Building grip strength and wrist mobility takes time and dedication. For those struggling with exercises like deadlifts, barbell rows, or pull-ups, a weak grip or poor wrist mobility can be quite detrimental to progress. Fortunately, with some dedicated time and consistent effort, improving these things can pave the way to improved strength and continued muscle gains.
The inability to work a muscle group because of poor grip strength is aggravating. Below are some useful stretches, exercises, and tips to improve wrist mobility and increase hand strength, making everything from opening pickle jars to performing heavy deadlifts much easier.
Rubber Band Extensions
Grab a couple of rubber bands, and wrap them around your thumb and fingers, near the bottom of your fingernails. Perform extensions with your hand by bringing your fingers and thumb together and then flaring them outwards to stretch the rubber band.
While this exercise requires obtaining grippers, this equipment lasts for years. It is necessary to purchase a pair of closing grippers to perform this movement, but it can be done anywhere – at home, work, or the gym. To perform the exercise, simply grip the tool with your fingers and thumb and try to close it by bringing the handles together. Simple, yet highly effective for improving grip, wrist, and hand strength and mobility.
To perform this exercise, grab a pair of metal plates and sandwich them together with the smooth side facing outward. Pick them up with either both hands (for heavier plates) or one hand (for lighter plates). Pinch them together hard and hold the position for intervals of 30 seconds.
This may sound like an easy exercise, but it can build some serious grip strength. Grab a pair of heavy dumbbells, pick them up, and walk around. If there’s no space to walk around, simply hold the dumbbells stationary. Perform this in 30-second intervals. Try to increase the hold time of each successive interval.
Barbell levering is not a beginner exercise, and it should be approached with caution. An unrivaled exercise for wrist mobility, barbell levering not only improves the wrists, but the grip as well. Using a light barbell of around 15 pounds (don’t try this with a standard one), grip the bar and raise it to parallel. Allow it to hang at parallel, and begin rotating the wrist forward and backward. The front end of the bar should move down toward the floor and then up away from it. For a lighter object, a PVC pipe works well, or even a broom if performing the exercise at home.
Stretching the hands not only improves mobility, it’s a great warmup for performing any of the above exercises. Below are two highly effective hand stretches that can be performed just about anywhere with a hard, flat surface.
Fingers back with palms down: Stand facing a desk or hard, flat surface and rotate the elbows to face the torso. Fingers should face the body and the palms should face away. Push the palms down until they touch the flat surface. If this is too difficult, push them as far as possible and work towards getting the palms to a flat position.
Fingers back with palms lifted: Stand facing a hard surface, and rotate the elbows until the fingers face the torso. Place the fingers on the surface of the desk or table, and drop the elbows slightly to get a good stretch in the fingers and first knuckle.
For those who would like to achieve improved overall strength and mobility, visit Titanz Fitness in Smyrna! Share your goals with one of our trainers who can outline a nutrition and fitness plan that can help you reach those goals fast! Contact us today to speak with a fitness expert at our Smyrna fitness center.