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This Old School Grip Technique Gives Easy Muscle Gains

For their most recent project, the YouTube Buff Dudes (Hudson and Brandon White) attempt a set of old-school grip strength tests from 1946, following their previous videos in which they took on classic feats of strength and traditional strongman exercises.

The first is the phone book tear, which is known and needs no explanation. The Buff Dudes’ first problem is actually locating a physical phone directory in 2022, but Brandon manages to tear it apart in only 41 seconds.

“That was a lot harder than I thought,” he admits. “It was more difficult to locate this item than it was to rip it apart.” 

The next stage is to split a deck of cards in half, which is similar in nature. “I’m really nervous about this one,” says Hudson. “It’s not just the muscle, but there’s also a technique to it. Of course, you need grip strength, but it’s also about how you move the object in order for it to tear properly.”

In just 21 seconds, Hudson rips the entire deck in half to win the challenge despite injuring his hand off-camera prior to filming.

“This is a fantastic at-home exercise to increase your grip strength,” he continues. “Specifically, what you’ll be doing is increasing the extensor muscles on your forearms, the brachioradialis, which will have to contract hard to level out that wrist and assist with picking it straight up there.”

The Dudes’ fingers were put to the test in a variety of ways, including breaking matchsticks between their fingers and bending bottle caps, as well as performing a set of fingertip pushups. The next move is an isometric hold when Hudson hangs a 10-pound kettlebell from a broomstick while keeping it balanced horizontally with only one arm, beginning with it near the body and then moving it farther out along the pole where it will require more effort. “That weight really adds up fast,” he said.

The final activity is to hang onto the side of a door that is open with only one hand and lean back while preventing yourself from falling through the grip. “It’s a lot like a plate pinch,” Brandon points out. It’ll definitely strengthen your grip.

Author: Scott Dowdy

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