Hand Grip Exercise: How to Build Grip Strength

Many people neglect or fail to realize the importance of grip strength when it comes to strength training. Frankly, in most cases it is never trained. Unknown to many, grip strength does more than just build forearms and give you a firmer handshake. When built, you can see it play in other strength and fitness areas.

To give a little bit of context, it affects how well you do with pull ups, bench, lunges, deadlifts, rows, and other related exercise. If you feel you are not excellent in some of the above-mentioned fitness exercises, part of this may be caused by poor grip strength. If you begin now to work on it, in a short while you’ll begin to reap its many benefits.

If your primary fitness goal is to become stronger, you shouldn’t neglect grip strength exercises. As you probably already know, how much weight you’re able to lift depends on how strong your arms are. So, you can see that this exercise is a no-brainer if you’d like to get as strong as you intend.

Aside from helping you carry more weight, you can prevent certain pain syndromes through these exercises. Tendonitis and chronic inflammation are some of the most common and they are mostly caused by overusing certain muscle groups while neglecting others.

Types of Grip Strength Exercises

The following are the most basic types of grip exercises that help train different muscle groups:

Crush Grip

Crushing is the ability to squeeze something in your hand, that is, between your fingers and palm. We use crush grip when holding a dumbbell or barbell, shaking hands, grappling, swinging a bat, and so on.

You can build this using the following exercises:

Towel Wring
Equipment: Water, Towel
Instruction: Immerse the towel fully in water until it is completely soaked. Next, hold out the towel horizontally at both ends and twist to remove the water. Make sure to keep twisting until it is impossible to continue. Soak the towel again but this time, twist in the other direction. Repeat this process three times for each direction.

Hand Clench
Equipment: Stress ball or tennis ball
Instruction: Hold the stress ball or tennis ball in the middle of your hand with your fingers, excluding the thumb. To make sure your thumb doesn’t interfere, let is point outward. Now, clench the ball using the other four fingers; hold for a few seconds before releasing. Repeat the exercise about 100 times a day for maximum result.

Grip Clench
Equipment: Spring-loaded hand gripper
Instruction: Using grippers is a fairly simple process. Simply grab one and squeeze as much as you can to make a close fist. You can hold a squeeze for a few seconds before releasing. 2-4 sets of 10 reps per hand should do just fine. If you’re a beginner, you should start off with a light-tension gripper of about 60lbs, and slowly work your way up. You can click here to find top-quality hand grippers.

Pinch Grip

The strength between your thumb and the tip of your fingers is known as pinch grip. We use it in many activities such as carrying sandbags, rock climbing, and opening jar lids.

You can build this using the following exercises:

Pinch Grip Transfer
Equipment: One or two 10lbs weight plates
Instruction: In a standing position, with a pinch of all five fingers, hold one weight plate to your side using your right hand. Now, still pinch gripping the weight plate, bring up your right hand so that it’s right in front of your chest. Next, using your left-hand pinch, grab the plate from your right hand. With your left hand stretched in front of your chest, lower the weight plate to your left side. Doing this means you’ve successfully completed one transfer. You can start with 10 reps of 3 sets.

Plate Pinch
Equipment: A 10lbs weight plate
Instruction: With the plate lying on its side on the ground, squat down and pick up the plate with just your fingertips. You can start with any hand. In case you’re wondering if you’re doing it right, your fingers should look like you’re sprinkling salt without the weight plate in them. Once you’ve firmly pinched the plate, stand up with it and squat again to place it on its side on the ground. Repeat 10 times for both hands.

Support Grip

This is the ability to hang from or hold on to an object for an extended period. Pull-ups, carrying dumbbells, and grocery bags are all activities that require support gripping. Visit https://www.coachmag.co.uk/bodyweight-workouts/8722/pull-up-workout-plan-for-beginners to learn more about pull ups for beginners.

You can build this using the following exercises:

Bucket Carry
Equipment: A 5-gallon plastic bucket and suitable weight.
Instruction: Fill the bucket with weight of between 50lbs and 70lbs for men, and between 30lbs and 50lbs for women. You can do this using sand, sandbags, dumbbells, or kettlebells. Squat and using your two hands, grab the bucket and lift it up toward your chest. Now walk about 100 meters and back for a complete trip. As you progress, you can walk up to 400 meters, probably with heavier weights.

Farmer’s Carry
Equipment: Two dumbbells
Instruction: Recommended weight for men is between 30lbs and 50lbs, while women should carry between 20lbs and 30lbs on each hand. In standing position, hold a dumbbell on each hand at your sides. With your head looking straight ahead and shoulders back, walk forward for about 30 or 40 yards. Walk back to your starting point to complete a trip. For beginners, three trips in total should suffice.

Final Thoughts
There are several factors that affect grip strength in individuals including age, dominant hand, time of day, fatigue, and how often you do arm workouts. For regular people, you can easily tell if your grip strength is low if you have difficulty performing simple tasks like opening the lids of jars. If you’re not convinced, you can also check with your doctor as they use special instruments like the hand dynamometer to test grip strength.