Even when working out regularly, many people often overlook or neglect one key area — grip strength. This area of strength is valuable as it has so many potential uses in our day-to-day lives and can say a lot about ouroverall health and wellness. Grip strength is valuable whether you need to carry something, hold onto things, or pull yourself up onto a ledge while hiking.
On the bright side, even though grip strength is easy to overlook, you can make a big difference in building this area of strength with just a few exercises. Discover some of the best grip strength exercises you can use at the gym or at home to build your grip muscle strength.
The Best Grip Strength Exercises
Although many weightlifting exercises at the gym can help improve your grip strength indirectly, you should not just forget about working on your grip. Since a good grip is so important in daily functions and canaffect our overall health, it is a good idea to include grip strength training as a focused part of your routine.
The best exercises for improving your grip strength will target your forearm muscles and the accessory muscles around them to help youmaintain better health and mobility in your arms.
1. Farmer’s Carry
The farmer’s carry or farmer’s walk involves walking with a weight in each hand. This exercise helps target the forearm muscles, but walking with the added weight helps provide cardiovascular training as well.
Because you don’t have to move your arms for each rep, you can focus on choosing heavier weights that work your forearms for that extra burn. You can try wrapping your wrist to help keep your wrist stable or address pain during this exercise.
To perform the farmer’s carry:
- Start by holding two dumbbells or kettlebells, one in each hand
- Stand with a firm, straight posture and your shoulders raised up
- Walk with this firm posture from one side of a room to another, continuing for about 10 steps.
- Then, turn around and walk back to the starting position.
- As you get more comfortable with this exercise, move on to using heavier weights.
Deadlifts are one of the most foundational strength training exercises, targeting multiple muscle groups to help boost your overall strength. However, they also help you develop a stronger grip, especially with higher weights. For a similar motion that focuses extra on developing your grip, try a plate pinch that uses a pinch grip with weight plates.
To perform a deadlift:
- Stand in front of a weighted barbell on the floor.
- Keeping your back straight, bend down and grip the bar with your arms straight and your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Looking straight ahead, lift the bar while standing straight up, straightening your legs while bringing your hips forward into the bar.
- Repeat this exercise for three sets of 10 repetitions.
Pull-ups rely heavily on a strong grip to keep yourself hanging from the bar. It is also a good idea to incorporate chin-ups, which are the same motion but have a different grip on the bar.
Since pull-ups rely on using your body weight, it is one of the most accessible exercises — all you need is a bar to hang onto. This exercise also helps to target your lats, biceps, and accessory muscles in the upper body.
To perform a pull-up:
- Grip the pull-up bar with your hands spread out shoulder-width apart.
- Pull your body up toward the bar using your forearm muscles, biceps, and back muscles while bending your arms.
- Raise yourself until your chin reaches above the bar.
- Slowly lower your body back down to the starting position in a controlled motion.
- Repeat for as many reps as you can, or stick to three sets of 10.
4. Dead Hang
Similar to pull-ups, a dead hang helps to improve your grip strength while strengthening your back muscles. This is a great alternative for beginners who may struggle to complete a full pull-up.
All you need is a bar or overhang to grip on and hang with your feet off the floor. You can use either an underhand or overhand grip on the bar.
To do a dead hang:
- Begin in the starting position for a pull-up.
- Keep your arms straight with your shoulders pulled down and back
- Hang for as long as possible, or aim for 30 seconds to a minute at a time
5. Wrist Curls
Wrist curls are a great exercise for any level, and they help isolate your forearm muscles to boost your grip strength quickly. To target the same muscles, you can also perform a variation of bicep curls where your position your palms facing away from you.
To do wrist curls:
- Grab a dumbbell in each hand
- Start with dumbbells that are a manageable weight, much lighter than you would use for a bicep curl.
- Place your forearms on a flat surface with your palms hanging up and your hands hanging over the edge of the surface.
- Keeping your forearms still, curl your wrists inward towards you.
- Repeat for as many reps as possible, or perform three sets of 10.
A weak grip canincrease several risk factors for overall health and wellness. Wrist grippers are a valuable tool when you want to improve your crush grip strength between your fingers and palm.
You’ll recognize this tool with two handles that meet at a metal coil at the top. This exercise is great because it directly targets your grip while strengthening your forearms — you can perform it anywhere.
You can also use a stress ball or tennis ball to squeeze and grip onto. If you don’t have one of these tools, you can spread a rubber band around your fingers and extend your fingers out to hit the same muscles and build your hand grip strength.
To perform wrist grippers:
- Simply grab the tool in your hand
- Squeeze the tool so that you close the two handles together
- Perform about 30 reps, or three sets of 10
- Switch hands to target the other side
Build Your Grip Strength
Firm grip strength is an often-neglected but important part of our overall strength, as it offers many functional benefits. However, if you deal with pain or discomfort in your wrists or forearms, it can be difficult to keep up with performing the necessary exercises. Fortunately,wearable Incrediwear technology can help.
By naturally improving blood flow, Incrediwearwrist sleeves can help manage pain in the wrists and forearms while helping to optimize your performance during workouts. Whether you want to take your workout to the next level or simply need relief from pain affecting your daily activities, Incrediwear is on your side.
Explore the complete collection of Incrediwear products to see how our wearable recovery products can support you.