Gear review: Black Diamond forearm trainer

If you didn’t know better, you’d think I was carrying a dog’s chew toy around in my purse.

I do, in fact, travel with a blue rubber ring that looks more like a distraction for a slobbering, furry friend than a strength-training tool. But it’s actually the Black Diamond Forearm Trainer, which I dropped about $7 on at REI’s flagship store in Denver during a recent trip.This strange new toy is part of a yearlong quest to strengthen my forearms and hands after a bad wrist-break last year. Scratch that—it stems from a yearlong *desire* to strengthen my forearms and hands—”quest” implies that I’ve been taking action on this desire. After initially promising myself I would be a jar-opening, rock-climbing, pull-up machine by the end of last year, I quickly got bored with the quest after physical therapy was through, and I moved onto sexier strength-training pursuits.

Fast-forward to my ACL reconstruction surgery two weeks ago, after which I was laid up for a few days, and unable to work out for a little less than a week. I wanted to do *something,* and forearm strengthening seemed like just the thing.

I’m sure this is impossible, but I truly feel like my grip strength is a little better after just a couple weeks of squeezing this bad boy, which I now bring everywhere with me. It’s a great way to kill time while sitting in traffic or meetings, watching TV or talking on the phone.

As a post-surgery gift, a friend lent me his Dyna-Flex Gyroball, which offers the same hand- and forearm-strengthening workout as the forearm trainer, with a whole lot more bells and whistles—it literally lights up neon yellow when you’re doing it right. As much fun at the Gyroball is to play with while you’re taking prescription painkillers (Spinning! Neon lights! Whee!), I think I actually prefer the stark simplicity of the ring.

Do you do anything to strengthen your hands and forearms? If so, what?


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2 responses to “Gear review: Black Diamond forearm trainer

  1. bwahahahaha. you and the painkillers, i love it. the only thing i do to strengthen my hands and forearms is a) grip the beer bottle and b) swing it up to my mouth. oh yes.

  2. I don’t do this often, but at the gym, get a straight short bar and attach it a low cable machine, perhaps the one you do bicep curls with, and instead of lifting, roll the bar away from you until you wrap the cable around it a few times. Unroll. Repeat. Not too many.

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