5 Simple Handgrip Exercises: Simple (But Complete) Guide

Core? Check. Glutes? Check. Arms? Check.  What about grip strength?….

Performing particular exercises to increase grip and forearm strength is one of the most neglected aspects of many fitness routines. Your hands are the initial point of interaction with anything you will be handling, whether you are lifting, carrying, throwing, or swinging, and they are typically undertrained.

Hand grip strength is critical yet sometimes ignored. Grip strength is used for a variety of tasks, including holding a pen, carrying a bag of groceries, and turning the keys in your front door. Certain hobbies, such as playing an instrument or painting, need grip strength. The grasp is frequently the first thing to go while lifting high weights. If you want to grow stronger, you should start with your hands and their capacity to grip and retain a lot. 

The six benefits of developing grip strength are listed below, along with suggested exercises. Choose your favorite from the list and include it in your exercises to help you develop strong hands with a smashing grasp.

What Exactly Is Hand Grip?

Working on hand and grip strength should be an important element of your fitness program, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), especially if you carry weights.

According to the ACE, your grip involves two sets of forearm muscles: flexor muscles (which close your hand to produce a fist) and extensor muscles (which open the fist when you are making a flat hand).

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Physical therapy researcher Richard W. Bohannon wrote in a paper published in the September 2015 issue of Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care that grip strength can be a good indicator of overall health in middle-aged and older adults, and can predict cardiovascular health and even future mobility limitations. Bohannon proposed that grip strength should be tested as a critical indication on a regular basis.

5 Types of Handgrip Exercises

Crush Grip:

Crushing is the act of wrapping your hand around something and squeezing it. Crush grip exercises require weights. You can practice holding the dumbbell in your hands.

Supporting Crush Grip:

The action of supporting something with your fingers is referred to as the Support Crush Grip Exercise. For example, using a dumbbell, deadlifting, or simply carrying groceries, etc.

Ball Squeeze Workout:

For the ball squeeze exercise, hold a ball in your hand. Wrap your fingers and thumbs tightly around the ball. After that, bend your elbow and straighten your hand upwards, pressing the ball with focus on your fingers, and repeat this movement for a few seconds.

Hand Band Extension:

Wrapping a rubber band around all five fingers does the task. This workout requires the use of professional rubber bands. Then, with your fingers stretched out, wrap the band around your fingers.

Open Crush Grip:

To do the open crush grip exercise, you must catch a thick item or bar. This is when you use a crush grip but your fingers do not entirely contact or overlap. When your fingers are open, use them to grip the thing more securely.

hand grip exercises

Importance of Grip Strength

A good grip is more than just a measure of dexterity or strength in the hands. It’s also connected to essential aspects of overall health and aging, according to a recent study. Age-related deterioration, physical reliance, and reduced cognitive capacity have all been associated with poor grip. For example, according to research published in The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, persons with inferior handgrip strength have a greater risk of all-cause death.

Grip strength is linked to two well-known markers of aging: sarcopenia (muscle loss) and dynapenia (muscle weakness) (strength loss). Starting in your late forties, you’ll notice a gradual loss of muscle mass and strength, particularly in your hand grip, which might be a sign of how rapidly and well your body is aging.

This is especially true for those with arthritis, who frequently have a greater reduction in grip strength and do so at a younger age.

According to research published in the journal Advances in Rheumatology, hand strength is a good indication of your overall capacity to function and how severe your arthritis is, perhaps because your hands are engaged in so many parts of everyday living.

Five Advantages of Grip Strength

Muscularity in the Forearms:

If you’ve ever desired forearms that are larger and more remarkable than the average man’s, hand grips are the way to go. This is how the principle works. The muscles in your forearms are in charge of controlling your fingers. Your forearm flexors govern how your hand closes, while your forearm extensors control how your hand opens. The use of hand grips will mostly benefit these muscles.

Endurance in the Hand:

When you work out with hand grips, you naturally enhance your hand endurance since you are increasing the amount of force that your hands can exert. Another method that your hand endurance improves is by increasing the amount of time you can apply force. Working with hand grips allows you to practice applying pressure for extended periods of time. When carrying luggage or big bags, for example, this delivers immediate benefits. After a time, you’ll find that you’re not as quickly fatigued from lugging them around.

