This is our area, really! Arm wrestling is one of our favorite pastimes within our community. We constantly test ourselves against Matt, the strongest one in the group, to find out if our strength has shown signs of progress. A good arm wrestler focuses on a variety of muscles to improve his skills. One of the key areas to focus is the grip.
Studies have shown that a strong grip has a positive correlation with endurance and upper body strength. Knowing that makes it more motivating to focus on grip strength. A stronger grip also means a stronger handshake, something to take note of the professional man. It is widely perceived that a strong handshake is the first sign of positive impression you can convey.
There are basically three types of grip strength – Crush (between fingers and palm), Pinch (between fingers and thumb) and Support. The type of grip strength you would want to enhance depends on its relevance to you and your motivations. An athlete’s grip strength focus will naturally differ from a boxer’s focus. This is because grip strength is not just used while lifting weights, which is what most of us would first attribute it to, but also while performing high endurance and high stamina exercises such as boxing or martial arts.
Ways to gain the ultimate grip include:
More reps during exercises
Performing more reps during exercises, preferably with lower weights, increases the grip movement and speed. The muscles in that area learn to adapt to high intensity situations. If you are a martial artist or athlete, this is crucial. It increases body resilience. This is, however, a wrongly perceived advice. Most bodybuilders hate the notion of working with lower weights as they think it doesn’t stress your muscle enough to hit fatigue. The thing to keep in mind is that ere the objective is different.
Hang off a bar
Great exercise, and easy to accomplish. When you are doing pull-ups and have stressed out your deltoids and upper back muscles, why not hang off the bar and take some rest, while simultaneously increasing your grip strength!
The easiest one to accomplish, and the most commonly known. Take a small rubber ball or similar object and keep squeezing in and out. Do this for a longer time with higher reps as it is not at all taxing on your body. A way to track your progress here is using a timer and measuring your frequency.
Pinching is relatively difficult and taxing. Basically you stack up a series of weights on a tube or a bar and life it with an overhand grip. This is a test of pure strength and involves multiple muscles. The idea here is to stretch other muscles to a lesser extent and use your wrists more.
Whilst doing all this, note the causes of wrist injury and don’t overdo these workouts. Check out our post on avoiding wrist injuries at: