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How can I strengthen my little fingers? Not squeeze strengt

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:39 pm
by LevelMarc
I'm a server and we have to hand carry the plates to the tables. I need to be able to carry three at a time so one gets balanced on your palm and forearm the other, the problem, gets held in your hand with the palm facing up and the little finger and thumb on the top the other fingers are on the bottom. The problem is the little finger and the weight on the plates pushing up. This causes the arm to rotate which causes problems with balancing the second plate on your palm and forearm.

Any suggestions on how to strength the little finger.

Thanks

Re: How can I strengthen my little fingers? Not squeeze str

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:50 pm
by strathmeyer
The usual exercise for grip strength is to pinch and hold two plates together for time. No reason you couldn't do this with just your thumb and little finger.

I have seen hand pronation and supination machines but they would probably less helpful than a normal bench press and row for you. Same thing for internal and external shoulder rotation: you're probably going to get more benefit from strengthening your entire body.

Re: How can I strengthen my little fingers? Not squeeze str

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:13 pm
by ephs
this tool could be helpful: http://www.amazon.de/Heavy-Sports-Gripp ... 206&sr=8-3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: How can I strengthen my little fingers? Not squeeze str

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:37 pm
by Jungledoc
I'm not aware of any techniques for selectively training your 5th finger. I think you'll need to do general grip training, and allow the 5th finger to get stronger along with all the others.

I won't to write a discourse on grip training--I train grip, but I'm no expert. Not sure that there's any of the regulars here who are particularly knowledgeable on this. But, there are several websites specifically on this. A quick Google search came up with these and others.
http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j ... 4169,d.aGc
http://www.ironmind.com/ironmind/opencm ... rain1.html
I didn't spend any time sorting through these, so I'm sure you can find many others.

By the way, trying to train such a small part of your body in isolation won't be very effective. You really need to train your whole body. That's a plug for getting into strength training, if you aren't already!

Good luck!

Re: How can I strengthen my little fingers? Not squeeze str

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:00 pm
by pdellorto
LevelMarc wrote:I'm a server and we have to hand carry the plates to the tables. I need to be able to carry three at a time so one gets balanced on your palm and forearm the other, the problem, gets held in your hand with the palm facing up and the little finger and thumb on the top the other fingers are on the bottom. The problem is the little finger and the weight on the plates pushing up. This causes the arm to rotate which causes problems with balancing the second plate on your palm and forearm.
In all seriousness, I'd just do more of what you need to do at work. Load up some plates (preferably non-breaking ones) and hold them for time. Try to add a little more time each session, or a little more weight for the same time.

You need this strength for a specific purpose. So train it with that specific task.

Re: How can I strengthen my little fingers? Not squeeze str

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:19 pm
by LevelMarc
Guys it's not grip it's the opposite. It's extension. Your pushing down on the plate with the thumb and the little finer while the other three are pushing up. While your doing this your balancing the second plate on your palm and forearm.

pdellorto thanks from the searching that I've done that's what I came up with also.

Re: How can I strengthen my little fingers? Not squeeze str

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:37 am
by ephs
what about this freaky push ups bruce lee did? you could do push ups with thumb + other fingers. i think lee could do push ups with thumb + forefinger.

Re: How can I strengthen my little fingers? Not squeeze str

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:42 am
by Oscar_Actuary
Look, I did this for several year, so I feel you.
First, it seems you are using "little finger" when you sometimes mean index finger... or lets do what Doc did, we have "Thumb", Index (1st finger), Middle Finger, Forefinger, and Pinky (aka 5th finger)

One plate goes between the thumb and first finger, hold it by the edge, so that the major part of the plate sits to your outside, wrist cocked back slightly (this plate will be a shelf/aide to support the third plate.)
2nd plate sits under (or against, depending on size/shape/weight) the index finger and on top of the other three fingers. The 3 fingers on bottom really dont do much work. If you put the plate properly between the index and middle finger it will stay put.
Now with those two plates locked in place, and level (maybe plate 2 tilts in a tad - just be mindful if your carrying something like Brown Butter spagetti, let that be plate 1, its going to be more level. Your forearm will not be flat (aka fleshy side up), it just can't happen with the way you need to hold Plate #1. But that's ok, Set plate 3 on the forearm, overlapping the edge of plate 1.
For five tops, Plate 4 can then sit up in the crook of the elbow, with its edge on the upper edge of plate 3. That is less important. You'll have plenty more 2 and 4 tops in your days, unless you're a banquet waiter. Carrying 3 tumblers in one hand is a must.

cheers

editted for worse than usual typing

Re: How can I strengthen my little fingers? Not squeeze str

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:43 am
by Dub
It's not extension. Extension is the part when you straigthen your fingers and try to get them under the knuckles so to speak. What waiters do is just flexion, but with near straigth fingers. It's a lot of static training. Work the whole hand.

Bret Contreras has an awesome Q&A with a grip world record holder and champion, Adam Glass. Check it out:
http://bretcontreras.com/2012/08/an-int ... dam-glass/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I would suggest doing some grip work with flexion, pinches and stuff, and then do the think Peter said. Just do the thing you want to get better at. Hold plates. Even weigth plates for time.

Re: How can I strengthen my little fingers? Not squeeze str

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:56 am
by Oscar_Actuary
lol
All you non waiters are missing his question.


I think he thinks his problem is the inability to maintain a flat surface for the 3rd plate on his forearm, and believes if he could keep his 3 fingers extended supporting the plate in his palm, then the forearm would be in a better position. But, actually, the 3rd plate balances on both the forearm and another plate

The best answer also depends on the size, shape and weight of the plates

Re: How can I strengthen my little fingers? Not squeeze str

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:01 am
by robt-aus
i get it! we're talking about wait training!



ha!

Re: How can I strengthen my little fingers? Not squeeze str

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:07 am
by Dub
Oscar_Actuary wrote:lol
All you non waiters are missing his question.
Hey back off mate. Just so you know I've even gotten a course on waitering. And I'm a bartender. SO shush.
So the problem is that your forearm and palm tend to internally rotate when under too much load? The pinky goes down, hand tries to get into neutral?

What about bicep curls? One of the main function of the bicep is to externally rotate and flex the arm. So strengthen the bicep and try to keep the wrist supinated and tight while doing them. That should work everything from grip to shoulder on what you need.

Re: How can I strengthen my little fingers? Not squeeze str

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:02 am
by KenDowns
Thumb War!

Oscar vs. Dub!

Re: How can I strengthen my little fingers? Not squeeze str

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:44 am
by Oscar_Actuary
Dub wrote: So the problem is that your forearm and palm tend to internally rotate when under too much load? The pinky goes down, hand tries to get into neutral?
What about bicep curls? One of the main function of the bicep is to externally rotate and flex the arm. So strengthen the bicep and try to keep the wrist supinated and tight while doing them. That should work everything from grip to shoulder on what you need.
you know, I may have misunderstood, too. Sounds perhaps now like she's only trying to carry 2 plates in one arm/hand and the 3rd in the other, I guess. That would make more sense given the OPs description, albeit confusing.
FWIW, I too have problems externally rotating with load in my palm, and flexed. More curls, I guess.

That said, hold two plates in your hand as described above, rather than running it up your arm. Don't use the arm until the 3rd plate on that same side

Re: How can I strengthen my little fingers? Not squeeze str

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:47 pm
by robertscott
I hear squatting makes everything bigger.