Hand Strength:

Increased hand strength is the third advantage of hand grips, in which you practice enhancing the power of both your fingers and wrists. Hand strength will aid you in places such as the gym, where you will be able to hold on to weights for longer periods of time. In other sports, such as tennis, you will notice that you can swing the racquet with more power. Increased hand strength is also vital in activities like gymnastics and climbing, where you must sustain your bodyweight only with your grasp.

Increased Dexterity:

Hand grips will help you build up your fingers independently, which will improve your dexterity. Musicians may use spring-loaded hand grips to train their fingers so that they may neatly build up enough strength in each finger to confidently put just the right amount of pressure on their instruments. Typists can benefit from increased dexterity as well.

Improved Pain Resistance:

Weak grip strength is associated with a greater risk of all-cause death in adults, according to research published in The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Handgrip strength is connected to cognitive impairment as people age.

You’ll begin to lose muscle mass and strength in your thirties, and this is regarded as a measure of how well your body is aging. This is especially important for persons who suffer from arthritis. At a younger age, they have a quicker reduction in grip strength. One of the advantages of using a handgrip strengthener is that it lessens the impact of arthritis on persons who have it.

Steps to a Better Hand Grip

This exercise is incredibly simple to perform and can be done by anyone. To perform this workout, all you need is a handgrip device, which you can simply get in a store or online. 

Let’s go through the process;

  • For this workout, sit on a chair or stand up.
  • Take one of your hands and hold a hand grip device.
  • After that, grasp this hand grip with four fingers on one of the hand grip device’s handles and your thumb on the other.
  • Now, maintain a tight grasp on the hand grip so that you can easily control it.
  • You can push this hand grip device when you have properly placed your fingers on it.
  • When you exhale and push, just let it alone while you breathe in.
  • Slowly repeat this action.
  • You can perform hand grip exercises for a longer period of time than your endurance allows.

3 Hand Grip Exercises to Try at Home

Hand Doorway Hang

This should be your go-to workout if you want to increase your pinch grip strength without using any equipment. When you’re challenged, your thumbs may begin to cramp, so start more upright than you think.

You’ll do this by facing your open door from the slim end (so not on either side of the door but where it closes). At around waist height, grab the door with your fingers and thumb. Start to sit down and back so you’re sitting on your heels after you’ve got a good grip.

Before swapping hands, hold this posture for 20-60 seconds. As you gain strength, you may start removing fingers until you’re just using your thumb and first finger to hold yourself.

Book Finger Flexion

When practicing the grip, the fingers don’t get much attention. Traditional grip exercises, aside from pinch grasping, concentrate on strengthening the wrist and forearm, as well as the ability to clinch a fist with maximum force.

However, strengthening your fingers can help you improve your grip strength by thickening your wrists and developing little muscles in your fingers, hands, and forearms that may not receive any specific training.

Only a book is required for this activity. It’s crucial to have a variety of sizes so that you may go to larger, heavier books.

Place your fingers on a table’s edge, palms up, knuckles slightly off the edge. Remove your thumb and place a book on top of your fingers.

Begin by doing reps with one finger at a time. Starting with 10-20 repetitions is an excellent place to start. You’ll notice that your smaller fingers are having trouble. That is completely typical and acceptable behavior. You’re making progress as long as you’re feeling the stress and shifting the book slightly.

Add your thumb under the book after you’re comfortable executing repetitions with separate fingers. Raise the book with your fingers and thumb one by one, as if you were playing the piano.

Fingertip Push-Ups

This is a traditional martial arts workout. Featured in nearly every martial arts film. Except you’ll probably see the hero performing push-ups with one arm behind their back while doing push-ups on one finger.

This isn’t quite as bad as it sounds. The goal is to stretch your fingers as widely as possible while maintaining balance on your fingers and thumbs. You should be on the bottom padding of your fingers, not the tips of your fingers where your nails terminate.

Disadvantages of Hand Grip Exercise

The following are the drawbacks of handgrip exercise:

  • If not done correctly, it can lead to diseases such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Muscle underdevelopment
  • Cramps and discomfort

Preventive Measures

While performing grip strength exercises, you should consider the following precautions:

  • If you have wrist discomfort, avoid doing grip strength exercises.
  • This exercise should not be performed if you have a hand fracture or have had surgery on your hands.
  • If you have a physical disease, you should check your doctor before undertaking this workout.

Conclusion

Grip strength is an essential component of overall health and fitness. It may be used to assess your health because it is used to diagnose physical and cognitive disorders.

Grip strength exercises are quite useful and should be included in your daily training program. Performing well-rounded grip exercises on a regular basis can improve the quality of your life.