Understanding the Basics of Grip Strength

Today I have a guest post by Branden. He is sharing his insight and how he has utilized grip strength in his workouts and daily life. Enjoy!

I first learned about grip strength when watching a Youtube video by Jujimufu. I stumbled across his page when watching a strongman competition and was immediately hooked! Grip strength is such an overlooked aspect in the gym or in the average person’s workouts. I wanted to get started right away and bought the Captains of Crush gripper. I have now started building my collection of grip strength equipment- most of it from Grip Genie. Now, I utilize grip implements in nearly every other workout because I enjoy it so much!

What is grip strength?

According to Ruth Litchfield, grip strength is a measure of muscular strength or the maximum force/tension generated by one’s forearm muscles.

Why should anyone care about training grip strength?

Grip training is such a unique thing to train. I’ve always trained my forearms and done farmer carries but never dedicated a full, or even half of a workout to train just my grip. The real world, as well as gym applications, are so immense that anyone and everyone should train to improve their grip.  Whether it is building your grip to train harder and lift heavier in the gym or to just improve daily functions such as carrying groceries or items at your job. When it comes to weightlifting and bodybuilding- if you can’t grip it, you can’t lift it.

Additionally, according to Very Well Health, grip strength grows weaker as we age. This eventually begins to affect our day-to-day living. Simple things like opening jars, carrying groceries and turning door knobs are made more or less difficult depending on the strength of the hands.

Real Life Application

The first real world application that I noticed an insane improvement was when I helped move a buddy of mine to another city. I am usually recruited to help people move because I enjoy the challenge and love the physical workout that you get from a move! It wasn’t until late in the day that my body was starting to get tired that I noticed my grip was still going strong lifting that box of bricks, or at least what seemed to be a box full of bricks! The grip also carried over into my workouts as well, namely my ability to increase the reps on my deadlifts before my grip gives out.

Do I need special equipment?

As mentioned earlier, there are special implements that you can purchase to increase your grip strength.  The popular sites to purchase grip strength equipment are: Grip Genie, Iron Mind and Captains of Crush.

A very primitive exercise you can try is to hold a newspaper page with your palm face up and make it into a ball using just that hand. You can also place a rubber band around your fingers. Begin with your fingers like you are grabbing a pinch of salt, open up your fingers, and then raise you wrist to make a 90 degree angle with your arm. I would also encourage you to check out Jujimufu on YouTube. He has been a huge inspiration to me as I get started with grip strength training. He also has many videos about different grip strength exercises and techniques.

Branden is a Medical Laboratory Scientist, a bodybuilder &  fitness enthusiast and a Twitch Affiliate. Branden was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin and is an avid Packer fan. He developed his love for sports early on playing soccer and continued that passion at UW Fox Valley.