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When you think of having a strong grip, you probably don’t think beyond having a solid handshake when meeting people.
And yet, grip strength is about so much more than your hands.
It’s a predictor of your general strength and muscle endurance, as reported in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
What are the best hand strengthening tools?
When choosing a grip strengthener, you should compare different products according to some important characteristics, such as materials used to make the grip strengthener, how user-friendly it is, and how long it will last.
Luckily, we’ve done all the research for you to make it easier to find the best grip trainer for your specific needs.
Here’s a breakdown of the two best hand strengthening tools.
Runner Up: IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper
One of the best things about this grip strengthener is that you can purchase 11 different strengths, starting at 60 pounds all the way up to 365 pounds, so whether you’re an amateur or grip strengthener pro, there’s a grip trainer in the range for you!
This product is highly durable, being made from steel and aluminum. It doesn’t contain any plastic parts, which definitely increases its lifespan.
Although the Crush Hand Gripper has rough handles, this shouldn’t put you off using it. They actually make it easier to hold the grip trainer during exercise.
This product is for people who are serious about increasing their overall strength, and can provide a nice challenge to build up your resistance.
There’s no doubt this is one of the best grip strengtheners: how to improve your grip becomes a way to enhance your strength with this tool, which is sure to benefit you during all your future workouts.
The Award For Best Grip Strengthener Goes To… MummyFit Grip Strengthener and Adjustable Hand Exerciser
The MummyFit Grip Strengthener won’t buckle under pressure, thanks to how it’s made from steel and thermoplastic nylon instead of plastic.
That also means: no annoying squeaking sounds when you use the hand grip trainer in public.
Starting with a weight resistance range of 55 pounds, it goes up to 154 pounds, which is almost double that of many other grip trainer products you can find out there.
It enables you to begin your resistance level comfortably and then progress to a higher one when you feel your grip has become stronger.
How the resistance is generated is via a solid steel spring that gets compressed.
This avoids the stretching resistance of other grip strengtheners on the market, which can be dangerous as the components can shoot out of place.
Not only safe to use, this grip strengthener will last through all your workouts for many years.
IronMind VS. MummyFit: Which One Should You Buy?
These are two of the best grip strengtheners: how to improve your grip is a question that becomes easier to answer when you have the right products at hand (excuse the pun).
However, you might still not be sure which one to buy.
Which one is right for you?
Here are some comparisons we can make between the two products that will benefit you in your decision-making process.
MummyFit Grip Strengthener
IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper
You can adjust the resistance easily by turning a knob, instead of having to unhook and re-hook the spring.
The knurling on the gripper will take it out of your hands, but that’s not actually a bad thing! It will make your hands and palms stronger, so be brave and avoid fitness gloves.
It’s completely silent. You can use it in public and quiet places without worrying that people will hear annoying squeaks.
You have to clean the steel springs regularly with a drop or two of oil to prevent them from breaking or squeaking.
To get a wider grip (such as if you have big hands), you need to increase the resistance. This can make it difficult to use if you can’t handle the greater resistance.
You get really good grip, but the gripper might not feel that comfortable to hold because it’s quite rough. Expect a bit of chafing if you’re using it daily until you break it in.
While there are 11 different resistance modes available, you have to purchase different grippers depending on the resistance you want, as this hand strengthening tool can’t be adjusted.
Let’s take a look at alternative products causing waves when it comes to grip strengthening, but tailoring them according to your specific needs.
Best For People Who Want To Isolate And Work Their Fingers: Prohands Gripmaster Hand Exerciser
If you’ve seen this product on Amazon, you might’ve had to do a double take because it looks like an item of office stationery.
There are different Gripmaster strengtheners available, based on their resistance.
This one is in black, which means it’s got the heaviest tension – a whopping nine pounds per finger!
The great thing about its design is that every finger is isolated and has its own spring, so you can work one or more along with the rest of your hand.
This is especially beneficial if you’re dealing with a finger injury as you want to strengthen it separately from your other fingers.
The sturdy base of the Gripmaster is ergonomically-designed so it feels comfortable in your hand. It’s also small – only about three inches in width – but it packs a punch.
The important thing to bear in mind when purchasing the Gripmaster is to make sure you get the right resistance, though.
A Few Cons (And One That Can Be Flipped Into A Pro!)
As this Gripmaster product has the highest resistance in the range, it might not be suitable if you don’t have body strength or if you want to develop your wrist.
Unlike many grip strengtheners on the market, the Gripmaster targets your fingers.
But, with a clever technique, you can make sure your whole hand gets more of a workout.
