A stronger grip can benefit athletes of every skill level -- from weekend warrior to professional. Many strength and conditioning programs include wrist exercises, but exercises that specifically target the gripping muscles of the hand and forearm are often overlooked. Mechanical hand grips -- essentially stout springs with handles on them -- are inexpensive training devices that isolate the muscles important to grip strength. Work in several sets of exercises with hand grips during your regular upper-body training to quickly tone and strengthen your fingers, wrists and forearms.
Place one handle of the hand grip against your palm to begin a squeeze-and-release exercise. Wrap your fingers around the other handle. Squeeze the handles together as far as you can. Hold the closed position for 5 seconds, then slowly release your grip. Start with two sets of 10 squeezes for each hand, then build up over several weeks to four sets.
Grip a hand grip between the palm and fingers of one hand, as far toward the tips of you fingers as possible, to prepare to do a reverse squeeze exercise. Close the grip using both hands. Pull your "helper" hand away, and release the grip as slowly as you can. Start with two sets of five reverse squeezes with each hand, then build up to four sets as you get stronger.
Place the hand grip against the palm of you hand, then place the tips of your fingers on the finger springs or "buttons." Curl your fingers toward your palm to close the springs, then slowly release your grip. Add difficulty to this exercise by curling in only one finger at a time. Start with just one set of 10 finger curls on each hand, then work your way up to three or four sets.
Grip strength is an important component of athletics as well as most everyday tasks. According to Bison Strength, grip strength can be divided into several types. Crushing strength would be used to squeeze the juice from a lemon. Pinching strength would be used to carry a wooden plank with one hand. Support gripping strength would be used for endurance tasks like carrying a bag. Grip strength can be addressed by squeezing rubber balls or spring-loaded grippers and holding weights for time intervals.
Your fingers are controlled by muscles located in your forearms. The closing of your hand is controlled by your forearm flexors, while the opening of your hand is controlled by the forearm extensors. Building your hand strength also builds and thickens these muscles, giving your forearms a strong, powerful appearance.
Grip training strengthens your fingers, wrists and forearms. Improved gripping strength produces faster results in the gym because you are able to hold onto heavy weights. In sports requiring the use of a racquet or bat, you’ll be able to swing it harder without losing your grip. Grip strength, according to the American Council on Exercise, is especially important for sports like climbing and gymnastics, which often require you to support your own body weight with your grip.
When you increase the amount of force your hands can apply, you also increase your endurance during instances where your hands must apply force for longer periods of time. If you need to carry bags or suitcases for long periods of time, you won't need to worry about losing your grip due to fatigue.
Some grip exercises can be used to build your fingers independently. Musicians like violin and guitar players need the ability to apply pressure with each individual finger. Musicians will often build their grips using spring-loaded grip tools with separate springs for each finger. Improved dexterity also helps improve typing.