Top 5 Hand Grip Exercises
The #1 Easiest way to develop grip strength is to always have hand grippers in your pocket and use them anytime you are idle. I recommend you use these ones because they are solid and affordable.
Your hand is made up of muscles, nerves and bones that work in synergy to help you pick up, push and pull various things. You use them on a daily basis, so it’s no surprise that many of us fall prey to hand injuries.
This is particularly true for fitness enthusiasts and people who work in mechanical jobs for extended periods of time. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at the benefits of taking care of your hands, and the top 5 hand grip exercises that anyone can do to strengthen this body part in order to keep it functioning well for a long time to come.
Why Should I Do Hand Grip Exercises?
Your hand is one of the first things that people notice about you. When you meet an individual for the first time, you’re most likely going to shake hands with them. The grip that you use might convey confidence, or lack of it, or nervousness, even if you aren’t any of these things.
Exercising your hands regularly gives you that firm handshake that we all associate with warm and trustworthy people.
Here are other benefits of hand grip exercises:
Increased Hand Strength
Hand grip exercises do a good job at strengthening your wrist, arms and corresponding muscles with time. If you do this in the gym, you get to see faster results since you’re able to train with heavy weights.
Additionally, if you play tennis, dodge ball or any sport that requires you to use your wrist extensively, you’ll be able to react much faster to shots fired your way, making you a formidable competitor where fast reflexes make the difference between winning and losing.
Lastly, if you’re into gymnastics or mountain climbing, a good hand grip enables you to support your own body weight and engage a select group of muscles without burdening the whole body.
Improved Forearm Muscularity
Gripping involves opening and closing your wrists which in essence means that you engage your forearm flexors, as well as forearm extensors. Working on your hand strength strengthens and bulks up these muscles, giving your arms a powerful appearance.
When you work your hand muscles during hand grip exercises, it becomes easy for you to carry out activities that require you to apply a certain amount of grip for extended periods of time.
If you carry luggage all day, hand grip exercises means that you won’t lose your grip due to fatigue during the course of the day.
Now that we’ve checked out some of the benefits of hand grip exercise, let’s examine 5 of the top hand grip exercises you can do at home or at the gym.
- A pair of lightweight dumbbells
- A barbell
- A pair of hand grippers. Get a good one like this if you’re going to get one. There’s a lot of junk out there.
In order to prepare for these exercises, try out the following stretches
- Raise your hands in front of you, while keeping your shoulders down. Make sure they’re parallel to the floor, and then raise both your hands so that your palms are facing in front, and fingers pointing to the ceiling.
- Hold this pose for about thirty seconds while breathing in an out easily, and then let them collapse. Shake off the tension with both hands to your sides.
- Next, hold your hands in front of you and make a fist with each hand. Point them down towards the ground, and hold this pose for about half a minute. Shake off the tension, and prepare for the next stretch.
- Ball your hands into a fist, but with your thumbs on the inside of the fist. Twist your hands and hold them straight ahead, as if you’re holding an invisible gun. Take your left hand and pull in your right fist. Feel the stretch on the top of your hand, and then repeat this sequence with your left hand fisted up.
1. Static Barbell Hold
How to do it:
- Grip a barbell at its lift area and hoist it up.
- Bend your arms and form a 90 degree angle, and keep them on your sides.
- Hold the barbell in your hands for two minutes, while keeping your wrists straight. If you can’t hack two minutes the first time doing this, work up to a minute.
- To change up the routine and make it more challenging, try holding the barbell wrapped up in a towel. This emphasizes the pinching type of strength, which is particularly important for people involved in contact sports such as wrestling.
2. Dumbbell Rotation
This hand grip exercise works both your forearm muscles and hand grips at the same time.
How to do it:
- Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them up at a 90 degree angle with your arms bent in front of you.
- Ensure that your elbows are to your side and that your shoulders are relaxed to reduce chances of injury via awkward movements.
- Turn the dumbbells away from your sides and go as far as you can without putting too much strain on your wrists.
- Bring the dumbbells back to their original position using slow, measured movements.
- You can also rotate the dumbbells towards the opposite direction for a bit of a challenge.
3. Ball Squeeze Exercise
How to do it:
- Hold the ball in one hand, and work up to a vice-like grip.
- Wrap your thumb and fingers around the ball, and hold it in front of your, periodically squeezing it. Work up to a minute here.
- While still squeezing the ball, raise your hand up and above your head. Hold and squeeze for an extra minute.
- Hold your hand to your side, and repeat the squeeze technique for another minute.
- Pass the ball to your other hand and repeat the above routine.
4. Gripper Exercise
Hand grippers are usually made of two handles with a tension spring in the middle. Here’s a quick set of exercises you can do with these:
How to do it:
- For a gripper ascending pyramid, hold the gripper in one hand for one repetition before moving it to the other hand. Next, close the starting arm and do two repetitions, and then pass the gripper on to the other hand for two repetitions as well.
- For timed holds, hold the gripper in one hand for as long as you can, while making a note of the maximum amount of time you’re able to hold it. Repeat with the other hand, and match or go over the original time.
- For speed repetitions, hold the gripper and try to close it as many times as you can for a set amount of time. Repeat with the other hand. Make sure to maintain the amount of time with each hand, and pay attention to the amount of pressure you’re exerting on each grip session. This exercise is as much about quality as it is about quantity.
5. Forearm and Shoulder Exercise
You also need to incorporate a few forearm exercises in order to work the whole range of muscles leading down to your arm. Here’s a great and relaxing exercise that seeks to do this for you.
How to do it:
- Get on your hands and knees, ensuring your hands and knees are under your hips. Keep your shoulders on your back, without letting them drop back or down.
- Come forward and down to the floor, while keeping your navel tucked in.
- Using your forearms, lift your torso up and stop at the hips, coming into a cobra-like pose. Hold this for a couple of breaths, then go back down onto the floor.
- Get back on your knees, and push your knees further back. Lunge back down again, and watch as your upper shoulders they lift back up. Don’t let your shoulders hunch over your head here.
- Come back up, and position yourself into a plank-like (or pull-up) pose, and then slowly bring your core down.
- Lift your torso into a cobra-like pose, and hold this for a couple of breaths.
- Make sure to do as many as your shoulders can allow you to do, as it’s easy to strain and injure the tendons and ligaments on this area if you overdo it.
Here's a video showing some hand grip exercises
When you’re done with these routines, don’t forget to cool down with a couple of wrist and arm stretches as outlined at the top of this post.
Hand grip exercises help improve your dexterity, enable you to get bigger lifts, as well as enhance your later life quality as you age. We hope that this post has opened you up to the importance of hand grip exercises and shown you how easy it is to do these for extended amounts of time. You can start with a once-a-week routine for two weeks, and build up to more when you feel the exercises getting a bit too easy for you.
Here's a related inforgraphic I have found at fightcampconditioning.com