Gripmaster Hand Exerciser?

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
plogsties
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Re: Gripmaster Hand Exerciser?

Post by plogsties » Fri May 08, 2015 11:26 pm

I agree with the posters that suugest that muscle strength is not what is needed. The actual force used by the finger flexors/extensors is, I am sure, quite small and overly developed forearm muscles could possibly even be a disadvantage.
What is needed is control (of both the finger flexors/extensors and intrinsic hand muscles) - and increasing strength will not affect this.

I would suggest the best - and most beneficial - exercise is to play the guitar.

Most of my response is based on my experience as a physician (I'm retired).

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Gripmaster Hand Exerciser?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sat May 09, 2015 3:11 pm

as a general physical exercise gripmaster is probably OK.
But for improving guitar playing - waste of time. :)
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dwtrux
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Re: Gripmaster Hand Exerciser?

Post by dwtrux » Thu May 14, 2015 5:12 pm

I have a gripmaster that was given to me years ago in my electric guitar days.

Rarely used until I broke the knuckle on my left pinky in karate. Shortly after the cast came off, I used the gripmaster at work to help rehab my left hand before I could actually play guitar with that finger due to lack of motion. Since recovered, again never use it but as a paperweight on my desk.

Doug

Luis_Br
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Re: Gripmaster Hand Exerciser?

Post by Luis_Br » Sat May 16, 2015 4:17 pm

I think it is difficult to say yes or no without knowing you personally. Some things to think about:
If you are not aware of the good movements and coordination to press, you might strengthen the wrong way and it will be bad to your technique. You might strengthen the problem. So I think that if you are a beginner, this sort of exercise is even worse. It is better to do perception exercises, to improve coordination, rather than brute force.
Muscle fibers for strenght also compete with those for speed. If you strengthen too much, you loose speed. I personally think guitar is more about coordination and speed than strength.
In my experience, and with other teachers I know, there is a strong tendency to tense the wrist while pressing too hard, which is terribly bad to technique, so be sure you learn to tense only fingers.
With that said, I use, sometimes, a Dynaflex Gyro. With the Dynaflex I learn to shake it with arm and hold it with the fingers with a loose wrist as well as loose shoulder and neck. I felt it helped me to learn coordination loosing myself while keeping a good grip. But I do it eventually, I avoid building up strong muscles, since for the reason I pointed before, I think it hinders speed.
It seems, to me, that because the Gyro requires constant circular motion, there is less tendency to tense everything and get hard, you must do it with a loose attitude to keep it moving. So it seems less likely to develop too much wrong tension. But I am not a specialist, it is just my impression.

Will95
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Re: Gripmaster Hand Exerciser?

Post by Will95 » Sat May 16, 2015 9:30 pm

The best way to strengthen the hand for playing guitar...is to play the guitar!

BUT many players (and I am guilty of this myself) place too much emphasis on the abductor pollicis brevis (the big muscle that moves the thumb) and not enough on the hypothenar muscles (that move the pinky). The way to address this is to ensure that your thumb remains opposite the middle finger and doesn't gradually slip further and further up the neck until it's opposite the first finger. If you allow this to happen, it will be difficult to exersize precision with your 3rd and 4th fingers.

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Moje
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Re: Gripmaster Hand Exerciser?

Post by Moje » Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:46 am

Just skimmed through the thread but trust me the goal is not to exert more force, the goal is to get the job done in the easiest way. If you can lift a milk jug, that's all the strength you need and more.
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alfonso
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Re: Gripmaster Hand Exerciser?

Post by alfonso » Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:29 am

Erik Zurcher wrote:I believe that force is your enemy: it will only make you tired or cause injury! Minimizing force is the way to go! Daily exercise will make you a better guitarist, buying and using a Gripmaster Hand Exerciser will not!
Absolutely right! Remember poor Robert Schumann who tried a similar type of thing and ruined his piano playing for life. Mind you this meant he was then not distracted from composing. Thank goodness.
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Bob
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Re: Gripmaster Hand Exerciser?

Post by Bob » Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:41 am

alfonso wrote:Absolutely right! Remember poor Robert Schumann who tried a similar type of thing and ruined his piano playing for life. Mind you this meant he was then not distracted from composing. Thank goodness.
I hadn't heard of this story before so decided to read about it and came across and interesting (to me) article that says it isn't true. If your interested it was at http://www.pianisttopianist.com/?p=10

Saying that I'd agree with Erik completely having bought one in my youth looking for shortcuts, without any luck :(

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alfonso
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Re: Gripmaster Hand Exerciser?

Post by alfonso » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:27 am

Bob wrote:
alfonso wrote:Absolutely right! Remember poor Robert Schumann who tried a similar type of thing and ruined his piano playing for life. Mind you this meant he was then not distracted from composing. Thank goodness.
I hadn't heard of this story before so decided to read about it and came across and interesting (to me) article that says it isn't true. If your interested it was at http://www.pianisttopianist.com/?p=10

Saying that I'd agree with Erik completely having bought one in my youth looking for shortcuts, without any luck :(
Thank you for that reference. You are right that there has been controversy over the explanation for the injuries to Schumann's hands. The fact that he had such injuries is reliably established from a number of sources. However, recently discovered documents noted by both Eric Jensen and John Worthen in their recent biographies of Schumann which, not surprisingly, includes Schumann's diaries and letters, especially one written to Dr Ernst Carus dated 25th September 1830, seem to confirm the use of some 'strengthening' device as having at least contributed to these injuries.
1985 Ramirez 1A (664, Cedar/IRW)
2014 Juan Hernandez Maestro (650, Spruce/Cocobolo)
1993 Gibson Chet Atkins CEC (650, Spruce/Mahogany Electro-classical)
Martin HD28
Martin JC16-GTE
Taylor 310
Gibson ES-339
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Fender Precision Bass

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