This week I would like to discuss the importance of grip training. In my opinion, grip strength is the most under developed and the forgotten element of functional training. Your hands are the end point of the kinetic chain, so they must be developed if we hope to transfer the power created and accumulated from our body and express it through our hands. Wrestling, Jiu-jitsu, Judo and MMA requires grip strength. Nothing is more frustrating then when your opponent has an “iron” grip. It makes you work much harder with your technique. Possessing an incredible grip will enable you to add another dimension to your game! An individual’s grip consists of the thumb, fingers and forearm muscles. Thus, grip training should consist of the following actions to properly and completely develop one’s grip.
This is the most common thought of as grip. The hand-shake-type grip is when the object being gripped rests firmly against the palm and all fingers; squeezing action.
Inverted alternating bar squeezes
Rope sled row
The fingers are on one side of the object and the thumb is on the other; the object does not touch the palm of the hand.
Single-arm sledge hammer finger walk
DB pinch hold for time
This involves holding an object for a long period of time.
DB farmer walks
Tire hold sled drag
Handle sled drags
This is the ability to open the hand by extending the fingers and thumb.
Rubber Band Finger Extensions
Container Finger Extensions
Theses are flexion, extension, pronation, supination, radial deviation and ulnar deviation.
Cable & bar wrist rolls
(Flexion & Extension)
Sledge Hammer Rotations
(Pronation & Supination)
Sledge Hammer Front & Back Lifts
(Ulnar & Radial Deviation)
Also keep in mind, when performing a dead-lift variation or a pull-up variation DO NOT use straps! Using straps will only hinder your grip strength. Lose the straps! So the next time you train, try some of the exercises above! If you have any questions regarding this article or need more information about grip training do not hesitate to contact me.
Michael Derecola, ATC, CSCS