Simply wrap your fingers around the top of it and you can use your whole hand to press it, boosting strength in your fingers and hand muscles simultaneously.
Best For People Who Want To Adjust The Resistance: GD Hand Grip Strengthener
Another alternative grip strengthener to check out is the GD Hand Grip Strengthener.
Right off the bat, what makes this hand grip exercise tool so appealing is that you can adjust its resistance, starting from 55 pounds all the way up to 176 pounds.
There are six resistance stages available, which saves you the money and hassle of having to purchase new grip strengtheners whenever you want to progress to a new resistance level.
It’s a strong and silent grip strengthener, made with aluminum handles that are three inches in length and a strong compression spring that’s made out of iron.
Some grip strengtheners are only suitable for one hand, but the GD Hand Grip Strengthener can be used by both, while offering an ergonomic design that feels comfortable to use.
Cons To Consider
This grip trainer is light and easy to use, offering the perfect blend of functionality and flexibility.
However, the handles can be a bit rough for some people.
One of the downsides is that you might have to purchase GD Grip Tape to protect your hands and prevent them from slipping.
Best For People Who Want A Grip Trainer On A Budget: D’Addario Varigrip Hand Exerciser
This hand grip exercise tool looks similar to the Gripmaster but it’s more tailored to musicians who want to strengthen their fingers.
It’s got an ergonomic design and finger pads that give you greater comfort when using it.
You can also change the tension of each finger pad, depending on what finger you want to train and how much.
It’s nice and small, coming in at a height of 2.4 inches and a width of 2.8, so it’s perfect for sneaking in a bit of a hand exercise before a guitar or piano lesson to improve dexterity and strength.
One of the downsides of the D’Addario Varigrip Hand Exerciser is that it’s made of plastic, so it’s not as strong as a grip strengthener that’s made out of durable steel.
That said, the plastic does increase the comfort of using the product.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly grip strengthener, this one is great value at just $14.99.
Bonus:This Hand Exerciser contains a molded grip with simulated strings. You can find it by popping off the bottom rubber piece. This is a nice touch that gives guitarists a chance to develop and maintain their finger calluses when they’re away from their instruments.
Grip Strengtheners FAQ
Do Hand Grips Really Work?
At first glance, you might wonder if you really need a hand strengthening tool.
But just think: you use your hands for so many activities on a daily basis and when they’re strong, they improve your ability, agility, and endurance.
This can benefit you in various ways, whether you’re an athlete who wants to push harder during workouts, someone who likes to lift weights on a regular basis, or someone who just wants to be stronger.
The American Council on Exercise has stated that hand and grip strength should form part of your exercise routines, and this is especially important if you lift heavy weights.
This is because your grip makes use of two forearm muscles: the flexor muscles and extensors.
The flexors close your hand so you can make a fist, while the extensors open your fist. This movement is important to harness so you can become better at your weight-filled workouts.
How Do You Strengthen Your Grip?
You can’t only depend on hand strengthening tools to make your grip stronger, though.
For the moment, let’s look past the best grip strengtheners: how to improve your grip is also a question of doing the right exercises.
Here’s a breakdown of the gripping exercises that you should include in your regular workouts.
Pull Yourself Up
The next time you’re at the gym, do more pull-ups and chin-ups.
Not only do these build up your arms and back muscles, but they also help to improve your grip.
Your hands and forearms are the key areas of the body that support your weight when you do a gripping or pulling motion, so they’re sure to become stronger after you do these exercises.
Throw In The Towel
Make pulling your body weight even more of an exercise for your grip by throwing a towel over your pull-up bar.
Hold onto the ends with your hands and pull yourself up.
It’s easier to slip by doing pull-ups in this way, so your hands (and arms) will be working much harder to keep you off the floor.
Hold Dumbbells Vertically
Instead of lifting weights the regular way, by holding your dumbbells horizontally, hold them vertically for a change.
Your hands should be holding the heads of the dumbbells, so try to choose dumbbells that are at least 10 or 20 pounds to really give your grip some challenge!
Pinch A Plate
Trying to hold plates between your fingers will make you feel the burn in your hand muscles.
This easy exercise is a great way to boost your grip strength because those plates are going to want to slip.
You have to squeeze your fingers hard and press against the plates to keep them in the air.
What Muscles Do Hand Grips Work?
The most obvious muscles a grip trainer will work are those in your hand.
Improving your grip is a question you should seriously consider taking into your exercise routine because by exercising your hands and improving your grip, you can avoid imbalances between the muscles in your hand that enable you to open and close it.
