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How to Improve Your Grip Strength & Wrist Mobility: The 6 Best Exercises

Do you find your grip a limiting factor in the gym (I see you chin-ups and deadlifts)?

Or in everyday life (looking at you, pickle jars)?

If so, don’t worry! We’ve got a handle on this (pun 100% intended).

As the lead trainer of our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program, I’m going to outline a number of helpful, handy (sigh) stretches and exercises to help eliminate pain and build you some powerful, useful hands and a strong grip.

The importance of grip strength (and basic “grips”).
Grip strength exercises to do in the gym (VIDEO).
How to improve grip strength at the office.
How to improve grip strength at home.
Now, it goes without saying that the hands and forearms are anatomically complicated areas.

I am also not your mother, or your doctor. If anything in the article below causes pain, or your pain is not alleviated by these stretches – call in the pros!

See a physical therapist or sports massage practitioner.

Why Grip Strength And WRist Mobility Is So Important: Basic Holds.
Grip strength is crucial for exercises like the deadlift
We use our hands for EVERYTHING.

Whether it’s everyday tasks like carrying groceries, opening jars, and lifting suitcases, or gym-related activities like chin-ups, rows, and deadlifts.

Of course, you probably also type at your computer for hours – with resulting aches and pains at the end of the workday.

Guess what?

Stretching out the hands and building up a strong grip can help in all of those areas.

A strong grip has even been correlated to lower mortality rates – and you can also imagine the usefulness of a stronger grip for aging individuals if they happen to slip.

Our point is that it’s always better to have a stronger grip!

This is a favorite area of expertise for me. I’ve worked my grip for years and years, and have even won some grip competitions:

Jim won the local grip strength competition
In fact, I’m currently typing this one-handed while squeezing coal into diamonds with my other hand.

Not really, but I promise my grip strength is above average.

SO WHERE TO START?

The hands are complex, and training them can seem just as complicated.

We’ll simplify matters a bit and you can categorize the grip exercises into the following general types:

1) CRUSH

You can improve your grip strength with captains of crush grip crushers
This is what you probably think of when you think of a “strong grip”. This is the whole hand closing in around something. A strong handshake. None of that dead-fish handshake stuff!

2) PINCH

Try the pinching movement to improve grip strength
Think of making an alligator mouth with your hands, and chomping down. In this grip, there tends to be a lot more work/stress on the thumb. This is important to work, as the thumb is a vital part of a strong grip!

3) SUPPORT

Can you hang from a bar? You can train this to improve grip strength
This is similar to crush, but rather than the ability to close, this type of grip tests the ability to hold.

4) EXTENSION

You can do hand extensions to balance your grip training
Every action has an opposite reaction, right? This type of grip work is all about strengthening the opposing muscles. We were built to grab and hold onto things, so these muscles will not be as strong.

5) WRIST WORK

Someone doing wrist mobility exercises with pvc pipe.
Taken from torokhtiy.

Wrist movement and wrist stability is the focus here. In order to be able to transfer energy from the body through the hands (for opening those pickle jars) we need to make sure every link in the chain is strong.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

When putting together a grip routine of your own, it’s a good idea to cycle through these different types of grips over the course of the week, in order to work different muscles and different angles.

If you have to pick just a few, I’d put my money on stretches, crushing, and extension to get your hands strong and keep them healthy!

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