Having strong hands is the mark of a healthy athlete. Having grip strength opens merely up all kinds of opportunities to the athlete who has it. In sports that require you have a solid grip strength such as football, you will be making tackles you would find other ways miss, building blocks you would have otherwise whiffed on. The story goes beyond that of football or any other sport. Having a firm grip is essential for optimizing your bodies ability to produce force. The way to get that grip strength is through select forearm exercises.
When you have a high level of grip strength, you will be able to use the rest of the body more efficiently. The grip is the end of the line for nerves. Nerves work both upstream and downstream. If the end of the line if weak then the rest of the body moving upstream will be lagging as well. When you have a firm grip, the neural connection is stronger which will set up for a stronger signal upstream.
On your journey to increase your grip strength, you have to remember that our hands are capable of moving and doing many things. YOu much attack them from all angles. We will go through the significant ways in which you can train your grip.
Forearm Exercises – Crushing Grip
Crushing grip strength is simple. It is the ability to grab something and squeeze it. Making a fist around whatever it is you are grabbing. Think about crushing a pop can. That is the movement we are talking about. Crushing strength is the standard in which grip strength is tested. They have measuring tools called dynamometers that measure the PSI of ones crushing grip strength.
There are many tools to help train this aspect of grip strength. Some of which are grippers, Grip rings, Bucket full of rice and many others. These devices can be used to increase your ability to squeeze. The squeeze is what is going to amplify the connection moving up the arm into the shoulder and then into the trunk. The stronger the squeeze, the stronger the relationship.
Repetition and progressive overload are the keys to improving this aspect of the grip. Merely find a weight that you can do quickly for higher reps and slowing increase the load as you drop down the volume.
- Sand bucket
Forearm Exercises – Pinching
Having good pinching strength is what is needed for many sports. It is the strength of your thumb and your fingers that help with many sports. Pinch strength is the most difficult for many athletes. The leverages are the athlete looking to improve this aspect. Brazilian Ju Jitsu is probably the best showcasing of this grip strength. Jujitsu with a GI (uniform) requires the practitioner to have a firm pinching grip as the gi is used as a tool against the opponent. Having a strong pinch is going to make it easier to control the opponent.
BJJ is not the only sport that utilizes a pinch grip. Football as well when grabbing the jersey to pull the opposing player in if greatly influenced by pinch grip.
You can train this aspect of grip strength using wooden block, weight plates stacked together, and towel pull-ups/rows
The best way to increase this element of grip strength is to use a progressive load increase alongside repetitions. You can include timed holds as well. This will train the supportive nature of your pinch strength.
- Plate pinch
- Blob lifting
Forearm Exercises – Holding
Holding or supportive strength when you have your hand closed around an object or person and having the power to keep your hand closed around that purpose no matter what happens. This is the ability to keep your grip strength for a time.
Training your supportive strength is training your hands’ ability to apply force for a period. Doing timed deadlifts, farmers walk carries, axle deadlifts, and the list goes on and on will all develop your grips ability to hang on. Having a robust supportive grip strength will come in handy for those sports that.
Changing the load or time held are great ways to add variation to the training fo this aspect of the grip. You can use repetition, or time as the metrics you apply the exercise. Just follow a progression, and your supporting strength will soon grow!
- Farmers Walk
- Dumbbell hold
- Chin bar hangs
Forearm Exercises to Get On Popeye Level
The massive forearm is kind of hard to obtain. They can be hugely genetic, but they are nonetheless the sign of a functional athlete. Massive forearms are made from doing real-world work. Enormous forearm outside of the sport of bodybuilding is usually useful.
They are built out of real work and not just high reps. The hypertrophy of hands and forearms muscles will be the benefits of proper grip strength training.
- Wrist curls
- Wrist extensions