Grip strength is underrated. It applies to many sports and just about every job. Not to mention daily life. In your training, are you stuck on pullups? A stronger grip could get a few more reps. Plateaued on your deadlift? Your grip might be your weak spot. Anyway, there are hundreds of products out there to help you train your grip. Most are unnecessary.
We decided to do a review of a few decent grip training aids.
Rogue Fitness’ Cannonball Grip System:
Rogue makes good gear at a price you can afford to beat up. That said, the ball grip gets three stars. It is billed as a way to develop your grip by holding awkwardly shaped objects for multiple exercises, but mainly pullups. There are other balls like this on the market, notably EliteFTS’ “grenade”. And the principle is sound- a wide object forcing you to utilize more of the muscles in your hands, wrist and forearms. Where the Rogue rendition of this falls short is the “blade” at the top of the ball. Built to be ruggedly strong and hold a lot of weight, the triangular attachment through which the balls are attached to carabiners is unfortunately placed for your hands. When using the balls for pullups, the “blade” hits right about at the skin between your fingers. While I realize some readers right about now are telling me to grow a pair, keep in mind that the idea is to train strength, not pain threshold. You will hardly do the volume of work required to progress if you are only doing a couple reps at a time because your hands feel like they are being cut in half.
NOW, the ball grips aren’t all bad. When attached to a cable machine for a neutral or “hammer” style grip, you do experience a forearm and grip “blast” unlike any other. Farmer carries are another good option, and the beauty of Rogue’s grip implements is how easily they are attached to kettlebells, dumbells, etc.
Overall, the balls are a good addition, but I don’t recommend them to be the mainstay of your grip training arsenal. Start elsewhere.