Grip-need help

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Grip-need help

Postby ashley » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:19 pm

I know that a lot of people seem to think that small hands are over exaggerated here. But I have a question. I have been using a control grip on approach shots, which has worked out very well for me. However when I drive I have been using what I thought was a power grip. What I have realized though is that in order to get my index finger against the rim, it shifts the disc so that the disc is no longer on the seam of my hand, which makes it difficult to apply the proper pressure with my thumb.

The width of my middle joint of the index finger is just smaller than the rim of a teebird, if that helps. So, am I better sticking with a control grip on drives? Or is that going to take away some power? The other way I can hold it without it shifting above the seam is to place the other 3 fingers first, and then just pinch the index finger against the rim. By doing this, I can put some pressure on the index finger but it is closer to the joint than the end of the finger, if that makes sense?
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Re: Grip-need help

Postby Redisculous » Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:04 pm

Not at all trying to sound condescending or anything, but have you checked the grip article on the main page?

An above the seam grip may not actually be a bad thing. Masterbeato can throw faaaaaar and for a very long time advocated an above the seam grip.

I had a personal grip breakthrough some time ago when I realized that I was trying to orient the disc in my hand a certain way because I thought it was right, or it felt natural, as apposed to making sure the disc was oriented correctly in relation to the way it was going to fly. Basically I had convinced myself that my pinky should be touching the flight plate. My pinky is considerably shorter than the rest of my fingers and I realized I was actually holding the disc pretty nose up in my hand in order to keep my pinky where I thought it should be.

Now my pinky is still on the rim, but is hooked under just enough where it still adds to the grip without messing with the plane of the disc in my hand, and the disc is dramatically more nose down in my grip.

Also, I'm wondering if you have seen the "thumb forward" pic on the grip article. I know I used to have a problem adding downward pressure with my thumb for some time because I mistakenly thought it had to be directly above my index finger.

Unrelated to your specific question maybe, but my point is that perhaps you need to rethink what you know about grip.

What I did was to just hold the disc out in front of me, with a 2 finger grip, make sure the disc was oriented properly, and then added the rest of the fingers without disturbing the plan of the disc.

I know Blake commented some time ago on how long your finger joints should be compared to the rim of the discs you are throwing but I couldn't find it. Chances are if your hands are really that small, you just won't get the leverage needed to throw the wider rimmed faster stuff.

Last, a power grip will almost always impart more of your force/momentum/whatever you want to call it to the disc, but there are people who throw pretty far that don't use it.
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Re: Grip-need help

Postby ashley » Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:29 pm

This is all good information. The reason I am rethinking it all is because I got a sweet blood blister on my ring finger, and I realized it was because I wasn't putting enough downward pressure with my thumb, which caused the disc to slip and rotate on my ring finger. I just want to make sure I am using the best grip for my hand ultimately. I went and played in the field today, and just worked on using pressure with my thumb, and it did seem like I was getting a much better rip.
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Re: Grip-need help

Postby JR » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:05 pm

Grip has so many moving parts that lots of varying results can be had and small hands with short fingers are always at a disadvantage. My index finger middle section is exactly Teebird wide. I can feel a difference in grip strength for every millimeter of wing width judged by the pressure on my fingers, when i squeeze at full power standing still and not throwing. Valk is a mm wider than the TB and my index finger middle section and is slightly less pressure just detectable and everything beyond that drops the pressure fast. A Leopard at one mm less wing width than the TB gives me way more pressure than the TB. I suspect it comes from more leverage. So i'd test different discs for pressure in the fingers squeezing as hard as you can and go to the PDGA approved discs list to see the published specs of wing widths (height hurts grip strength too sometimes) and measure the discs you have for true width. If you are like me and get the best pressure with one or more mm of less wing width than the index finger middle section length, you should see, which discs fall into that range and see if you can make those discs and shorter winged ones your goto discs.

