25 Best Grip Strengthening Exercises (With Workout Routines)

Do you struggle to hold on to heavy objects or feel weak when it comes to your grip? If that is the case, then you are in the right place. This guide will provide you with highly effective exercises for improving your grip strength.

Grip strength is an important part of strength training. Grip strength is important for activities like weightlifting and rock climbing, as well as everyday tasks like opening jars and carrying groceries.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the following topic:

  • What is Grip Strength
  • Different Types of Grip Strength
  • Factors Affecting Grip Strength
  • Weighted Grip Strengthening Exercises
  • Bodyweight Grip Strengthening Exercises

What is Grip Strength

Grip strength is the ability of the muscles in your hands and forearms to generate force and maintain a secure hold on objects. Poor grip strength can make it hard to hold on to weights, causing them to slip or fall and cause injuries.

A strong grip is essential for everyday tasks like lifting boxes, moving furniture, and cooking, as well as sports such as cricket, golf, tennis, and rugby.

It is also important for weightlifting and strength training. Weak grip strength can often be the limiting factor in exercises like bicep curls, pull-ups, and farmer’s walks.

The development of grip strength involves the coordinated effort of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints in your forearms and fingers, which collaborate to provide stability, control, and power.

Different Types of Grip Strength

When it comes to grasping objects in our hands, there are four primary gripping forms, each requiring distinct techniques and engaging different muscle groups.

1. Crushing Grip

This type of grip strength requires you to squeeze or close your hand forcefully, such as when gripping a dumbbell or shaking hands. It primarily engages the muscles of your fingers and palm.

2. Pinch Grip

Pinch grip refers to the ability to hold or pinch objects using your thumb and fingers, without the support of your palm. Examples include gripping a pen or holding a weight plate between your fingers.

3. Support Grip

The ability to hold onto an object for an extended period or to support one’s own weight. It is crucial for exercises like dead hangs, pull-ups, and hanging from a bar.

4. Extension Grip

It refers to the action of opening the fingers and thumb away from each other to create a wider hand span. This grip is commonly used when releasing objects or stretching the hand to reach and grab larger items.

5. Wrist Strength

While not specifically a grip strength, wrist strength works the synergistic muscles involved in grip and contributes to maintaining a healthy muscle balance in the hands and wrists.

Muscles Worked During Grip Strength Training

Grip strength encompasses more than just hand strength. It involves the muscles from the elbow down to the fingertips, including the forearm and hand muscles.

Here are the main muscles involved in gripping things:

  • Flexor digitorum profundus (FDP): Help to flex the four fingers.
  • Flexor pollicis longus (FPL): flex the thumb.
  • Extensor digitorum communis (EDC): Extend the four fingers.
  • Abductor pollicis longus (APL): Abduct the thumb.
  • Opponens pollicis (OP): Oppose the thumb.

In addition to these main muscles, there are a number of other muscles that contribute to grip strength. These include:

  • Pronator teres: Pronate the forearm
  • Supinator: helps to supinates
  • Wrist flexors: Flex the wrist,
  • Wrist extensors: Extend the wrist
Muscles Worked During Grip Strength

Factors Affecting Grip Strength

There are a lot of things that can affect grip strength. Understanding these factors will help you identify areas for improvement and optimize their grip strength training.

1. Muscular Strength

The strength and conditioning of the muscles in the hands, fingers, and forearms have a direct impact on grip strength. Using targeted exercises to build muscle mass and improve muscular endurance can enhance grip strength.

2. Neural Adaptation

Grip strength is not solely dependent on muscle strength but also on the neural connection between the brain and muscles. A good use of muscle fibers and better neuromuscular coordination can lead to stronger grip strength.

Regular practice and training can help the brain adapt better.

3. Wrist Mobility

For optimal grip strength, it is essential to have adequate mobility and flexibility in the hands and wrists. Having a full range of motion in these joints allows for better grip positioning and control.

Stretching exercises and mobility drills can improve hand and wrist mobility.

4. Hand Size and Structure

Hand size, finger length, and bone density are some of the anatomical differences that can affect grip strength. These things are mostly genetic and can’t be changed, but people can still improve their unique abilities by doing specific grip strength training.

5. Overuse and Recovery

The insufficient recovery time and overtraining of the hands and forearms can hinder the enhancement of grip strength.

Adequate rest and recovery periods are essential for the muscles and connective tissues to repair and grow stronger.

6. Other Factors

Factors such as age, gender, overall fitness level, and health conditions can also have an impact on grip strength to a certain extent.

Best Weighted Grip Strengthening Exercises

1. Plate Pinch

The Plate Pinch exercise is a great way to strengthen the muscles in the fingers, hands, and forearms.

It is typically performed using a weight plate, and it works the grip, the strength and dexterity of the fingers and hands.

Plate pinch exercises improve grip endurance by making you hold on to weight plates for a long time. This makes you stronger and can be useful for sports like climbing rocks, fighting, and carrying or holding things for a long time.

