How often do you give up on a workout because you don’t have a strong grip?
If your answer is “too often,” then I have good news for you: it doesn’t have to be this way!
Grip strength can be improved just like muscle gain or distance running. With proper training and regular exercise over time, your grip can strengthen and completely change your workouts.
And even if you aren’t interested in grip strength training to improve your workouts, you may still be interested in improving things in your everyday life, such as your handshake, or your overall health.
Studies show that exercising your grip is just as important to your fitness as exercising other parts of your body.
According to Maria Cole, a physical therapist with the Spaulding Outpatient Center,
“Weak grip strength can limit your enjoyment of many life pleasures, so you need to ensure your hand and grip strength always are up to the task.”
If you’re dedicated to strengthening your grip, it is important that you learn the differences in hand grip types so you know which kind of grip will benefit you more.
Hand Grip Types
There are several different types of hand grips including pinch grip, crush grip, and support grip.
The type of grip training you do depends on what you are trying to accomplish and what grip you are trying to strengthen.
For instance, martial artists would probably focus on the support grip, as compared to rock climbers, who would focus on the pinch grip.
Learn the differences of each kind of grip to know which one you will need to focus on.
No matter what way you look at it, improving your grip is an essential part of your overall health and fitness. Now that you know that, it’s time to get to work! 
7 Grip Training Exercises
There are 7 different grip training exercises you can do to strengthen your grip including using hand exercise tools, plate curls, plate pinch holds, deadlift holds with a barbell, farmer’s walks, dumbbell head grabs, and towel chin-ups.
Each exercise focuses on a different grip. When you add all of these together, you will increase your overall grip strength.
Some of these grip strengthening exercises can also double as wrist strengthening exercises, so you can target two birds with one stone with them.
You can also choose to focus on exercises that target the specific grip you want to strengthen for your own purposes. 
1. Hand Exercise Tools
These tools are great for quick hand strengthening exercises.
The Hand Gripper is great for strengthening your crush grip, while the Digi-Flex Finger Exercise System works on your pinch grip. The Digi-Extend, on the other hand, works on your support grip while helping to strengthen your whole hand with the rubber band.
To complete these exercises, all you need to do is pick up each tool and complete the desired number of reps. They are super easy to use and can be done while doing other activities, like watching TV.
2. Plate Curls
To perform a plate curl just grip a plate, palm up, with your thumb and fingers. Your wrist should lift and leave a gap between the plate and your palm.
Bending at the elbow, lift the plate up, hold it for a moment, and then lower it back down.
Start practicing plate curls by using smaller and lighter plates, and then slowly upgrading to heavier plates as your grip strength improves.
Repeat this exercise 5-10 times with each hand.
3. Plate Pinch Hold
Increase your support grip and the length of time you can hold heavy things using plate pinch holds.
To do so, place a 10-pound plate on the ground or on a box or seat.
Lower your body to pinch the plate with your fingers. Do not wrap your thumb around the plate. You should be holding onto the plate with your fingertips.
Stand straight up, holding the plate by your side. Lift the plate up so your arm is parallel with your shoulders and hold this position for 5-10 seconds before lowering the plate back down.
Repeat for 5-10 reps and with your other hand.
4. Deadlift Holds with a Barbell
Squat and grip the barbell with both hands with your wrists up in an underhand grip, just outside of your legs.
Looking up, lift the barbell until you are standing straight up and hold it for as long as you can. This exercise targets your support grip.
Note that the key to using deadlifts to improve grip strength is to not use mixed or alternate grips because it turns into a strength exercise if you do.
5. Farmer’s Walks
To complete a farmer’s walk, use dumbbells, kettlebells, or plates with towels fed through the holes to create loops.
Squat, then grip the dumbbell, kettlebells, or plates palms down with an overhand grip, and stand up straight.
While holding the dumbbell, kettlebells or plates off the ground with your arms lowered, walk 25-50 yards and repeat for 8 sets.
This exercise builds muscle and increases the weight that you can grip and the amount of time that you can grip it.
6. Dumbbell Head Grab
Mimic opening the lid of a jar by grabbing a dumbbell head about the size of your hand with your fingertips. Do not lay your palm on the dumbbell head.
While still holding the dumbbell head this way, lift it up and hold it in the air for at least 30 seconds. Repeat the desired number of reps to increase your pinch grip.
Be careful not to choose a dumbbell head that is too wide because if you do, you run the risk of straining your thumb.
7. Towel Chin-Ups
A towel chin-up is performed much like a normal chin-up, except that you are using a towel to pull yourself up.
To do this, throw a towel over a pull-up bar, do not tie any knots in the towel, and pull yourself up by pulling on either side of the towel.
Do as many chin-ups as you can to strengthen your grip. This exercise not only improves your grip but also works your forearms as well.
Tips for Improving Grip Strength
There are several things you can do to with every exercise you execute, even if it does not target grip, to make it even more effective in increasing your grip strength. It’s like working on your grip without having to learn brand new exercises!
If you want to see even more progress with your grip strength, you can challenge yourself by increasing the difficulty level of all of your workouts that involve your hands.
Follow these tips on your next trip to the gym so you can start seeing results faster.
Straps make it easier to lift heavy weights by taking some of the load off of your grip instead of actually working your grip muscles to strengthen them.
Instead of using straps, use a lower weight until you can hold it up on your own and work your way up to using a heavier weight.
FAQs on Grip Strength Exercises
Studies have also shown that hand grip strength can be a good indicator of the quality of life in old age.
If you use your grip every day, don’t you want to keep it in good shape?
Grip Training Guidelines
When you are ready to start grip training, it is important to follow a few simple rules to prevent injury. Injuring your hands can be show stopper and if you have never worked on grip strengthening before, you may be more likely to get injured. The key is to go slow and steady with your grip exercises. 
What We Learned On Improving Your Grip Strength
Improving your grip strength is as simple as regularly performing hand grip exercises and adding a new technique to exercises that don’t target grip.
By targeting all three types of grips in different ways, your overall grip strength will begin to improve and so will your performance in various other exercises and workouts, as well in your everyday life.
“Hand grip strength is increasingly seen as an appropriate indicator of physical wellbeing and social, psychic and somatic health. There is no doubt that hand grip strength is, first of all, a strong indicator of muscle strength and muscle mass"
Strengthen and maintain your grip by doing these simple exercises starting today. Stop letting your progress plateau because of your weak grip and start impressing people with your strong handshake and jar opening abilities!
1. Christina Musalek & Sylvia Kirchengast, Grip Strength as an Indicator of Health-Related Quality of Life in Old Age—A Pilot Study, retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5750866/
2. Richard K Shields, Ken C Leo, Andrew J Messaros, Virend K Somers, Effects of Repetitive Handgrip Training on Endurance, Specificity, and Cross–Education, retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/ptj/article/79/5/467/2837059
3. Gazzetta Medica Italiana, Does the usage of gymnastics chalk have a positive impact on hand grip strength?, retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327500102_Does_the_usage_of_gymnastics_chalk_have_a_positive_impact_on_hand_grip_strength
4. Cummings PM, Waldman HS, Krings BM, Smith JW, McAllister MJ., Effects of Fat Grip Training on Muscular Strength and Driving Performance in Division I Male Golfers., retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28195977
5. Gregory, Tessa, Get a Grip: Stronger handgrip may be linked to healthier heart function and structure, retrieved from http://researchnews.plos.org/2018/03/14/get-a-grip-stronger-handgrip-may-be-linked-to-healthier-heart-function-and-structure/
6. Heart.Org, Preventing Injury During Your Workout, retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/preventing-injury-during-your-workout