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My work gym has quite a range of equipment, it being a student gym where a lot of students bring their kit in and often forget it, or donate it. Although there is plenty of equipment that is new and top of the range, there are also the occasional experimental pieces of kit that you get the chance to try, and this strange contraption was one of them recently.
Imagine playing a trumpet, and focus on the hand that would press the three pistons down at the top. Add an extra one and place some tightly wound springs in the interior and this is pretty much what you have here. At first glance, it looks pretty impressive - very modern and sleek and new age. White things can sometimes do that though when you've been used to dark colours.
The idea is that it works your fingers. This improves reaction times for your hands which is handy when playing music or sport, but really there have to be easier ways of doing it than this. When you're holding it, each of your fingers goes on a piston/button/plunger. The base of your palm goes underneath, and there's a sort of contour on the bottom that's supposed to fit snugly with your hand so that it increases comfort and efficiency. I have to say though, I've used a number of hand grips and this is not only the more complicated but also the most uncomfortable. There are metal ones which dig in less, and the main reason for this is the shape of them. An ever so slightly curved pad tops each plunger, but it's all hard plastic and just digs in. I found them extremely uncomfortable to use, and my fat finger syndrome makes this all the more evident.
You may be forgiven for thinking that the awkwardness and occasional pain is to do with not being used to devices such as this, and this is sometimes the case with something new. However, I'm used to these and still they hurt. There's some strange hard spring system going on with it in between your fingers and palm as well, designed to maximise the effect, but I find it hard to know where to comfortably put your thumb, and I'm never certain I've got the thing round the right way because of the slightly curved pad underneath. The heavy load on the springs means that your little finger will do harder work than the rest, because unlike other finger grips, these help you work your fingers individually.
There's certainly positive things to consider when you look at the idea behind the product, but concept is not a selling point in itself. I think there's a way to go before this is a firm favourite, perhaps a redesign with comfort in mind would be good, and adjusting the tension according to which finger goes where. It's not a complete disaster and there are worse products around, but this isn't one I prefer to use. It retails at over £10 which is also a shame, as many similar products come way under this mark.
The pro tension handgrips are a sort of handgrips with a different design. These handgrips are designed with separate springs on the different grips for individual fingers. The idea behind this is that you can exercise each finger individually, and the idea behind this is similar to the movements you might make say playing a guitar and so on. I think this instrument is more for musicians rather than atheletes or average people, which is something that i wish i knew before i bought this, as i am not a musician.
Anyway, there a few things wrong with this. Firstly the price, i got this for around 12 quid, considering that a normal handgrip of this strength would be around half the price, i had high hopes for this. Secondly this device is exceptionally uncomfortable in your hands, as its all hard plastic, and there is no cushioning or foam or anything like that. The net result is that you end up stopping using this more because of the comfort, rather than the exercise itself.
Furthermore all the springs are the same strength. Now for your little finger, its obviously a lot harder to squeeze shut compared with your bigger fingers, so it just means that for every exercise, there are some fingers that you cannot do it properly with, and because you little finger is smaller than the others, you end up holding the device in a very contorted way, its just not very pleasant or easy.
So in summary then, i would recommend either getting normal handgrips if you want them for just general training like i did. If you want these for a guitair or something, then i would recommend getting a lighter weight of handgrip, as i can't imagine you need strength for a guitair, i guess its more about speed and accuracy, which i guess you can get better with the lighter weights. Which leaves me wondering who this device is actually for?
I got recently some ionsdale handgrips for 2 quid from sports direct. They are much better than these, and there are also 1/7th of the price! And feel better made as well! Therefore i give this 2/5 stars, as i think for a select few people, this might be what they need (musicians)