Strengthen Your Grip to Improve Your Football Game | STACK

Strengthen Your Grip to Improve Your Football Game

February 22, 2013 | Robert Pomazak

Must See Football Videos

It's easy to get wrapped up in building your large muscles during off-season training for football. However, one area that you can't afford to overlook is your grip. Grip strength can be the difference maker when making a game winning catch, a fourth-down tackle or a pancake block.

Grip strength is often thought of simply as hand strength, but it actually involves every muscle from your elbow to your fingertips. When you study the anatomy of this region, you see that several muscles act on the hand and wrist. To improve your grip strength, they all must be trained.

A strong grip will also improve the quality of your workouts. You will have greater endurance during grip-intensive exercises, allowing you to do more reps.

Finally, your hands play an important role in football, but they are easily battered and bruised from contact. Training the muscles that contribute to your grip strength will reduce your chance of injury and help you recover faster if you sustain one.

Grip Strength Training for Football

Crushing

Grippers

Sets/Reps: 3x10,8,6 (decrease reps with increased tension)

The objective is to grab the grippers and squeeze them shut. Many types of grippers are available at different tensions. Start with an easy gripper and progress to the hardest tension over time.

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Pinching

Plate Pinchers

Sets/Reps: 3x10,8,6 (decrease reps with increase in weight)

Set up two or more plates and hold them at your sides with a pinch grip. Common combinations include two tens, two tens and a five, and four fives. If you can pinch three tens, two 25s or six fives, then you have an excellent grip.

Supporting

Thick Bar/Towel Grips/Rope Training

Towels, ropes and thick bars can be used to increase the grip challenge of an exercise. Try looping a towel or rope over a bar and perform Pull-Ups (make sure it is a strong towel that won't rip). Do the same to modify any of your horizontal or vertical pulling exercises, such as Rows or Pull-Downs. The added instability in the rope or towel will build a dynamic grip and increase overall extensor and flexor grip strength. You can also buy products like Fat Gripz if you don't want to use a towel.

Key Safety Notes

Since grip training may be new to you, focus on these safety points:

  • Start with low intensities. When working with smaller muscle groups, it is important to use appropriate weights that will allow you to focus on activating the muscles.
  • Progress and phase the program. Start with low intensity and high reps. Master the exercise before you increase weight.
  • Monitor overuse. When starting grip training, you can experience inflammation and tendonitis. If you feel any pain, stop immediately.
  • Train the whole lower arm and grip. A well-rounded grip program focuses on both the flexors and extensors through a progression that includes the types of training outlined above.
Check out seven more grueling grip-training exercises.

Photo: Bodybuilding.com

Robert Pomazak
- Robert Pomazak, MS, PES, SES, is a NASM-certified performance enhancement and speed specialist. He currently serves as strength and conditioning coordinator at Elk Grove High...
Robert Pomazak
- Robert Pomazak, MS, PES, SES, is a NASM-certified performance enhancement and speed specialist. He currently serves as strength and conditioning coordinator at Elk Grove High...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Two Tips to Help You Run Faster

Five Methods to Maximize Acceleration

Use Accelerated Plyos to Get Faster for Football

5 Tips on How to Run Faster

Low-Cost Speed Training Gear

The Secret to Running Faster

Train at a Whole New Level Using Pear Square One

Best Training Drills to Increase Your Game-Time Speed

Get Faster With 3 Essential Speed Training Strategies

3 Tips to Increase Sprint Speed

4 Principles for More Effective Speed Training

How to Increase Skating Speed for Hockey, Part 1

Improve Quickness With Lateral Speed Drills

Step Counting: How Big Men Can Run a Faster 40

The Single Most Important Trick for Generating Speed

40-Yard Dash Form Tips From the Pros

Training Tool: SKLZ Recoil 360

Exercise of the Week: 300-Yard Shuttle

Simple Drills to Help You Sprint Faster

Get Faster With This Sprint Form Checklist

Use These Four Factors to Increase Your Speed

Increase Speed With 3 Resisted Sprint Drills

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

Exercise of the Week: 200-Meter Intervals

5 Tips for Longer, Faster Runs

Increase Speed With 3 Mini Hurdle Drills

Deceleration: The Missing Link in Speed Training

Basic Speed Training Drills for Any Sport

5 Drills to Increase Agility on the Playing Field

Develop Your Hidden Weapon: Hand Speed

3 Tips to Help You Get Faster for Your Sport

How to Run Faster Without Using Special Equipment

Basketball Speed Training Essentials

Get Faster With Two Strength Workouts