I came up with the idea for this post when I was watching the movie No Country For Old Men last night. If you’ve never seen the movie, there’s a scene where Tommy Lee Jones’s character, Sheriff Ed Tom, and his deputy, Wendell, go looking for a fella named Llewelyn Moss, played by Josh Brolin. As they go into LLewelyn’s trailer after he skipped town, they find a recently drunk half-gallon of milk. Next to the milk, there’s a set of old-school hand grippers. (The movie was set in 1980, so they were really old-school). Actually, I have a similar pair in my car that I use all the time. About 3 years ago, I had bursitis in my shoulder and needed to get a cortisone shot in it. Needless to say, before I got the shot, my whole right arm felt weak. And when I say weak, I mean weak as a baby. I attribute this all to feeling like I had no grip strength. Anyhow, after I got the shot, I drove to parent’s house to look for an old hand-gripper that I used when I was in high-school. Matter of fact, it almost looks like the one from No Country For Old Men. Anyhow, I made it a point to work on my grip strength from that day forward. This is how I use when I’m driving:
-2 max-effort holds on each hand, trying to go longer each time I use them. For instance, depending on the level of tension on your particular gripper, try to see if I can hold it for 45-60 seconds, alternating sides each time for a total of two sets.
-Burn-out sets. This is where I open and close the grippers as fast as possible, sometimes adding a 3-second hold when I close them. I usually try to get 2 sets on each hand for this one also.
Try doing this every time you are in your car. Whether you’re an MMA fighter, boxer, powerlifter, or just and average joe trying not to become an old man too early, use this routine.
*Bonus. Using the hand-grippers while driving can relieve stress and also allow you to avoid “road rage”. I know I have.