Ever wonder how rock climbers seem to keep themselves from falling off a cliff? Or how baseball players can hold on to a bat as they hit a fastball to the stands? Well, it’s all because of their strong forearms or their grip strength.
But, having a strong forearm has more practical uses aside from rock climbing or hitting a home run. When you have a strong forearm, you can easily carry groceries from the store to your car. It also allows you to do laundry as well as shovel snow in winter. Of course, it helps during things like CrossFit workouts or Fitness Boot Camps as well.
So, it’s always a good idea for you to improve your forearm strength. Before we discuss how you can improve your grip strength.
What is Grip Strength?
Often called hand strength, grip strength is the amount of force you exert when you pull or suspend objects using your hand. It is basically the amount of muscular strength of your forearm muscles.
It’s important for rock climbers and weight lifters. It is also important for people whose professions require them to use their hands.
Studies have pointed at the connection between your grip strength in midlife and possible physical disability when you get older. Due to this, you may prevent disability and injury if you improve your arm strength.
Improving it can be done through weight training and ordinary daily activities. But before we go to the ways for you to improve your grip strength, let’s discuss the different types of grips.
Types of Grips
Grip strength can be grouped into three types depending on the different ways a grip is made. These three types are as follows:
#1 Crush Grip
This is the most common type of grip and is normally used in a handshake. The object you grip is positioned in the middle of your palm and all your fingers. It is your ability to squeeze objects between your palm and fingers.
When you have a strong crush grip, your handshake will be firm and you may be able to break objects with pressure. This type of grip is also used to swing a bat and climb ropes.
#2: Support Grip
A support grip involves holding objects for a long time. You would need to have good muscular endurance to have a strong support grip.
This type of grip is normally used when you’re holding the handle of a bucket or a shopping bag. You also use this when you’re carrying laundry or performing pull-ups.
#3: Pinch Grip
A pinch grip involves holding objects with your fingers. In this grip, you typically lift objects without letting it touch your palm.
A pinch grip is normally used when you lift weight plates or a sheet of plywood from the top edge. If you’re into rock climbing, a good pinch grip can also be very useful.
Importance of Grip Strength
It is important to have a solid grip since this is necessary for some basic tasks like carrying grocery bags or doing laundry. You also need grip strength to shovel snow during winter.
If you’re an athlete, you should be aware of the importance of grip. It is essential for nearly all sports, including baseball, rock climbing, and golf, among others. Grip strength has a considerable effect on your performance in these sports.
It is also important for ordinary activities such as holding your phone or a pen. You also need it to open jars.
Despite this, grip strength is taken for granted. People only acknowledge their significance when they get older. At this point, some people may already have health issues that affect their hand and arm strength.
With this in mind, it is essential for you to maintain good grip strength to avoid any issues in the future.
Improving Grip Strength
Now that you have an idea about what grip strength is all about, let’s discuss how you can improve it. Improving it does not normally use a lot of equipment.
In fact, some exercises only require basic items you can easily find at home. They may even be common tasks that people tend to forego doing with the advancements in technology.
Check out some of these ordinary tasks that allow you to improve your grip strength.
#1: Squeezing Stress Balls
Aside from relieving stress, you can also work on your crush grip strength when you squeeze stress balls. To up the ante, you may opt to squeeze tennis balls instead of ordinary stress balls.
No stress balls at home? No problem since we found the following stress balls you may want to buy:
Sports Themed Stress Balls
- SOFT & SQUEEZABLE: Indulge in the stress-relieving experience provided by these soft foam balls....
- DURABLE & FUN: Dive into endless hours of amusement with these mini sports balls. Their durable...
- ASSORTED SPORTS DESIGNS: From baseball to soccer and basketball, these mini balls showcase an array...
- PERFECT PARTY FAVORS: Elevate your parties by gifting these as sports-themed party favors. Your...
- BULK PACK: Cater to larger parties & events with this bulk pack of 12 foam balls. Whether it's for...
If you love sports, then you’ll likely keen on getting the Sports Themed Stress Balls from Neliblu. Redirect your stress while improving your grip strength with these 12 sports-themed stress balls. Moreover, they come with a manufacturer’s warranty and a 100-percent money-back guarantee when you buy it from an authorized reseller.
