Increase your grip and forearm strength with crushing ease.
Did you ever shake an old guy’s hand only to be crushed by his vigorous grip? His secret? Well, he may have been a mechanic or a farmer. Manual labor and repetitive tasks like wrenching and hammering will give anyone a killer grip and strong, defined forearms. If you spend your work day in the office however, it can be fun and rewarding to add some grip training to your workouts.
GRIP STRENGTH OVERVIEW
GRIP STRENGTH IS KEY TO PRACTICAL STRENGTH
IMPROVE YOUR FOREARM SIZE
THREE TYPES OF GRIP STRENGTH
John Brookfield is the go-to guy when it comes to grip strength. He asserts there are three types of strength and all should be worked on to build a balanced grip:
- The PINCH GRIP is just what it sounds like. Pinch something between your fingers and thumb, like you would a plate or a closed book.
- The SUPPORT GRIP is used to hold something in your hand for a prolonged period of time. Your support grip is being worked during deadlifts or when you’re carrying your groceries home from the store.
- The last kind of grip strength is CRUSHING GRIP, which you often use in a handshake.
Plate pinches are perfect for building awesome pinch grip strength. Take a couple of light weight plates and face them toward each other, stacking one atop the other. Pinch the plates together and hold for a while. You’ll be surprised how strong you can get on these eventually. You can do circles from one hand to the other. You can also do plate pinch curls, which are great for the upper arm as well.
You know those dumbbells that have the hexagon shaped ends? Well, some people have been known to find old dumbbells at garage sales, saw them off and use them to develop monster thumb and finger strength. Pick them up off the ground with an open hand and pass them back and forth between hands. If you get really good, you can even toss and catch it. Be careful with this exercise if you have small hands. Don’t strain your fingers.
Your support grip will probably be getting trained during exercises like deadlifts or bent over rows. You can improve your support grip strength by avoiding lifting straps and using thicker bars. Thick bar training will really build up the forearms. If you have a spare dumbbell you can wrap the center in thick tape. As your grip gets stronger, you can add more and more tape to increase the challenge.
Try curling up a towel around a pullup bar for the extra grip challenge. Hang by two arms for as long as you can. Go for a time increase the next time you perform the exercise. When you get stronger, try one-arm hangs.
The best way to work your crushing strength is with exercise grippers. There are some really heavy-duty grippers out there if you are strong enough to close them. You can use easier grippers for high reps. Alternate between hands and go for a huge forearm pump while you’re watching television.
Bucket of Sand
To counter balance the muscles responsible for closing your hand, you can work out the muscles responsible for opening them. Fill up a bucket with sand and thrust your hand inside. Really stretch out your fingers when you’re opening your hand so you go through the whole range of motion. Repeat until you’re fried and then switch hands.
Like any other routine, take it easy at first when you’re just starting to work your grip and try to make a little progress every workout. Train your grip a few times weekly and make sure to mix up your training to earn a powerful, balanced grip. Who knows? If you get strong enough, you may be able to perform feats like nail-bending and phonebook ripping. That always kills at a party.