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Old September 13, 2010, 12:17 PM   #1
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Best Way To Strengthen Grip?

I've seen a few posts here and else where about people with weak hands. I've also seen several where people comment about their significant other being unable to rack the slide on an automatic. So, I thought it might be helpful for all of those people if we had one place to look for information on strengthening your grip.

I've seen devices like the "Gripmaster" that lets you excercise each individual finger. However, I have never used one. Does anybody else around here have experience with one?

For me the easiest way to increase grip strength was to use a raquet ball. Put a raquet ball on the bathroom sink. Every time you go to the bathroom hold it in one hand and squeeze fifteen or twenty times. Alternate on each trip. If time permits you can get excercise in with each hand.

Feel free to add your advice and help others get their hands, and arms, in shape for some serious fun.
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Old September 13, 2010, 02:06 PM   #2
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My hand surgeon warned me away from anything to strengthen my grip. I had surgery for trigger finger this past March on all four fingers of my left hand. My strengthening exercise is extend my fingers, the opposite of squeezing a ball.

Some people may have an underlying condition that grip strengthening exercises may actually make worse.

Remember, if it hurts, stop doing it!
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Old September 13, 2010, 02:11 PM   #3
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Become a politician and do handshakes with everyone, all day long??

Ok, seriously, I use a soft foam ball and slowly squeeze it, then hold it for quite awhile.
Repeat until boredom sets in.
it helps, fur sure.
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Old September 13, 2010, 03:27 PM   #4
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If you are really serious, this is the ne plus ultra of grip strength training - Iron Mind
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Old September 13, 2010, 03:30 PM   #5
grey sky
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Gripmaster was available in music stores for years before it was touted for gun grip. It was for playing guitar strong fingers make better chords. Cool crossover exercise I do use an adjustable tension hand squeezeing devise I found in a parking lot. I like it cause I can reduce the tension and increase it over time dosn't take long like a couple of weeks every other day to get to full pressure.
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Old September 13, 2010, 04:05 PM   #6
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If you lift weights, a simple way to incorporate grip work is to use a thick bar or to wrap something around the bar to increase the diameter, such as a towel. There are also grip wraps / sleeves designed for this purpose that snap onto the bar. Shrugs will work your grip directly.

Plate pinches ( like this - ) work the muscles that are used to rack a slide.

For someone with a weak grip, or a recuperating hand, there's a product known as Theraputty that comes in various grades offering greater or lesser resistance to deformation. You can use this for squeezing and pulling exercises.

Another option is a quality hand gripper like those offered by CoC - or the Ivanko Super Gripper.

And remember, forearm and wrist strength contribute to grip strength - it's not just your hand muscles. So any grip training should incorporate these muscles as well.

Lastly be careful and go slow. The muscles and tendons that contribute to your grip don't seem to give you the feedback that larger muscles do, so it's easy to overwork your hands and hurt yourself. I've done this myself and didn't see it coming because my hands didn't feel overworked.
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Old September 13, 2010, 04:13 PM   #7
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Become a roofer and just use a hammer not a nail gun.

Or just do the same motion with weights.
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Old September 13, 2010, 09:58 PM   #8
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Ive used the gripmaster and most other grip excercisers extensively over the years. They are very prolific in the climbing industry.

THE thing about them is buying the correct weight. They make 3 or 4 weights of the gripmaster. You should buy the one that you can squeeze repeatedly for a long time! If you get the one where your really struggling to collapse it thats when youll be getting injurys! Its hard to stress this enough.

So go with the softest or the step up from softest.

Or take Buzzs advice, go swing a hammer for a living.
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Old September 13, 2010, 11:11 PM   #9
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I have one those older grip devices that you can change the springs on, as you build strength you can increase the resistance.
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Old September 13, 2010, 11:35 PM   #10
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The reason the significant others "can't" rack a slide usually has very little to do with strength. It's all about technique. See for a technique that works well for people new to firearms.

I tried using a GripMaster, by the way, but made the very bad mistake of getting the super heavy duty model first. You need to start slow and with the lightest model to get full benefit from using it. Mostly I just frustrated myself until I got the right tension for my hand. Even so... After almost a year of using it very faithfully (moving up from the light one to heavier ones over time), I can say that ... well, I still have trouble with DA trigger pulls in high round count classes. I think it helped, but I did not get the dramatic improvement I was hoping for.

Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat

Last edited by pax; September 13, 2010 at 11:44 PM.
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grip , hands , strength

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