What’s up world! Today we are going to talk about Grip. The two topics we are going to discuss are why it’s important and how to strengthen it. So by the end of this blog you will have a complete mapped out guide on how to increase your grip strength. So let’s dive in.
First, Why is having a good grip important? Well, most important is that over the past decade or so more and more clinical studies have linked grip strength to life expectancy/longevity. I know, what does grip strength have to do with how long I live? I was curious too. Other than rock climbers and trapeze artists, how can grip extend my life. The biggest components are linked to being more self-reliable at an older age and an overall better quality of life at an older age. Just think you’re 70 years old and your hands are too weak to open up your favorite jar of pickles or you don’t have the grip strength to pull yourself out of your chair. You will constantly have to have someone around to help you. From opening jars, lifting you out of bed and even opening your very important medications all because your hands and grip are too weak to do it yourself. Yes, I know it sounds silly now, but just wait. Now it’s inevitable that as we get older somethings naturally get weaker, but the decline in strength can be slowed down drastically if you start from a strong(er) place. So if you want to have a super strength grip like grandma does when she pinches your cheeks it’s time to start now!
Now it’s time to work. Building your grip strength can be a straightforward process if you know what to work on. There are four key components when I am addressing grip training.
- Wrist Mobility- having achey, stiff or even pain in are wrist when doing a lift or holding onto something will slow us down if not stop us from progressing not just in our grip training but in all our training. So working on wrist mobility will help us move pain free.
Action Step- Wrist Mobility Drill.
Start off on all fours with your palms down directly under your shoulders and fingers facing forward. From this position lean your body forward trying to reach your shoulders past your fingertips. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Come back to start, repeat 10 times.
Then flip your hand so the backs of your hands out on the floor and fingers pointing at you. While keeping your hands where they are, sit your hips back to your heels and press your hands into the floor lightly. Hold for 3-5 seconds, Repeat 10 times.
- Crush- The “Crush Grip” is the most common grip we use to hold onto something. Say a dumbbell, kettlebell, macebell, a bucket of paint or even a hammer. Crush grip is when we wrap are whole hand around something. To strengthen this grip is quite easy especially for regular exercise goers. Here are my favorite exercises.
- Dead hangs- Hanging from a pull-up bar or squat rack.
- Heavy Deadlifts.
- Mace or Clubs swings- can be gada, steel mace, steel clubs, or Indian clubs.
- Heavy Farmers Carry- this can be done with trap bar, dumbbell or more commonly kettlebells
- Pinch- Typically a weaker hold the “Pinch Grip ” is when we hold something by pinching are fingers and thumb together. Think like you’re holding a book or plate. I really only have one exercise that I will utilize for the pinch grip not to say there isn’t more. But it’s the most bang for your buck.
- Barbell Plate Pinch Carry- All you do is take a barbell plate or two if you want to do both sides, pinch it like you’re holding a book down at your side(s) and walk with it. It’s the same as a Farmers Carry just with a plate.
- Rice Bucket- Yep, that’s right a big bucket of rice! Go buy a 10-20lb bag of rice and a cheap bucket. Dump the rice in and play! Follow the link fir a great routine.
Doing these drills and exercises will not only strengthen your grip but it will also strengthen your lifts and keep your wrist and elbows strong and pain free for the years to come. If you find this helpful or need any help on any of the keys leave a message at [email protected]