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Color: Blue, Light Tension (5-Pounds per Finger)Change
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on June 8, 2007
With a weight-training background I already have a number of products focusing upon forearm and grip strength. This by appearance and description seemed to fit a very specific purpose, what could be called finger-tip strength, so I went ahead and gave it a try.

Receiving it, the high-quality construction was immediately noticeable. Beginning with the highest tension [black] gripper, I began use intermittently, whenever web pages loaded in slowly, between television commercials, and so on.

I had no idea why during my twice-a-month hobbyist guitar playing, I was able to play with a marked increase in speed and accuracy. The fingers occasionally seemed to be pulled onto the fretboard like magnets. Thinking about it for a few minutes, I realized this device was the only significant change I had made over that time. Typically I had to warm-up for at least 30 to 45 minutes before my hands correctly played quicker fingering patterns. There was no lag time this time.

For the price and diminutive size of this device, it is surprising how effective it is at its focused purpose. I also noticed that, while my typing has not gotten any faster, I can type somewhat longer without becoming self-aware of fatigue.

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There are several reviews for this gripping device that claim insufficient resistance, even with the highest tension [black] version. This may be due to a misconception of the purpose and usage of this particular device. It is what could be thought of as a finger-grip strengthener, as opposed to those devices which develop palm grip-strength, which are far more common and found at any sporting goods store.

The tell-tale sign of improper use, is through where you position your grip when performing the exercises. If you find yourself grasping at mid-finger level, between the first and second knuckles, and squeezing all of the fingers together at the same time, pumping over and over again, you are using this improperly. You are to place the very tips of the fingers, before the first knuckles, on the finger-rests, and proceed to provide force with individual fingers, alternating with other patterns such as all four-fingers simultaneously as well, but always with this positioning. If you try using this device as a mid-finger, mid-grip strengthener (with the device ending up resting against the palm of the hand), you are using it incorrectly.

For a mid-grip strengthener, Captains Of Crush is very highly recommended. These provide massive amounts of resistance, and are for the more typical mid-grip strengthening exercises. Even the trainer, Captains of Crush Trainer Gripper, will at the beginning be highly difficult for most athletes. The efforts are well worth it, however, these are extremely high-quality devices. There is actually official certification for doing their highest level grip one single time, for one single repetition (the two ends touching). Through these you can perform the more typical palm-strength exercises.

Both the C.O.C. type of palm-level strengthener, and this Gripmaster fingertip-level type of strengthener, are needed for more complete and balanced grip strength. Doing exercises focusing on the forearms directly can also be very important. Any grip exercises strengthen the forearms as well, but only indirectly. It depends on how important overall lower-arm strength is to you. In any case, the Gripmaster is for working the most distal part of the grip, that is the tips of the fingers. Working it any other way, is not using the device for what it was designed for.
77 comments259 of 269 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 8, 2007
I [used to] love this product. But Gripmaster has reduced the palm pad to something too uncomfortable to be useful. I have a 5lb blue version, which I use often. I decided to get a 7lb medium version. What arrived was the new version, which I didn't expect - images weren't yet updated. As of this writing, Gripmaster's own site still doesn't picture the currently sold version. I've posted my own pictures here, which compare the original with the new version. The old version was nicely padded and ergonomically large. The new version has much less padding and it feels sharp and blocky. It wears on you after too few reps. With the original, I could go as long as my finger and forearm muscles would allow; with the new one, discomfort kicks in first. As other reviewers have noted, these aren't best for developing brute strength (weights are) but rather for therapy and dexterity, which require moderately high reps. If it can't do the reps without discomfort, it's just not worth using at all.

And in case you own the original and you're thinking you'll just put the big pad on the new skeleton, forget it. They're not interchangeable, which is also disappointing. On the original you could put the pad on either side, allowing you to use all your fingers on the unified bar or independently on the buttons. Can't do that with the new one. (See the pictures.)

Too often a company makes a good product and once it gains a market foothold, they cut costs and expect it will only increase profit margin. This is a perfect example. Well, I hope this review will encourage purchasing choices that make Gripmaster regret their choice to go cheap on their customers. Maybe they'll be compelled to resume making the great product it used to be, which led to all these positive reviews, almost all of which are NOT about the product you'll actually receive.

While I expect resurrection of the original Gripmaster to be a long shot, the fact remains: here's a smart little product I used to recommend to anyone - and now I think it's nearly useless. Disappointing.
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99 comments330 of 359 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 23, 2006
I used to try to strengthen my fingers using the Gripp balls, and later, the Gravity Gripp, which were grip balls that were also 1 pound weights. However, they were bulky, hard to get a grip on, and heavy and pretty silly looking. So, when I saw the picture of these awesome little gizmos in a catalog, I ordered one right away. They are about the same price of the Grip balls, but they are SO much cooler! Not only is this good for fitness training, they're even better for musicians! (my instrument is piano.) These are light and flat and they fit right into a purse. I don't feel silly using this out in public -- if anyone asks, I just let them try it, and they are immediately hooked. I carried my blue one around everywhere until this weekend, when I gave it away to a friend.

