Today’s post is primarily for those who are already into fitness and have some knowledge about exercising. However, anyone else can benefit from it as well, and are most welcome to listen in on this conversation. If you are a bit of a gym rat, I’m telling you straight up that one thing that can limit your progress when you are training your major muscle groups are your grip strength.
Yes, that’s right. Sometimes you might wonder why you’re unable to make progress with your pull-ups, lat pull-downs, seated rows, inclined bench press or shoulder press. It is not because your target muscles are not getting stronger, but because your forearm muscles are giving way. For me personally, it seems to affect the “pulling” exercise a lot.
While this might be news to you, it won’t be for others. Up to 15 years ago, some gym rats had already noticed this. In response to it, they started selling “fat grips”, which are basically these pads that increase the circumference of any bar that you are using. Because it forces your forearms to develop strength, you’ll be able to make progress once you remove them after using them for a while. The modern-day version of these is called hand grippers, or hand grips.
In fact, this is not just relevant to gym rats like us. A lot of athletes actually use them, and it makes sense because building up one’s frequently-neglected lower arm muscles allows the transference of bodily strength to the hands. So of course you can see how it benefits sports such as power lifting, martial arts, football, basketball and baseball, right? With this in mind, let’s talk about four specific benefits of using these.
One: Develop Hand Endurance
Working out your hands with grips will increase the amount of force it can apply. This, of course, has an effect on its endurance. You can literally squeeze your hands for a longer period of time before it becoming tired. It’s the same as building up any muscle, really. Practical benefits of this would be carrying your groceries over a longer period. How useful is that, eh?
Two: Stronger Hands
Of course strength is going to come into the equation – that is the main purpose of hand grips in the first place. The practical application of this for us gym rats is that we will be able to grip weights for longer periods and this allows us to make progress. For athletes, it might have practical applications too. As an example, baseball or cricket players can benefit from a stronger grip and hit the ball out of the park more easily. That’s a six, or a home run for you!
Three: Better Dexterity
While sites like these will focus on strength and endurance, another often overlooked benefit is its increase in dexterity. In theory, people who require fine hand movement and coordination such as surgeons, musicians and artists can benefit from hand grips. However, there is little or no evidence to support this, so let us not pre-empt it.
Four: Forearm Musculature
Gym rats, don’t lie! One of the reasons why we train our muscles is to physically look good, right? And the fact is that our lower arms will be trained to a certain extent while we perform certain strength training routines. However, training your forearms particularly will also make it look big and strong. And we love that.
So there we go – the benefits of hand grips. Although I’m guilty of not incorporating it into my regular routine, I do have some in the office. And due to the nature of my work, I do get stressed out some times. So rather than using a squishy stress-ball, I might as well make the best of it and get added benefits with hand grips, right? Consider getting some, if it is relevant to you.
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Mark is an all-rounded guy with dreams, aspirations, and a desire to be a better version of himself. Having conquered obesity, he set-up Granite Fitness to help regular people get in shape and stay healthy. Mark spends his days helping distressed Uni students through difficult situations. He holds three science degrees and a Diploma of Christian counselling. In his spare time, Mark does freelancing and runs a series of online operations with his business partner Atanas. Connect with Mark @ http://au.linkedin.com/in/marksptan