Grip strength makes or breaks your workout progress. Regardless of how strong your biceps, deltoids or pectorals are, if your grip cannot handle the weight load, your muscles will not be challenged to make improvements. Fortunately, the muscles of your grip respond the same way as your others muscles when confronted with resistance- they improve. So, protect your hands with a pair of quality weight lifting gloves, then dedicate a day or two a week to the following 5 grip strength exercises for beginners:
1- Barbell Wrist Curl- Sit on a flat bench or in a chair. Hold onto a barbell with your palms facing up and your hands positioned a shoulders-distance apart. Rest your forearms on your upper legs and extend your hands beyond your knees. Extend your wrists and point your fingers toward the floor as you let the barbell roll toward your fingertips. Then, flex your wrists and raise the bar as high as possible while keeping your forearms in contact with your legs. Complete 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
2- Squeeze Ball- A squeeze ball is often used to recover from hand injuries, but you can use this inexpensive tool to enhance grip strength. Place a therapy ball, small rubber ball or tennis ball in your palm. Wrap your fingers around the ball and squeeze as hard as possible. The ball may also be squeezed between fingers to improve finger strength.
3- Farmer’s Walk- Hold onto a weight plate in each hand by pinching the edge between your fingers. Face your palms toward your legs. Walk forward 30 to 100 feet. Set down the weights for 60 seconds. Pick up the weights and walk to the start.
4- Reverse Curls- Stand tall and hold onto a barbell with your palms facing you, your arms along your torso and your hands approximately shoulder-distance apart. Tuck your elbows into your sides. Bend your elbows and raise the barbell as high as possible. Straighten your arms and release. Complete 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
5- Fingertip Push-Ups- Perform push-ups on your fingertips to enhance grip strength. Place your hands on the floor slightly wider than your shoulders. Keep your hips low, straighten your legs and rest your toes on the floor. Tighten your core to keep your spine straight. Support your weight on your fingertips by raising your palms off the floor. Bend your elbows and lower your body toward the floor. Straighten your arms and return to the starting position. Complete as many repetitions as possible. Rest and repeat.