It is difficult to know which tension to use. I'm a woman with small hands, and found that I am right between the blue and the red. I use the blue one for 4th and 5th finger (left hand). I can usually handle the red one for everything else, but the booklet says that repititions are more effective than heavier tension. I use mainly the blue one now. I hope to work up to the red, but that will be a while. I'm also going to buy a couple more so I can work both hands simultaneously.

I do have one caveat -- make sure you use these correctly. Don't overdo it, or try to use a heavier tension to just to feel all macho. Like any weight training, you have to press the buttons precisely to isolate the muscles. Don't use your whole arm just to get the button pressed. I found that if I started to cheat, I got a little wrist pain and felt the beginnings of tendonitis. (another reason I'm staying on the blue tension for now.)

Oh, and buy your Gripmaster here at Amazon. They are $15 each everywhere else.
0Comment114 of 121 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 14, 2011
I love this product!! I just love it! Any guitar players out there who are reading these reviews, wondering whether or not they should invest in this tool, go ahead and click the "purchase" button!

I bought this one because I wanted to strengthen my fingers to better my guitar play. I bought the blue one (5 lbs) and this was a good one for me to start with. I am pretty strong so I was going back and forth regaring which one I should get, but I'm glad I aimed low and went for the blue because even though my grip is strong, when it comes to my individual fingers, that was an entirely different issue.

I've been practicing with the hand exerciser for about a week now, and my guitar has never sounded so good! I can play for a very long time with my chords being nice and solid the entire way through, I'm so happy I went ahead and bought this hand exerciser. On their website, they have various hand exercises you can do, depending on what purpose you got the exerciser for. There is a section specifically for guitarists (and even within this section, it is divided into various types of guitars, such as bass, acoustic etc...).

My pinky finger is slowly getting stronger, it's the slowest one in catching up, and no doubt I will purchase the next level up once my pinky is as strong as the rest :)

(I also bought that ruff rider attachment for this hand exerciser, which purpose is to help build or maintain calluses, and this too was money well spent! My calluses has built up very quickly, and what's even better is that I can take this with me on vacation, or if I go through a period with little guitar play, I can work out with the hand exerciser in order to keep my fingers nice & callused. I highly recommend for guitarists to spend the extra $$ for this attachment.)

Anyway... I have nothing bad to say about this tool. I totally love it. All guitarists ought to have one of these, or perhaps multiple.... for various locations (such as 1 in the car and 1 in the guitar bag or something like that).
0Comment32 of 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 21, 2005
I recently purchased a pair of the Gripmaster Hand & Finger Exercisers in order to help build forearm strength. As I was unsure which tension would be appropriate, I bought one each of the Light/Blue (5 lbs. tension) and Medium/Red (7 lbs. tension) grips. I've had them for a little more than a week now, and I just love, love, love them! Perhaps that's a little more enthusiasm than anyone should muster up for exercise accessories, but I really do enjoy the grips. I leave one out on my desk at all times, and get in a little work here and there when I stop to read a document or whatnot.

The Gripmaster Exercisers are different from conventional grips in that you can either work your entire hand at once, or each finger individually (great for guitar players, I've heard!). One side features four small levers, each with its own spring, that can be squeezed together or one at a time. The plastic on the flip side is molded together so that you can work your whole hand as one unit. The black rubber cushion is removable, and you can place it on either side of the grip. It's an awesome idea, and allows for maximum versatility!

Just for reference, I'm a female, in relatively good shape, but with painfully little forearm strength (my biceps are huge from years of Tae Bo, though!). The 7 lb. Medium/Red grip is do-able, but challenging. The 5 lb. Light/Blue grip, on the other hand, makes for a much easier workout; I oftentimes find myself squeezing it while doing other things, and I only feel it after a number of reps. If you're a female and not in great shape, you'll want to start out with the Light/Blue grips (or even the Extra Light/Yellow ones), and work your way up. Out-of-shape guys can probably get away with the Medium/Red ones to start. If you've got good hand/wrist/forearm strength, don't even both with the lighter tensions - skip ahead to the Medium/Red or Heavy/Black.

