Hand grippers may look like a simple training tool. But what are the benefits? What’s the best way to use them?
We’ve pooled our knowledge and experience into creating you a short snippet into the wonderful world of hand grippers.
We will be using the Gods Of Grip Godlike Hand Grippers throughout this guide.
Combining 2 handles and a torsion spring, hand grippers springs come in a wide range of ratings. Starting from around 50lb and going all the way up to around 350lbs, this means there’s a resistance for everyone.
If you’re just starting out it's a good idea to dip in around the 50lb - 100lb range, if you’re already pretty strong you can dive right into the 100lb - 200lb range.
A noticeable feature about hand grippers is the knurling, this plays a huge part on how well you can actually crush it. A sharp knurling will improve your grip on the handle, reducing slippage, enhancing the amount of force applied during the crush. This leads perfectly into our first hand gripper training tip..
It’s that simple, enhancing your grip on the actual hand gripper is going to greatly improve the force applied to the handles during the crush. If you can minimize any slippage on the handles, then you’ve got a much higher chance of closing it.
You don’t have to go mad, just sprinkle a little chalk onto the palm of your hand and work a little onto the gripper too.
One of the most important starting points when using grippers is learning how to set.
This will allow you to vastly improve your technique and ability to close much higher rated grippers.
Setting is basically positioning the hand gripper into the optimal position in your hand enabling you to close the most weight possible.
Let's break it down.
Everybody’s hands are a different shape and size so what works for me may not work exactly for you so there may be some wiggling around required.
Start off by positioning the gripper as per the image below.
You want the bottom leg of the gripper to cut your pinkie finger in half while resting in the crease of your hand.
Sitting the leg against the crease gives the leg something to ‘hold onto’ instead of sliding down your hand, meaning the range of motion is increased and it is unlikely you will be able to crush the gripper shut.
Next you will want to grab the bottom of the gripper leg using your ring finger with your other hand, using your thumb to hold the bottom leg in position, ensuring it won't slip across the palm.
Creeping your closing hand around the gripper, you will feel the tension start to rise in the hand.
Close the gripper just enough so that you’re able to fit something such as a credit card through.
Release your other hand once the gripper is closed enough, you should be able to keep the gripper in this position.
This is the calm before the storm, once set take a breath then you’re ready to attempt the close.
There we go.. That is the set.
Getting the hang of the set takes time and the only way to do it is.. Practice, practice, practice..
When you get a brand new hand gripper it can be tempting to crush it all day, every day until your hand falls off. .. Seriously though you should try to limit training with your gripper to 2-3 times a week.
A lot of the power used during the crush relies on your central nervous system. When overtrained you will notice a dip in performance and ultimately this will slow down your progression.
Mix It Up
Changing between styles when using your grippers is great for targeting different muscles and enhancing your overall performance and development over time. We will look into a couple of alternative ways you can crush your grippers below.
Excellent for developing crush grip and support grip.
Not only will negative reps test out your hand strength, they will also test your mental strength, it’s really tough focusing on the squeeze and maintaining it.
Performing this close requires you to crush it in the same way you normally could but once shut keep it shut, just for a second, then very slowly just open your hands, trying to do this as slow as you can, up to around 6-8 seconds without completely stopping.
When the hand gripper is fully expanded, close it again following the same routine as above.
Really focusing on the eccentric portion of the close, this will greatly improve your support grip strength and raw crushing power.
Well worth spending a little time using this method at least once a week. Inverted reps are really simple to perform.
This will mainly improve the strength of your index and middle finger, much more than you would doing regular closes.
When performing a regular hand gripper close, you use your pinky and ring finger much more than the index and middle. The inverted repetitions allow you to focus more on these.
This is purely down to the design of the hand grippers which is exactly why we recommend this movement.
Some people actually find training inverted easier, this is down to the shape and size of your hands.
To perform this close you want to position the hand gripper spring facing down. They are really simple to perform. It may feel uncomfortable at first if you haven't done them before, but just work the gripper around finding a position that works best for you.
The major key to being successful in any sport is recovery. Helping you to prevent injuries and repair muscle breakdown quicker. If you’re not already incorporating some kind of recovery into your routine, now is the perfect time to start.
Fortunately for you, we’ve created some really handy training accessories that make the recovery easy.
Finger Strength Exercises
A real favorite among the grip community, the finger strength bands are now becoming more and more popular due to the excellent results. If you feel your forearm whilst opening out your fingers you can feel the muscles engaging.
Helping to promote recovery, increase blood flow and strengthen tendons, adding resistance to this motion is a great way to help improve performance.
Using these on a regular basis will help blood circulation. This will help restore muscle function as well as improving finger strength and flexibility.
Available in a variety of resistances, from 30lb to 80lb, the lower resistances are perfect for using on recovery days. Helping to replicate the crushing motion, promoting blood flow and flexion of the forearm.
Quite simply keep it on your desk at work and crush it throughout the day, keeping your hands moving. You can even use the higher resistance rings on your training days for an additional workout.
Getting a strong grip is just one of the benefits you’ll get from using hand grippers. Let’s look into what else you can expect from training with grippers.
You CAN improve forearm musculature by just training with grippers.
However it probably won’t grant you the sort of results you’re thinking of getting.
Using grippers consistently will increase muscle definition and size, you will want to keep the rep range higher than normal, up to and around 10+.
Aim to get 3 sessions in a week with a lower amount of sets but higher reps with a mid / low range gripper.
This will get the muscles of the forearms moving and blood pumping.
If you’re new to grip training, you’ll see results very quickly!