Grip Strength, Everything You Need to Know

Grip Strength, Everything You Need to Know

Grip strength is one of the fundamental physical skills we need to develop to obtain greater performance in our workouts and effectiveness when performing daily activities.

What is grip strength?

Grip strength consists of the capacity we have to to hold, squeeze, grip or support any object with our hands. Contrary to popular belief, it does not only have to do with the motor skills of the hands, because grip is more complex than it usually seems.

To trigger the grip the muscles of the forearms and hands must work together.

What is grip strength?

These muscles originate from the elbow joint, from where they reach the wrist and fingertips.

You can then imagine the amount of movement patterns these muscle groups allow you to perform, so working to increase grip strength leads to considerable positive effects.

Benefits of working your grip strength

Training ourselves for a stronger grip will result in significant benefits that makes every minute invested in it worthwhile.

  • Increased resistance. You’ll be able to perform more reps before your muscles are depleted by exertion.
  • Performance increase in various sports. Strong forearms not only benefit you when performing strength sports, they also help you succeed in other disciplines such as gymnastics, basketball or climbing, amongst others.
  • Injured prevention. Strengthening the muscles involved in grip can prevent the occurrence of injuries, such as tennis elbow.

Benefits of working your grip strength

It also helps to reduce recovery time after injury, as stronger muscles and connective tissues recover quickly.

  • Increase the basal metabolic rate. The higher the grip strength, the more power you have when training and the faster the progress in your bodybuilding process, which will increase your basal metabolic rate.
  • Improve the quality of life. Developing grip strength can make it easier for you to perform tasks, such as taking grocery shopping, moving homes. In addition, studies show that in the elderly it can be a predictive factor of disability.
To enjoy the benefits, it is imperative that you know how to improve grip strength properly and start it as soon as possible.

How do you improve grip strength?

First of all, you should know which areas are a priority to strengthen:

  • Starting with the wrists, an important area that can give us a plus in training.
  • Then we have finger strength, which is easy to work on and includes the palm of the hand.
  • Finally, we need to build strong forearms, which will allow us to increase effective grip execution.
With the right techniques and equipment, you can perform the exercises that will help you succeed in this process.

Exercises to work grip strength

Using equipment

There’s a great variety to choose from: grippers, anti-stress balls, etc. The important thing is to choose the one that feels comfortable in your hand and is suitable for your level.

Squeeze the trainer while keeping the arm straight.

Exercises to work grip strength

It will help you train a firmer grip.

Start with low resistance and increase progressively, performing 6 sets of 8 to 10 handshakes, for example.

Weight training

You can use a variety of items to train in this category.

  • Farmer’s walk. Place a dumbbell in each hand, holding firm with your fingers. Keep your arms stretched out and walk about 8-10 meters forward.
Then do two sets of 12 meters, performing 2 sets of the same exercise.
  • Disc lifting. This consists of using discs of at least 1 kg each and lifting them by holding them only with your fingers. Start with one disc continue adding to it as you progress to the next level.
Do this exercise for 30 seconds, about 2 or 3 sets.
  • Dead lift with bar Place your hands at shoulder height on the bar and hold it tightly. Stay in a locked position with your legs apart and your knees slightly bent.
Lift the bar a few inches above the ground for about 8 seconds. Do 5 sets to improve your grip strength.

Do Pull-Ups

Start with a neutral grip in which your hands are wrapped around the bar.

Use two bars perpendicular to the horizontal bar and perform several pull-ups, lifting your chest above the bar.

You can do pull-ups by covering the bar with two small towels; grab a towel in each hand and try to do one pul-up by firmly holding the towels.

You can perform between 5 to 10 pull-ups or hang on the towels for 30 seconds at a time.

Hanging on the bar

Use a wide bar. Grab it with your hands and hang from it for 30 seconds with your feet off the ground.

Have you ever tried to lift with a dumbbell so heavy that the grip was too wide for your hand? This is exactly what we’ll be practicing.

To add difficulty, try hanging from the bar using only one hand: alternate hands hanging with each for 30 seconds.

Ladder grip

If you’re in a park, you can take the opportunity to do a “ladder.”

Plank with your fingertips

Place yourself in a planking position with your feet apart and your hips aligned with your shoulders. Now lift your fingers until you reach a balance point on the tips.

Do 2-3 sets of 5-10 planks

How do I know if I am increasing my grip strength?

It’s important that you periodically evaluate progress using a grip strength meter.

You can use the dynamometer, which is easy to operate:

Grip strength meter

After gripping the device for about 5 seconds you’ll see the measurement expressed in pounds or kilos.

The result obtained should be compared to the established standards and check if you meet the grip strength of the average hand.

Tips

Finally, we recommend incorporating into your training routine the exercises that suit your needs for increasing grip strength.

Between two and three times a week is recommended, starting slowly and with little weight, then advancing progressively.

Once you improve this area, you”ll notice increases in many other areas.

Bibliography

  1. “Fundamentos de las técnicas de evaluación musculoesquelética” M. Lynn Palmer y Marcia E. Epler 2002.
  2. “Anatomía y movimiento humano. Estructura y funcionamiento” Nigel Palastanga, Derek Field y Roger Soames. 2000
  3. “Proceso evaluativo musculoesquelético” Hazel M. Clarkson 2003.
  4. Personal knowledge and experience.

Related Entries

  • Take note of these forearm exercises.
  • Do you know the types of grips used in the gym? Click here to find them out.
  • Using Kettlebells results in a strong grip. In this Post, we explain everything you need to know.
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About María José García
María José García
María José has been linked to sport since she was a child when she entered and even competed in various sporting disciplines, such as skating, swimming and gymnastics.
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