Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


Card Tearing – Stability
Written By : Matt Hunt
Filed In : Articles
Crimp grip around the worlds

Crimp grip around the worlds.

Card tearing is by far one of the most well-known feats of strength in the history of strongmen. Picking up a deck, positioning it firmly in the hands and shredding it to pieces is what you will be doing after you read on about some specific components you might have missed… factors that could be holding you back from destroying this tough strength feat!


Stabilization is EXTREMELY important when attempting to tear cards; if you do not have a solid grip on the deck, cards will start slipping and just attempting to get a nice tear started will be close to impossible. “What can I do to counter act this?!” you ask… well I have some exercise suggestions that will improve not only your stabilization but also your crushing strength:

  • Crimp grip around the worlds
  • Crimp grip static holds
  • Choke” static holds with implement card deck

Crimp grip around the worlds are an incredible way to build not only stability but also endurance, crushing strength, and wrist strength. Position two five pound plates or two ten pound plates together (depending on your current strength levels, you might have to start off with the two fives to gauge) and place only your four fingers overtop of the combined plates in a sort of steering wheel set up. The image above shows the grip set up…

Keep in mind, there is no need to keep the arms out in front or locked out. This picture is simply here to show you how to properly position the grip. I use the “over-the-table” set up where I have my elbows bent to ninety degrees and the weight in hand is held out over the floor. Now, after you finish getting the grip right, remove one hand while grasping tight with the other, rotating the combined plates and grabbing on to fresh steel with the free hand.
Crimp grip static holds are an incredible way to strengthen the fingers, increase crushing grip, increase stability, and give you card tearing machines for hands! Now, this can be done many different ways. Some of these ways include a piece of wood with the same dimensions of the specific deck of cards you intend to tear, two plates combined, a long piece of wood with a one inch or smaller thickness… these are just some options available for this exercise! After picking out your implement of choice, hold the implement out in front of the body with elbows bent at ninety degrees and hold on for dear life. Hold for time, challenge a buddy… anyway you try it you will be gaining valuable strength and stability!
One of the many different grips asssociated with card tearing is the choke and peel. This next exercise will address this grip and help any novice increase control over the deck and keep stability issues at bay.
First, take a deck of cards and tape one quarter of the deck while maintaining a flush position on the sides and top/ bottom of the deck. Take a drill with a ½ inch bit and drill a hole at the mid way point of the tape, this hole will allow you to attach a carabiner or small diameter steel cord which will then enable you to attach a loading pin. Attach your cable or carabiner to the loading pin and simply grab on using your choke grip; getting used to the choke will help you stabililize the deck and have you shredding in no time. What are you doing? DON’T JUST SIT THERE! GET GOING AND WORK ON THESE EXERCISES!

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



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Written By Matt Hunt
Matt Hunt is an avid grip enthusiast and personal trainer. He is a certified Mash Monster and has dabbled in strongman, powerlifting, and Crossfit which has brought him much success in the weight room and in life. He is now obsessed with smashing grippers and intends to jump in on the pro circuit of grip within the next year. Find out more over at Matt's blog, and catch up with him on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy.
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