Diesel Injection Novenber 2010-The Plank Pinch
The Plank Pinch for Scary Thumb Strength
by Grip Strength Expert, Jedd Johnson, from the Diesel Crew. Jedd loves all forms of training and has written many articles about strength and conditioning. Check out his site, DieselCrew.com for more innovative training ideas.
With the Halloween season here, it is time to build a piece of wicked equipment that we can use to build scary thumb strength all year long.
Benefits of Thumb Strength
Improve Grip on Deadlifts - The thumb reinforces the hold on the bar during the pull
Improve Baseball Performance - The thumb helps secure the grip on the ball when tagging
Improve Strongman Performance - The thumb is important for deadlifting the Axle and carrying the Farmers
And many others - Having a strong grip can help in many other areas of training, other sports, and endeavors...
The Plank Pinch can be used for lifts that isolate the grip (training for Grip and Thumb Strength alone) and also for those that integrate the grip (making the Grip and Thumb a limiting factor during bigger movements).
How to Make the Plank Pinch
The Plank Pinch is usually made from a large piece of lumber several feet long, with loading areas built into it for weights and other resistance to be added.
To build a Plank Pinch, you will need the following:
- One piece of lumber at least 5 to 7 feet long. Thickness between 1.5 and 3 inches
- 2 Pieces of 1-inch diameter threaded stock
- 8 washers with 1-inch hole
- 4 nuts to fit the 1-inch threaded stock
- Drill with a 1-inch bit
Measure from each end of the Plank Pinch where the holes will be for the threaded stock, equidistant on both ends of the Plank. Drill the holes.
Plank Pinch Threaded Stock with Washers and Nuts Added
Insert the pieces of threaded stock into the holes. Secure each piece with two washers, one on each side of the Plank Pinch.
These threaded pieces will be the loading area for standard-plates. If you prefer using Olympic plates, the threaded pieces should be larger to match the size of the hole in the plates.
Next, place one of the weights onto each end of the threaded pieces.
To secure the plates onto the threaded stock, add a washer and a nut. You are now ready to perform lifts with the Plank Pinch.
Plank Pinch Lifts
Pulling the Plank to Lockout
With the weight added to the loading areas, lift the Plank Pinch to lockout. Attempts can be made for a maximum weight lifted and also reps or holds for time can be performed for endurance.
Pulling the Plank High in a Pinch Grip
We can move toward Grip Integration by keeping the weight lighter and pulling the Plank Pinch higher and faster. This is a great exercise for athletes, especially those who play football, lacrosse, and fighters, who need dynamic strength in the hands.
Side to Side Hand Walking
Popping the Hand Off to Walk Down the Plank
For an even more dynamic approach to your grip training, you can lighten the loads a bit more or even keep the implement bare, and do hand walking back and forth along the length of the Plank. This hits the thumbs as well as the wrists and forearms, giving you a serious pump.
Sometimes, Home Made Equipment is better than other equipment being sold on the market because it has a more rugged feel and can match your individual needs. In fact, I have a new DVD coming out soon called Home Made Strength II: Grip Strength Edition, that will show you how build even more tough tools for building Grip Strength. To sign up for updates, check out this link: Home Made Grip.
In the meantime, all the best in your training.