Throughout the summer NBC will air the reality TV show, American Ninja Warrior. It’s a competition that tests the mettle of the strongest men and women on a series of obstacles. Most of the competitors train year-round on similar obstacle courses using their own bodyweight to build speed, agility, coordination, and the most important weapon of all…grip strength.
It’s an essential ingredient for performing bodyweight exercises like pull-ups, chin-ups, and hanging leg raises. It’s a factor in how much weight you can lift when you pick up a barbell or a dumbbell.
When grip strength gives way before sheer willpower on American Ninja Warrior, the competitors often drop to their demise in a pool of water. And the only redemption available is training for another year in the hopes of making the final cut next time. Even if you’re not a ninja in training, your grip strength is a key factor in performing many body weight exercises and building muscle.
And that’s what motivated the makers of Fat Gripz to design thick rubber grips you can attach to any exercise bar. Fat Grips makes your pull-up bar or weight bar thicker, and forces you to rely more on grip strength than muscle and technique alone to perform an exercise.
You can buy Fat Gripz online from Amazon.com for $39.00 with free standard shipping. The two blue Fat Grips are made of thick, durable rubber. You can attach the Fat Grips to most pull-up or weight lifting bars to create a thicker handle. It’s compatible with barbells, dumbells, and most weight lifting machines. And it’s designed to increase your grip strength and tax your muscles in a way they haven’t been challenged before.
The physiological science Fat Gripz suggests that gripping a fatter bar to perform an exercise distributes the weight your body will move more evenly. It minimizes pressure on your joints, like your wrists, elbows, and shoulders. And it engages more muscle fibers with every bar-related exercise that you perform, compared to traditional lifting techniques.
When you’re ready to use the Fat Gripz, you use both hands to pry open the grip. Then you slide it on the bar you’re going to use, and then squeeze to clamp it down. When you’re ready to perform a repetition of an exercise, hang on to the Fat Gripz and apply enough grip-strength pressure to push or pull the weight.
Grip strength is a proven measurement used to determine overall strength and fitness. The National Institutes of Health has even identified grip strength as a way to predict the risk for certain types of disabilities using a dynamometer.
And the Fat Gripz is an effective way to build grip strength doing bodyweight exercises that require a pull-up bar, or using barbells, dumbbells, and weight machines. If you want to take your push-up and pull-up workouts to another level, the Fat Gripz will help you change up your exercise routine and force your muscles to work in a different way than they’re probably used to.
The Fat Grips are easy to store at home or in a gym bag, and it only takes a few seconds to attach to a bar when you’re ready to workout.
For bodyweight training, you’re limited to a few exercises you can perform with the Fat Gripz. Pull-ups, chin-ups, hanging leg raises, and push-ups if you use a push-up bar. Other than a few basic bodyweight exercises, the Fat Gripz won’t be useful to the diehard my-body-is-a-gym group.
If you’re really devoted to high-rep workouts, Fat Gripz will disappoint. You’ll certainly get a good workout, but the fatter grip will limit your ability to perform as many reps as you could with a traditional grip.
One other downside you might encounter is that some bars may not be entirely compatible with the Fat Gripz. In some cases, after attaching the Fat Gripz, there is a small gap exposed that could be uncomfortable for lifting. You can swivel the grip to keep this gap from getting in the way, or you could even consider taping the gap before performing the exercise.
If you’re a dedicated bodyweight exerciser, you might consider Fat Gripz as a novel addition to your workouts. It would probably serve you best for making gains from pull-ups and chin-ups, and increasing your grip strength. And that may be just the formula you need to follow if you’re contemplating your debut as the next American Ninja Warrior.
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