As long as pressure, nose angles are down and the muscles are loose so that the arm pull isn't slowed down grip does not matter. At least when there's no finger sticking and grazing. I got good nose down results with three finger power grip in the last session. I had difficulty in getting the discs high enough at first and had to adjust for a lower reach back and a higher rip to get enough air under the drivers for full line drive distance. I kept my pinky as vertical as the other fingers allowed so the pinky was tight against the side of the ring finger. Pinky under the corner of the rim and the wing. I imagine that long finger nails are a double edged sword with this grip. On the one hand a longer finger/nail combo can push the rear of the disc higher and the nose more down, but on the other hand i'm not sure about control with just the nail on the disc.

I tucked the fingers under the disc in sequence from the index finger to the pinky. I set the disc into the seam of my hand first but raising the rear of the disc above the seam is better. In both ways i put the index finger as far back as possible so that i can push the thumb farther forward than the index finger and gain some leverage there to push the nose down. It worked great! After the index fingers is in place i set the middle finger in, and this is important, with my anatomy at least the middle finger tries to push the index finger forward and i had to increase the index finger squeezing power to keep it from moving forward. The same for the ring finger.

I got even better nose down results with a two finger grip that has the ring finger pushing the rear of the disc up and the middle finger diagonally across the rim so that the grip is stronger and the index finger ain't pushed forward so bad. Beware that i hurt my finger from overuse pushing through pain pinching hard on too many field drives on too many days per week on too many weeks in a row. And i have used two fingered throws so many years, that my fingers have been slowly accustomed to the stress of not pushing it while pinch training. It can be dangerous to do many repetitions in field practice with just two fingers for the uninitiated.
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Re: Grip-need help

Postby ashley » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:51 pm

Just to clarify, I always try to keep my nails super short. If I don't it causes a lot of grip problems for me. What I was doing was gripping hard with my 4 fingers and just passively holding my thumb, and that is what I believe caused the blister.

It feels most natural to push my 3(middle, ring,pinky)fingers into the rim, and curl my index finger around, but it doesn't come as far in so it pinches closer to the joint instead of pushing against the rim. This is how I throw my approach(250 and in) and the consistency is pretty high. When I throw this way, the thumb pressure is there naturally. I am just curious as to how this might affect distance on a drive vs an approach.

Maybe I will just give this grip a try and see how it goes....
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Re: Grip-need help

Postby JR » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:54 pm

The old grip certainly stresses the skin even before throwing. There is an Innova video about grips, where Dave Dunipace said that the thumb pressure determines the strength of the grip. And strong grip is needed at some point to keep up the revs. I have had a fully warmed up King throw go 400' with the index finger alone, but it hurt. Usually i get less than that by quite a margin. I also lack spin, because i can only stop my wrist on approaches. Which leads to the need to test out different way of using the wrist once my leg heals from slipping and almost falling down. Anyway my grip hasn't given me enough spin so far. Please try the way to build the grip and position the fingers like i described in my previous post, because it makes a difference in the nose angle and flight.

The wider the wing, the weaker the index finger is, the more slips and lost distance is gotten from having only a part of the index finger in the disc. There are other issues like muscle tension and using thinner discs with which your index finger outer joint is under the rim/wing corner and the finger tip still touches the flight plate.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: Grip-need help

Postby Blake_T » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:06 am

my grip article is meant to serve as a starting point for developing grip (lining up the joints, disc plane, and tendons). recently i've found (due to short fingers) i've had to make significant adjustment in regards to the seam in order to build stronger leverage on the disc.

This is all good information. The reason I am rethinking it all is because I got a sweet blood blister on my ring finger, and I realized it was because I wasn't putting enough downward pressure with my thumb, which caused the disc to slip and rotate on my ring finger. I just want to make sure I am using the best grip for my hand ultimately. I went and played in the field today, and just worked on using pressure with my thumb, and it did seem like I was getting a much better rip.


a control grip is generally going to be weaker than other grips. you are probably correct with what you have found with your thumb, but be careful that you don't start gravitating towards more of a pinch grip than something more powerful as this is often the case when focus on thumb pressure starts to dominate. if you have to break the seam in order to get more natural leverage, that's fine. as long as your wrist hinge lines up with the disc plane, there won't be any power loss due to OAT.

if you don't have enough thumb pressure you won't be able to get any leverage. if you put too much thumb pressure, you'll weaken your finger grip on the rim wall and lock up your forearm/wrist. in many cases getting your hand more "on top" of the disc alleviates the need for excessive thumb pressure. i tend to think of the thumb as more of a stabilizer, holding the disc into the fingers... if that makes any sense.