Plate pinch

How To Do

  1. Start by selecting a weight plate that is comfortable to hold but still challenging.
  2. Hold the weight plate with your thumb and fingers, with your hands positioned on the edges of the plate.
  3. Pinch the plate firmly between your fingers and thumb, making sure to keep your wrists straight.
  4. Hold the plate for the desired amount of time, trying to maintain a steady grip and hold throughout the duration of the exercise.
  5. Release the weight plate, rest for a moment, and repeat the exercise for the desired number of sets and reps.

2. Hand Gripper

Hand gripper exercises are specifically designed to target forearm and improve grip strength. They engage the muscles of the hands, fingers, and forearms. It enhances the strength of grip and hand dexterity.

Hand grippers are compact and portable, making them convenient for use anywhere, whether at home, the office, or while traveling.

They provide a quick and effective way to work on grip strength without requiring a full gym setup.

Hand Gripper forearm Exercise

How To Do

  1. Choose a hand gripper with an appropriate resistance level.
  2. Beginners may start with a lower resistance gripper.
  3. Hold the hand gripper in one hand, ensuring a firm grip on the handles.
  4. Squeeze the handles together using your fingers and thumb, applying steady and controlled force.
  5. Hold the gripper in the squeezed position for a few seconds,
  6. Then slowly release it back to the starting position.


  • Avoid using excessive wrist movement or relying solely on finger strength.
  • Start with a gripper resistance that will challenge you but also allow you to perform the exercises with proper form.

3. Reverse Curl

The barbell reverse curl is a non-negotiable component of barbell arm workout that primarily targets the muscles of the forearm, particularly the brachioradialis.

This helps make your wrists stronger and more flexible. This is helpful for doing things like turning, turning, and controlling things with your hands and wrists.

Other ways to do reverse curl strengthen your grip and build up forearm mass.

  • Dumbbell Reverse Curl
  • Cable Reverse Curl
  • One Arm Reverse Curl
Barbell Reverse Curl

How To Do

  1. Grab the bar with a shoulder width grip with your hands on top of the bar (pronated grip)
  2. Curl the bar up to shoulder level by bending your elbows.
  3. Lower the bar back down to the arms’ extended position.
  4. Repeat for desired reps.

4. Farmer’s Walk

The Farmer’s walk is a workout that can be used to build grip and forearm strength. The exercise involves holding a pair of heavy dumbbells at your sides and walking with them for a set distance or time.

It is relatively simple to perform, but can be quite challenging as the weight used for this exercise is usually quite heavy.

Dumbbell Farmers Walk

How To Do

  1. Start by selecting a pair of heavy dumbbells, which are challenging but still manageable to hold.
  2. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  3. Take a dumbbell in each hand and let them hang at your sides.
  4. Keep your back straight and your core engaged throughout the exercise.
  5. Begin walking forward, keeping a steady pace and maintaining good form.
  6. Walk for the desired distance or time, then release the weight and rest for a moment before repeating.

5. Wrist Rollers

A wrist roller is a simple tool that has a bar or rod with a rope or cord attached. The rope has weights at the other end, and you roll the device to work out the muscles in your wrists and forearms.

Rolling motion strengthens the supporting muscles and tendons in the wrist, improving joint stability and range of motion.

wrist roller

How To Do

  1. Start by attaching the desired amount of weight to the end of the rope or cord.
  2. Hold the bar or rod with both hands, palms facing down.
  3. Keep your elbows slightly bent as you extend your arms in front of you.
  4. To begin rolling the wrist roller, move your hands forward and let the weight go up toward the bar.
  5. Keep rolling until the weight reaches the bar
  6. Then turn around and roll it back up to where you started.

6. Rope Climber

Rope climbs require you to use your arms and upper body strength to climb up a vertical rope, while using your legs for support and balance.

It is a full-body exercise that primarily targets the muscles in the upper body, including the forearms, back, and shoulders.

Since rope climbs heavily rely on gripping the rope, they provide an effective way to improve grip strength and endurance.

Rope Climb

How To Do

  1. First, make sure you have a strong rope that can hold your weight.
  2. Reach up and grab the rope with both hands.
  3. You can begin the climb by using your arms to pull yourself upward while simultaneously pushing with your legs.
  4. Use a hand-over-hand technique, alternating your hands and legs to move up the rope.
  5. Maintain a strong grip on the rope and continue climbing until you reach your desired height or the top.
  6. To descend, either reverse the climbing motion or use a controlled descent technique, such as wrapping your legs around the rope and sliding down.

7. Wrist Curl

Barbell wrist curls are an exercise that targets the muscles of the forearm, specifically the wrist flexors. It is a great exercise to help improve grip strength and forearm size and definition

According to the study, a 12-week periodized forearm training program can enhance wrist and forearm strength, as well as bat-end velocity, in baseball players.

