My name is Gaz and I have a problem – I’m addicted to grip training. I can’t help it, I just love it. It started off as one or two grip exercises every now and again, but it’s gotten so bad lately that I’m now doing at least two dedicated full blown grip training sessions a week! And you know what? My performance in almost every other exercise has gone through the roof. That weak link has been taken care of, and I can concentrate on what’s really important – lifting the weight, not holding onto it.
Sure there’s a case for straps and gloves, but if you’re anything like me it’s just an extra thing to remember, and another thing that can go wrong. In this series of articles for GetLifting we’re gonna go through a whole load of different grip exercises to train all the key areas of grip and hand strength, not specific to weightlifting but to climbing, arm wrestling, martial arts, and even manual labour or if you just want to carry your shopping a bit easier!
Start off by adding the exercises into your training (anywhere you like) for 1-3 sets, and gradually introduce new exercises or sets as you see fit. I’ll be giving you tips on how to do this along the way, and letting you know what each exercise is good for so you can pick and choose what’s right for you. Usually they fall into one of these key areas:
Crushing Grip – Your ability to close your hand with a powerful contraction of the forearm and literally crush whatever you’re holding. This type of grip is great for arm wrestling and building a strong handshake.
Static Grip – How strong you are at keeping your hand closed against a static resistance. Most weight training exercises use this type of grip when you hold onto dumbbells or bars during sets. This one is essential for everybody.
Pinch Grip – This one is a little alien to most people, but pinch grip is the strength of your hand when you’re holding an object that doesn’t allow you to wrap your fingers around it – with your thumb on one side and fingers on the other. Important for rock climbers and physically demanding/manual labour professions.
Finger Strength – The strength of your fingers either in an open hand position, when performing intricate tasks using the fingertips, or the resilience of each finger on it’s own. Relevant to rock climbers and martial arts enthusiasts.
Wrist Strength – The strength of the wrist when placed under static stress, stretching, forearm contraction, or compression. Useful for martial artists, fighters, and weightlifters.
Everybody can benefit from stronger, healthier hands, and hopefully you’ll enjoy this unique and rewarding style of training as much as I do! Next time we’ll look at some exercises in a little more detail.
Until then, train hard!
getlifting.info Get Gripped I – Why train your grip?