Increasing your grip strength is not just for a firm handshake, frying an egg, or helping in opening a pickle jar. From a wrestler to a tennis player—everyone needs that monster grip to improve their overall health.
But many of us do not give much attention to building a stronger grip or sometimes neglect this grip training altogether and rely upon machine-based workouts.
Beyond this, grip strength relates to diseases like diabetes, heart health, or even death—sounds interesting? Great.
So, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of grip strength, its types, and the top 7 exercises to improve grip strength—at home or the gym.
1. What Is Grip Strength?
Grip strength is not just holding something in your hands —it is how long you can hold an object using your handgrip strength and how to maintain control over that object.
And it depends upon how much power you can apply with your hand muscles and forearm—the measurement of maximum muscular strength or force generated by them.
Interesting fact: During grip work, about 35 forearms muscles are involved in moving the fingers.
Does Grip Strength Matter?
Hell yes, it obviously matters.
Getting your jobs done—like driving a car, writing notes, carrying groceries, or simply brushing your teeth—you can’t do it without your forearm muscles and dexterous hands. But these are your everyday tasks, now how is this related to staying fit?
Having a firm grip is related to upper body strength—which will increase your ability to hold onto weights and will help you to improve the overall muscle strength.
Good grip strength will help execute exercises like practicing pull-ups, pumping with dumbbells, or deadlifting. So, if you ever feel of having fatigued wrists or weak hands after your workout, you should focus on a workout routine that includes—wrists, hands, and forearms.
And keeping these areas toned—will lead to a well-developed upper body, enhancing the shoulder joint ability, and ultimately better health.
What’s more—if you include these movements in your weekly workout routines—it will drop down the chances of carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and arthritis.
2. What Are The Types Of Grip Strength?
When it comes to the different types of grip strength training, it involves several muscle groups and techniques. So, here I will discuss some basic types of grip strength that you need to know.
It is the process of squeezing your fingers against the resistance. The action of hand closing around something and pressing it towards the palm (clamping) and using fingers for directing force toward callous line (crimping)—just like holding onto a dumbbell or handshaking.
Support grip is the same as crush grip. But this technique requires the ability to support something while fingers take the maximum load. It involves workouts like—carrying heavy dumbbells and deadlifting—that need open hand support, and there will be a gap between the thumb and fingers if the holding handle is wide.
It is the action of grasping something in contrast to the fingertips using your thumbs. It can be two types static and dynamic. This exercise requires a lot of stress on thumps to increase grip strength.
Open Crushing Grip
It will focus on your wrist stability and wrist movement. It involves the grip with open hands where fingers don’t touch or overlap—that need to transfer your energy from the body through the fingers—how about opening your favorite pickle jar?
Hand extension does not come under gripping exercises, but it trains those muscles that are synergistic with those used for gripping. And the results—maintaining a healthy balance between wrists and hands—will reduce the chances of muscle injury and overuse of these muscle groups.
3. How Can I Develop My Grip Strength?
From deadlifting to wrist curl, there are some best exercises that you can include in your daily grip strength routine—to develop a monster grip or great forearms in no time.
Here are the top 7 workouts that involve some basic movements using your body weight or trying them in the gym.
Do you know the great thing about this grip-builder? It is simple and effective and does not require specific equipment to perform this exercise—all you need to do this grab something heavy or just a pair of dumbbells and walk around.
Don’t have space for walking? Stand tall for a minimum of 30 seconds. When you get tired, just put down the weight, take a rest and start again.
- Add motions to your grip and help develop the strength of your forearms, core muscles, hips, and shoulders.
- Help you in your everyday life by increasing your forearm strength.
Deadlift And Deadlift With Pause
The easiest way to improve your grip strength and give pressure to your forearms is by lifting more weight. And when it includes holding the weight for a bit—you can easily squeeze in some extra benefits.
It works well when you use a variety of hand grips.
- Help to activate hamstrings, glutes, backs, and hips.
- Acts as a strong stimulus for grip strength. Besides deadlift, some other pulling movements like rows, chin-ups, and pull-ups—these solid grip exercises help you develop endurance.
