For many people, forearm, wrist, and grip strength are the weak link in the overall fitness “chain”. You may have a hard time bench pressing, doing push-ups, curling barbells, or doing a wide range of exercises due to weak wrists and poor grip. Here are a few of the best exercises to improve grip strength:
Pull-up Bar Hang
It’s as simple as it sounds: grab a pull-up bar and just hang there for as long as you can. Hold the bar just beyond shoulder width apart, and hang there. Your goal should be to hang for up to 1 minute, and repeat that three times. Don’t worry if you can’t hack it right away–just work up to it in increments of 5 and 10 seconds at a time.
If you’ve got the regular hang down, you’ll want to do this one to develop forearm grip strength even further. Loop a towel over the pull-up bars, and grip it with one hand while holding the bar with the other. The arm holding the bar will do most of the work, but you’ll have the other hand for support. Do two 1-minute sets, one with each hand. This will focus on your grip strength one hand at a time!
Both of these exercises are amazing for your forearms and your grip strength! They may be primarily for your back and biceps, but the fact that you’re gripping the bar means that your forearms get a solid workout as well. After a few sets of this workout, your forearms will be screaming!
Once you’ve developed some serious grip strength, it’s time to test it out with this bad boy. Hang from the pull-up bar will just one hand, and hold for as long as you can. You’ll find that your forearms will burn in no time, so keep working toward that 1-minute-per-arm hang.
This is like a pull-up, but it’s a bit easier on your hands. Most of your body weight is supported by the floor, so it won’t rip your grip as hard. But it’s still a pretty awesome core, back, and forearm exercise! Grab a low bar with a pull-up grip and pull your chest up to the bar. Keep that core tight and your legs straight as you perform the movement.
This is another back workout, but it will hit your biceps and forearms–helping you to develop serious arm strength. Loop two towels over the pull-up bar, and grip those towels. Now do chin-ups as you would normally, but feel the burn in your forearms and biceps. It’s much harder to grip the towels than a solid bar, so it will ensure that your forearms feel the burn.
This is a biceps movement, but it will help to strengthen your forearms as well. Your forearms will be engaged to keep your wrists tight as you lift the weight, and the effort to stop it from slipping during each rep will shred your forearms. Grip a dumbbell in each hand, but don’t turn your wrists when you curl them to your shoulders. Keep your wrists in their normal position, and you’ll feel the burn in your forearms.
While many experts will tell you that this exercise is a waste of time, it’s a good one-off to throw in at the end of your workout. Grip a barbell with an underhanded grip, and rest your forearms on a bench. With the barbell hanging off the other side of the bench, curl the weight as high as you can.