I have trained crushing grip, support grip and pinch grip tremendously over the years. I have some pretty impressive numbers and can blow many trained weight lifters away with grip power. I do find there are some issues still as I don't have too big hands. While my hands are strong, it still feels tough gripping the hands with a lesser trained, say, guy who has much bigger hands.

Even if said guy has weaker overall gripping muscles/crush, it seems harder to exert all of my gripping power against big hands, which in turn makes my grip less impressive if I do a power handshake with a lot of guys who have much larger hands. I can blow all of them away in grip, but the simple fact that their hands are bigger makes it tougher to illustrate grip because it's like trying to grip a fat bar to deadlift the same weight you would with a regular sized bar, as an example.

This is disconcerting and I was wondering if there is any way to get around this besides training grip even more to offset the size difference. I know the size alone affects this since someone with weaker big much bigger hands feels very tough to squeeze and show power, but someone with very powerful but small hands feel much more the opposite. I got joked at because I couldn't put this really tall guy's hand down because I can grip a 250 + lb. dumbbell and he couldn't he do half that weight, nor did he even seriously train. I am stronger, but it's not always obvious. Tips?

Example: 7 inch hand vs. 8+ inch hands, some of which are thicker. Interestingly, I have really powerful hands but they are not very thick at all. I can close a 250 lb. gripper but hands 4 inch wide.

2 Answers 2


There are two main points - what is effective, and what it means small - in terms of hands.

For first - for arm wrestling big hands are asset. In other places - not so sure. Let me state it differently. Short people are better in bench press - so if you consider only this one exercise - being small is good. Question is if that is true in other areas as well.

For small hands. I saw your examples. I've visited some forums of arm wrestling, with same question. Google is quite handy with it. What I saw is that referring to particular person hand's size different views ware presented. That is normal that person with small hands, talks about favorite champion would like to see something in common with him. But I think it is something else. Reading "normal hands as for arm wrestler" made me even more believer that it is an asset.

I'm not arm wrestler. I just have small hands, and see part of your problems. For big handed person typical strategy is to use whale hand to squash. What you can do is to use only fingers. I've heard that famous violin players ware able to squash porcelain cups - in two fingers. Try to do that with an egg. Using it against opponent's bones can be quite effective. For them, and also for guitar players, point is that normally left hand is trained to squeeze. Which is not considered right when shaking hands. Arm wrestlers use both hands, but I'm not sure if that works for them. I would bet that rotator cuff, biceps, are more important here.

For me, bigger problem is that thick bar is hard to catch, and hold. At the end I have to hold stuff only with fingers. However, I prefer to look on things like that as an asset, by thinking what I can do, and others can't. Gym is only part of our life. Who really cares if I can squat 200kg / 440lb, when I can't catch the bus?

Hope this time I've explained my point of view, and that would not be considered as offensive. And as always I hope it help.

  • 1
    "Answering to the question from the topic - no. I have small hands, but never realized that what you described is a problem." - This is not an answer. It's anecdotal at best. Answer the whole question instead of the title which is over-simplified due to space.
    – Alec
    Commented Dec 30, 2017 at 16:23
  • I think I did. He titled, and described. I've answered, on both questions. Effectiveness depends on the definition. For me - that is not a problem, since I'm looking on it from different perspective. I'm not arm wrestler, perhaps because I have small hands. All I learn is that instead of gripping, I'm using fingers to "attack" bones of opponent's hand... Commented Dec 30, 2017 at 20:36
  • What @Alec said is true though. This is anecdotal and not an answer. You only said "No its not a problem because I personally never have this problem". This website is not setup for answers like this.
    – MJB
    Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 11:29
  • Well, I wrote that for me that is not a problem. Which not mean that it is not a problem in general. Please do not put that into quotes, a specially if you refer to that as mine words. I'll remove the answer, just keep this answer for a while. Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 12:06

Larger hands will naturally produce stronger forearms. Because many muscles in the forearms are connected to the hands and fingers, larger hands will inevitably lend themselves to larger forearms, and a larger muscle will almost always be a stronger muscle.

Genetics are just a luck of the draw, but luckily they aren't the only thing that determines our physiques/strength levels. With training and working hard to be consistent with that training you can often times outperform someone who is gifted, but not dedicated.


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