Improving the strength of your muscles is important to a lot of people. Strengthening your glutes and biceps in the gym is at the top of the list for some. However, maintaining your grip strength is also very important for everyone, not just people who go to the gym. You may be thinking what is grip strength? Grip strength comes into play every single day. Think about if you lift a heavy box or move a chair, you are always using your grip. Grip strength is how securely you can hold on to things with your hands, and how heavy these things you are gripping onto are. There are multiple ways you can help improve your strength, whether that’s supporting your diet with the Strong Protein or adding some grip exercises into your routine.
Strengthening your grip is good for your endurance with repetitions in exercise and improves the health of the muscles in your hands and wrists. As well as improving your performance in sports such as swimming, climbing, hockey, and golf. So, what is a good grip strength, how can you measure it, and most importantly how can you improve it? Don’t fear we will answer your questions all in good time.
What are the different types of grip?
Your grip doesn’t stop at your hand. It starts up near your elbow and right down to the very tips of your fingers. There are more than 35 muscles involved in your grip, and they lie in your hand and forearm. The gripping actions in your wrist have several muscles, the flexor pollicis longus, and the flexor digitorum profundus. Where the grip relaxation is contributed by the extensor digitorum communis. There are several different ways you can grip and use these muscles:
Crushing – When you close your fingers and squeeze towards your palm and crimping when your force is towards the callous line.
Extension- When you open your fingers and thumb
Pinching- When your grasp something with your thumb in opposition to your fingers. Either static with no movement or dynamic with movement.
Supporting- when you lift something with your fingers taking most of the load.
How to improve your grip strength.
There are a number of grip strength exercises you can do to improve your grip strength. You don’t necessarily need a gym membership or expensive home gym machines. This first one is super easy to do at home with things you already own!
Towel Wring- This is a crush grip exercise.
- You will need to run a towel under water until it’s fully wet.
- Hold the towel at each end with both of your hands so it’s horizontal.
- Grip each end and move horizontally to start to wring the water out of the towel.
- Keep wringing the towel swapping directions until you cannot get any more water out.
- Repeat this process at least 3 times.
Hand clench- This is a crush grip exercise, and you will need a grip trainer, or a tennis ball or stress ball.
- Place your tennis ball or grip trainer in your hand.
- Squeeze the ball using your fingers (but not your thumb) or squeezer your trainer.
- Make sure you are clenching as tightly as you can then release.
- If you repeat this 50-100 times a day you will begin to see results!
Pinch grip transfer- this is a pinch grip exercise, and you will need 2 weight plates that are 10 pounds each minimum.
- Stand up with one of the plates in your hand, pinching the edge of it with your thumb and fingers.
- Move the plate in front of your chest keeping the pinch grip.
- Grab the plate with your other hand in the same pinching grip and remove your other hand.
- Lower the weight plate down to your side using one hand.
- Raise your hand back up to your chest and transfer the plate back to your other hand a repeat the moment down your side.
- Repeat this whole transfer 10 times, 3 times a day.
Dead Hang- This is a support grip exercise. You will need a pull-up bar or strong object that’s horizontal and can hold your weight.
- Grab onto the bar with your fingers and palm (a double overhand grip).
- Lift yourself up so your legs are of the floor, but your arms are straight.
- Hold this for as long as you can. If you are a beginner start yourself with a time of 10 seconds and increase by 10 second increments.
- Once you are fully comfortable with this try to challenge yourself with bending your arms to a 90-degree angle and hold on for 2 minutes.
How to measure your grip strength
There are several ways you can measure your grip strength. You can start by using a weight scale. If you push as hard as you can down on top of the scale with the heel of your hand and your fingers wrapped around the bottom. Or you can use a handgrip dynamometer. Hold it up with your arm at a 90-degree angle and squeeze the grip measurement mechanism as hard as possible.
If you measure both of your hands you can compare the results between your non-dominant and dominant hand. Your results do depend on your energy levels that day, how much you’ve used your hands during the day. If you are in good health, (if you are unwell your strength will be lower than normal) and if you have an underlying condition that may affect your strength.
There are several metrics you can use to measure your strength. It’s most commonly measured in kilograms and pounds, but you can also measure in millilitres of mercury and newtons. The healthy grip is different for men and women. Men should be able to squeeze at around 72.6 pounds, and women can measure around 44 pounds.
So, let’s give it a go! Stick on a podcast, and try starting with a few of these exercise examples and see how much you improve. If you want to start improving your strength and didn’t know where to start this is the best introduction to a healthier stronger grip! Happy training.