Grip strength is something that is often overlooked.
But if people knew that improving their grip strength would improve their overall performance when lifting at the gym, would they focus on it more?
Gaining impressive grip strength will set you free, you won’t be held back anymore.
We’re here to show you how to improve your grip strength for climbing, deadlifts and all other daily tasks…like opening that pickle jar.
The best thing is you can improve grip strength at home. No need to head out to the gym to specifically train your hands.
A few simple exercises to improve your grip strength and minimal equipment needed.
Why You Should Get a Grip
Grip strength isn’t just for heroes.
I’ve shaken hands with more than a few people in my life.
I’ve been surprised by someone who overpowers my grip with an abnormally powerful handshake.
It’s one of the first things you notice about a person, their handshake.
If you can muster a powerful grip, you’re letting the other guy know you’re not some wimp.
You won’t be walked over.
People working out also know the power of a good grip.
Weights and curls, lifts and pull-ups all require your hands to hold incredible weight.
It’s the first link in the chain that will let any lifter down.
People need a powerful forearm and wrist to allow their muscles to develop.
If your hands can’t hold the weight, how will you develop those incredible biceps you’re craving?
Doctors don’t talk about heroics or weight training when they talk about grip strength.
They talk about boring medical stuff.
I don’t think JCVD has ever been cited in a medical journal.
But they do cite words like carpal tunnel syndrome or lateral epicondylitis.
These big words mean that anybody without a good grip can develop strain on their muscles.
Even those sitting at their desks can benefit from strong forearms and hands.
Let’s talk about what doctors suggest you can do for your body in a minute.
There’s a good chance that in the last 15 minutes, you’ve been using your hands, wrists or forearms more than any other muscle in your body.
You need to strengthen and protect those muscles because they can serve you better in the future.
Improving Your Grip
Now that we’re all clear, let’s discuss getting more grasp in your grip, more strength in your serve, more power in your punch, and more health in your hands.
I’m a fan of any exercise that doesn’t require a gym.
If you can do it at 3AM in your hotel room, that’s my kind of exercise.
A good hand gripper or forearm strengthener is ideal for at home use.
So, if I suggest a weight training exercise, it’s not exclusively the only way.
Simply find another exercise to substitute if you can’t regularly get to a weight room.
The Farmer’s Carry
Every farmer has an incredible handshake.
That just comes from lifting, carrying, and moving heavy objects all day long during their work.
Practice the Farmer’s Carry to build up your forearms and wrists.
Pick up an object as heavy as you can manage.
It can be a dumbbell, a suitcase, or a bucket filled with water.
Walk along a path, keeping your body as straight as possible.
If your hands get tired, put down the weight and shake out your hands.
You’ll recover quickly, and you can pick up the weight again to do another length of the field or the room.
Work this carry until your muscles fail.
Part of a great grip is your ability to pinch together.
Try holding a set of 5-10lb plates together until you can’t hold them.
Keep trying to improve your time, moving up to 30-45 seconds per set.
Substitute heavy books if you can’t get plates.
This isometric exercise keeps your muscles in position, unlike a standard exercise where your muscles flex and relax.
Working your muscles to breaking point increases your ability to maintain a hold.
Rubber Band Stretches
Place a bunch of rubber bands around your extended fingers and thumb.
You shouldn’t be able to keep your hands open for long with the number of bands around them.
Try to hold your hands open for up to 30-45 seconds per set before releasing the tension.
This builds the opposite to the pinching muscles and helps balance out the strength you’ll need for proper grip strength.
If you do practice weight training or some sort of callisthenics outside, use a thicker bar.
Thicker bars use different muscles in your forearm and hands.
You’re training your hands to handle weight differently, building up lesser-used muscles that contribute to overall strength.
So do your pulls or push downs on thick bars, using your hands to help with balance and precision.
You can use a thick towel, twisted over your weights or bars to change the dynamic muscle movements in your training.
You can even use a towel hung over a pull-up bar as a new grip to perform pull ups and muscle ups.
Just make sure that you’re not using your partner’s precious guest towels, or a thin towel that will rip under your weight.
Towel training is one of the best ways to get in a grip strength exercise anywhere you are.
Should you find an abandoned tractor and manage to remove one of its wheels then it’s time for the tyre flip.
Keep your arms straight, hips back and do not deadlift the tyre.
What you simply want to do is flip it.
Now tyres are not at all easy to grip so you’re going to give your hands the work out of their little lives.
If you’ve never done it before, start off with a smaller tyre and work your way up.
Strengthen your Grip at Home
If you’re not going to set your alarm for 6am and sprint to your local gym don’t worry, we can improve your grip strength at home.
Mundane chores like gardening, carrying heavy groceries and cracking into that jar of all organic peanut butter will aid your grip strength without you even realising.
And who doesn’t love being tricked into a workout?
Grip Strengtheners For Home
Sticking with the theme of not wanting to spend time in the gym, you can also buy some nifty accessories to use throughout the day.
Whether you’re stuck in traffic or bored at your work desk.
Here are a few of the best hand strengtheners:
Captains of Crush hand grippers are well-known for their ability to strengthen grip effectively, and are available here.
You can easily carry these around and use them when you’re having a coffee break.
The Grip Master Pro are loved by rock climbers and can be found here.
These are great for any sporty person or weightlifter.
They vary in weight so beginners can start with these.
You can choose to work each finger individually or the whole hand.
Prefer an adjustable strengthener so you can easily change the weight?These adjustable hand grip strengtheners are known to improve performance, strength and forearm grip.
They have easily adjustable weights from 10-40kg.
Perfect for newbies or even the experienced.
A Gripping Conclusion
Your grip is a complicated group of muscles, performing anything from pinching, pulling, extending, contracting, crushing or squeezing.
Pick at least two of the above methods to add some variety to your grip training.
Your grip is the only thing preventing some serious diseases and injuries, even outside the gym.
You might not be the next Ethan Hunt or James Bond.
But, there’s no better feeling than seeing someone widen their eyes in surprise at your incredible handshake or grip.
You use your hands every day.
Look after them, and they’ll look after you for years to come.