Do you find your grip restricting in the gym (I see your chin-ups and deadlifts)?
Or in the real world (hello, pickle jars)?
No need to fret if that’s the case. Everything is in control (no pun intended).
As the head coach of our one-on-one online training program, I’ll outline stretches and exercises to help you eliminate discomfort and develop solid hands and a firm grip.
The hands and forearms are intricate regions of the human body.
To add insult to injury, I am neither your mother nor your doctor. Neither the author nor any contributors take any responsibility for any discomfort you may experience from reading this article or doing the stretches suggested.
It would help if you saw a sports massage therapist or physical therapist.
The Importance of a Strong Grip and a Flexible Wrist: Essentials for holding on to
Everything we do, we do with our bare hands.
Muscular upper body strength is essential, whether in regular chores like grocery shopping, jar opening, and luggage lifting or strength training routines like chin-ups, rows, and deadlifts.
You undoubtedly spend a lot of time at your computer, leading to sore fingers and other discomforts towards the end of the workday.
True or false?
Hand exercises like finger stretching and grip strengthening may benefit all these situations.
The ability to maintain a firm grasp has even been linked to a longer life expectancy; you can also picture the benefits of a better grip for the elderly in the event of a fall.
It’s always preferable to have a firmer grasp, and that’s the point we’re trying to make.
Regarding my knowledge, this is one of my favorite topics. I’ve spent many hours perfecting my grip and have even won a few grip competitions:
In fact, with my other hand, I am compressing coal to make diamonds as I type this.
Although I swear my grip strength is above average, this is not true.
WHERE DO WE EVEN BEGIN?
Training the hands might appear equally as tricky as introducing the hands themselves due to the writings’ complexity.
We can break down the various grip workouts into the following broad categories, perhaps making things easier to understand:
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “firm grasp” is undoubtedly this. The whole of the hand encloses an object. You are exchanging firm handshakes. Nothing with the limp handshakes and dead fish analogies!
Imagine forming an alligator’s mouth with your hands and biting down. Because of the nature of this grip, the thumb takes on a disproportionate amount of responsibility and effort. The thumb is an integral aspect of a secure grasp. Thus this is crucial for any labor.
Similar to the crush test, but measuring holding strength rather than closure ability.
If you take one step, you should expect another. Building strength in the antagonistic muscles is the primary focus of this sort of grip training. Our bodies are designed to grip and hold onto objects. Thus the muscles used to move those objects will be weaker than those used to move them.
#5) HANDBAG WORK
Our attention is on the motion and stability of the wrists. Ensuring every link in the chain is sturdy will allow you to transmit your body’s energy via your hands and into those pickle jars.
FINDING THE MISSING PIECE
If you want to engage various muscles and angles in your hands and forearms, it’s best to include a variety of grips into your weekly regimen.
I recommend stretching, compressing, and extending your hands if you can only do a few exercises to build muscle and prevent injury.
Before we go any further, I’d like to point out that if you’re looking to strengthen your grip as part of your regular workout routine, you’ve come to the correct spot! Building muscle and strength is covered in depth in our free ebook Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know. Do you want to participate?
Free your hands and join the Rebellion (that’s us!) below and get it:
Methods for Rapidly Increasing Your Grip Power and Range of Motion
If you want a more substantial grip fast, try these exercises:
1. Please pick up a dumbbell by its head by standing it on end. Is there anything that more closely resembles a pickle jar? If the dumbbell is too large, you risk straining your thumb if you reach too far. You may either hold for 30 seconds or try for a higher weight.
2. Walks on the farm: Put on some hefty (for you) weights and stroll! Need help finding a room to move around? Don’t move a muscle! No more than 30 seconds!
3. To curl the plates: A biceps- and wrist-focused exercise. Beyond 25 pounds, it’s an impossible challenge. Do ten sets. Keep an eye on that guy’s face!
4. If you have two identical metal plates, you may squeeze them together with smooth sides facing each other. Thick bumper plates may also be used. The goal is to lift them with one or two hands and hold them for a certain amount of time (30 seconds) or to increase the weight. Athletes with world-class grip strength can lift 45-pound plates with one hand.
5. You are crushing grip exercises using just your fingers and a barbell. There’s the option of using a raw bar or one loaded with weight. Bring the bar up to your palm and give it a good crushing with your fingers. Do ten sets.
