Grip simply means the ability to hold something tightly during any kind of physical activity. For most of the human activities gripping is the interface between an individual’s body and the object touched. Hence, to lead a normal life right grip is very essential. Having a strong and perfect grip can make a huge difference too. Sports persons are coached to perfect their grips in almost all forms of games like hockey, cricket, badminton, table tennis, long tennis and baseball etc. Exercise enthusiasts and sports persons deploy fixed times regularly to enhance their grips. People who are not habituated to exercises on regular basis should also give special attention on hand grips to keep it strong enough to perform regular chores normally. A person’s grip can tell how healthy he is physically and mentally. Hence, let us know how we can improve the grip strength with simple exercises.
Types of Gripping
Types of grips can be broadly categorized in the following heads:
- Cylindrical Grip: This gripping posture enables a person to accumulate maximum force into the hand.
- Pinch Grip: It depends on the opposition of the thumb and the distal joint of the thumb. Normally Pinch grip can generate 25%-30% of the strength of that of cylindrical grip.
- Oblique Grip: This is another form of power grip characterized by hand gripping across the surface of an object spreading the hand away from natural position.
- Hooked Grip: This posture is typically used when someone grips a weighty object with all the four fingers curved as hook and thumb acting as stabilizer.
- Palm up and Palm down Grip: Folded fingers wrapped around the palm directing upwards and thumb upon them is palm up grip, while same posture when created with palm directing to the ground is called palm down position.
How to Improve Grip Strength?
Grip strength is a fundamental aspect of human body. It determines the physical strengths of person and it is very vital aspect in success of a sportsman. Regular gym goers understand how important it is to exercise for strong grips with all modern equipments and weights. Experts opine that a person is as strong as his or her grips, and it must be powerful to get a powerful body. Hands should be used to their maximum inherited capabilities. Newborns can grip before they can walk or talk. By the time biceps and triceps are grown, grips must be trained to be more strong; otherwise arms can’t be used at their fullest potential. Here are some ways to improve grip strength:
- Thick Bar Training to improve Grip Strength: Thick bar training is an excellent way to increase grip strength. The process is very easy and while exercising as per daily routine this can be practiced simultaneously. Wrapping a towel around a barbell, or adding a paper pack around a bar will act wonderfully. Otherwise, using a fat bar which has more than normal circumference can be used for regular exercises to increase the grip strength.
- Improving Grip Strength with Grippers: High quality grippers having wide range of tensions can be used to increase grip strength. The tensions on these grippers can be changed slowly which when used on regular basis enhance grip power. Three sets of as many squeezes as can be withheld with a few minute’s rest in between the sets gives the best result.
- Ways to Improve Grip Strength with Bar Hangs: Directly hanging from a bar with the entire body weight centered on the grip is immensely helpful in enhancing grip strength. It can also be tried with one hand in advance stage.
- Muscle up exercise to Improve Grip Strength: Practicing muscle up in slow negatives is an extremely good exercise for strengthening grips. In a muscle up practice, the body is pulled up as high as possible to the bar. It helps to concentrate huge amount of weight on two hands and thus on the grips. The palm should face down into the bar.
- Pushups with Finger Tips for Improving Grip Strength: Finger tip pushups are immensely helpful in enhancing grip strength as also increasing strength in muscles, flexors and tendons that help in controlling grips in both the hands.
- Band and Sand Extensions to Improve Grip Strength: In band extension exercise, a rubber band is used to wrap all the 5 fingers with it and then trying to extend the fingers against the force exerted by the band. In sand extensions, a bucket full of sand is taken. One should poke his hand in the sand like karate kid style and try to extend the fingers against the force provided by the sand.
- Improving Grip Strength with Other Activities: Other sporting activities and daily house chores like rock climbing, rope climbing, grabbing uneven objects, carrying buckets full of water, using manual tyre pumps etc can also strengthen grips.
Tips to Improve Grip Strength
Strong grip is essential for healthy life, to become successful in sports and also to carry out daily activities with ease and efficiently. Apart from exercising to enhance grip strength, one should also follow the below mentioned tips to get a strong grip:
- Avoid Grip Aids: One should never use grip aids like wrist straps while exercising. Instead of increasing strengths in forearms, wrists and fingers these products actually spoil the very purpose for which the person is laboring hard in a gym.
- Exercise everyday: This is very essential particularly for people who are habituated to attend gym regularly. Grip strength increases every time a person practices pulling and lifting types of exercises. Repetitive stress that the fingers face through different exercises ultimately strengthens grip strength. Hence, it is important to exercise every day.
- Use of grip builders: Towels and variety of other tools can be very effectively used to get faster results as far as grip strength is concerned. Towel can be used to increase the thickness of a bar or handle while exercising. This as mentioned before will enhance firmness of grips to a great extent.
- Use a rubber ball: Just squeezing a rubber ball by keeping it on the palm and wrapping it with all the five fingers is very easy and effective exercise. This can be done any time even while travelling.
Why Grip Strength is Required?
Most of the daily functions and sporting events need the high activity levels of the flexor musculature of the forearms and hands. These are the muscles responsible for gripping strength. Right from sports like cricket, football, hockey, wrestling, tennis, basketball, and baseball to daily household activities like carrying laundry, carrying a bucket, turning a doorknob, and vacuuming etc. some degree of grip strength is always necessary to successfully accomplish a job or get good results in sports.
Grip strength has long been considered as the indicator of overall body strength. A strong grip is a sign of strong body and mind. Everyone should therefore try to enhance their grip strength through various exercises and house chores. Sports persons needs to focus on their grip strength more seriously as performance level hugely depends on the art and strength of gripping. Common people on the other hand can increase their grip strength by some simple exercises or house chores. Above all, strong grip is the depiction of a positive and successful life.