Grip Strength

Dear Tracie, I have started weight training this year and things are going well but my grip isn’t strong enough to hold some of the weights.  Any good ways to fix this? Chet

Dear Chet,

Great to hear that your training is going well.  Grip strength is a common barrier to come across and there is standard conditioning that can be done to improve your strength.  The ability to crush and pinch with your hands and to flex, extend and rotate your wrist should be the primary targets.  This kind of training is ideally done at the end of training sessions 2-3 times per week to have a significant improvement. Be careful not to train this group one day and be set to do heavy lifting the next day.  A 48 hour recovery period is ideal.

Hand, wrist & finger strength Tri-set

a] Hand gripper – Hand gripper is a little device that has been around for decades.  It has a loaded spring that creates resistance for your hand when you squeeze the handles together.  Some have adjustable resistance but most are fixed.  Perform x30 single repetitions, then a 30 second holding squeeze and x10 squeeze fast and release slow reps.


b] Forearm flexion & extension – During most exercises your wrist should remain in neutral position and your forearms are the primary movers for this.  You can train them by performing various basic movements.  Flexion [curling your wrist in] and extension [extending your wrist back] are the main actions to start with.  Using lighter dumbbells to start [eg. 10 -15 lbs] rest your forearm on a table with your hand hanging off the edge palm up and your elbow at a 90 degree angle.  Curl your wrist up and down counting 1,2 up and 3,4 down.  Complete 30 reps.  Perform on opposite side.  Flip your palm down and repeat set curling your wrist back.  Your extensors will be weaker than your flexors and so expect to drop your weight down a bit.  30 reps each side.


c] Plate pinch grip – Rock climbers love this exercise because it is very functional during challenging climbs.  The action of ‘pinching’ your fingers and thumb together is targeted in this exercise.  Choose a 10 to 25 lb flat face plate to start and increase the load based on ability. Pass the plate between your legs and around the outside of each in a figure 8 pattern ten times in each direction. This exercise also targets your core and maintaining a engaged spine is very important.

Adjust your weight down if you are unable to perform the exercises with good form.

What will you conquer in Summer 2016?    Set your fitness goals & conquer them.

Kind regards, Tracie

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