If you want to improve your grip strength, go with this plate pinch exercise. You can make your fingers strong enough, just like a mountain climber who supports themselves with the tips of the fingers.
Or, if you are in sports or wrestling, this will also develop your crushing abilities.
What you need to do is, pick a pair of metal plates and sandwich them together. Now press them with your fingers for about 30 seconds. You can start with heavier weights also.
Interesting fact: World-class grip athletes can lift 45 lb plates with one hand!
- Plate pinching is an excellent grip strength exercise for football players, wrestlers, or climbers.
- It can improve your thumb and fingers strength simultaneously.
Dead hangs are fantastic to enhance your grip strength. It is not as simple as hanging from a pull-up bar. You need a lot of endurance and determination for it.
All you need to do is hang from a pull-up bar, hands outstretched and keep the body in the hollow position.
- These types of bodyweight exercises can work on one’s forearm muscles, wrist, and fingers to improve grip strength.
- Dead hang can enhance your endurance in shoulder strength, biceps, and lats.
If you work on your wrist, this wrist curl or plate curls (using a plate) will increase the ability to hold onto heavyweights, which will increase your grip strength.
All you have to do is sit on a bench and take a barbell or light dumbbells. Place your forearms on your knees, and your hand should be hanging off the knee.
Now bend your wrist backward, press the weight towards your fingertips, and curl it up.
- According to some studies, wrist curl can aid in developing muscular endurance and improving the health of your joints.
- Wrist curl help to develop stronger forearms, which will enhance your grip strength under tension whenever you involve any upper body movement.
Got bored with regular pull-ups? How about going for towel pull-ups—a good grip strength exercise that will support your total body weight just using a towel.
So, if you want your training far more challenging, throw a towel over the bar and allow yourself to hang. From this position, perform your regular pull-ups.
- It can improve grip strength and develop a unique grip while performing the standard pull-ups.
- Towel pull-up is a good exercise to prepare yourself for rope climbing.
Reverse Wrist Curls
Reverse curl works fantastic on your wrist and forearms, ultimately improving your grip strength. It is similar to biceps curl that requires curling motion—but with the wrists facing downward.
You need to take a light dumbbell and use your biceps to curl the weight towards the shoulders. Do not let your elbows leave your sides before you stop. Now return your hand to the starting position and repeat it.
- Reverse curl can make your biceps strong, which leads to a well-built upper body.
- Study shows that reverse curl can increase shoulder ability. Moreover, it helps to improve weak grip strength by improving your wrist mobility.
4. How To Develop Grip Strength At Home?
Take a stress ball or a tennis ball and squeeze it with your hand about 10 pulses. Try to give pressure with your thumbs and fingers. Now repeat the same sequence with the other hand.
The Rubber Band Hand Exercise
Just wrap a rubber band around your fingers and stretch them to the opposite direction as far as you can. Now hold the position for a few seconds and return to its starting position. You can do it at your office or home whenever you want.
Ok, how about grabbing the heaviest book you have and holding it in that pinch grip position? And if it seems easy for you, walk the book, using your fingers up and down when you hold the book in mid-air. Tough yeah!
5. What Are The Benefits Of Grip Strength?
Having a strong grip is not just necessary for your daily activities, but it also holds importance for a fitness enthusiast or if you are in sports.
So, check out a few benefits of having a powerful grip strength.
Give You A Better Life And Lower Mortality Risk
As we age, we should take care of our bone density and muscle strength—they cut down the chances of injury and help us perform our daily work.
Greater grip strength is positively correlated with lower mortality, functional status, cognition, and mobility.
Improved Your Cardiovascular Health
According to some studies, grip strength drops down the chances of cardiovascular disease. A strong heart is essential to living a longer life.
So, daily workouts, including grip strengthening exercises, are a reliable indicator of improving your heart health.
Help You Lift Heavier
If you can lift heavier weights, it will help you maintain your proper form and strengthen your muscle. A well-developed muscle is an indicator of having good metabolism.
Moreover, studies show that stronger grip strength can help you move the dumbbell or barbell more easily.