Grip Strength is crucial to so many things we do, yet often overlooked as part of your workout routine. Everything you do in athletics and everyday life involves grabbing something. Doesn’t it make sense that a strong grip would help you?
no extra gym time
The beauty of developing hand strength is that there are many things you can do to develop a strong grip outside of the gym. Use a “stress ball” while sitting at your desk, driving in your car, or just watching a football game. An added benefit is that when you walk around squeezing the crap out of a gel ball, people figure you’re stressed out and usually leave you alone.
I happened to prefer using the gel-type hand exercises because it allows you to exercise your hands in many different planes and from many different angles. I use the Eggcizer from Ekintecs. I especially like the design because its shape allows you to focus your exercises on different parts of your hand. When use a round gel ball it seems no matter how you hold it, it always seems to end up in the middle of your palm. When you use the handle type hand squeezers they do not really mimic any real-life use of the hands. But the Eggcizer hits many parts of grip strength.
You really don’t even have to have any equipment other than some small rubber ball, rolled up paper or anything you can put in your hand around that offers some resistance. I think one important method is to squeeze the gel ball hard and rotate your wrist in clockwise and counter-clockwise directions. Your likely going to get some popping from your forearm flexors and extensors. That’s a good thing. Likely breaking up all your trigger points in your forearm.
success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out
– Robert Collier –
Just as with any other type of resistance exercise we do, it is important to not create muscle imbalances. The action of squeezing something focuses on the flexors of the forearm, so we have to also exercise the extensors as well. The simplest method of doing this is to wrap a rubber band or two, or three, or however many you need around thumb and fingers (just below the nail bed) and open up your hand. You’re bound to jettison the rubber band a few times. After a few attempts you’ll get the knack.
When you lift heavy weights, or do chin-ups, you can increase your grip by using sponges or pads on the bar. You will definitely notice your hands will not fatigue as much. Some people use fat grips on their weight-lifting bars.
Grip strength workouts are resistance exercise routines like any other weight training. Treat it like that and schedule it. Three or four, 5-minute sessions every other day. Work it into your daily routine: ride to work, lunchtime, ride home and watching evening TV. Boom! your done without any lost time for the day. Don’t overdo it or you risk some sort of overuse injury; tendinitis, Carpal Tunnel, etc.