Improving Grip Strength

Can anyone recommend some exercises to improve grip strength. I currently use one of the grippers that I bought at a local sporting store. Is there a recommended way regarding reps and number of sets for this type of gripper. Any other exercises would also be appreciated. Also how many times per week should grip strength be worked?

I love doing the farmer's walk with weight plates in pinch grip. It trains your grip in just about every way it needs to be trained (tho it emphasizes pinch grip more than the other kinds of grip). When I make it a part of my routine, I do it about 2x/a week walking about three ascending-diffuclty sets of roughly 60 feet of walking. Since one's grip is used in almost any kind of activity, I'm very careful about overtraining. Maybe I could handle much more volume than this, but I'll err on too little volume rather than too much.

There are many different aspects of grip/forearm
training. Rotation can be trained with a short-handled
"sledge" hammer. You lay your forearm on your thigh
when seated and turn your wrist to palm-up, then palm-
down. You can also place your forearm on a table to
prevent over-rotation stresses.

Next, hold a longer hammer (or shovel, etc.) and try to
lift it off the ground by gripping around the end of
the handle. You can "choke up" to make the right
amount of load, then work your wrist in the thumbs-up

For finger/grip strength, I like using block weights.
These are described in "Mastery of Hand Strength" by
John Brookfield ( ). You basically
cut out the handle of a solid dumbbell and make two
"block" weights. You can toss these from hand to hand,
keeping the palm down. This forces you to dynamically
pinch the weight to prevent dropping it. You can also
do farmer's walks with them. Their shape requires
extra force to hang onto.

There are so many other exercises, etc., that the
result is a book like Brookfield's. Give these here a
try and post again if you want more. In the meantime,
I recommend you buy that book.



The best site I've ever seen on grip training...

Plate pinching, hanging from a chin bar, farmers walks, the hammer of thor (exercise that Lee mentioned), buy or a make a wrist roller, do chins hanging from the ends of a towel wrapped around the bar, plate curls, and picking up dumbells by the ends using pinching or palming grip.

I mentioned alot stuff that was listed above but it's all good stuff.

I prefer to work pinching grip specifically since I do farmers walk and heavy deadlifts I don't feel a need to work anymore on that style of gripping and if I can ever get me some COC's or an Ivanko I'll improve my crushing grip.

Get the Mastery of Hand Strenght book, visit and keep us posted.

Great thread!

Perhaps the PowersThatBe(TM) can archive it?

Surprised no-one equated this to the "ejaculation & strength" thread *ahem*

I'm sure several people did... but no one typed it, because this isn't the OG

Martin,I don't know of any tricks, but I can give you some tips on how to improve. I can pinch two 25's together for about 15 sec. at a bodyweight of about 175. It's nothing to write home about, but I haven't met anybody in the gym who can even get 25's off the floor without training for it.You should be able to start with a pair of 10's. Pick them up and try to crush them as hard as possible until they are almost ready to drop from your hand. Try to curl your fingers and thumb crush through the plates. When you are done with your first set, rest about a minute and do the same with the other hand. Do 2-3 sets each hand.After a few weeks of this, put two 25's on the ground,sit on a bench in front of them, and put your hand on top of them like you're going to pick them up. Drag them back and forth, and side to side with your hand on top of them until you have a tough time moving them. Rest and switch for a couple sets like before. Make sure to squeeze the daylights out of them during every set.After a couple weeks of this, try to pick them off the ground. As soon as you crack them from the ground, set them right back down. Do as many reps as you can, then rest, switch. When you can pick them up about eight times consecutively, start trying to hold them for time.Of course, progression is a lot easier if you use some sort of weight loading pinch grip block. Ironmind sells one, but I'm sure you could make one out of wood quite easily. John Brookfield, in his book Mastery of Hand Strength gives directions in building a plate-loading-pinch-grip-deadlift contraption he calls "Mr. Pinch-o-Grip." Ali did a review for The Dinosaur Files of old time strongman Edward Aston's book on grip training in which he describes pinching a household door while leaning back to build pinching strength. Unless you get something like Ironmind's Titan's telegraph key, anything you do is going to be an isometric anyway; so the possiblities are endless if you use your imagination.

Try the following home built pinch grip toy: Take a
piece of 2 x 4 lumber about 8 inches long, and put a
screweye into the narrow long edge. You can then use a
piece of webbing, etc. to load plates on. A snaplink
makes a convenient closure: total cost ~ $5.00.

I've also made the softball lifting toy. Drill a hole
through a softball, and get a long threaded hook at the
hardware store (with matching nut). Countersink the
nut into the ball so there is a smooth surface on that
side. Load plates with webbing and snaplink on the
hook. ( This is a great sport-specific exercise for
ball players, too!)

I own pretty much all of the Ironmind grip stuff, and
the most beneficial thing I've learned is that you must
vary your routine to achieve overall grip strength.
Doing any couple of exercises will leave gaps in your

The softball idea is described in "Mastery of Hand
Strength". Hope this helps.



Thanks everyone for the information!

after you are done reading the daily newspaper....

sit on the floor, lay one sheet of paper out in front of you. place your hands on the edge of the sheet closest to you. using your fingers, drawn the sheet of paper closer to you, crumpling it up in the process. When you are done, it should look like you are holding onto handle bars on a mountain bike.. make sense?

Anyway, before you do another one, go ahead and crumple what is left into a ball. Then do another sheet. I defy you to do the whole paper..