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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 03-16-2006, 11:26 PM   #1
Ian Carver
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In following some of the workouts involving high numbers of pull ups, there have been times when I have reverted to using lifting straps to continue the movement with as little outside assistance as possible.

I have found my hand/forearm strength will fade before my lat/traps/shoulders do. This causes me to get out only one or two reps before stopping, re-gripping, and continuing. I end up having to repeat the process several times over. If I throw a pair of straps on, I can get out more reps in this manner, thereby alleviating my forearms from the equation.

My question being, am I cheating myself in the long run and would it be better to stop mid stream in my workouts to re-adjust? Or should I continue to use the straps, and just wean away from them slowly? Either way, at some point, usually around 20 reps or so, I'll start to add a little bit of "touch and go" assistance from one of my feet to get me through the pull up workouts, but I can often get more out of my back with the straps. Let me know what you all think. Your comments would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-17-2006, 05:52 AM   #2
Anthony Bainbridge
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Drop the straps completely and your grip strength will improve.
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Old 03-17-2006, 05:54 AM   #3
Allen Yeh
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I used to use straps on my heavy sets of deadlift, row, lat pulldowns, shrugs because I thought why let my grip limit the amount of weight I can do. After a while I realized my grip had gotten weaker than it was when I started. I realize you are asking about pullups but I would opt not to use straps.
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Old 03-17-2006, 06:01 AM   #4
Ken Thynes
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Ian,
I would say go ahead and use the straps if you have to. I use heavier weight on the cleans and deadlifts in the WOD's than is prescribed, and I use lifting straps for both, since I have little gnome hands, and have a hard time hanging onto the bar after a while. I don't think you'd be cheating yourself too badly, but you might want to view it as an indicator of an area you might want to seek improvement in (hand strength). I would recommend using the straps as neccessary, and maybe picking up some of Ironminds outstanding Captains of Crush grippers. or Eagle Loops, and training with them. Just for fun, you could also do some pullups or deadlifts using towels looped over the bars. Great for getting a strong grip.
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Old 03-17-2006, 06:12 AM   #5
Tony Young
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Ian,
Switch your grip during your set (without straps). Overhand, underhand, mixed, repeat. In between workouts do timed bar hangs, deadlift support holds, towel hangs, there are literally a million grip exercises. Be very careful about grip training volume or it leads in a straight line to Tendonitisville. I do one movement a day in addition to my regular training.
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Old 03-17-2006, 06:23 AM   #6
John Ponzetti
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I also use straps, but not all the time. I wait until I can not hold on any more. I work on my grip a little(probably should work on it more) I made a pair of 2" thick dumbells. So all my dumbell work is with those. They really work well when doing farmers walk, but I still go to the straps, because my grip will fail before my shoulders/traps etc.
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Old 03-17-2006, 10:04 AM   #7
Dan Snyder
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You might consider including some grip work in your workouts. GTG with various grip toys while driving is a good way to add it in without overdoing it. I've also used a 100# Ironmind "Captain's of Crush" gripper for 3-5 reps per hand each minute for my 20-30 minute commute to work.

Get good grip toys though, the ones in most sporting goods stores don't have enough tension. Try here for products and more ideas:
http://www.ironmind.com/ironcms/expo...hedtodust.html
http://www.functionalhandstrength.com/index.html
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Old 03-17-2006, 10:57 PM   #8
Ian Carver
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Thanks all for the responses. I went in today and did a workout where I had several sets of pull ups. I forced myself through them without the straps, and did okay. Once I got to the 20 mark, as usual it got a bit more grim, but I just reset my grip and changed positions and got back on it. I'll keep doing that and using a towel in there as well. Much appreciated.
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