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Build UFC grip strength like Dan Hardy

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A powerful grip will allow anyone to lift heavier weights, and for UFC welterweight contender Dan Hardy it’s an essential part of grappling. His strength coach Ollie Richardson explains the moves that give Hardy his vice-like grip.
 
‘The farmer’s walk is the only real bit of strength endurance I do in my sessions with Dan.It trains his grip and upper body, which are key in jiu jitsu. Thewalking shouldn’t be too tiring – it’s really just to cause oscillationthrough the handles. Take 90 seconds between sets, and build up theweight you use.’
 
Another good ‘finisher’ for your sessions isthe rope climb. ‘This is a great way to increase pulling strength aswell as grip,’ says Richardson. ‘Dan will do threeclimbs, because it takes three or four pulls to get to the top, so he’sin the right rep range for max strength. If he can do more than that,we’ll stick a weighted jacket on him.’

Farmer's walk, sets 4, distance 40 metres
- Walk as fast as you can. If you haven’t got room to walk in a straight line for 40m, do laps.
- If you don’t have the kit, wrap towels around the handles of dumb-bells. To start off, try 25kg in each hand

Rope climb, sets 3, reps 3 (5m rope)
- Try to climb the rope without using your legs, and do three or four big pulls rather than lots of little ones.
- If you haven’t got a rope, throw a towel over a pull-up bar and grip the ends. Aim for eight to ten pull-ups per set.

Fight move – elbow combo
‘This is a close-range combination. I’ll tend to use this when my opponent’s backed up against the fence,’ says Hardy.
-Bring your left elbow up as if you’re aiming to catch an opponent underthe chin, aiming to hit with the point of the elbow. This should causeyour opponent’s head to come up.
- As his head comes up, bringyour right elbow straight over and down. Try to hit your opponenteither above the eye or on the nose.

Fight move – elbow combo
‘This is a close-range combination. I’ll tend to use this when my opponent’s backed up against the fence,’ says Hardy.
-Bring your left elbow up as if you’re aiming to catch an opponent underthe chin, aiming to hit with the point of the elbow. This should causeyour opponent’s head to come up.
- As his head comes up, bringyour right elbow straight over and down. Try to hit your opponenteither above the eye or on the nose.

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