Have you ever tried lifting something off the floor, but found it too difficult to even grip the object? Do you feel pain and weakness when you turn doorknobs or when you drive for long periods of time? If you said yes to any of these questions then it is possible that you are suffering from low grip strength. “Grip strength” is a general term that is used to refer to a person’s capacity to grip, crush, pinch, clamp, and crimp things.
Our hands were designed primarily to grip, so you should be able to do it with ease and strength. However, if the opposite is true, then you have to start training your “gripping machine,” which includes your forearms, wrists, and hands. If you do not start training your gripping machine now, your grip strength is going to decline progressively as you age. This decline will affect not only your ability to grip things, but your overall ability to perform physical tasks as well. If you are into sports, or would like to get into sports such as badminton, basketball, tennis, etc., you will not be able to deliver peak performance with a weak grip.
Hand grip strength can be developed in a variety of ways. The simplest way is to get a tennis ball and squeeze it a couple of times per day. Exercises such as tennis ball squeezes should be measured in terms of sets and repetitions. For example, one set of tennis ball squeezes can require a total of five squeezes. Expressed in a fitness formula, this would be 3 x 5 or three sets of five.
Apply the same principle when you try other grip strength exercises. We highly recommend tennis ball squeezes for beginners because tennis balls are softer, and they can be squeezed with ease while providing consistent resistance. This resistance is very important for developing grip strength. A gripping exercise with zero resistance is useless because your muscles and joints will have nothing to train against.
If you think you are ready for something more advanced than tennis ball squeezes, you have our blessing to buy a standard hand gripper. A hand gripper is a v-shaped grip training tool that provides continuous outward pressure when squeezed. There are two types of v-shaped hand grippers on the market: the regular-sized grippers and the wide grippers. If you have small hands, or if you have just started training your grip, we recommend that you purchase a small-sized gripper. These smaller grippers still provide a ton of resistance, but they can be handled more comfortably because the handle bars are closer together.
Once you are done with small grippers, and you feel that your hands and forearms are significantly stronger, it is time to move on to wider hand grippers. Wide hand grippers offer more force per inch, and require a wider grip for better control. Be careful when using wide grippers, as they are designed to spring apart at the slightest chance.