Guys who work out regularly at the gym probably want to achieve some the following: lean muscle mass growth, loss of excess body fat, grow bigger biceps, “six-pack” abdominal development, and a massive chest.
Actually, they probably want it all…
Sadly, grip strength is rarely mentioned as a top fitness and muscle-building goal. Sure, some of us have naturally strong grips, or work in jobs that require regular gripping and lifting.
These folks don’t have to give it a second thought. However, if you have ever squeezed a dynamo-meter during handgrip strength tests and come away with disappointing results, here are five (5) reasons not to give up, and instead find the best gripping exercises:
1. Improved Weightlifting and Overall Resistance Training Performance.
Grip training can improve your performance in the weight room, both in terms of sheer mass on the bar, as well as for all upper-body movements. By mimicking the motion of construction workers and others involved in heavy labor, it will help you develop massive, bulging forearms. Hand and forearm strength are good indicators of overall strength, so it is in your interest to incorporate specific grip exercises into your normal weekly routine.
2. Grip Training Can Improve Sports-Specific Throwing and Catching Skills.
Name any ball-oriented sport, and chances are that its players faithfully work to build up and maintain superior grip strength. For example:
- Baseball catchers (i.e. catching various pitches, throwing to second base).
- Football quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, who must secure snaps from center, throw various types of passes, and protect the ball from sack-happy defensive linemen.
- Basketball centers like the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard (catching balls in the post, power moves toward the basket (slam dunks, jams), passing the ball to avoid double teams, etc.).
- The best soccer goalkeepers (making glove saves and preventing rebounds, throwing ball to teammates for fast breaks).
3. Gaining an Advantage in Combat Sports (e.g. Mixed martial arts (MMA), wrestling, etc.).
Strangely enough, the power of your grip can determine your fighting success. Think about any martial arts (e.g. judo, karate, jiu-jitsu, etc.) or wrestling bout, and you immediately realize the amount of gripping and grappling that takes place.
Whichever opponent gains the upper hand not only demonstrates superior strength, but earns a psychological advantage as well.
In essence, winning fights and preventing serious wrist and arm injuries comes down to dedicated grip training.
4. Increased Self-confidence.
We all know how intimidating a gym full of “muscleheads” can be, especially for beginners. Regular grip training alone can potentially boost your ego; especially if it helps you handle greater poundage quicker, of course assuming that you train consistently and correctly.
5. Handle Everyday Activities with More Confidence.
Daily activities like turning a doorknob, opening mason jars and conducting equipment repairs are more easily accomplished by possessing a strong grip. The type of twisting wrist motion required to perform such tasks calls for specific exercises and learned techniques to improve your grip.