you how to develop the clenching power of a snapping turtle's jaws.
The Free-weight SolutionYou may not need specific exercises to build a vice-like grip, Graham points out. "Your regular resistance training routine may be enough if you lift with free weights. You're increasing your grip strength just from holding onto the bar, especially with pulling movements like dead lifts or power cleans."
One-arm dumbbell rows are another Graham favorite. To be sure you're doing all exercises correctly, including the ones described below, consult a knowledgeable trainer such as those certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Wrist-ful ThinkingIf you need added grip strength, wrist curls are the best exercise.
- Start by kneeling next to a bench. Rest one forearm across the bench with your wrist hanging over the other side.
- Hold a light dumbbell with your palm facing down to duplicate your hand position on flat mountain bike bars. Moving only your hand and wrist, alternately raise and lower the weight.
- Switch hands. Then repeat, with your palms facing up. Do three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.