6. Dry chin-ups using a towel: Are common chin-ups too simple for you? Challenge your grip by draping a pair of gym towels over the bar. An excellent warm-up when ascending a rope!
Let’s move on to some gym-specific stretches and workouts.
#1) EXERCISE MOVES: STRETCHES AT THE GYM
Banded wrist stretches are my only suggestion for your stretching program that may be done at the gym. The band’s presence may provide some more movement at the wrist joint. The band’s tension should act against the direction of the stretch (fingers face one way, and the band pulls the other way).
10-15 times through.
#2) Second, WORKING OUT AT THE GYM
While we advise investing in a set of grippers as dedicated grip equipment, you can do a great deal of grip training using the tools already available in your gym’s weight room. This is a complete list, but it may have stimulated your thinking.
A word of caution before beginning any of these routines: WATCH YOUR TOES. We want to avoid accidentally squishing any piglets since the grip might give out at any time.
You won’t find all you need here, but it should get you started!
Various Additional Exercises That Can Be Easily Adapted:
- Grip strength may be improved by doing a simple bar hang or hanging from gymnastic rings. If you have trouble hanging upside down, rest your feet on the ground. No easier way to put it! Gain as much as a minute if you can!
- When most people think of “grip strength” workouts, they often picture either wrist curls or reverse wrist curls. Very respectable for the strength of one’s wrists. Do ten sets. As shown, you may do regular wrist curls (left) or reverse curls (right).
- We’re ultimately going off the rails here with barbell levering. Excellent training for the wrist, but not for novices. To do a one-handed parallel raise, grasp the bar slightly off-center. You have the option of frontal and rearward lifting. For this, a bar with a weight of 15 pounds (5 kilograms) or a lighter “body pump” bar is all you need. Extreme leverage! With PVC pipe, you may do this task in a shorter amount of time.
When workouts are combined, things may become weird.
Bumper plates for farmer’s stroll, anyone?
Are you concerned that your lack of grip strength is preventing you from progressing in the gym? NF Coaching can help!
Professionally trained trainers can evaluate your grip and general strength, create a program to help you reach your goals, and keep you on track. A coach in your back pocket, if you will (not literally – via an app).
In addition, our coaching app allows you to capture and share a video of your action straight to your coach, giving you confidence that you are training correctly.
Methods For Increasing Hand Dexterity And Range Of Motion In The Workplace
Now is the time to start working on your grip strength!
No matter where you are or what you have available, you may do the stretches and exercises I’ve provided. Glance quickly to find something to spice up your regular workout routine with!
#1) Squats and lunges at your desk
Maybe you’re at a desk right now, reading this.
A lot of the day’s labor is done with our hands and wrists, so giving them some TLC is essential.
Just three simple stretches are shown here. Try this out as a warm-up or for your hands’ general well-being. Since we spend so much time during the day with our elbows bent, and our hands in a pronated posture (palms turned down), stretching by extending our elbows and turning our palms up is essential.
As for the stretches from the video:
- Position yourself with your fingers back and palms flat on the tabletop. You may rock softly to the left and right from this position or extend straight backward. 10-15 times through.
- If you elevate your hands off the desk, you can extend your fingers and first knuckle more deeply. Repeatedly, lean back straight or rock side to side. 10-15 times through.
Knocking fists together, palms down on desk:
- Putting your thumbs on the outside of your fingers, make two fists.
- Place the knuckles of both hands together and bend your elbows to form a 90-degree angle, like the teeth of a gear.
- Keep your elbows bent and rest the whole back of your hands on the desk. While bending and flexing your elbows, ensure your fists stay together (difficult) and close (also difficult). 10-15 times through.
Try it out, and I guarantee you’ll notice a difference in how your hands feel for the better.
If you have extra time, the first two stretches may be performed with the fingers facing forward.
The thumbs may also be stretched out on the desk. You are transitioning into and out of the shown stretch. If this is the first time you’ve done anything like this, you may be startled by how nice it feels. Repeat this process 10-15 times.
You may extend your wrists toward your thumb if you have time between updating Excel and checking Facebook for the hundredth time (just kidding).
Think about how you usually type on a keyboard, and you’ll see that your pinky finger is probably pointing upward.
Let’s turn it around and stretch them out! Put up your hand as though you were ready to karate chop someone. Grab the slicing hand with the other and pull it to the side, toward your thumb.
It stretches into and out of this position slowly and softly 10 to 15 times. Even while this stretch won’t seem as strenuous as the others, it will still be beneficial.
