Have you ever been in the middle of an intense dumbbell or barbell workout and just couldn’t quite finish it off?

Not because the weight was too heavy, but because you just couldn’t hold on to the bar? Grip strength is an underrated aspect of physical fitness many people don’t even consider.

Can you expect to make long-term gains if you can't grip the bar? Not really.

So, what do you do? Lifting heavier weights might work, but you’re already having problems lifting as it is. What you need to do is get a hand grip strengthener.

A hand grip strengthener, sometimes called a forearm gripper or hand gripper, is a handheld tool designed for improved grip strength. It can also improve the power of your forearms, wrists, and fingers.

Now that you know what a grip strengthener is, what’s the point of doing grip training to improve your grip strength?

If you’re a lifter, and if you’re reading this we’ll assume you are, your hands play a pivotal role in every exercise you do.

Take deadlifts, for example. What’s the difference between locking out and failing to hit a new PR because you dropped the bar? It’s your hands.

A nice strong grip and forearms are often the last puzzle piece that helps you break through workout plateaus and set new personal records.

Your hands are the ultimate link between you and anything you want to pick up, pull, or push. Unfortunately, weak hands will prevent you from reaching your full potential!

If you're in search of a reliable hand grip strengthener with impressive range of parts, affordable price point, and excellent performance, we highly recommend checking out FitBeast Hand Grip Strengthener Workout Kit.

So why not get a hand grip strengthener, reap the above benefits, and start getting the muscle gains you are looking for?

3 Types Of Grip Training Exercises

To strengthen your forearm muscles and make the most of your lower arm training, you should incorporate the following three types of grip exercises in your training regimen:

  • Crush Grip
    The crush grip is a handshake-type grip where you rest the object being gripped against your palm and fingers. This is the most common type of gripping exercise.
  • Pinch Grip
    With this grip, your fingers are on one side of an object, and your thumb is on the other. An object lifted in a pinch grip shouldn't touch your palm. If you overload your hands in a pinch grip, it can cause cramps.
  • Support Grip
    With a support grip, you just hold something for a long time. A farmer's carry is an excellent type of support grip exercise to increase grip strength.

Your grip training should include a balance of heavy, short, and explosive grip strength exercises. Mixing the three grip types of grips enhances your grip strength and endurance. 

Man Training Grip and Forearm with Hand Gripper

How To Correctly Use A Hand Gripper

The three grip exercises above are pretty straightforward. With that said, you can still do a few things to ensure you get everything you can out of the grip exercises.

  1. First, you should warm up with light resistance. Even though you probably aren’t about to head out to a lifting competition or go rock climbing, you should still warm up adequately. Start with low resistance levels to loosen up your joints and warm the muscles in your hands and forearms.
  2. You should always work through a full range of motion and never do partial reps. Working the muscles in your hands, wrists, and forearms through a full range of motion will strengthen all the fibers in your hands, wrists, and forearms.
  3. Always maintain proper form. The only thing that should be moving is your hand from the wrists down.

10 Benefits Of Hand Grip Strengthening Exercises

A hand grip strengthener is a handheld device that lets you perform hand grip training to improve your forearm and grip strength anywhere at any time.

Here, we'll go over 10 benefits of hand grip exercises and how to use a hand grip strengthener correctly.

1. Builds Muscular Endurance

If you’re struggling to hold onto a dumbbell, barbell, or weight plate for long enough, your muscle strength is irrelevant.

Grip strength is the weak link when it comes to resistance training for many lifters.

Using a hand grip strengthener will help you build a strong grip and improve your wrist strength.

In addition, healthy grip strength will translate to better performance in physically intensive exercises like pull-ups or activities like rock climbing that require muscle strength, muscle endurance, and stamina for longer durations.

2. Works Your Forearms

Strong forearms are an underrated aspect of strength training. You’ll never get the most out of your workouts if you don’t work on your lower arms. 

When you use hand grip strengtheners or a hand gripper, you’ll experience a nasty forearm pump.

Incorporating grip-strengthening exercises to develop a solid grip will help you excel in sports like tennis and golf, which require greater lower-arm engagement and grip strength.

3. Energy Booster

One of our favorite benefits of hand grip workout routines is that they can be done anywhere and anytime. So the sky is the limit when it comes to improving your handgrip strength.

You can see a significant improvement while watching TV, waiting in line at the DMV, or as you sit in traffic.

This regular exercise keeps you active and turns sedentary time into productive workouts.

This will keep you feeling more energetic with increased endurance throughout the day, which is also good for your mental health and overall health in general.

4. Improves Mental Well-Being

Studies have found that individuals with weaker grip strength were more likely to have depressive symptoms.

A Harvard study found that grip strength strongly correlates with visual memory, reaction time, number memory, and prospective memory.[1]

I bet you never thought that hand grips could help you fight depression.

A change in your grip strength can also be a reliable indicator of your mental health and help identify problems before other symptoms become noticeable.

