Do you have trouble opening jars of sauce? Trying to scoop rock-hard ice cream? Throwing gutter balls when bowling with your friends? Our hands are used for interacting with the world around us, and strengthening our wrists is a important matter that should be part of our workouts. The applications that require wrist strength apply to a wide variety of activities even if they are not sports or fitness related.
The SideWinder exerciser is a tool developed by Frank Nieman, an Illinois woodsman who was climbing trees for a living. He saw the need for strengthening his crew’s grips for climbing and created the device. It comes in three models of varying sizes and weight which accommodates different hand dimensions and strength requirements.
The device is relatively small and light which makes it quite portable whether you’re traveling or wanting to keep it in your office drawer. The entire tool is quiet no matter how much resistance you use. After months and months of use, there is no diminished resistance so long as you release the tension knob after each workout. As an added bonus, the product has a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects (presuming responsible use of the SideWinder).
Using the SideWinder is very simple. A know at the top adjusts the tension, and all you need to do is grab it in both hands and twist back and forth. You can vary intensities to your desire and do as many or as few repetitions as you like. The SideWinder website has a workout routine you can follow, but take note that varying your routine is key to building up strength and muscle in your forearm. Additionally, the SideWinder can be held in a multitude of ways which will also work your biceps, triceps, and shoulders. When you’re done, untwist the knob at the top release the tension.
My experience with the SideWinder so far has been nothing but positive. My weak wrists were brought to light when I started wielding weapons in my martial arts training. Despite the natural increase in my wrist strength, I still had some trouble particularly with bladed weapons. The SideWinder has strengthened my “kung fu grip” since I started using it, and I can feel the conviction much more in various hand techniques.
A simple tool like the SideWinder is a perfect accompaniment to any fitness enthusiast looking to strengthen their forearms and increase their grip strength. There are nearly no downsides to using this device (within reason). If anything, airport security might take notice though given its considerable weight and size if it happens to be in your carry-on luggage. While some may find it pricey, it’s well worth every penny for something extremely durable (machined from aluminum and steel) and portable which provides a complete wrist workout.
Note: As tempting as it looks, the SideWinder is NOT meant to be used as a lightsaber prop.