Although I've only owned my Gripmasters for a week or two, and can't personally vouch for their durability, they do seem sturdy and well-crafted. My fiancé's brother, an amateur boxer and guitar player, used his for years without a problem, so I have faith that I'll be squeezing these babies well into 2015!
33 comments130 of 155 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 21, 2005
I recently purchased a pair of the Gripmaster Hand & Finger Exercisers in order to help build forearm strength. As I was unsure which tension would be appropriate, I bought one each of the Light/Blue (5 lbs. tension) and Medium/Red (7 lbs. tension) grips. I've had them for a little more than a week now, and I just love, love, love them! Perhaps that's a little more enthusiasm than anyone should muster up for exercise accessories, but I really do enjoy the grips. I leave one out on my desk at all times, and get in a little work here and there when I stop to read a document or whatnot.

The Gripmaster Exercisers are different from conventional grips in that you can either work your entire hand at once, or each finger individually (great for guitar players, I've heard!). One side features four small levers, each with its own spring, that can be squeezed together or one at a time. The plastic on the flip side is molded together so that you can work your whole hand as one unit. The black rubber cushion is removable, and you can place it on either side of the grip. It's an awesome idea, and allows for maximum versatility!

Just for reference, I'm a female, in relatively good shape, but with painfully little forearm strength (my biceps are huge from years of Tae Bo, though!). The 7 lb. Medium/Red grip is do-able, but challenging. The 5 lb. Light/Blue grip, on the other hand, makes for a much easier workout; I oftentimes find myself squeezing it while doing other things, and I only feel it after a number of reps. If you're a female and not in great shape, you'll want to start out with the Light/Blue grips (or even the Extra Light/Yellow ones), and work your way up. Out-of-shape guys can probably get away with the Medium/Red ones to start. If you've got good hand/wrist/forearm strength, don't even both with the lighter tensions - skip ahead to the Medium/Red or Heavy/Black.

Although I've only owned my Gripmasters for a week or two, and can't personally vouch for their durability, they do seem sturdy and well-crafted. My fiancé's brother, an amateur boxer and guitar player, used his for years without a problem, so I have faith that I'll be squeezing these babies well into 2015!
11 comment72 of 87 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 29, 2008
First off, i bought this to help with my guitar playing. I bought the black one. its a great product, i just wish i'd have gone with the 5 or the 7. i didnt realize how stiff 9 pounds would be on one finger at a time lol. so i'd recommend buying one of these, just at a lower tension, like 5 or even 7
0Comment13 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 31, 2009
I got this to strengthen my fingers for guitar playing. I have to say it definitely takes some serious grip to use. I strongly considered getting the yellow model with lighter tension (3 lbs), but after a little research opted for the blue model with five pounds per finger. I'm okay with it, but I do think the lighter tension model would have been easier for my two smallest fingers. My two smallest fingers are the weakest and can only slightly move this 5 lbs of tension. That's why I think for my purposes, I would have preferred being able to move and strengthen all the fingers. I would suggest researching the models on the internet and reading about them before you buy. Also if you are like I was with doubt about your hand/finger strength you should probably go with the lighter tension model. Overall the Gripmaster is made very nice and serves the purpose. I have no complaints with the product. Just know your abilities.
0Comment15 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 30, 2010
I purchased the xx-light based on a recommendation from my 9 year old's cello teacher. She was just starting cello and was having trouble holding down the strings. She had needed occupational therapy for a few years when she was younger, so i knew her fingers were weak in general. She used this just once in a while, while watching tv and it really seemed to help. she has no trouble with the cello string now. When i originally purchased it i thought i might have to go up to the next strength...but this one was perfect for her and did the trick.
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on July 31, 2006
Let me start saying that this is a wonderful product. Small, light, and well constructed (they feel like they will last forever). You can carry them with you, allowing to workout your fingers at the office, at home or wherever you find suitable. I bought the four different color-coded gripmasters: Black/heavy, Red/medium, Blue/light, and Yellow/extra light. I only found the resistance of the red and black ones useful for me, but my wife loves the blue and yellow ones. It was a great buy because of their high quality and affordable price.

The product comes with a foldable instruction booklet where you find details for six different exercises:

- Trigger pinch. This one simulates the movement of squeezing a trigger, and it isolates the index finger for enhanced strength and coordination.

- Gross grasp. This one strengthens fingers, thumb, wrist and forearm for a firm grip.

- Hook position. This one strengthens longer muscles in forearm and wrist while stretching smaller muscles in hand for greater motion and endurance.

- Tip to tip pinch. This exercise strengthens specific fingers, thumb, smaller hand muscles and forearm for greater control and endurance.

- Wrist flexion. It strengthens wrist and forearm muscles.

- Key pinch. Strengthens thumb and index finger for greater stability and coordination.

At the gripmaster website you can find more exercises for different activities and sports.

If you are looking to crush hands when handshaking this is not the product for you, but if you need finger strength, control, endurance and coordination you are in the right place.
0Comment19 of 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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