While this is a partial catalog of hand and wrist stretches, it should provide a good foundation.
#2) The Second Method: Workouts at Your Workstation
Do you realize many workplaces already have an excellent tool for improving grip strength? And what is it, exactly?
There goes the rubber band!
Grab a band from the ball sitting on your desk and do this easy rubber band stretches:
Two or more bands should be used if one becomes too simple. This simple exercise may be done during a phone conversation or conference call (on which you need to concentrate) to improve hand circulation and counteract the effects of a vice-like grip.
Closing grippers are another office-friendly option for strengthening your grip. A one-time expenditure of about $20 per gripper is necessary, but you’ll discover they last a very long time.
The “Captains of Crush” grippers from Ironmind are the best I’ve used.
They are durable and sturdy construction.
When shopping for grippers, keep the following in mind:
- I recommend the Guide and Sport for those just getting started with grip (60lb and 80lb, respectively).
- The Sport and the Trainer are the best choices if you have some muscle (80lb and 100lb).
Your grasp is vital if you can shut the Guide. In my experience, closing the Sport requires far more grip strength than is typical.
Having these grippers at your desk will guarantee that EVERYONE who sees them will attempt to pick them up and shut them. Excellent discussion starter for the office!
Perhaps you’re scoffing at my suggestion since you have a store-bought gripper. The strength of that gripper is probably negligible compared to Ironmind’s. I can tell you that much. Upgrade time!
If you’re thinking, “eh, I’ve got a tennis ball/stress ball that I can put at my desk and smash,” you’re not alone. Possibly, both are better than nothing, but not by much. The grippers will make movement easier and progress more visible. Did I mention each one only costs $20?
“Jim, I really must know. If I’m going to practice my grip, I’d rather do it right this second. You may now take the heaviest, most cumbersome book in the workplace. Put your fingers in a pinch grasp and hold tight (fingers on one side, thumb on the other). If you think this would be simple, you may “walk the book” in your palm by running your fingers up and down the spine while you hold it in the air. Repeat this process many times. Tough!
Strengthening Your Grip and Exercising Your Wrists At Home
There are still some options if you want to exercise at home.
- A chin-up bar for your house is one of the best investments you can make. You may use the ground as support, as in the gym version. Get your minute timer time up!
- The journeys of farmers carrying grocery bags: One-stop shopping is preferable to making many trips inside to unload the items. There is 0 substance. Those sturdy, reusable bags are perfect for carrying along everything you need. Don’t move from where you are, and stroll around the block.
- Levering a sledgehammer, barbell, or other large object is a challenging workout that should be taken at a leisurely pace, like barbell levering in the gym. If you want things simple, grab the sledgehammer closer to the skull.
Beginning Ring Work and Handstand Practice Will Help You Improve Your Grip
There is no such thing as a solitary workout or solitary guy. We hope that you utilize the grip strength you get from these workouts to improve your deadlift and chin-up and in other areas of your life.
Many different kinds of upper-body strength-training activities exist, and they all involve using just your body weight.
#1) THE HANGER WITH A FALSE GRIP
For example, this video is an excerpt from our rings course in Nerd Fitness Prime, demonstrating how to do a false-grip hang and subsequent scapular retractions. A grip strength routine like this one is lethal:
Learning to do a muscle-up with a false grip is challenging (a pull-up that transitions into a dip). Similarly to the last time, this one allows you to rest your feet on the ground for more support.
#2) Position 2: The Crow
From Nerd Fitness Prime (which includes a course on executing handstands), here is a video of an exercise that strengthens your grip and wrists:
You’ll find one in just about every yoga class, but we’ll concentrate on it for a different purpose than your average yogi would. This is a stepping stone on the path to the handstand. Therefore we must lay the groundwork first. You will realize how much grip power is required once you dig your fingers into the ground in the crow stance.
Having a firm grasp is always beneficial.
A person with weak hands is not considered to be an influential person.
There is no way around it; we concur. Never in your life will you regret having a firm handhold.
How can you include these moves into your current program or utilize them to safely and effectively increase your lifting capacity? Or you’re attempting to make sense of the above since it all overwhelmed you.
You’ve come to the perfect location if that describes you!
As the head coach of the 1-on-1 NF Coaching Program, I assist busy, regular people like you to gain muscle, reduce body fat, and progress in all areas of your life.
Please click on the picture below to schedule a call to find out whether our coaching program is a suitable match for you.