This blog is brought to you by guest blogger, fellow Prototyper, and Physical Therapist, Martha Theirl! Martha is a doctor of Physical Therapy and the owner of Q4 Physical Therapy
Trying to get a grip on your grip?
Here are 5 ways you can strengthen your arms and hands.
Boring? Only if you’re doing it wrong. Isometric (or static holds) help to build endurance and are an integral part of rehabilitation for tendons. Aim for 4×30-45s holds, but start at 5-15s and build up. You can squeeze a ball, hammer handle, counter top, or barbell! Submaximal but firm holding pressure here.
Work the Forearm Muscles
While there are a lot of muscles in the hand, many of the muscles that control the hand and wrist are up in the forearm and go all the way to the elbow. Think of tennis or golf elbow. All of the gripping in these sports uses muscles in the forearm.
I like to take an object, a hammer or mallet work well, and place your forearm on the table next to you. With a firm grip, turn the object in your hand (see the video!) trying to keep your elbow steady.
Another way to work the forearm muscles is to use a weight- a light dumbbell will work well!) to do some wrist flexion and extension curls. This works both grip endurance and forearm strength.
We always want the muscles we’re working on to be resilient both statically and dynamically. Using a chop is a great way to add in some dynamic motion. Kettlebell swings are also great for this!
On the Bar Work
If you’re doing gymnastics, weightlifting, or crossfit work, adding in some time hanging from a bar is a great way to build strength in the entire body, not just the wrist! Active holds, scapular pull ups, and beat swings are great for working your strength under body weight. In this video Mike and are discussing a scapular pull up for shoulder work, but it’s also great for grip work!
Working on your grip strength can help you feel more confident and strong. If you have questions, feel free to get in touch with me! As always, this article is meant to be educational content and not medical advice. Please consult your medical professional before starting an exercise program or for individualized guidance.