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I have grip issues... I know sounds interesting.

Anyway, I need to improve my ability to hold on to something longer than just a few minutes without hurting myself. I'm going to undertake a long obstacle course and I don't want to whip out a few miles in because I don't have sufficient strength or grip. I'm building my strength, I just need help on my grip.

What can I do?

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How are you building your strength? –  Dave Liepmann Feb 10 at 19:28
    
Focus:T25 DVD's. –  Justin Feb 10 at 21:14

3 Answers 3

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There's two main types of grip: pinch grip and crushing grip. The exercises you use are different depending on what you need to develop. It will also help to know what you need to carry and for how long. That will determine if the problem is really technique related or strength related. There's a decent article with 7 grip exercises to get you started.

Developing Pinch Grip

  • Dumbbell pinches
  • Plate pinches
  • Rice grabs

Developing Crushing Grip

  • Deadlifts (I threw this in)
  • Thick grip dumbbell holds
  • Free hang holds
  • Wrist roller
  • Farmer's walks

How you program your grip strength can really depend on the improvements you need. In general, I would pick three of each of these exercises and do them once a week. Try to beat time, or increase weight with the same time. Again, it really depends on the load you have to carry and how long you have to carry it. I'd taper off the grip training at least 2-3 weeks before your obstacle course. You may do it 6 weeks out and work on carry technique for 3 weeks. You want your forearms pretty rested and ready to go when you finally race. Last thing is that you may reach a point where your grip seems to be getting weaker. If that's the case, skip grip training one week and see how that goes.

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If it's just your grip strength (forearms giving out), you could always try to incorporate some forearm exercises into the end of your routine. I always try to do some Farmer Walks (with heavyish dumbbells) and some bending the back wrist curls. I sometimes try to reverse the motion of the curls and do it over a bench instead.

If it's your fingers (hands) giving out on you, you might want to invest in a gripmaster/grip exerciser. They are typically used for guitar players, but I've had pretty good luck with them in the past. They usually run about $10 at most. Hope this helps!

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Don't listen to the idiocy of the weight lifters around here who buy 8 dollar supplements thinking it helps them. It's pretty simple to build wrist strength (wrist is where we get grip power). Knuckle push ups are amazing to build your wrist, knuckles, and forearm strength. Boxers and Martial arts do this exercise to build muscles in order to punch harder and make your hands use to such an unusual position. Also, hitting a punching bag will grow your wrist strength a lot but you will hurt for about 2 weeks after. Get through the hurt by doing normal pushups (like 60 a day). All in all, I would say do knuckle pushups.

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