If you want to build grip strength fast, this article will show you grip strength training exercises to strengthen your grip.
We use grip strength to perform different tasks in life – opening bottles, shaking hands, carrying things, sports, and so on and so forth.
Not to forget the importance of grip strength in strength training. It’s not possible to perform exercises like pull-ups and hanging leg raises if you don’t have a strong grip.
If you try to do hanging leg raises with a weak grip – the arms will give out before the abdominal muscles become exhausted. So instead of relying on elbow straps, the best thing is to strengthen your grip.
So what makes a strong grip? Well, grip strength is determined by the strength of your fingers, forearm, thumb and the wrist.
The exercises in this article will help strengthen all the muscles mentioned above. In fact, you’ll be able to increase your upper body strength. And as you may know, the wrist is prone to injury – so these grip exercises will also reduce the risk of wrist injury.
Now, you don’t have to change your current workout routine to do these grip exercises. Do them for 5 minutes after you finish your workouts. At the end of this article, you’ll find a grip strengthening workout routine you can follow.
Before I show you the best grip strengthening exercises – here are various types of grip strength you should know about.
Types of Grip Strength
The pinch grip is determined by the strength of the fingers and the thumb. We use this grip when we grab something thin using the thumb and the fingers. Like when you lift a weight plate off the floor.
The support grip
This grip involves using the fingers, the thumb, and the palm to hold something. It’s the grip we use when doing pull-ups and other hanging exercises.
This is the strength demonstrated by squeezing something between your fingers and palm. Think – squeezing a tennis ball in your palm without using the thumb.
Now, you need to practice caution when doing grip strengthening exercises. So follow grip strength training rules below to make sure you train maximally and safely.
Grip strength training rules
Don’t train grip if your calluses hurt
You’ll develop calluses when you do some grip strengthening exercises. And calluses usually hurt before they heal.
So give them time to heal if they hurt badly. After all, you won’t be able to train maximally and you won’t benefit fully from the grip workout.
Stop if the wrist hurts
The wrist is very sensitive. Some athletes have had to end their careers early because of wrist injuries. So don’t ignore any unusual pain and hope it’ll go away.
If you feel unusual sharp pain when doing grip exercises, stop. The injury can get worse if you continue.
Do grip exercises at the end of the workout
Doing grip exercises early in the workout can negatively affect your performance in other exercises. So make sure they are the last strength training exercises in your workout.
If you’re new to strength training, start with the simple exercises and do a maximum of 3 grip exercises a day. Later, after you’ve gotten used to the exercises, you can start doing more intense workouts. And don’t forget to warm up if you are training the grip only.
Now let’s look into the best exercises for strengthening the grip.
The best grip strengthening exercises
Hand grippers will increase your overall grip strength. The good this is they are cheap and easily available. And you can use them anywhere – in the office, at the beach, at home and so on.
If you’re a beginner, this is a great exercise to strengthen your grip without much effort.
But that’s not to say hand grippers are for beginners only. There are hand grippers for every strength level. In fact, some are so tense they can challenge professional strongmen. Anyway, after you use a hand gripper for a while and get used to it – order a tenser one.
Here is the hand gripper we recommend.
Hanging is not popular in strength training, as it is in gymnastics or rock climbing. And that’s a shame! Hanging can increase upper body strength for beginners as well as advanced fitness enthusiasts.
You see, hanging doesn’t just build grip strength – it strengthens the forearms, shoulders, wrist, and back muscles. It also loosens the shoulders and improves the overhead reach range.
Well, hanging is more diverse than you may think. First, let’s look into the 2 types of hanging – passive hanging and dynamic hanging.
Passive hang – Passive hang is the best for beginners. Basically, you just grab the bar and hold on to it without any movement.
Dynamic hang – Once you can hold a passive hang for 1-2 minutes, start doing dynamic hangs. This is where you combine hanging with simple movements like swinging or shoulder shrugs.
Here are some tips to make hanging more challenging and more rewarding.
Use a thick bar
A thicker bar challenges, the fingers, and forearms more. Now, don’t worry if you don’t have a thick bar – you can make the one you have thicker. Just wrap a towel around the bar to increase its circumference.
Alternatively, you can buy the Fat Gripz on Amazon – they’re tubes you can put in bars to make them thicker.
You’ll notice that skinny bars are easy to grab and they demand much from the hands as thick bars do. So use thick bars even when doing pull ups and chin ups.
How you hold the bar is entirely up to you. Personally, I prefer a thumb-less grip. You can use the thumb if you want to – Just make sure you use an overhand grip.
Towel hangs are also a great alternative. Hang two towels on a pull-up bar and grab on them. Some trainees actually prefer to do pull-ups using towels.
If you have hanging ropes use them instead of the towels.
One arm hangs
Hanging with one arm is challenging even for experienced exercisers. Even so, it’s a great way to strengthen the grip fast.
For maximum grip activation do one-arm dynamic hangs.
I almost forgot this one – finger hangs. As you get better at hanging, reduce the number of fingers you support yourself with. You can start with four fingers, then three…until you can use only one finger.
You need to strengthen your fingers with both pull and push movements. This movement will strengthen the joints in the fingers and reduce the risk of injury.
To perform the fingertip push-ups – assume the pushup position but instead of placing the palm flat on the floor – support the body with the fingertips.
And just like hanging – you can use fewer fingers as you become stronger.
If fingertip push-ups are too challenging for you – hold the straight arm plank with your fingertips. And kill two birds with one stone – activate the core and strengthen the fingers.
Farmers walk is an exercise where you pick up heavy weight and walk around with them as long as you can.
Worry not if you don’t have weights. Just fill two suitcases with books or newspapers to make them heavy. Then carry them around. Remember to keep the arms fully extended and shoulders pulled back. You can also use big water bottles with handles.
Rubber ball squeeze
Squeeze a rubber ball or a tennis ball until the fingers are exhausted. Do this at least 3 times every day for each hand.
This movement highly targets the forearm flexors.
Remember we talked about the pinch grip. This is the best exercise for strengthening it.
Well, you’ll need weight plates for this one. Grab a plate or two between your thumb and fingers. Then hold it for 30 seconds and repeat several times.
If you do these exercises your grip will become strong fast. But I know you may find these exercises overwhelming –so below, there’s a grip workout anyone can use, from beginners to advanced level.
Grip strengthening workout
Day 1: Hand grippers – 3 sets, maximum reps
Day 2: Rubber ball squeezes – 90 seconds, 3 times
Day 3: Two-hand hang – 30 seconds, 3 sets
Day 1: Hand grippers (tenser) – 3 sets, maximum reps
Day 2: Fingertip push ups – 3 sets, maximum reps
Day 3: Two-hand hang – 60 seconds, 3 sets
Day 1: One-hand hang – 60 seconds, 3 sets
Day 2: Towel pull ups – 3 sets, maximum reps
Day 3: Plate pinch – 60 seconds, 3 sets
There you have it, my friend. I’m sure this article got you thinking if you’ve never done grip strength training before.
Now the ball is on your court. Start doing these exercises right away and watch your grip strength increase. Frankly, you may be strong, but if your grip is weak, you’ll be limited to the exercises you can do.
You’re as strong as your grip. So strengthen it.
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