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Hand Grip Strength
It goes without saying that having a strong hand grip when you are lifting weights is vitally important. However there are ways that you can improve and increase your hand grip strength by training these muscles specifically and this article is going to be discussing these exercises.
It is not only going to get you stronger for lifting weights but will also make a big difference to your sport that you might play as well as making you generally more capable. There are three basic hand grip strength exercises that you can do and they are crush grip, pinch grip and the support grip.
You are probably very aware of the different grippers and other devices that are available to work your grip strength and hands and forearms. However if you are just starting out it is important to treat this hand grip strength training like any other training and not to train these muscles every day.
Three or four times a week should be more than adequate as the muscles need some time to recuperate and repair just like any other muscle group that you train. Just like training any other muscle group you should do some warm-up before getting heavy and tackling your maximum weight.
A great way to improve your hand grip strength as well as your forearm strength is by doing the Farmers Walk. Doing this will not only increase your hand and forearm strength but will target your back, hips and legs. The farmers walk is simple as you just pick up a pair of heavy dumbbells and hold them as long as you can.
You could also grab the dumbbells and walk around the gym until you fail and have to put them down. The farmers walk is only one of many other examples of the type of exercises that you can do. You could lift any other heavy weight with your hands and hold it as long as possible.
To just mention a few there things like concrete blocks, large water or gas containers filled with liquid etc. you can make many different good alternatives. Doing the pinch grip will increase your hand and forearm strength dramatically and you could try pinching two steel barbell plates together and hold them as long as possible.
Using pinching techniques with your fingers is great method that you must do. This could simply be holding an object between your finger tips for time or until you have let it drop, or pinching two plates together as mentioned above. Another example is to set a dumbbell on end and grip it over the end with your finger-tips which you could lift and hold or lift for reps.
As you do any of the exercises, vary the way you do them. Do lighter but many reps, fewer but heavier reps, and hold stationary to failure, hold grippers closed for one rep sets or to failure. Just mix it up depending how you feel, but you must continue to increase resistance and intensity as you progress.
Another example is to try hanging from pull-up bars or hang from rafters. Hang by using your finger-tips instead of full grip; just squeeze hard to hold on. Do finger walks which you do by placing your finger tips on a wall like you are doing finger-tip push-ups then walk your fingers side to side or up and down while leaning in to increase pressure, you can feel this in your forearms.
You need to exercise the muscles that are involved it opening the hand to keep the muscle development balanced. Try using a small diameter, heavy duty rubber band, place it over your finger-tips. Just spread your fingers as far as you can, if it is too easy use two rubber bands or more. Do reps and static hold for time. Another exercise would be pushing your finger-tips into sand and trying to open them.
The last exercise mentioned here is using leverage type of workouts. An example would be holding a sledgehammer in your hand with your arm hanging at your side, elbow locked. Just lift the sledgehammer up using your wrist, keeping arm straight. You can do this holding it to the front and to the back to target different muscles. Depending on your strength level you would hold the handle at the point that would let you lift it (closer to end of handle would be more difficult). Do these exercises for reps or just hold for time.
Obviously you do not have to use a sledge-hammer; any long item with some weight to it will do such as a broom or piece of pipe etc. depending on your strength level.