Whether hanging from a tree branch over a yawning chasm, or simply shaking hands with an idiot who decides to squeeze your fingers as hard as he can, having a strong grip can be key. Certain exercises like the deadlift require you to have strong hands simply to be able to lift the weight, and a strong grip can come in useful in a range of situations, from home repair to climbing, from throat strikes to holding on to your dog’s leash as he lunges for the neighbor’s cat. So how to get that killer grip? These 6 exercises will help you develop the grip you’ve always wanted.
Thicken Your Workout Bars
Whether benching, doing free weight curls or any other exercise that requires you to grip a bar, simply increase the diameter of said bar by wrapping a towel around it. Your hand will need to work extra hard to maintain its grip, and that will prove to be an excellent way to gradually build up your strength.
Take hold of a pair of dumbbells by their ends, and then simply hold them for as long as you can, optimally 60 seconds. Try to use the heaviest set you can grip for that minute, and then simply latch on and hold. If that’s not enough, try to do an arm curl on top of it all.
This one is tricky, so don’t overestimate your strength when performing them. Standing straight, pinch two light plates by your side, holding them together simply with your fingers. Then, without moving your elbows, lift them as close to your shoulders as you can, and then slowly lower them. Try to do ten reps, and then switch hands.
Picture yourself en route to market. You’ve got a bucket in each hand, and several miles to go. You’re going to need a killer grip to keep those buckets up the whole way, and that’s what this exercise mimics. Grab yourself a pair of heavy dumbbells (something really challenging, like 70lbs), and then walk a 100 yards or so before setting them down. This is one of the best ways to develop excellent grip strength!
This one is simple, but will test your endurance if you manage to hold on long enough. Simply find a pull-up bar, and then hang from it, straight armed. Don’t sway, or do anything else-simply hang, and see how long your hands can stay latched around the bar.
Tennis Ball Squeeze
The classic exercise involves taking hold of a tennis ball and squeezing it as hard as you can for ten reps, each time trying to crush it with a grip that lasts for a couple of breaths. Squeeze as hard as you can, and then switch hands.
These six simple exercises should not be performed to excess-remember to listen to your body, and only do as much as feels comfortable. Pushing your hands too hard can result in pain, and that is never the ideal goal.