A few weeks ago, I was doing some hanging leg lifts. This is where you hang from a chin up bar with your arms straight and lift your legs up until your toes touch the ceiling.
I did a bunch of them and noticed that I was losing my grip.
My abs hadn’t reached full fatigue but I had to stop.
I thought to myself, “Dang! I never realized before how important grip strength is.” In order to perform hanging leg lifts or any calisthenic exercise from the bar you have to have a strong grip.
The muscles in your hand and forearm work in tandem to keep your body suspended in the air.
If you lose your grip faster than your other muscles fatigue (Like I did) you destroy your chances of using the bar as a strength tool.
That’s why I created the 4 Steps to Improving Your Grip Strength.
4 Steps To Improving Your Grip Strength
The first exercise that you’ll want to do is called Fingertip Squeezes. This exercise strengthens all the muscles on the inner part of the hand.
You can’t see it in the picture but I am in a plank position. My weight is suspended on my feet and my fingertips.
Once you have that position. Squeeze your finger tips together against the floor. These will be very small movements.
Do 10 reps.
The next exercise is a yielding isometric. My Isometrics Strength program that I’ll be launching soon goes into much more detail but essentially yielding isometrics are when you tighten against a force that is not immovable (like overcome isometrics).
For this exercise you’ll be griping your hands together and squeezing as tightly as you can for 10 full seconds. After you have finished one side flip the hands over as shown in the video below and do another set.
The third step in the routine is called Wrist Lifts. You’ll be in a doggy position.
Lift your wrists up as high as you can with the weight of your upper body directly over them.
The more weight you put over your wrists the harder the exercise.
Do 10 full reps.
The last step is called 2 Handed Hangs. Essentially, this is just hanging from a bar.
I use this as my “finisher” move because its fun and its a great move to try to max out.
If you can do 60 seconds of these than you’ll want to move on to the alternate variation below.
The 1 Handed Hang is the alternate variation to the 1 Handed Hang. Its much more difficult and requires you to grip the bar with even more force.
Once you can hold a 1 Handed Hang for 60 seconds on both sides consider your grip strength to be at a very proficient level.
I recommend following a schedule of 3-4 days per week. You can go through the above routine once, twice or three times if desired.
Here are some sample routines to follow:
Strengthening the muscles of your hands and forearms will happen by doing normal calisthenics such as handstands, front levers and pull ups.
However, your grip strength will improve faster by doing the above routine.