Wikipedia defines grip strength as the force applied by the hand to pull or suspend from objects and is a specific part of hand strenght. I cannot stress enough the importance of grip strength, especially if you are involved in sports such as wrestling, bodybuilding, mixed martial arts, baseball, football, tennis, or basketball, among many others.
However, grip strength is not only important for athletes; it is applicable in everyday life. Even everyday tasks such as carrying groceries and laundry require a certain degree of grip strength. So regardless of what your reason is for wanting to increase grip strength, whether it be to excel at sports or make guys wish they’d never shook your hand, it is important to know that it is an important element of everyday life.
Exercises for Grip
Now I bet you are wondering which exercises you can do to produce a crushing grip, right? Good! There are a plethora of grip strength exercises I could give you. Instead of overloading you with too many exercises I am going to give you those exercises that will produce optimal results.
Among many other benefits, pullups will immensely improve grip strenght. That is why it is at the top of my list. If you really want a strong grip, DO PULL UPS!
There are many different variations you can do. However, there is one variation that stands out above all: grapple grip pullups.
The grapple grip was invented by personal trainer and fitness enthusiast Mike Saffaie. Grapple grip is a revolutionary grip strengthening system that allows you to increase grip strength while doing various exercises. One great thing about grapple grip is there are various difficulty levels to choose from, ranging from beginner to advanced.
Another great thing about the grapple grip is its use of a specially designed carabiner clip that can attach almost anywhere including, cable pulley systems, barbells, and even dumbbells! So, even for the exercises below, the grapple grip could be used to not only strengthen your grip like never before, but provide a total body workout utilizing compound exercises.
Although probably not as effective as grapple grip pull ups, towel pull ups can significantly increase grip strength as well.
If you want to significantly increase grip strength, along with total body strength, you cannot go wrong with deadlifts. Deadlifts require you to hold weight for an extended amount of time, which really works the muscles of the forearm. I personally prefer the trap bar deadlift over traditional barbell deadlifts due to a lower back injury. Either way, deadlifts will increase grip strength.
Bent Over Rows
Another one of my favorite exercises to do for upper back and grip strength is bent over rows. Bent over rows focus primarily on the upper back muscles, however, being that they require weight to be held for an extended period of time, the forearms get a good workout as well thereby helping improve grip strength.
Another great activity that can greatly increase grip strength is the farmers walk. A farmers walk is simple. Carry a weight in each hand for a certain distance and voila! If you want to make these extra challenging, try walking up and down a set of stairs with a fairly heavy pair of dumbbells or kettlebells.
Well, there you have it. The above exercises are just a few of not only my favorite exercises, but exercises that have been proven to increase grip strength again and again. Of course, there are a plethora of exercises that you could do to strengthen your grip. Basically, any exercise or workout that involves holding weight for an extended period of time can improve grip strength.
However, anyone that knows me knows I am totally against isolation exercises unless I am recovering from an injury, so the above exercises suit me and many others well. Not only do pullups, deadifts, bent over rows, and farmer walks increase grip strength, but total body strength as well.