Man in Gray Shirt Using Hand Grip Strengthener

5. Effective Stress Busters

With hand grip strengtheners, you can perform low-intensity strength training exercises any time of the day, even while multitasking.

Instead of using fidget spinners, stress balls, or cubes, just grab your spring-loaded hand grips.

Fidgeting and keeping yourself busy can also relieve stress and anxiety, giving you better mental health while improving motor control.

Hand grippers allow you to unwind and relax and simultaneously increase the isometric grip of your forearms and wrists.

6. Reduced Age-Related Decline In Strength

If you’re anything like us, you have already realized that humans do not age like fine wine. Over time we lose mobility, overall muscular strength, and bone density.

Hand exercises can help strengthen surrounding muscles like your forearm flexors and prevent joint damage.

Such exercises can also help improve overall function in people dealing with arthritis.

You might not be able to keep lifting weights like you used to into your golden years, but you can definitely maintain a powerful grip.

7. Daily Activity Boost

Strengthening your forearms, wrists, and grip will make it easier to carry out many daily activities.

For example, a better grip will enhance your ability to carry groceries, hold a child, do gardening, or do many other activities.

8. Improves Grip, Forearm And Muscle Strength

A good grip is determined by the strength of your fingers, forearm, thumb, and wrist.

Moving your forearm or hand requires the involvement of 35 muscles, and these muscles are also involved in most gripping activities.

Many people won’t experience optimal muscle fiber activation during push-and-pull workouts because their grip strength will go out before they reach muscle failure.

Superior forearm strength will help improve your grip and wrist strength. That strength will spill over into other exercises like pull-ups, lat pull-downs, farmer’s walks, etc.

Using a hand gripper can also help predict a person’s muscular endurance and strength.

9. Greater Dexterity

Dexterity is your ability to manipulate your fingers. Specialized grip strengtheners can help improve your finger strength.

A hand gripper is great for athletes like climbers and boulderers who need individual finger strength.

Some hand grippers use a reverse-grip design for resistance when you open your hand.

Elastic bands are stretched by extending your fingers to create constant tension on the muscles in your hands, resulting in improved dexterity.

This is especially beneficial if you play a musical instrument like the piano or guitar.

10. Recovery From Injury

If you're injured and can't perform your normal workout, a hand gripper will help you get back on the road to recovery. This might be one of the best benefits of hand grip exercises.

Many hand grippers allow you to choose your resistance level, so you can start with light resistance and gradually build it up.

If you can’t get to the gym or use your normal training equipment in your home gym for an extended period, a hand gripper can be a lifesaver.

It will get you back on the road to physical recovery, help you mentally, and serves as an injury-prevention exercise.

How To Test Your Grip Strength

It's actually pretty simple to test your grip strength. You just need a dynamometer. Once you have your dynamometer, do the following:

  1. Hold your arm with your elbow at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Squeeze your dynamometer as hard as you can.
  3. Avoid jerking when you grip.
  4. Repeat two more times for a total of three times.
  5. The average of the three readings is your grip strength.
Man With Wrist Wrapped in Tape Lifting a Barbell

Frequently Asked Hand Grip Questions

What muscles do hand grippers work?

A hand grip strengthener trains your forearm extensors and flexors and other muscles in your hands and forearms. Stronger forearms eliminate the weak link between you and reaching your true potential as a lifter.

Will hand gripper exercises help ward off cardiovascular disease?

One of the most surprising benefits of using hand grip strengtheners is that they may actually help fight cardiovascular disease. Studies have found that every increase of 1 in handgrip strength reduced the 10-year CVD risk by 1.76 times.[2]

How often should you use a hand grip?

Avoid over-training with your handgrip strengthener. For example, if you're trying to develop a firm handshake, we advise training two to three times per week. If you notice any pain, put them down for a week. You'll feel stronger after allowing your body to heal.

What are the disadvantages of hand grip exercise?

There aren't many disadvantages to increased grip strength. Likewise, there hasn't been any proven negative impact of using a hand grip. So continue to reap the exercise benefits of your gripper; just don't overdo it.

Do hand grippers help with fat loss?

All physical exercise will burn calories because your body uses energy to perform an action. Since grip trainers only activate some of the smallest muscles in your body, the calorie burn isn't as great as it would be with cardio exercises or working out larger muscle groups.

Conclusion

Incorporating the hand grip strengthener in your training regimen has several benefits, like enhanced muscle strength, better mental health, and greater dexterity.

And the best part is that you can use a hand gripper whenever you want without being a fitness master.

So now that you know the benefits of hand strengtheners, it’s time to put that knowledge to work.

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References: 

  1. https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/44/4/592/66186?login=false
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7712900/
Jo Taylor

Jo Taylor

Hi, I’m Jo. I love sunrise swims, cold water immersion and cats. I have been dedicated to strength training for the past 14 years. I became a qualified Personal Trainer in 2020, and am passionate about helping my clients get stronger. Visit Jo Taylors Website