Get a Grip: Why Grip Training is so darn important? How to improve Grip Strength?
In this day and age, we are all aware of the importance of physical fitness and health. People are consciously making an effort, to alter their diet plans and include exercises in their daily routines. Now, all these efforts not only help in keeping our bodies young, in order to thrive in our later years; but they also help us function better in our normal lives.
What is Grip Training?
Some people believe that grip training is simply working on the hand and wrist muscles but unfortunately it is not true. Grip training is referred to developing all the musculature near the elbow all the way down to the fingertips. When you visualize the grip in this manner, you are able to train all the movement patterns which affect the lower arm musculature and the antagonistic group of muscles. Thereby, working on the front and back arms simultaneously.
The importance of Grip Training:
Grip training is considered an underrated form of exercise though it can be turned into the most powerful tool in your arsenal. Now you may ask why grip strength is so important.
Well, you need your grip strength in almost every action that you perform. From sports like mountain climbing and golfing to hobbies like pole dancing or gardening to everyday chores like opening a pickle jar or kneading the dough, you need your hand muscles to work efficiently. Besides these grip strength helps you in the following ways:
Stronger Grip = Stronger Handshake
It has become a social norm, that when you shake hands with a man and he looks you in the eye and gives you a solid and firm handshake; I qualifies him as a more confident, dependable and trustworthy individual. While on the other side, if you get to experience the proverbial “Dead fish” handshake, the individual seems to lose credibility and may even appear weak and slimy.
Stronger Grip = Better Lifts
A strong grip is pertinent in lifting weights and carrying out pulling movements such as deadlifts, rows, pull ups and chin ups. So, your fitness related goals also demand that you develop your grip strength in order to improve your training results.
Now, some experts believe that you should forsake training straps when you want to build on your grip strength. But if you use suspension training straps appropriately, you can drive positive output from its use. The reason being that training straps allow you for a better grip and softer feel than overhead bars. Furthermore, training straps like Ninja 360 Grips allow for a hammer grip unlike the bars which limit you to underhand or overhand grips. They also enable you to change the direction of the grip as you pull up, going from a hammer grip to an overhand grip and vice versa.
Stronger Grip = Better Endurance
A strong grip does not only ensure that you are able to perform your lifts, pull ups, rows and chin ups efficiently but it also enables you to perform more repetitions per set. Your strong hands and lower arms ensure that you are able to burn more calories and build more muscles by performing more reps per set of an exercise.
PS: Training straps like Ninja 360 Grips allow you more flexibility at the wrist; compared to traditional bars which are stiff & rigid. This results in more comfort and more pull ups per set.
Stronger Grip = Better Later Life Quality
Research has now shown that grip strength has proven to be a reliable indicator for quality of life at an older age. For instance, in 1999 a study concluded the following:
“Among healthy 45- to 68-year-old men, hand grip strength was highly predictive of functional limitations and disability 25 years later. Good muscle strength in midlife may protect people from old age disability by providing a greater safety margin above the threshold of disability.”
Stronger Grip = Better Injury Resiliency
Grip strength is important especially for athletes involved in sports. Be it baseball, basket, football or extreme sports like skinning, mountain climbing or even golfing, a strong grip plays a major role in success.
Grip training ensures that your muscles and connective tissues are strengthened. Thereby, making them more injury resistant and allowing them to recover fast if an injury does take place.
How can I build my Grip Strength?
There are several ways through which you can incorporate grip training in your workout routines. Following are some examples:
Suitcase walk can be done with dumbbells, kettle balls or even plates. You simply suspend weights by means of suspension training straps in each hand and walk. You can start out by walking till a designated distance and then later on move to doing it till you drop dead.
Forearm curls are another form of exercise that contribute directly in building your grip strength. You can do this either sitting down or standing up. Hold a barbell in both hands (you can use training straps to suspend them), with the backs of both forearms flat and by your side. Raise your forearms and curl it back up by flexing your wrists back to a horizontal position. Repeat this for sets of 20-25 reps.
You can perform Curls simply by using training straps against bars and build your grip strength.
Pull ups & Chin ups:
Pull ups are considered as core back building exercises. But we sometimes fail to acknowledge their role in building grip strength. Simply find an overhead bar and do different kinds of pull up variations.
Grip strength is imperative to being strong. You will be able to perform many everyday activities such as lifting, grasping and potentially supporting your own weight with much more ease and comfort. Not only that but by making grip training a part of your workout regime, will ensure that your weight training never hits a plateau and you continue on your journey, towards strong and injury resilient muscle building.