Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hold on For Dear Life, Grip Strength 101 To The Rescue

You learn the importance of grip strength real fast when you are hanging from a pull up bar. It seems your big muscles have no problem keeping you up on the bar but it's your (damn) hands that can't seem to hold you up there. Where's the glue when you need it. Sigh. Us ladies have less grip strength than men, this could be a bummer but we also have lighter bodies to pull, so it's all good here, no evil thoughts.

Why you want to improve your Grip Strength:

  1. Lift heavier weights - Ever do deadlifts? I bet you do. Want to go heavier? Me too.
  2. More trust for yourself when hanging 
  3. Because what good are strong biceps if you can't hold anything up. duh.
  4. Strong is beautiful. Strong AND functional is sexy ** Blogger's Favorite **
  5. Does a 75% increase in performance entice you? So says Aush Chatman, in this article 
Sexy? Um, Over the line.

Grip Strength Builders:

Your grip is the strongest when it's in a fist. The further from that fist your fingers go, the further from strength your grip goes. When your hands are holding a basketball, there's less grip than if you were holding a key. Now that we are on the same page, feel free to think of me as you incorporate these into your workout. (Big confident smile here.)  

1. Hang a towel from a pull up bar. Hang it so it's wrapped like a rope (or make things easier & use a rope) My gym has lots of towels but no hanging ropes, so I make do. Next, pull yourself up, if you can. If you can't pull up all the way, just pull. Put as much weight on there as you can. Hang for time, 10 seconds to start and increase it as you do multiple sets.

2. Arm wrestling. You will need a partner but I bet this could be fun. Grip on and send me a vid of this. The world needs more arm wrestling. If we could solve the problems with politicians and terrorists by a good arm wrestle, I would be a happy girl.

3. Wrap a towel to any medium: kettlebell, dumbell, barbell and train with that. The harder it is to grip, the better. It just means when you take the towel away, it will be that much easier. Just don't do anything crazy like lift the weight overhead. Farmers carries would be ideal for this, as would deadlifts. 
4. Avoid the mixed grip when deadlifting. I wrote this and a tear fell from my eye, I love mixed grip. Switching the direction of your hands doesn't do any favors for training your hands. The mixed grip is great for super heavy, so save it for your PR's. 
5. Squeeze a tennis ball. This is so easy you can do it while watching The Walking Dead. Hold it every time a zombie comes on screen. 

6. Push ups on your finger tips - I do love push ups of all variations, this one is a good one to add to your collection

7. Hang from the pull up bar on one hand - Keep a straight face if you can. 

Grip on.