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As question says, can I increase my grip strength and forearm size with only hand grippers as the only direct forearm exercise? I'm doing specific workouts for brachialis and brachioradialis, hammer curl/reverse curl. I don't do any deadlift or bent over rows because of some lower back issue by the way. but of course my other back exercises contribute to forearm strength.

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As a boulderer I often watch videos about grip strength and what I learnt is that there are different sorts of grip strength. Magnus Midtbø has a lot of videos where he challenges people to test their grip strength and often one can be stronger than someone else in one grip strength exercise but weaker in another, showing that there different aspects of grip strength.

It is said that there are five aspects of grip strength: Crush, support, pinch, extension, wrist strength. Grippers alone will not train all aspects. In the link above there are some exercises for grip training.

But the question is what your goal is. Usually training grip strength serves some other goal like being able to climb better or hang longer in L sit. Do you really need all five aspects of grip strength for "target" exercises? If not, then see what aspect you need most and train accordingly. For example, you could do the dead hang. Holding the bar should transfer to holding weights while doing hammer curl/reverse curl.

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  • Thanks. Does working my forearms on rest days intervene recovery from weight lifting?
    – vhd
    Mar 19 at 13:11
  • @vhd This would mean that you train your forearms on training days and rest days. Your muscles and tendons need to adapt to the load. At least at the level of training for bouldering one can easily get "overuse injuries" (as did friends of my and I was also almost there). I would rather train grip strength only at the end of the session since having exhausted hands will interfere with many other exercises. This way your hands and forearms will have rest days too. And dont go till failure (in the beginging)
    – LulY
    Mar 19 at 13:33

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