man doing pull ups

The Secret to Better Training? Improve Grip Strength

One of the most overlooked areas of strength in training is grip strength. Your grip strength can really make a huge difference in your workout and in your everyday life. It may seem like a small thing but it is these little details that can really enhance your training.

Why Should You Improve Grip Strength?

Grip strength is said to be a good indicator of overall body strength, muscular endurance as well as heart health. The stronger your grip strength, the lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Not only that but working on improving this area can also prevent further injuries to your wrist and elbow. This is especially important to those who play sports that involve a lot of hand movements such as climbing, tennis (tennis elbow) or golf (golfers elbow).

Does your grip tend to give out first?

Weak grip strength can also become a limiting factor in training, especially strength training. If you have a weak grip, then you may find that your grip fails during an exercise even if you are capable of doing more. For example, while you have the arm strength to do another pull-up, your grip strength may prevent you from doing this, or if you can do another deadlift, your hands may fatigue before your legs/back first.

Three Grip Types and Exercises to Improve Grip Strength

There are three grip types: crush grip, pinch grip and support grip. To improve grip strength and have a well-rounded grip, it is important to practice exercises that involve all three.

Crush Grip

This is what people usually think of when they hear the word “grip”. It involves the area between your palm and fingers – think of a handshake.

Exercises to improve crush grip strength:

Use hand strengthening devices – There is an array of hand strengthening devices on the market that you can use that are relatively cheap as well.

You can use hand grippers or even a stress ball. Squeeze and hold for a few seconds before releasing. This is an easy and simple exercise that you can do while at your desk or even watching TV.

man doing barbell deadlift

Pinch Grip

This grip refers to the hold between your fingers and thumb. It typically does not involve the palm.

Exercises to improve pinch grip strength:

Plate Pinch – Rest two weighted plates together on the floor between your finger and thumb. Pick it up while you stand up, with your elbows slightly bent. Hold the plates for as long as you can before putting it gently back on the ground.

Plate Orbit – Hold two weighted plates together in the pinch grip. Pass the plate to your other hand in front of your body and then vice versa, this time behind your body in a clockwise direction, then change directions. You can gradually increase the weight or number of plates as your grip strength improves.

Sandbag Deadlifts – Use a commercial sandbag or make your own by filling a duffle bag with sand. Then try to pick it up like you are doing a deadlift. The key here is to not use the handles; pinch the material instead.

Support Grip

The support grip is the form your hand takes when you are holding something like a grocery bag.

Exercises to improve support grip strength:

Farmer’s Carry – This involves picking up and holding on weights with both hands (one on each side) and walking from point A to point B. This may sound easy but if you lift heavy weights, you will definitely feel it. You can use different equipment such as dumbbells or kettlebells.

Dead Hang – Hold onto a pull-up bar and hang until your grip fails. Make sure that your arms are straight.

Varied pull-ups – Doing pull-ups can really help improve grip strength, especially as you are using your entire body for this exercise, naturally adding weight. Try changing your grips so you can exercise different parts of your hand. You can also try thumbless pull-ups, add a weighted belt or hold a dumbbell between your legs.

Our wrists and forearms become weaker when the object we are holding has a larger width, so you should try to use a thicker bar for these exercises. If there is only a thin bar available, then try wrapping your towel around it.

Don’t Wear Gloves

Another thing that you should know is that if you want to improve grip strength, you should not wear gloves. Yes, you will get callouses on your hands and your skin will go hard but it is the best way to enhance strength in your hands and toughen your skin.

Grip strength is such an integral component in training even though gym goers tend to overlook it. But now that you know how important it is and how to improve grip strength, you may be able to see changes in your training for the better!

Use Jefit App

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data, audio cue tips, and a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit

Emily Trinh
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6 thoughts on “The Secret to Better Training? Improve Grip Strength”

  1. Great article! Added some exercises to recover from elbow injury, but don’t see crush grip (hand device) in the routine database. Is that something you can add?

  2. Thanks for these three important methods for grip strength of hand muscle.There are ,many intrinsic small muscles within our hand those need to have enough power and strength for hand function.Hand grip and finger strength is the most powerful factor for a freelance writer as he/she needs to write for a long time hours.I need to perform these grip exercises because I have to get free essay examples by my hand and finger muscle strength ( you may visit https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/suicide/ for free essay examples about different topics.)So,these three exercises that is crush grip,pinch grip and support grip are very helpful for improving hand function and thus improve the writing quality.

  3. Pingback: FAQ: Should I be Using Wrist Straps and Lifting Belts?

  4. Pingback: Your Go-To Guide on How to Do More Pull-Ups (5 Easy Exercises)

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