Another brilliant entry for the DIY Equipment competition – Chris Rice‘s Horizontal Pinch Device. A few words from the man himself will tell you exactly why I want one of these (and if you train grip, you’re probably thinking the same thing) :
Before the build :
One of the problems I have encountered since I began to train grip is pinch training. This is primarily tested and trained isometricly and while I have had some success with it I feel that being able to train dynamically over a full ROM may have several benefits I would like to work with including greater hand health than isometric work only. The TTK, Squeezer, Pony clamp etc work the thumb, palm and fingers but in a way not quite like pinching plates, block weights, climbing or the Euro Pinch apparatus and have a weakness in the lack of use by the whole hand. My hope is to make an adjustable width pinch tool that works in a horizontal direction, has the ability to adjust from extremely wide to as close to zero as possible. I hope to make the face plates high enough for full hand length contact like plates or a Euro setup as well as angle adjustable from square to around the angle to match the sides of a York Blob. It will have adjustable stops for plate adjustment and prestretch on the resistance bands which will allow isometrics as well. It will use regular rubber bands for resistance. I have tried a back to back L configuration in the past but could never figure out how to keep the pinch plates parallel over a wide movement range or avoid the feeling of one side movement. This time I’m using a slide which will be constant over any distance.
and following construction (and use) :
OK – it’s done now and I’ve used it several times now. First, it’s very smooth – very smooth, no binding at all. Everything worked out about like I had hoped it would. The horizontal setup feels much more like a block weight or plates, Euro pinch or whatever. With proper tension on each side, both sides move unlike the feeling I have with other devices where one side feels locked and one moves, a couple less bands on the thumb side makes both move together. The angle adjustment is easy, quick, and works nicely. The width adjustment only takes a couple seconds. Changing to isometric mode also only takes a couple seconds. I can relax the tension on the bands easily to keep their strength longer. The movement feels good – better than always squeezing as hard as possible and no movement, hopefully this will be a good thing over time. It can be loaded with small changes in resistance giving a method of measuring progress and strength gains. All in all, I’m very happy with it – only time will tell what gains I will have with it.
Chris, that looks fantastic.