Stronger hands mean a stronger grip, which means you’ll be able to undertake more weight and resistance exercises.
You can take the strengthening action of hand grips to the next level by doing different grip exercises to target different muscles – and not just those in your hands.
That’s why the correct gripping positions during various exercises are so valuable.
For example, when doing a deadlift, gripping the barbell with a wide overhand grip will have the effect of strengthening your grip and increasing your motion, while also targeting muscles such as the glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
Does Grip Strength Increase Forearms?
Fact: You also work the muscles in your forearms when doing exercises that enhance your gripping strength.
For example, earlier we talked about pulling yourself up to a pull-bar with the use of a towel swung around it.
This movement definitely makes the muscles in your arms work harder while boosting your grip.
Similarly, pinching a plate and trying not to drop it is also a great forearm strengthener you can add to your workout.
Having good grip strength can definitely help you to lift heavier weights and do pull-ups that make you stronger.
However, gripping on its own isn’t going to make you build that much muscle in your arms. It’s more a contributing factor to feeling and looking stronger in your forearms.
So, after you’ve purchased a cool grip trainer, what you need is a workout plan tailored to your forearms to really give you more muscle and strength in this area of the body.
The Best Workout Plan For Your Forearms
The next time you have an “arm day” at the gym, make sure you work out your arms with the best forearm strengthener moves.
Here are four definitely worth trying:
The Zottman Curl
The classic Zottman Curl is a powerhouse for your forearms.
It makes weights the best grip strength equipment you’ll ever need!
What really makes the Zottman Curl so fantastic is that it allows you to reap the rewards from a strong underhand position that benefits your lower arms.
To do it, you want to lower your weights slowly so that you put the most tension in your forearms. Aim for taking five seconds to lower your weights when bringing them down.
The Plank With Palm Focus
A regular plank is satisfying, but you can make it even better for your forearms. Get into a regular plank position and contract your glutes and core.
Press your palms into the floor as you lift yourself up on one hand, being sure to transfer your body weight into your other hand.
Lower yourself back to the ground and repeat the move with your other arm. You want to hold this plank for about 40 seconds.
You might not realize just how much of a workout your forearms are getting until you’ve done your reps!
The Barbell Curl With Reverse Grip
Making a few simple hand adjustments when using gym equipment really goes a long way to making your forearms the center of attention.
Instead of holding a barbell with a regular grip, by flipping your palms over you take tension away from your biceps and move it into your upper forearm muscles, known as the carpi radialis.
You also activate the brachioradialis, which connects the forearm to the bicep.
When doing this exercise, make sure you keep your palms down throughout the lift. As you curl the bar, you want to keep your elbows as close to your sides as you can.
And, when you reach the peak of the lift, pause for a few seconds, then slowly lower the bar.
Get Loaded: The Farmer’s Carry
In case you didn’t know, Loaded Carries are exercises in which you basically carry a load from one point to another.
If you want to boost the strength in your forearm muscles, you can’t completely achieve that goal without adding some Loaded Carries into your workout.
Specifically, the Farmer’s Carry exercise is ideal.
It activates the muscles in your forearms and hands so that they contract, thus improving your muscle and grip strength. It’s like having the best grip trainer with you wherever you are!
To do the Farmer’s Carry, you need to hold a kettlebell in each hand that’s heavy enough to give your muscles enough of a challenge.
It should feel challenging, but not like you can’t handle it.
- Stand with your arms at your sides and engage your core muscles. Pull back your shoulders and stand with a straight spine.
- Step forward and start walking as fast as you can, without hunching over or looking down. You want to maintain your upright posture and keep your shoulders back throughout the exercise.
- As you get used to the number of steps you can do, increase them as well as the resistance you’re carrying.
How Can I Test My Grip Strength?
You need a hand dynamometer.
Use your dominant hand to squeeze it hard for 15 seconds and see what number pops up. Rest for 30 seconds, then try it again.
The highest number is your grip strength. Normal strength range for men between the ages of 25 and 29 is 37.7 to 57.5. For women, it’s 25.6 to 41.4.
Does Grip Strength Affect Longevity?
Research has found that having a good grip strength does impact your overall health and could lead to a longer lifespan.
Studies have also linked weaker grip strength to serious health issues, such as heart disease and stroke, as Harvard Health reports.
Choosing the best grip strengthener can help you become healthier and stronger, but it also opens the way to greater awareness of how gripping during exercise can benefit your muscles and bulk you up in various ways.
If you want to be stronger, faster, and more flexible, it’s time to get a grip!
Last update on 2020-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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