Being a student, I'm not exactly rich. I can't currently afford a gym membership or to buy training equipment. Luckily, my roommate has been kind enough to let me borrow his equipment. So far, I've been able to get by with the dumbbells and barbells he lent me.

Recently, I realized I have not trained my grip strength in a long, long time. Unfortunately, the only grippers he owns are far too difficult for me.

Here's the equipment I have at my disposition:

  • One weight training bench
  • Several weight disks (2.5 lb, 5 lb, and 10 lb)
  • Two barbell bars
  • Two dumbbell bars
  • Two 15 lb dumbbells

With that gear, is there any exercise that I could do to improve my hands' grip strength?

  • Just out of interest, what makes you think you need to train your grip? There are different types of grip strength, so the answer can vary depending on what you actually want
    – Dark Hippo
    May 3, 2016 at 11:13

7 Answers 7


Take a dumbell bar and tie one end of a length of rope to it. Tie the other end to one of your weight disks. Hold the dumbell bar out in front of you, one end in each hand, and rotate it so the rope wraps around the bar. The weight should rise with the rope creating resistance. Twist the bar one way until the weight touches it, then reverse the direction all the way down and back up again. Repeat until your forearms burn like fire.


If there's a place to do pull-ups, that would be better than nearly anything with those light weights.

If you can do a few chin-ups, wrap a towel around the bar to make it thicker. Or, hang a sturdy towel over the bar and grip the towel directly. These are both well-known grip strength workouts that have the added benefit of working the rest of your body as well.


Instead of trying to do a special exercise just for grip strength, work it into whatever other exercises you do by squeezing the bar as hard as you can. Not only will this increase your grip strength, but it will help you create more body tension so that you can lift more and get more benefit from each workout.


You can improve grip strength by simply gripping the bars as tight as you can while working out. You can also get stress balls or tennis balls and practice squeezing them while you're doing cardiovascular exercises.


Find extra, extra large jars, e,g. big pickle jars. [go to a local deli...they might have empty one's that they get rid of].

Start light, fill with some water. Close lid. Grip lid evenly with all fingers. You can hold standing for a specific time, or walk around with them (preferred). As it gets easier, add more water.

You can do one hand at a time or both together, depending on how many jars you get.


The barbell wrist curl and/or dumbbell wrist curl can greatly improve your grip. Personally, I find the barbell wrist curl to be easier to execute correctly, but both will work.


Just as important as grip strength is wrist strength. In the real world, weights move and shift and flop around. You've got the equipment to do a great wrist exercise. Hold a weight plate (probably 10lb) with four fingers extended underneath and thumb on top. Sit down with elbow on knee, let the plate hang down to vertical, then flex your wrist to lift it to horizontal. Repeat etc. When that's too easy, duct tape the 5lb onto it, or buy bigger weights.

More at http://www.gripfaq.com/Wrist_Strength_Exercises/ and http://www.grapplearts.com/Grip-Strength-Training.php

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