Grip strength is one of the most overlooked aspects in strength training programs. For many people grip strength is their weakest link, and a stronger grip will oftentimes produce better results in other areas of their training (i.e deadlifts, heavy rows and pull ups).
A strong grip is also required in every day life for basic tasks like carrying shopping bags, lifting heavy objects and for sports including rugby, wrestling and rock climbing.
The steel club is fantastic for building grip strength. With the weight of the club distributed far away from the point of contact, your grip will be challenged in a way no other strength tool can replicate.
Training with steel clubs, steel maces and kettlebells require a different type of grip than we would normally use with other strength training tools.
For example, when performing an exercise like a barbell deadlift we use a crush grip where we apply maximum tension at all times throughout the movement.
Steel club training requires intelligent gripping where maximum tension is applied through the part of the movement where the steel club is at its heaviest, and a loose grip is used at the lightest part of the movement.
This loose, tight, loose, tight grip allows the lifter to perform longer sets with heavier weights, if a crush grip were used the entire time the wrist flexors would quickly fatigue.
Also, unlike dumbbells and barbells that have a conventional handle that rests on the skeletal structure (pulls against the fingers or rests in the heel of the hand). When swinging Steel Clubs and Steel Maces you have to actively engage your forearm flexors to grip the club tightly as it tries to pull through your fingers.