Grip strength has a host of applications, and a vice-like grip will boost your performance in everything from weightlifting to baseball to hockey – grip translates to dexterity and strength, the essentials of any sport.
Here are the best training techniques, exercises and workouts to increase grip strength.
Pull-ups are indicative of your level of fitness. The hardcore no-frills exercise strengthens your grip, back and biceps. If you want to go the extra mile, try doing pull-ups using three fingers instead of five.
Add even more pressure by doing pull-ups one-handed, or even one-handed using just three fingers. Whichever pull-up you decide on, watch your form – a perfectly executed pull-up looks crisp and smooth.
Don’t let your legs flail – look straight ahead and keep your chin tucked in. Control your movement on the way down, and you’ll be able to improve your grip strength in no time.
If you want to integrate grip strength training into your exercise regimen seamlessly, try a bit of rock climbing. No exercise is recommended more often or heartily, and with reason. Almost any move you make when scaling a rock face forces you to exert some grip.
For added benefit, instead of climbing straight up, try traversing the wall. That will build both strength and endurance in your hands and whole arm. For even more benefit, try doing away with the rope and gear – referred to as “bouldering.”
This way of climbing lets you focus on doing the hardest moves possible. Choose a boulder problem that looks strenuous, but not that technically difficult. Aim for an overhang because overhanging problems put more pressure on your hands, maximizing the strength training effect.
If you are bouldering indoors, zero in on challenges that isolate a particular grip position. For instance, crimp holds will tremendously help your cause.
In your efforts to build a stronger grip, do not overlook a simple rope climb. Even though it is a low-budget staple, it is an effective grip strength tool.
Rope climbing has also been an effective exercise in military training and combat fitness for years, and for good reason – it is one of the best grip and upper-body strength exercises around.
Technique is vital – pinch the rope between your feet, reach high with your hands and pull yourself up by bending at the elbows. At the top of the lift, reach up to a higher part of the rope with your lower hand, letting the trail pass between your legs.
Repeat this feeding procedure until you reach the top – or a point near there. Persevere, because rope climbing will give you an iron grip and boost your coordination and agility.
Boxing puts serious strain on your hands. If you wear gloves, the constant effort of just keeping your fists clenched within your the rubber constraints will boost your grip strength incrementally.
As will the need for you to keep your wrists perfectly straight as you twist your hips and hammer that punch bag. The heavier the bag, the stronger your wrists and hands must be.
For maximum benefit, work toward pounding a punchbag that offers minimal give and feels like a rock. Try attaching weight bands to your wrists, in the style of hardcore Muay Thai boxers who pack phenomenal hand strength.
Grip strength is vital and integral to boxing – combined with good form, the capability helps prevent the wrist injuries that can wreck a career.
One of the glories of grip strength training is the range of exercises that it can involve. Finally, we return to the gym for an old-school dumbbell exercise that can work wonders for your hand strength: the one-arm dead-lift.
Stand up straight with your feet set shoulder-width apart, hold a dumbbell in your right hand near your side and let your left hand rest at your side or behind your back. Keep your knees straight as you bend your hips and lower the dumbbell between your legs toward the ground.
Then, reverse the move by raising the dumbbell back to your side. Repeat for up to 15 reps for each arm, executing up to five sets. Start with light weights and work your way up.
The one-arm dead-lift is one of the most intensely focused and effective exercises you can do. Give it your all, so that your eyes and muscles pop with the effort that additionally benefits your back, legs and core.