Better grip strength causes increased muscle gains and better performance in sports and other activities. It is also one of the best predictors of a healthy heart and aging well, on top of being a big turn on for females.
One issue: It can be hard to know if you are making any progress. Fortunately, there is an easy way to test your grip. Get a grip dynameter to test your max grip strength (how hard you squeeze). Establish your max and use this to watch your readiness.
For example, if your max is 100 pounds, then anything under 10% of this number – under 90 pounds – would be low. If that is the case, rethink your training plan and figure out where your recovery might be suffering (nutrition, sleep etc.).
Initially, your findings could be all over the place. But once you create a more routine baseline, you can rely on the numbers more. Like every data point, the more you get and the more consistent and reliable you will be.
1. Endurance Pinch Strength
The pinch position is what your fingers and thumb do while you hold a weight. It has real-world application with opening jars, climbing or even holding your dog’s leash.
Here’s how to train your endurance and pinch strength:
Pinch Isometric Hold: Do this one with a dumbbell or some plates. Use more than one plate pressed together with the smoothest sides facing outward. Keep them together by pinching as hard as you can. You can also make use of a bumper plate. Just keep your plates up for as long as you can.
Pinch Lift: Same as isometric hold setup, but the goal here is to lift the heaviest possible load from the floor to a box. Increase the weight or the box height to progress.
2. Endurance and Crushing Strength
Crushing strength is what we usually associate with better grip training. It is the ability of your hand to squeeze and form tension with your palm and fingers. We use this when shaking hands or squeezing a barbell.
Here is how to train your crushing strength:
Grippers: Heavy-duty grippers are the real test of crushing strength. Another option is to use a gripper machine where you can use more weight.
Pad Grab: All you need here is a foam pad. Grab your pad and clench it hard. Hold momentarily before changing hands.
Rope Climbs: These will separate the men from the boys. No rope connected to your gym’s ceiling? Anchor your rope to a power rack and start doing rack climbs. If you get really good, do them without any lower-body help.
Author: Blake Ambrose