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Softball Grip Pull-ups

Following a few recent discussions on the forum (here and here), I decided to make a pair of softball pull-up grips.  A quick search of the web brought up one commercial option that retails for over $70.  The DIY model will cost closer to $10.

To begin, I purchased two softballs for a total of $6, and then two eye bolts with a nut and washer for each ($4).  The eye bolts are 6 inches long and 3/8″ thick.  I drilled a hole through each ball and then screwed in the eye bolt.  The drilled hole should be slightly smaller than the eye bolt to ensure a tight fit.  I then added a washer and nut to the protruding end.

To attach the grips to the pull-up bar, I made two connectors with chain and a spring clip. Other attachments could certainly be used, but I already had these on hand.

Next, you can see how the connectors attach around the pull-up bar:

If you are looking to add some grip work to your pull-up routine, these grips are an inexpensive and effective option.

These grips can also be attached to rings for body rows.

For approximately $10 and ten minutes of your time, these grips make for a very easy do-it-yourself project.

More homemade equipment ideas can be found within the link below:

Homemade Equipment Archives

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25 Comments so far

  1. John Johnson April 9th, 2010 6:48 pm

    Wow, what a great idea, I’m making a pair as soon as I can. Now I have something new to add to my to do list.

  2. Jon C (mtguy) April 9th, 2010 8:59 pm

    The baseballs/softball grips are a great and cheap way to change up pull-ups and get some grip work too. Glad to be of some help for people

  3. Mike April 9th, 2010 10:09 pm

    Awesome and affordable idea! I’m whipping these up next week. Thanks Ross!

  4. [...] Softball Grip Pull ups Push up central [...]

  5. stevie April 10th, 2010 9:32 am

    i had a similar idea from watching a program called ninja warrior(if anyones seen it they will know what i mean)but ive never gotten round to you think id be able to do this with tennis balls?

  6. Jon C (mtguy) April 10th, 2010 12:34 pm

    “stevie April 10th, 2010 9:32 am
    i had a similar idea from watching a program called ninja warrior(if anyones seen it they will know what i mean)but ive never gotten round to you think id be able to do this with tennis balls?”
    I dont know how the tennis balls would hold up being drilled into, but I’ve tried these before

  7. Matt "Wiggy" Wiggins April 10th, 2010 3:05 pm

    Yo Ross – how are you, brother? I’m sure you likely have this book already, but for a shit-ton of ideas similar to this softball grip (and most are all super-cheap, DIY stuff as well), check out John Brookfield’s “Mastery of Hand Strength”. It used to be advertised in “Ironman” magazine (the bodybuilding rag) some…jeez…15+ years ago, so the book is fairly old. But I wouldn’t be surprised if you couldn’t pick it up on Amazon or the like for <$15. It's an awesome read.

    Take care man.

  8. Weekend Link Love | April 12th, 2010 1:49 am

    [...] to spice up your pullups? Head over to Ross Training and learn how to make DIY softball grips for about [...]

  9. Chantal April 13th, 2010 10:17 pm

    Great idea! I’m going to make some this weekend and try them out. Thanks for the great blogging.

    BTW..I found out about your site because someone referenced you as the “best training blog” on the web. I think I’m starting to agree. Cheers!:)

  10. Ronald Pettersen April 14th, 2010 6:33 am

    Great idea!!
    I have anotgher affordable version of this. I found in the local mall, pet section, a bite toy for large dogs. It is solid rubber with a string attached. The string has a loop (for the pet owners hand) and can be used as is, if you have enough ceiling. If not, it can be shortened using the same knot as in your suspension trainer.

    Strength and honor!

  11. Ronald Pettersen April 14th, 2010 2:38 pm

    Oh forgot to mention. The above pet toy is 2,5″ diameter ball, and cost about 2.50 USD a piece.


  12. dragonn76 April 14th, 2010 4:52 pm

    I was just thinking of making the same device for deadlifting attached weight plates for grip work. Read about it in “The Mastery of Hand Strength”

  13. Tyciol April 14th, 2010 5:57 pm

    This looks even better than a thick bar!

    Hey um… I don’t know if anyone is watching the most recent season of TUF (The Ultimate Fighter, Tito vs. Chuck a 2nd time)

    I was looking at the gym they had in the first episode and it looked like they had a pullup station and it was like these two huge black padded cyclinders, it was like some insane grip I think.

  14. Don’t miss these great links! April 22nd, 2010 1:06 pm

    [...] has some great ideas for homemade gym kit and these softball pull up grip tools are well worth looking into.  Simply put, you drill eyelets into your softballs and hang carabiners [...]

  15. Weekend Link Love | Mark's Daily Apple April 27th, 2010 11:35 pm

    [...] Thanks for visiting!Want to spice up your pullups? Head over to Ross Training and learn how to make DIY softball grips for about [...]

  16. Bobby May 1st, 2010 11:33 pm

    i checked out the message boards and saw some guy made these out of baseballs. would the baseballs be easier to grip than the softballs? i assume so, but jsut double checking. i want to work my way into the harder stuff, not start off with it.

  17. Administrator May 1st, 2010 11:46 pm

    yes ^

    the baseballs will be easier to grip

  18. Never seen anything like that, must be very good for grip development.

    I need to buy some tools first to do something like that.

  19. Maximum Gazhole - Page 19 [Forums] September 16th, 2010 5:05 pm

    [...] Try these for some grip training Blog [...]

  20. BrockDoe October 15th, 2010 11:02 pm

    Nice! Using just one ball with both hands would be good for developing strength in the Muay Thai clinch. Arms/hands would be in the same position as if you were holding onto the back of someones head and neck.

  21. Grip exercises? - Fight Tips July 8th, 2011 8:01 am

    [...] Re: Grip exercises? –Hang a rope or cloth and do pull ups on it and climb it –Take a broom/pole/rake/bo staff(any kind of long stick will do) stand the stick straight up and place one hand around it at the top section and using only that hand, climb your fingers all the way to the bottom of the stick so that the entire stick is up in the air and you are holding it around the bottom section. When your hand gets to the bottom section you can slowly tilt the stick forward so it is horizontal then tilt the stick back up so it is vertical. Also kinda cool, I found these homemade pull up handles made from softballs on this website Blog [...]

  22. Micko December 12th, 2011 4:20 pm

    Could i do the same thing but with rings instead of softballs/baseballs

  23. Troy - Cube.Dweller.Fitness December 17th, 2011 9:32 pm

    These were fun to make. I used much longer bolts so there is room for my fingers on top of the ball.

    Check out the post and video –

    I haven’t tried them with the rings, yet.

    Any other training tips?

  24. Chin Up Bars For Home December 28th, 2011 12:28 am

    thank you for posting in this site I will bookmark this site and tell my friend about this nice site to blog…

  25. Dylan September 25th, 2014 5:13 pm

    Just made a set of these. Awesome idea. Price beats the overpriced roguefitness and just as effective. Thank you fellow ironblood.

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