How to Improve Grip Strength

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When training for sports or just to stay in shape, one thing people often overlook is grip strength. Grip strength allows you to grapple better and punch harder in combat sports, tackle more effectively in football, and avoid hand, wrist, and forearm injuries.

Things You'll Need

  • Extra strength hand grips
  • Pull-up bar
  • 2 towels
  • 2 tennis balls
  • Wrist wraps/supports
  • Use hand grips. These are sold in pairs in most sporting goods stores for around $10. A hand grip basically looks like two straight 4- to 5-inch pieces of wood or metal that come together to almost form the shape of the letter "A." At the top where the two pieces meet is a metal coil. All you have to do to use this is grip the two straight pieces and squeeze. As you squeeze, they should come together. Then release and they return to their original positions. This exercises the muscles in your hand, wrist and forearm. This can be done while sitting at your desk or on the couch watching TV.

  • Continue working on your grip strength by using a pull-up bar and two towels. Instead of holding onto the bar directly, drape the two towels over the parts you would normally grip with your hands. Now grip each towel with one hand, and perform your pull-ups. This will focus the workout on your hands and wrists.

  • Take two tennis balls and the pull-up bar to do another exercise. You are going to substitute the tennis balls for the towels and perform more pull-ups. Do the pull-ups while the tennis balls are on top of the bar, gripping them with your fingers. The bar itself should be pressed lightly against your palms. If done correctly, you should feel the tension all the way to your fingertips.

  • Perform separate wrist exercises in order to make sure your wrists are strong enough when working to improve grip strength. Use free weights for doing wrist curls. Grip the weights with your hands and curl them up with only your wrists, instead of your biceps. Start with lighter weights and work your way up.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most people do not pay enough attention to grip strength, so when you start these exercises, you may feel weak.
  • The more you do these exercises, the easier they get. If you are just sitting at home watching TV, use the hand grips, and you will see a big difference when doing the other exercises.
  • Whenever you exercise or compete in athletic activities, there is always the possibility of injury. Hand and wrist injuries can be painful and take a long time to heal. So make sure to use wrist wraps or supports whenever you perform pull-ups with towels or tennis balls to avoid serious injury.
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