What is hand strength?
If you've ever struggled to lift heavy weights or even shopping bags, then you'll know how important it is to have upper body strength in your arms and forearms.
Athletes who wish to excel at their sport learn to transfer the power of their body through their hands when they move weights. If you have a strong hand grip it allows you to build your lower arms and this will ultimately make you a better athlete, regardless of whether you're into weightlifting, football or martial arts.
Basically any sport which involves lower arm strength will be vastly improved. Hand grips are a great way to develop your lower arm strength in between playing these sports.
Why hand grips?
Hand grips are a low-cost and portable option which can improve your hand strength on the go. Using a lever type device, you simply squeeze the hand grips and it builds up your strength and muscles, in both the hands and arms.
Over time and with consistent use, your arm and hand strength will improve and you'll be able to go beyond your limitations and start to build your muscles. You'll become more effective at lifting weights and simple everyday tasks involving the use of your hands will be a lot easier to perform.
The idea of hand grips is to hold both levers together in your palm for as long as possible, ideally five seconds or longer. You should repeat the exercise a dozen times or more, however don't strain or cause yourself to go beyond your comfort level. If you feel severe pain, stop to prevent yourself from being injured.
Below are five tips why developing better hand strength is so important...
1) Better hand endurance
When you work with hand grips you increase the amount of force you're placing on your hands. This boosts the amount of time that your hands can apply forces and with consistent practice you can apply this level of pressure for a longer period of time.
For example, once you have built up your hand endurance, carrying heavy suitcases around will no longer become so much of a burden and you won't become so tired either.
2) Better forearm muscularity
Working out with hand grips will give you better looking and more impressive forearms. This is because muscles which are based in the forearms control your fingers. Forearm flexors control how your hand closes while forearm extensors control how it opens. Hand grips will improve your muscles greatly and you may even find that lifting weights becomes a lot easier as a result of all those hand exercises.
3) Improved dexterity
You'll find that your hand dexterity improves greatly by independently building up your fingers. If you're a typist or use your hands regularly in your profession, you could benefit from improved hand grip.
Musicians and guitarists use hand grips to improve their dexterity and this is because the hand grips are spring-loaded so will build the strength of each finger. The result is that musicians can confidently apply the correct amount of pressure to play their instruments properly.
4) Better hand strength
The power of your fingers and your wrists will improve as your hands become stronger from doing the hand grip exercises.
If you're a gymnast or an athlete you will benefit greatly from having an improved level of hand strength. You'll find yourself pushing that little bit harder and you'll be able to lift weights for longer too. This ties in with endurance but ultimately, when you have an improved level of hand strength it translates to lots of other physical activities too.
5) Add tone and definition
As with any form of resistance training, hand grips, just like hand weights, are an excellent way to develop and tone muscles in your arms.
The more your practice and develop a strong grip, the more you can then take this and apply it to a wide range of other physical activities. This is most notable in martial arts and any sports where resistance is paramount such as weightlifting or basketball.
You might want to consider using hand grips to supplement your existing physical fitness regime. If you're a newbie, after a week or so of continuous and daily exercise with hand grips you should start to notice a big difference in your hand strength and endurance levels.
For all of the five reasons outlined above, using hand grips can improve your fitness, hand and arm strength and even make you more dexterous. Remember, it takes time to see results so don't give up after the first set of exercises. Results come with commitment!
Daniela GB from Houston, TX on May 27, 2015:
Thanks for the info! This is a topic not many people are familiar with. Stretching the hands before and after a workout is also good practice to avoid hand injuries.
Varun on September 24, 2013:
Great Written and inspiring !
Anna Jones (author) from Cheshire, England on February 25, 2013:
Thank you for the kind comments and I'm glad this hub is useful to you both :)
Dilip Chandra from India on February 25, 2013:
Very useful hub, well organised and was well written. Thanks for sharing :)
Moronke Oluwatoyin on February 25, 2013:
I have been having some minor problem griping and opening tight bottles.I started doing press ups.Your article is useful for me and thanks for writing.