Affiliate Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off purchases, at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
Health & Safety Disclaimer: This post may contain workout and health advice and information, designed for entertainment and/or educational purposes. Without delay, always consult your doctor before trying out a new fitness regimen. Bodyweight MAX should not be used as a substitute for professional medical services.
Clinically Fit’s The Xtensor is another grip strengthening product that I would like to promote on Bodyweight MAX. Unlike the Hand X Band, which I reviewed before, The Xtensor comes in only one version, but it can be adjusted to three resistance levels for each finger. And while it isn’t all that flashy, it is still a great way to improve your grip. And as you know, grip strength for calisthenics is a very big deal.
For the most part, The Xtensor serves the same purpose as the Hand X Band in that it focuses on abductor strength – opening the palms and fingers. It is unlike regular grip strengthening products, which focus on adductors (for squeezing). There is a 99% chance that for people who work out, there imbalance between the two – and that is what makes the Xtensor so unique and beneficial. Still, now that we know there are more products like this out there, how does The Xtensor compare to the competition?
The Xtensor – Features
Product Type: Extending Grip Strengthener
Resistance Types: Light, Medium and Heavy
Two Thumb Slots: So it can be used with both hands
Material: Latex bands, plastic grip and outer shell
Using The Xtensor… For the Extensor
- Injury Recovery. Everything from strains, sprains, pulled muscles, or tennis elbow, using the Xtensor can help speed up your rehabilitation so you can get back to your exercises much sooner than you would otherwise be able to.
- Injury Prevention. Protecting your wrists is of the utmost importance! And now I can tell you from firsthand experience how much wrist injuries mess EVERYTHING up. I do wonder if my injury never would have happened if I’d known about the Xtensor before. Using the Xtensor gives your wrists, hands and forearms that extensor strength that has been most likely been ignored for all these years. With stronger extensors comes higher resistance to accidental injuries.
- Improves Grip Strength. My website is entirely based around calisthenic exercises, and for me, the first calisthenic move I think of is always the pull up. Hanging exercises aren’t just based on the strength of your big upper body muscles, like the back, arms and shoulders. They also depending on the smaller areas, like your wrists, fingers, and forearms – all of which need to be strong for improved grip strength. If you continue to use the Xtensor, your grip will improve, and in turn your pull ups (and other hanging and pulling exercises) will as well.
- Helps with Long-Term Conditions. Carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, tendonitis, all the arthritic conditions from A to Z… The Xtensor will help relieve the painful symptoms that come with these.
- Helpful for People Who Do Repetitive Motions. For work or otherwise, many of us sit at desks, type, write, text, drive, or do other minute hand motions for long, continuous periods of time. This item is so helpful for relieving the stress that comes with those motions.
- Brings Balance to Grip Strength. Most of the exercises we do, bodyweight or otherwise, involve us squeezing our hands in some form or another. Holding weights, hanging from a bar, pushing or pulling, the way we exercise our hands is through a closing motion, rather than an opening motion. Thus, there is an imbalance between the opening muscles and the closing muscles. The Xtensor closes this gap, and even affects our nervous system in new ways, improving how we exercise.
- Helps with Forearm Size & Aesthetics. Last and least? Yes. But it’s always a nice bonus when exercising helps your muscles look bigger. Using the Xtensor continuously will do this.
- Convenient. This is small enough to keep in a coat pocket, a purse, or at your desk. Use it whenever you have a free hand. The fact that you can just slide this over your fingers while hanging out and doing other tasks is very nice.
- Compact. This thing will fit anywhere – just don’t lose it!
- Inexpensive. $30 each is a good deal for something that you can use so conveniently. The price is more than worth it when you start seeing the positive outcomes you’re looking for.
- Adjustable Resistance for Each Finger. This may be more helpful than you think. Other than the thumb, you can increase or decrease the difficulty for each finger.
- Allows You to Focus on Individual Finger Strength. Going along with the above bullet point, it is great that you can focus on a single finger as opposed to having to you all five. This facet could be very effective for people recovering from certain injuries or health conditions that affect more minute muscles and nerves.
- One Size Fits Most? This is a big error that may affect a purchase or not. If you have thinner fingers, or around average-sized fingers, then it should be OK to spend the $30 on the Xtensor. If not, then you should probably go with the Hand X Band.
- All Finger Slots Are the Same Size. Since when is the pinky finger the same diameter as the middle finger? A bit of an oversight.
- Too Easy to Break. There are a lot of components to the Xtensor, which means there is a lot of potential for one tiny piece to break. In turn, this single broken part of the item can render the entire item useless (you can replace the bands, though it’s a bit overpriced). It is for this reason that I would give the Hand X Band the edge over the Xtensor.
The Xtensor – OVERALL
The Xtensor is a great option to strengthen your grip, and I love that you can adjust the resistance to three levels for each of your four fingers. If you use it regularly – say, a few times a week – then you will see the positive results you are looking for: injury prevention, a stronger grip, lessened pain, and numerous other benefits. Still, it is a little too complex for its own good, and over time SOMETHING will break or snap. That said, it is only $30, so you will probably get some good use out of it before it does go. And whether you use the Xtensor, the Hand X Band, or another grip strengthener, always remember to stretch!
My Score: 3.5 out of 5
Do you have The Xtensor? How has it helped with your grip strength? Let us know in the comments below!