Did you know that the majority of famous athletes and sportspeople work everything on their bodies from the top of their heads to the bottom of their feet including their fingers including grip strength? However, they may spend more time building and strengthening the parts of their bodies they frequently use, which goes without saying.
For example, runners and sprinters would work out their legs and torso muscles more than their arms or wrestlers and weight lifters work on their arms and back muscles more for instance.
And just like them, there are other types of activities that require more emphasis on the grip than any other part of the body. Those who are climbers, or arm wrestlers, for instance, would tend to improve the areas of their hands, wrists and arms significantly more. When it comes to improving your grip strength, there are a few things you should know.
We discuss this, as well as the right types of equipment to help you out at home or the gym.
The Concept of Grip Strength
Let’s first unpack the concept of grip strength. According to one online source, it is defined as the maximum force that is generated by your forearm muscles, in other words, muscle strength. As a tool used in most sports facilities, it is a way to measure upper and overall body strength and is used by many physiologists when treating their patients and they have a tool for this.
It is one of the most important things we could work on, from a young age. Mainly because, whether you are an athlete or not, it is noted that during your midlife, the measurement numbers matter as an indication of whether you will have physical disability later in your senior years and is also a way to check overall health as well.
A ‘hand dynamometer’ is one of the many tools used by physios and is an effective tool used to show the results of how strong you are. As we age, a lot about us gets weaker, including our grip strength and can slowly affect our daily activities.
After all, we do almost everything without hands and arms. This is something we take for granted, but if you think about it, the simplest chores such as opening a jar of pickles, carrying our grocery bags from the shop, use our hands and grip.
Strengthening the bigger muscles on your body, such as your glutes and biceps, is important when going to the gym, but it is also just as important to improve your grip strength. It boils down to how firmly you can hold something and for how long as well how heavyweight can you carry overall.
There are a few different exercises you can do, but also use a few of the most notable equipment, to help you strengthen this one aspect about yourself, so you do not suffer later in life. We take a look at the exercises first.
Three Great Exercises and Equipment to Help Improve the Strength of Your Grip
First of all, understanding the three common things within your grip that you can improve on, will help get a better understanding of what to do about it. The three things to improve include:
Support: this is the indication of how long you can hang from somewhere such as a handlebar at a gym or monkey climb in the park, and how long you can hold onto it for.
Crush: using your fingers, is an indication of how strong these and the palm of your hands are when you hold onto something.
Pinch: this is the measurement of how long you can pinch something in between your thumb and fingers.
Now that you have an idea of the three things to work on, let’s see what basic exercises can help you use the right equipment to match.
This will help with the support and can be done using a pull-up bar or any horizontal bar that can hold your weight. You will grab onto it making sure the palm of your hand and fingers is wrapped around it properly, and lift yourself. Start with a few seconds, then gradually increase the pull and hold to a longer session.
You can also use the forearm twister in between the sessions. Which will strengthen your wrist, arms, and fingers in the process. It is used by rock climbers and weight lifters. You can use a desirable resistance level as well.
This will help improve your crush and you can use a grip trainer with this. All you do is place a ball like a stress ball or tennis ball in your palm and squeeze it with all your fingers except for your thumb. You will clench the ball as tightly as possible, then let go, and repeat this movement. To begin with, do it 50 times then work your way up to 100 clenches to see a difference.
Similarly, you can also use grip strength equipment like the ‘hand grippers’ to work the remaining of your hands. These also have different resistant levels and are made to be able to grip and press between your palm and fingers.
You can take this anywhere with you and do it a few at a time throughout the day. Many people use it at their office desk to release stress as well as build their hand muscles and strengthen their crush. You can do intervals of 50 on each hand.
To enhance your pinch abilities, you can try this exercise using weight plates. Choose a weight of at least 10 pounds to make a difference. While standing straight you will hold one plate in your hand, but not through the hole where the bar goes through, rather on the edge with your fingers and thumb, like you would be pinching it instead.
You will then move one plate in front of your chest and transfer it to your other hand and do the same, repeating this motion a few times while keeping your pinch-grip on the edge. Repeat this movement at least 10 times and a few times throughout the day.
Keeping your entire body and mind in top shape is something that many should make a habit out of. You will thank yourself in your senior years.