Details matter. That’s why working out can target the entire body or one small area, such as the hands. While it may seem odd to target the hand muscles, strengthening one’s grip is beneficial for a number of activities. For example, a better grip helps mountain climbers, baseball batters, and floor gymnasts. Here’s how to increase hand strength and grip.
First and Forearms
The fingers are connected to and operated by the forearms. Working the fingers and strengthening one’s grip also makes the forearms stronger. Ted Williams, one of the best hitters in baseball history, used to squeeze a baseball at night and between innings to strengthen his forearms, which in turn helped him hit harder.
The wrist, hands, and forearms are composed of tiny muscles, which do not take the brunt of the force when lifting heavy weights or performing athletic feats, yet they contribute to better performance. For example, developing these muscles gives an athlete more strength and balance when lifting weights, tumbling, climbing, etc.
Those who hike or climb know the benefit of hand endurance and the ability to maintain a good grip through long periods. Endurance is not for athletes alone. Musicians such as pianists and guitarists need to have strong hands to withstand hours of performance. What’s convenient about developing a good grip is that you don’t need to go to the gym.
Door Frame Hang
Purchase a pull-up bar, or hang from your doorframe if it’s sturdy enough. Lift your legs as you attempt to hold on for as long as possible. Repeat for a few repetitions as you return to the exercise a few times throughout the week. If you like the idea of not having to leave your home to get a better grip, read about the grip strengthener.
Stand beside a barbell (with or without weights) as you lift it up with one hand and try to keep it balanced. It will be very challenging and likely will burn your forearms. See how long you can hold it balanced without tilting the bar.
Pinch two weights of equal weight between your thumb and forefinger and lift. Hold the weights in the air using the pinch grip for as long as possible. Do another set but consider lesser weight in case you slip and drop the heavier weight on the ground!
Drape a dumbbell down between your knees while sitting on a bench. Rotate the hanging dumbbell left and right as you start to feel your fingers and forearms burn. Rather than repetitions, see if you can keep going back and forth for a minute at a time.
This is a great exercise that will definitely strengthen grip! Drape a rope or towel over a piece of gym equipment and attempt to pull yourself up using your grip alone. Unlike climbing a rope, the athlete just hangs in place rather than makes progress upward.