If you have a weak grip, that means that you have weak forearm muscles. Your fingers determine how strong your grip would be, and believe it or not, your fingers are controlled by your forearm muscles. When you open your hands (or extend your fingers), the extensor muscles on the top of your forearms are activated. When you close your hands (or flex your fingers), the flexor muscles on the bottom of your forearms are activated.
Your thumb is controlled by EIGHT muscles in both the forearms and the hands! Wow! You could see why this little body part is so strong and crucial to your grip!
The forearms are one of the least (well, in my opinion anyway) trained body parts. Yes, you could be very muscular and very strong and STILL have a weak grip. On the flip side, you could be overall skinny and weak but have a powerful grip!
Now, you may be thinking, "How in the world could you be strong overall with muscles everywhere and still have a weak grip?" Well, the main job of your forearms is to grab. In fact, you could consider the forearm muscles finger muscles, because in essence, that's what they are. Their job is to extend the fingers and flex them -- that is, open the hand and close the hand. The forearms also makes the hand go up, down, and side to side.
When you're doing exercises such as pull-ups, bicep curls, and push-ups, your forearms act like stabilizers. They ASSIST the primary muscle group, and since they act as assistants, they don't work very hard. For instance, when you do a bicep curl, the primary muscle that's working is the bicep brachii group. The forearms, however, just assist by helping you grip the weight so you could curl it. The forearm is not working very hard in doing bicep curls, but you could further take the pressure off the forearms by relaxing your grip on the bar. Even if the bar is heavy, you don't need to grip it too hard. Your biceps are doing most of the work.
So, you could have very strong and bulging biceps without having an iron grip.
If you're doing bench presses, the primary muscle group is the pectoral muscles. The forearms simply assist by gripping the bar and keeping it steady. But you could take a lot of pressure off your forearms by loosening your grip on the bar. Even if the weight is heavy, all your forearms need to do is to hold the bar steady. You don't even need to wrap your fingers around the bar: you could simply let the bar rest in your hands.
So, you could have bulging pecs like a gorilla but have a grip like a typical person.
In order to have a powerful grip, you need to focus on exercising your forearms. You exercise your forearms by using your fingers.
So, instead of resting the dumbbell in your hand when doing a bicep curl, have the dumbbell resting in your fingers.
Instead of grabbing a pull-up bar with your entire hands, try lifting yourself up with just your fingers.
Instead of doing push-ups with your entire hands on the floor, try doing "finger push-ups" where you're using only your fingers to hold yourself up. These are tough!
Now, outside of the gym, here are some things to do in your everyday life to strengthen your grip.
- Carry your grocery bags with your fingers, not with your entire hand.
- Lift heavy objects with your fingers.
- Squeeze your hands a little harder during hand shakes. If the other person sincerely says Ouch, then your grip is getting stronger!
- Practice thumb wrestling with someone. Yes, seriously!
- Turn the key in the car ignition using just your index finger and thumb. For that matter, unlock anything with a key by just using your index finger and thumb.
- Push a heavy shopping cart with your fingers. Close your four fingers and your thumb as if making a duck bill. You're going to grab the shopping cart handle bar like this and push.
- Do wall push-ups with just your fingers.
- Use a punching bag. You need to close your fist tightly when punching something.
Any chance you have to lift something, use just your fingers and thumbs as much as possible.
See, when you use your entire hands, then the forearms don't work that hard. When using your entire hand, the hand is like a resting pad. Your fingers would assist your hands by keeping the objects in the hand stable. However, when using just your fingers, then your fingers become both the resting pad and the stabilizer.
It's easy to use your hands for everything. But keep in mind that you may get a deep cut in your hand or some other kind of injury. If your fingers are strong, then you could still function with one hand injured.
Say good bye to buttery fingers. Say hello to gorilla-strength hands!