Did you know that there are 35 muscles that are involved when it comes to your Grip Strength?¹ Most of us never realize in our day to day activities that nearly everything we use our hands for involves grip strength to some degree. From texting on our cell phones, to grabbing a doorknob or holding a coffee mug. Those of you looking to up your game in gym just might benefit from these 4 things you can do to increase grip strength. Get rid of the old fashioned spring loaded "grip strengtheners." Unless you're training to be the best "squeezer" that ever lived, you'll see far more benefit from functional training to increase grip strength. You'll be increasing the dexterity and strength of not only the hand muscles but your forearms as well.
Increase Grip Strength
1. Fatten up the bar. By simply wrapping your gym towel a few times around the dumbbell or barbell that you're lifting, you can increase the diameter of the bar. Studies have shown that grip force declines in relation to the thickness of the bar being used.² Therefore the thicker the bar, the more grip strength is required.
2. Scrap the straps. While we'd love nothing more than for everyone reading this to buy a pair of GymPaws® Weight Lifting Straps, if your goal is to increase grip strength you shouldn't be using them. When you're using a lifting strap you're actually minimizing the demand on the gripping muscles to perform the movement.
3. Pull Ups till you puke. Few exercises can duplicate the benefits of the good 'ole fashioned pull up when it comes to developing upper body strength. If you've ever included sets of Kipping Pull Ups, Knees to Elbows, or Chin Ups into your workout than you're familiar with the forearm burn you can get! Pulling exercises like bent over rows, dead lifts and pull ups all depend on having great grip strength.
4. Don't pull with your palms. You need to be grabbing the bar correctly in the first place. The pressure of the weight should not be centered in the middle of your palm, but rather just below your fingers at the top of your palm.³ This is where a pair of Lifting Grips can be an advantage. They can ease the pressure placed on the hand and eliminate the friction that causes calluses. Whether your goal is to increase grip strength for a specific sport, for weight lifting gains, or for any other daily activity you enjoy, you'll can benefit from incorporating some grip strength training into your routine!
See Them In Action!
¹Waldo, B. Grip Strength Testing. National Strength and Conditioning Association Journal(1996 Oct 32-5). ²Ratamess, N, A Faigenbaum, G Mangine, J Hoffman, and J Kang. Acute Muscular Strength Assessment Using Free Weight Bars of Different Thickness. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2007, 21(1), 240-244) ³Mehdi. Increase Deadlift Grip Strength. Stronglifts.com (2011, Mar 25)