There’s nothing like trying to open a feisty jar of pickles or protein powder to remind you about the importance of grip strength. But, did you know that along with helping you satisfy your kitchen cravings and deliver a firm handshake, a strong grip can make the difference when it comes to hoisting a heavy barbell, delivering the winning shot on the tennis court and helping you achieve a host of athletic and fitness goals?
Studies show there is a neurological connection between the forearm and shoulder. If your grip fails in a lift, for example, it stymies your shoulder’s ability to follow through and finish. There’s no doubt strengthening your grip will help you “up your game” and gain functional ability!
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Developing a strong grip demands you pay attention to the muscles in your forearm; the extensors that open your palm and the flexors that allow you to make a fist. Time spent caring for your forearms and hands will pay-off. A healthy grip will allow you to grasp your goals, hold on to what you want, and open closed doors!
At the Gym? Incorporate These Grip Strengthening Exercises
Stand up while grasping a weighted bar in your hands with your palms facing your thighs. Bend your elbows to raise your forearms. Keep your wrists flat as you bring the bar all the way to the front of your shoulders. Move slowly. Try 3 sets of 10.
Get into a push-up position of your choice, either on your knees or on your toes. Make sure your shoulders, hips, and knees are aligned. Instead of executing the movement with your palms on the ground, come up onto your fingertips. Do as many as you can. Rest and repeat.
Any Time. Anywhere. Try the Two Exercises Below at Work or at Home
A big plus to the following exercises is that these hand movements can provide stress relief when you feel jittery, much like a stress ball or a fidget spinner!
Rubber Band Hands:
Take a rubber band and weave it around your fingertips. It should stay steady on the area of your fingers above your second set of knuckles. It shouldn’t be so tight that it cuts off circulation! Once the rubber band is in place, begin opening and closing your fingers. Try repeating for a full minute on each hand.
Hold a tennis ball or racquetball in the palm of your hand and squeeze. Do this simple exercise for up to 90 seconds at a stretch.