A strong grip is one of the most important aspects that many athletes and bodybuilders should develop when doing their training. Your grip strength can help you carry out various routines, whether a simple push-up or heavy weight lifting.

But in most cases, hand grip exercise is overlooked. Recent surveys show that many athletes and bodybuilders take this exercise for granted and instead, focus more on their major muscles when doing their workouts. And though exercise chalk such as Liquid Grip can make it more convenient to execute arm workouts, most of them still disregard this aspect in their strength development.

Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Joe Connolly along with Justin Markley, and Michael Pimentel talk about this issue and stress the importance of including hand grip exercises in your routine:

Get a Grip

Grip strength is one of the most underrated and neglected aspects of training football players. Most people don’t even think about its importance until it changes the course of a game.

There’s no better example of this than the last play of the first half in the 2012 Capital One Bowl between the University of South Carolina and the University of Nebraska. With seven seconds remaining and the Gamecocks down 13-9, South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw took the snap, pump-faked, and launched the ball toward the goal line where three of his receivers were flanked by four Nebraska defensive backs. Each player in the pack leapt for the ball, but wide receiver Alshon Jeffery came down with it, turned, and dove into the end zone to give South Carolina the lead as time expired.

Many praised Shaw’s scrambling and the timing of Jeffery’s jump, but very few noticed the impact grip strength had on the play, starting with Shaw’s pump fake. The success of this movement relies on the quarterback’s ability to make it look like the ball is going to be thrown, so he needs to apply the same force as if it is going to be released. Without a firm grip, this can result in a fumble. Read more…

Now that we’ve established that hand grip exercise is important, let us go over the basics of grip strength training. By learning the fundamentals, you can understand how the muscles in our arms work, increasing your knowledge in your training. Jedd Johnson simplified everything about what you need to know about grip strength:

A Grip Like a Vice: Grip Strength Training Tips

In this day and age, we all know (or should know) how important it is to maintain a healthy level of physical fitness in order to live a good quality life, maintain our cardiovascular system, and keep our bodies strong in order to thrive into our later years. For many of us, this means getting into the gym in order to do resistance training — one of the best forms of exercise that is available to us. For those looking to get back into the gym in order to maximize your health, strength, and vigor, one thing to take into consideration that is often forgotten or completely ignored is grip strength. “Grip strength? What does that have to do with anything?” you might ask. It may not make sense to you right off the bat to take time to train the hands and lower arms while at the gym. I know when I first learned about it, it seemed like a complete waste of time to spend valuable training time on less than 5% of your body, but the truth of the matter is having a strong grip pays many dividends both in your training and elsewhere. Read more…

During the course of your workout routine, you will discover that there are different types of grip. Although in general, these different grips use the same group of muscles but have different application methods, depending on the activity. Sharing some of the basic grip exercises, personal trainer Melody Schoenfeld has it covered:

The 3 Types of Grip and the 8 Ways to Train Them

Grip training is quite possibly the most underevaluated area of training out there. And that’s a shame, because honestly, when do you not need at least some modicum of grip strength? If you deadlift or do pull ups; if you pitch a baseball, swing a racket, or play Ultimate Frisbee; if you carry a briefcase or groceries; if you open jars and bottles, or play the guitar – heck, even if you want a handshake that doesn’t feel like overcooked spaghetti, having a decent grip comes in handy.

Although very few studies have been done on the subject of grip strength in relation to upper body strength and endurance, those that exist seem to indicate what I have suspected for a long time from my own training – having a strong grip means having a strong and resilient upper body.1,2 Let’s face it – having a double-bodyweight deadlift is a whole different animal when you can do it using a snatch grip without wraps. In addition, a huge host of muscles are involved in the act of gripping: four flexors (digitorum profundus, digitorum superficialis, digiti minimi brevis, pollicis longus), one extensor (digitorum), and three intrinsic muscles (lumbricals, interossei, adductor pollicis).  Strengthening these can help prevent many common injuries to the hand and forearm (those of you in contact sports of any kind know how much this can affect your game), and can help any injuries that do occur to heal much faster. Read more…

A 2011 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that hand-grip strength is a good predictor of total-body muscular strength and endurance. That is why, it is essential to include grip exercises your routine. If an athlete lacks grip strength, it could lead to poor performance, or injury down the road.