Grip Strength Aid device?

2 months 2 weeks ago #34368 by MCImes
Hi guys,
I have a friend that expressed interest in trying surfski, but he has an old hand injury on one side that leaves him with weak grip strength. He's otherwise fairly fit, but probably does not have enough grip strength to hold a paddle at a moderate pace for an hour or something. he said strength training / condition improvement from physical therapy is not expected. He did the therapy to get to where he is now and is expected to remain this way.

Luckily he used to paddle a long time ago and the injury was on his non-dominant hand, so I think if he used a grip-aid he could probably paddle again (nothing too wild, but enough to be effective on flat-ish water).

Do you know of a grip enhancing glove or device? Im thinking of something that holds your hand in a clenched position or something along those lines. I did a google search and the finger rehab glove is kind of what Im talking about, but it owuld be nice if it was a glove instead of a velcro contraption. Is there anything similar but better than this on the market for the physically impaired? (im thinking of products made for the disabled, injured, stroke recovery, surgery recovery, para-Olympics, etc)

Thanks!

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2 months 2 weeks ago #34370 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Grip Strength Aid device?
Your friend may be in luck: best use no grip!

If you look at Oscar's paddling instruction, you are best off using no grip, just a mostly flat upper hand to push forward (*) and a hooked lower hand to pull around. Only when things are very confused would you grip so the paddle doesn't fly away. He has videos showing how the thumb on his upper and lower hands are open. (The videos I know are part of his for-pay training platform, so I can't link to them here.)

(*) "pushing forward" is ambiguous wording: Oscar is very much against pushing forward with the upper arm, i.e, do not extend the arm forward, only move the arm/hand forward by rotation such that the distance between the upper shoulder and upper hand remains constant.

I can do the above when I focus, but normally I like to grip with my upper hand to push down on the paddle and am trying to get rid of doing the opposite (grip lower hand). 

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2 months 2 weeks ago #34374 by AndyS
Replied by AndyS on topic Grip Strength Aid device?
It sounds like nothing can be done to improve your friend's grip strength as he has some condition that decreases his finger/thumb flexor function. That goes beyond "gripping when pulling the bottom hand and relaxing the top hand", it's more of a "I'll lose the paddle if I pull on it" issue. Of course the issue could also affect his wrist extension/flexion, which would cause additional issues.

I would try putting hard-core Velcro on the paddle shaft to the left and right of the affected hand. Then bridge these two straps with Velcro straps across the hand in the direction of the shaft axis. One probably has to tighten the longitudinal straps to get a firm "passive grip". Wearing a paddle glove may protect against chafing.

Another possibility would be to modify a glove and cover the palm and finger surface with heavy duty Velcro and put a matching area at the site of the grip on the shaft.

One has to be OK with the velcroed hand becoming the dominant one (the one that does not allow the paddle shaft to rotate in the grip) and one has to be OK with not letting go of the paddle as quickly if emergently necessary.

Good luck to your friend!

Andy

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2 months 2 weeks ago - 2 months 2 weeks ago #34391 by SpaceSputnik
In weight lifting we use simple looped straps. It's a loop that goes at the base of your wrist with the strap continuing around the bar and coming back to under your palm. These help a lot with heavy stuff like deadlifts or bent rows.
There is no fixed attachment other than a  loop around your wrist, so you can let go easily. Just make sure the loop is not excessively lose so the strap doesn't just fall off.


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