tape can also help to prevent blisters. i tape 3-5 spots on my hand every time i play.
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Re: Grip-need help

Postby Blake_T » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:07 am

i will also add that the wider the rim, the more important thumb pressure becomes since you can't grip the rim nearly as well with your fingers.
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Re: Grip-need help

Postby ashley » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:48 am

I think I got it all worked out. I found a grip that seems to give me a good solid grip. Not putting a ton of pressure with the thumb, just enough to make it present and not passive? if that makes sense. I have actually figured a better way to get more pressure with my index finger also. I was actually able to throw the vulcan with some success today, so I know that it was working.

I don't keep the vulcan(158) in my bag for rounds, but I find throwing it in the field gives me a good feel for oat, because if I throw it with oat it will turn right and never come back, actually my 150 valk is very similar.
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Re: Grip-need help

Postby ashley » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:56 am

I was talking to a guy last night at doubles that throws with a power grip, but he doesn't use his pinky at all. I gave it a try, and the first couple were hyzers, but once I got the disc leveled out, it was giving me an extra 20 feet easy. You could see the difference in speed when the disc came out. It was fast and straight. I threw my valkyrie pretty low, maybe 5 feet off the ground and it went 300', or pretty close to that. Actually, I said to my husband, do you have a minute I want to show you something. I threw the first drive, and he said "what are you doing?" Because the difference was that obvious.

My husband was also trying it,actually, he cut his finger the other day, so he was actually using a Robbie Bratten two finger grip and he was getting an extra 30 feet. There was also another guy there that we have been playing with for years, and he was trying it too, and he said he was getting another 20 feet as well.
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Re: Grip-need help

Postby Blake_T » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:28 pm

reducing the finger count changes the tendon flexibility and if you drop enough of them out of the grip you are FORCED to throw with good timing (e.g. controlling the weight shift of the disc) or you won't be able to hold onto it.

that being said, reducing fingers weakens the grip, so any added distance is most likely due to improved flexibility and/or improved timing. if you could duplicate the same timing/motion with more fingers it should go farther.

using a stacked grip with 2 segments of the index finger in contact with the rim will will increase strength and have the same mobility effect that using a 2-finger grip will have.
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Re: Grip-need help

Postby JR » Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:03 am

What he said and here's my personal but: I have abnormal physiology in the throwing arm after injury and surgery. I just cannot get the same flexibility with a four fingered power grip. I'm not so sure that my timing is mostly better. Or that i could hold on to the disc longer with a four fingered power grip. In fact for some reason a Bratten or two fingered grip has so much more tendon motion that i may be getting more physical feedback through which i maybe able to time the wrist stiffening and especially pinch later. Possibly harder too. In a four fingered power grip the disc won't pivot as free in feeling and judging from the speed of the wrist area and down and visually faster, straighter and a little longer flight i just don't have the proper grip pressure strength in the pinky and ring finger down. There is a slight difference in favor of keeping the grip as loose as i can. Even when i pull it off the best i can it just is not as powerful as two fingered versions.

When i play tired, i get worse from my best disc pivot and especially for annies i must add a third finger. My best regularly occurring disc pivot is when the disc rips off of my fingers at 3 to 3.30 o'clock, when the throwing direction is 12 o'clock. That's what i call a micro slip, because the disc leaves in the direction i want, but loses spin and speed from not being able to hold onto the disc long enough. I don't get as powerful of a disc weight transfer=holding onto the disc long enough as i have on my best freak attempts. Those have the rip at about 5 o'clock and are never repeatable for me. I have a suspicion, that the reason why i can't keep on holding on until that late always is pain and subconscious letting go. Not just a lack of finger power, which certainly plays a part. One of those 5 o'clock rips left a two-three millimeter wide two millimeter deep depressed area in my index finger across the finger print area that stayed depressed for two minutes. That's what i call a pinch. It was my then record in distance throwing.

The pinch was an automated one more than a conscious pinch. Self preservation effect of not letting a weight slip and fall on your foot kicked in. Whatever is the proper name of that reflex -i haven't heard the proper name.
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