Oji-Emoji Party Stress Balls
- Great kids stocking stuffer, cute and fun custom emoji stress ball face designs, extremely fun...
- Stocking Stuffer for kids! Relieves stress and has great therapy benefits. Stress balls are...
- Proven benefits for different learning obstacles and anger management. Stress balls are proven to...
- Awesome toy for fun. satisfying feeling, high quality foam materials, adorable faces to match mood....
- Great for birthday gifts, giveaways, kids parties, holidays, stocking stuffers, special occasions,...
Do you want to have some fun while improving your grip strength? Then, the Oji-Emoji Party Stress Balls are what you’re looking for. These custom emoji-faced stress balls are made of high-quality foam material that allows you to drive away stress while exercising your hands.
Moreover, you can use a different face to match your current mood. Each purchase gives you a 12-piece set of stress balls.
#2: Carrying Groceries to the Car
Something as simple as carrying groceries to your car allows you to work on your support grip. You may even park your car far from the entrance to give your grip a longer workout.
#3: Manipulate small objects using tweezers
This exercise allows you to work on your pinch grip. You can pick up different items using tweezers, including marbles, coins, and beads.
#4: Use a hand gripper
Another simple way to improve your grip strength is to use a hand gripper or a gripper. It is primarily used to improve your crush grip since it is designed to have your fingers as the main focus of the tool.
If you have no hand gripper at home, you may want to check out the following:
E-smartinlife Hand Grip
- One Set Of Two Quality Foam Hand Grippers Perfect For Athletes,Use To Increase Finger, Hand And...
- Rehabilitate And Relieve Pain Using The Hand Strengthener, For Conditions Such As: Arthritis, Carpal...
- It Has Been Scientifically Proven That Using A Grip Strengthener Helps Relieve Stress
- Are Other Hand Grips Destroying Your Hands? We Only Use The Highest Quality Foam To Ensure Your...
The E-smartinlife Hand Grip is a reasonably-priced too you can use to improve finger and hand strength. You can also use it to relieve and rehabilitate pain for some conditions, like carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. Each purchase gives you two grippers you can use anywhere.
Grip Strength Trainer from Basic Concepts
- ✊ Improve Your Grip Strength - The forearm strengthener is perfect for improving strength, power...
- 🏆 Portable and Convenient - Your hand exerciser grip strengthener needs to be accessible no...
- ♻️ Universal Fit - We designed this hand exerciser grip strengthener with you in mind. Other...
- ⚙️ Adjustable Resistance - Your forearm trainer is adaptable to your strength with an adjustable...
- ✔️ Lifetime Warranty / USA Customer Service - It can be a challenge finding the right wrist and...
The Grip Strength Trainer from Basic Concepts is a portable forearm grip workout tool you can use anywhere. Its compact design can easily fit in your pocket or handbag. Made of high-quality materials, this tool has an adjustable resistance knob to allow it to adapt to your strength.
#5: Rubber band exercises
A rubber band is a useful tool to exercise your fingers. You can put on around your fingers and thumb. Then, try to spread your fingers and thumb in and out.
At first, you can use one rubber band, but once your strength improves you can use several rubber bands. You can also use a rubber band that is stronger than usual for this exercise.
If you’re in the gym, you can also perform the following exercises to improve your grip strength.
#1: Plate Pinch
The plate pinch tests your ability to hold on to objects for a long time. You need to hold at least two smooth metal plates with one or two hands for a specific time, let’s say 30 seconds.
You can start off with lighter plates, such as two ten-pound plates, and increase the weight as your strength increases. Another variation is pinch-gripping three or more plates. As the number of plates or the weight increase, the stronger your grip will become.
#2: Reverse Curls
Reverse curls require you to hold an EZ curl bar with your palms facing down. This is a common occupational therapy exercise to improve grip strength.
You need to lift the bar until your hands are at the same level as your shoulders. Keep the bar in this position for one to two seconds before slowly lowering it. You can perform three sets of 10 repetitions.
