Hand Grip Exercises

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A firm grip can go a long way in life. Construction workers need firm grips to handle heavy equipment, and typists must have strong yet relaxed hands to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. Or perhaps you need to recover from a hand or wrist injury. Hand stretches keep your hands loose and hand grip exercises strengthen not only the fingers of the hands but also the associated tendons and muscles running the length of the forearm.

Hand Grip Exercises
(Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media)

Do hand stretches before doing hand grip exercises. Without proper hand stretches you could develop carpal tunnel syndrome due to the compression of the median nerve—the nerve that runs from the hand up the forearm—caused by a tightening of the transverse carpal ligament.

Hold your arms in front of you with both fists squeezed firmly. Bend your fists downward at the wrists and hold for five seconds. Release your fists to their original position and repeat the procedure three times.

With your hands at your sides, shake your fists to loosen them.

Straighten your arms again with your palms facing outward and point your fingers upward as far as possible. Hold that position for five seconds and then release. Repeat this process three times.

With your hands at your sides, shake your fists to loosen them.

Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media

The most basic hand grip exercise is done with a hand gripper. You can pick one of these up at your local sporting goods store for five dollars or so. Hold the hand gripper in your right hand and squeeze the hand gripper slowly until you cannot squeeze any further, hold for two seconds and release. Repeat this process 10 times and then switch to your left hand. Complete three sets with each hand.

The next hand grip exercise requires either a single long barbell with five- or 10-pound weights affixed or small hand weights of five or 10 pounds. With a firm grip on the weight, sit down on a chair, resting your forearms on your thighs, palms facing upward. With your right hand, allow the weight to roll slowly downward off the front of you knee until you are holding the weight with only the first and second knuckles of your fingers.

Roll the weight upward again to its original position. Repeat this process with your left hand and continue until you have done three sets of ten repetitions on each hand.

If you do not have weights handy, you can do a wrist lever hand grip exercise using an axe, baseball bat or other weighty object. Hold the object out in front of you with a firm grip—with your arms completely straight—and allow the object to drop downward one or two feet. Slowly lift the object back to its starting position. Repeat this exercise for three sets of 10 repetitions each.

Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media

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