Grip Strength Exercises | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Grip Strength Exercises

September 1, 2008 | Featured in the September 2008 Issue

Buckets of rice and sheets of newspaper probably don’t come to mind when you think about getting stronger. But if you’re looking to throw a baseball faster, swing a bigger bat or improve your control on the mat, they can strengthen your grip. Try these simple yet effective exercises.  
Rice Bucket
Who uses it: Vanderbilt University baseball
Who coaches it: John Sisk, head strength and conditioning coach
•    Fill bucket or jug with rice (Sisk recommends water jugs)
•    Drive forearm into bucket
•    Repeatedly squeeze handfuls of rice
•    Work each individual finger
•    Reach for the bottom of the bucket
Reps: 2-3x30 seconds for each hand
Benefits: As a pitcher, the pressure points on the ball dictate how well you can throw certain pitches. Working your fingers and hands will improve your grip.

Farmer’s Walk
Who uses it: Hofstra University wrestling
Who coaches it: Joe Makovec, assistant strength and conditioning coach
•    Start with medium-weight dumbbells that you can carry for 30 to 60 seconds
•    Hold dumbbell in each hand
•    Keep arms straight at your sides
•    Walk in straight line and maintain good posture
•    Keep core muscles tight
Distance: 30-yards, or until you can no longer firmly hold weights
Benefit: This drill improves endurance, which is important because you’re going to have to hold your opponent for as long as three minutes at a time during matches.

Makovec says variation is key to maintaining a fresh routine, especially during the season. “I try to be creative with some of the new lifts I throw at [my athletes], just to keep their interest piqued,” he says. Keep things fresh by creating your own drills. The Newspaper Crunch, for example, is an easy exercise that you can perform outside of the gym.

Newspaper Crunch
•    Lay full sheet of newspaper on table
•    Pick up from the center of the sheet with one hand
•    Keeping arm straight, slowly crumple newspaper until it’s balled up inside your palm
•    Repeat with other hand
Reps: Begin with five sheets per hand; add one sheet each week until you reach 10.
Adaptation: Mix up the sets, working both palms down and palms up.

Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How to Set Goals for a Successful Wrestling Season

Diet for Wrestlers: 5 Tips to Lose Weight Safely

Medicine Ball Training for Hockey Players

How to Train During Your Hockey Season

Wrestlers: Study Examines Effect of Rapid Weight Loss

The 7 Best Slide Board Exercises

One-Legged NCAA Wrestler Wins the Weekend

Do Your First Pull-Up With This Simple Workout. Guaranteed.

The 12 Best RDL Variations

Basketball In-Season Battle Rope Complexes, Part 1

10-Minute Ab Workout You Can Do Anywhere

How to Build Back Strength for Wrestling

Game Changer: Should You Be Using Machines or Free Weights?

Get Tougher With Skylar Diggins' Bodyweight Workout

Female Athletes: 4 Ways to Test if Your Knees Are Durable

Agility Development With Wyoming Wrestling

Wrestlers Need Aerobics, Too

Improve Your Back Strength with the Inverted Row

Wrestling Exercises to Develop a Huge Neck

3 Explosive Exercises Designed to Increase Pitching Power

Build Explosive Hips to Jump Higher

Kettlebell Swing vs. Olympic Lifting: Which Is Better?

Baseball Workout for Power Hitting

2014 Summer Training Guide: Wrestling

Wrestling Summer Training Guide 2013

5 Isolation Exercises Your Workout Is Missing

Off-Season Baseball Exercises for Your Shoulders

The 4 Rules of Bulking Up

3 Tips to Maximize Your Off-Season Baseball Training

Strengthen Your Core With Advanced Plate Push-Outs

Why One Bench Press Is Not Enough

3D Triceps Workout: 3 Exercises for Huge Arms

James Harrison's Physioball Side-to-Side Bridge

The Simplest Bodyweight Workout Ever

4 Ways to Get a Jacked Back

Demolish Your Delts With This Super Shoulder Training Strategy

Cognitive Conditioning With Cornell Wrestling

Get More Explosive With James Harden's Workout

4 Strength Exercises for Female Athletes

Build Powerful Pecs With This Multi-Angle Chest Workout

Why the Dead Bug Is Changing Core Training

Notice On-Court Results With This Basketball Core Workout

What Your Wrestling Workout Needs

7 Strategies for Dealing With a Meathead in Your Gym

Female Athletes: Get Strong, Not Bulky, With These Workouts

Speed Endurance From Iowa State Wrestling

Cutting Weight for Wrestling: 3-Step Sodium Strategy

Movie Preview:

The Turkish Get-Up for Youth Athletes

Summer Mental Training Plan for Wrestling

Wrestling Conditioning Training For Maximum Endurance

Don't Train Your Arms Until You Can Do These 4 Things

The Upper-Body Endurance Combo Workout

Get a Ripped Core With 6 Advanced Dead Bug Variations

U.S. Olympic Coach to Wrestlers:

Developing Pre-Pull Tension for a Monster Deadlift

Old Dominion Wrestling Speed Sprint Drill

The Total-Body, Crunch-Free Ab Workout

How Wrestlers Can Get Strong

Shoulder Flexibility for Wrestlers

Bilateral or Unilateral Exercises: Which Are Better?

7 Exercises That Safely Build Shoulder Strength

Indiana Wrestling Interval Training

Why Jordan Burroughs Can't Lose

STACK Roundup on WWE '12

5 More Exercises Only Elite Athletes Can Conquer

Improve Your Strength for Track & Field Success

Why Do So Many Exercises Have Foreign Names

The 14 Best Exercises From 2014

5 Workout Lessons Every Athlete Must Learn