As you start to get tired of the workout, your grip will get good exercise. The key to performing this exercise is to ensure your wrists remain straight throughout.
#3: Plate Curls
While a plate curl is a basic grip training exercise, it is also among the most challenging. You will need to hold a bumper plate with your palm and straight fingers supporting it. Your thumb should be positioned over the edge of the plate.
Perform a curl using the plate while preventing your fingers and wrist from buckling under the weight. You can start off with a lighter plate and gradually work on heavier plates as your strength improves.
#4: Farmer’s Walk
You can hold a pair of dumbbells and walk around the gym. If the space is limited, you can simply stand for 30 seconds. While performing the exercise, make sure you stand straight and you’re not using straps.
A variation of the exercise includes using a towel. You can loop the towel around the dumbbell’s handle and hold the towel while walking. You can increase the weight or increase the distance you’re walking as your strength increases.
#5: Dead Hang
You can hold on to a pull-up bar using an overhand grip. Elevate your shoulder slightly so you can activate your back muscles. Try to hang for at least 15 seconds and increase the time as your strength increases.
Tips in Improving Grip Strength
We compiled some tips you can think about when you’re working on improving your grip strength. Check out the tips below:
- If you’re planning to purchase a handgrip, you may want to get one with adjustable resistive springs to allow you to adjust it as your grip strength improves.
- Avoid using wrist straps or grips aids when exercising. Instead of improving your grip, these tools encourage weak grips. So, you can set aside these tools when you are working out in the gym.
- Squeeze the bar when you’re exercising in the gym. Lock your hands firmly on the bar and focus on squeezing it as hard as you can. This will result in better grip activation and a stronger grip.
- Simple activities at home, such as pushing the lawnmower or raking leaves, also allow you to improve your grip strength.
Improving your grip strength will have more benefits for you as you get older, so you should make sure to work on it as often as you can.
There are a number of common questions that people have about this topic. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
How can I improve my grip strength?
There are several ways to improve grip strength. Some effective methods include performing grip-specific exercises, such as farmers’ walks or hanging from a bar, using grip strengthening tools like hand grippers or grip balls, and incorporating exercises that challenge grip strength, such as deadlifts or pull-ups.
Can grip strength be improved without equipment?
Yes, grip strength can be improved without equipment. Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, planks, and yoga poses that require weight-bearing on the hands can help strengthen the grip. Squeezing a towel or performing wrist curls with household items can also be effective.
How often should I train grip strength?
The frequency of grip strength training depends on your goals and overall training routine. However, it is generally recommended to train grip strength 2-3 times per week, allowing for adequate rest and recovery between sessions.
Are there any specific exercises to target grip strength?
Yes, there are specific exercises that target grip strength. Some examples include wrist curls, reverse wrist curls, finger curls, plate pinches, and finger extensions. Incorporating these exercises into your routine can help strengthen your grip.
Can grip strength training benefit other exercises or sports?
Yes, grip strength training can benefit other exercises and sports. It can improve performance in activities that require holding or carrying objects, such as weightlifting, rock climbing, golf, tennis, or martial arts.
Are there any grip strength training precautions to consider?
Yes, it’s important to start with appropriate resistance and gradually increase intensity to avoid overexertion or injury. It’s also essential to maintain proper form and not neglect other aspects of your training program.
Can arm and hand strength training help with hand and wrist pain?
Yes, arm and hand strength training can help with hand and wrist pain by strengthening the muscles and tendons in the area. However, if you’re experiencing chronic or severe pain, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
How long does it take to see improvements in grip strength?
The time it takes to see improvements in grip strength can vary depending on factors such as current strength level, training consistency, and genetics. With regular training and progressive overload, noticeable improvements can typically be observed within a few weeks to a few months.
Can grip decline with age?
Yes, grip tends to decline with age due to factors such as muscle loss, decreased joint flexibility, and changes in connective tissues. However, regular grip strength training can help slow down this decline and maintain functional strength as you age.
Have your Say about Grip Strength Training
Do you have any tips or tricks for how to improve this? Leave a comment below and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other people who want to increase grip strength find this useful resource.
Last update on 2023-08-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API