In my last article, I discussed hub lifting – a form of grip strength training in which you lift weight plates by grasping the middle part of the plate, called the hub, with the finger tips. Hub lifting is considered a type of pinch grip training, because the thumb opposes the fingers to create enough strength to generate movement of the plate. In the last article, I also showed you that there are many different styles of hub plates to choose from, of varying difficulty levels.
But what if you can not find any good hub plates at your gym? Are there other options for hub lifting that we can choose from, and still get the hand strength benefits? Yes there are!
IronMind.com sells an excellent hub lifting device called the Hub-Style Pinch Gripper. With a 2 and 7/8 inch gripping surface that is as slick as greased cow snot, this is one challenging grip training device. I have one of these implements and train on it from time to time. My best lift on it in pounds is only in the 50’s. According to the IronMind page, with a lift in the 50’s I’m “doing great,” but if I hit 75 pounds, I should give them a call. I am in agreement. Big lifts on this device are earned, for sure. The standard way of lifting with the IronMind Hub, as I call it, is just simply attaching the V-shaped connection on the bottom of an implement to a carabiner, attached to a weighted loading pin or JumpStretch band. The IronMind Hub is a widely recognized standard for hub pinching implements, but other companies also sell them, including John Beatty at FatBastardBarbellCo.com.
Many grip strength enthusiasts also enjoy building their own grip strength implements from scratch. Recently, my good friend, Brad Martin, whom you have seen in many great video clips on the DieselCrew.com site, took the time to devise his own hub lifting implement. The list of items you’ll need to make your own set-up is very short:
- 1 hockey puck
- 1 eye bolt
- 1 carabiner clip
- About 2 feet of chain (if you have no loading pin)
As you can see, the list is very concise and it will take you about 10 minutes or so to put everything together. First, screw the eye bolt into the bottom of the hockey puck, as close to the center as you can. If you don’t have a drill or something else sharp that you can use to start the hole, this might end up being a very long step, which will work your grip right off the bat. Hockey pucks are pretty hard!
Once that step is over and your eye bolt is secure in the hockey puck, then you can connect your carabiner clip and chain. When you connect the clip to the eye bolt, you should place one link of the chain onto the clip as well. Loop the other end of the chain through the center hole of the weights you will be lifting and then position the other end of the chain onto the clip. The chain will serve as your loading pin. If you have a loading pin in your collection of implements or at your gym, then the chain is not needed.
You will notice something right away if you decide to make your own implement like this. The hockey puck has a rough texture around the outside edge, making it a very good gripping surface. This will make a huge difference in the amount of weight you can lift on it, versus the IronMind Hub. Another difference between the two implements is that the puck has less gripping surface. Most hockey pucks measure about 1 inch in thickness.
You now have two more implements that you can add to your collection of grip strength implements – the IronMind hub and the Do-It-Yourself puck hub lifting device. Both will get you started on your way to developing hub pinch grip strength, so that you’ll be one step closer to being able to lift a 45 pound plate by the hub when you cross paths with one that has a decent hub on it.
As always, if you have any questions on grip strength training, please leave a comment below, and contact me at the Diesel site!