Ask the Experts: How Do I Improve My Grip Strength?

Learn why it's important to have a strong grip, and discover four exercises to strengthen your hands and forearms.

Grip Training

Q: How do I improve my grip strength?

A: Grip strength is one of the most underrated aspects of fitness. Think of an exercise like the Pull-Up. You could have the strongest back in the gym, but if you can't maintain your hold on the bar, you won't be able to do many reps. The same applies to nearly every sports skill that involves your hands, like throwing a ball or swinging a bat or racquet. If your grip is weak, you simply won't be able to apply your full strength and power to the movement. (Try this grip-strength workout.)

To strengthen your grip, you need to regularly work the muscles of your hands and forearms. An easy way to do this is to be mindful of your grip when you perform other strength exercises. If you're holding a bar or dumbbell, squeeze it as hard as you can during the lift. You should also perform exercises specifically designed to improve grip strength two times a week. Do them toward the end of a workout so that your grip isn't fried during bigger movements involving more muscles. Choose one forearm exercise and one hand exercise from the following options.

Forearms

  • Wrist Curls + Wrist Extensions - 2-3x10-12 each
  • Wrist Rolls x 2-3 up and down

Hands

  • Plate Carries - 2-3x30 seconds (pinch plates with hands)
  • Rice Grabs - 2-3x30 seconds

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: FOREARMS | WORKOUTS | FITNESS | POWER | EXERCISE | SPORTS | GRIP STRENGTH | STRENGTH EXERCISES