Other ways to do wrist curl to improve forearm size and grip strength

  • Dumbbell Wrist Curl
  • Cable Wrist Curl
  • Single Arm Wrist Curl
Seated Palms Up Wrist Curl

How To Do

  1. Grasp the barbell with an underhand grip.
  2. Rest your forearms on the bench with your palms facing up and the backs of your wrists resting on the bench/Quads.
  3. Slowly lift the barbell by flexing your wrists, keeping your forearms flat on the bench.
  4. Pause at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the barbell back down to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

8. Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl

Barbell Reverse wrist curls are similar to regular wrist curls, but with a reversed hand position. It primarily targets the forearm muscles, particularly the brachioradialis and wrist extensors.

Strong extensor muscles contribute to better grip stability and control. This can be beneficial in activities that require a firm grip, such as weightlifting, racket sports, and manual labor.

Other ways to improve forearm size and strength with a reverse wrist curl are:

  • Reverse Dumbbell Wrist Curl
  • Cable Reverse Wrist Curl
  • Single Arm Reverse Wrist Curl
Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl Over Bench

How To Do

  1. Grab a barbell with an overhand grip.
  2. Lift the barbell up by flexing your wrists and raising your hands towards your forearms.
  3. Slowly lower the barbell back down to the starting position by extending your wrists.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of reps

9. Fat Grip Barbell Curl

It is a variation of the traditional bicep curl exercise where a thick grip attachment is added to the barbell.

This modification increases the diameter of the bar, which will challenge your grip strength and activate additional muscles in your forearms.

Fat Grip Barbell Curl

How To Do 

  1. Attach the Fat Grip to a regular barbell.
  2. Hold the barbell with hands shoulder-width apart.
  3. Exhale, and slowly curl the barbell towards your shoulders.
  4. Hold for a moment and squeeze your biceps at the top.
  5. Then slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.

10. Barbell Holds

During Barbell holds, you must grip a loaded barbell and hold it for a specified duration without any additional movement.

During the hold, the forearm muscles, including the flexors and extensors, are contracted for a long time, which makes them grow bigger and stronger.

Barbell Holds

How To Do 

  1. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  2. Grip the barbell with an overhand or mixed grip.
  3. Lift the barbell off the rack or from the ground with your arms fully extended.
  4. Hold the barbell in a static position for the desired duration.
  5. Focus on keeping a tight grip and staying engaged throughout the exercise.
  6. After completing the hold, lower the barbell back to the starting position.

Bodyweight Exercises To Improve Grip Strength

1. Dead Hangs

Dead hangs are a simple yet effective exercise that involves hanging from a bar or any elevated surface with an overhand grip.

The study has shown that dead hanging is an effective exercise to improve grip strength, which in turn improves climbing performance.

It also promotes scapular retraction and depression, which helps improve shoulder stability and posture.

Dead Hangs

How To Do

  1. Find a sturdy bar or similar elevated surface that can support your body weight.
  2. Stand beneath the bar, reach up, and grab it with an overhand grip (palms facing away from you).
  3. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  4. Hang freely from the bar, allowing your body to fully extend.
  5. Hold the position for a designated amount of time.
  6. Release the grip and lower yourself down gently to finish the exercise.

2. Fingertip Push Up

Fingertip push ups places greater emphasis on the fingers, hands, and forearms while engaging the chest, shoulders, tricep. It also challenges your core muscles to keep your body balanced.

It’s also an efficient exercise to increase your grip for basketball, bodybuilding, or rock climbing.

It also keeps your wrists straight, making it an excellent way to eliminate wrist pain from the 90-degree bend when your palms are flat on the floor.

Fingertip Push Up

How To Do

  1. Take a standard push-up position, your fingertips are in contact with the ground.
  2. Position your fingers so that your fingertips are the only parts of your hand in contact with the ground.
  3. Engage your core muscles to maintain a straight line from your head to your heels.
  4. Lower your body by bending your elbows, keeping them close to your sides, until your chest almost touches the ground.
  5. Push yourself back up by extending your arms, returning to the starting position.
Know More: 20 Different Types Of Push Ups For Mass And Strength

3. Towel Pull-Ups

The Towel pull-ups are a harder version of the traditional pull-up exercise that uses towels as grips.

It helps to increase muscle activation and strength in the upper body, especially in the biceps and back, as well as improve grip strength and endurance.

It places a significant demand on your grip strength, as you need to squeeze the towels tightly to maintain your hold.

Towel Pull-Ups Chin Ups

How To Do

  1. Stand beneath the bar and reach up to grab the ends of the towel.
  2. Hang freely from the towels, keeping your body straight and engaging your core.
  3. Bend your elbows and squeeze your shoulder blades together until your chin touches or clears the bar.
  4. Slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position with control.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

4. Monkey Bar

The monkey bars exercise relies heavily on grip strength, as you need to maintain a firm grip on the bars while traversing. This helps to strengthen the muscles of the hands, fingers, and forearms.

To balance and move through the monkey bars, you need to use your core muscles. This helps make your stomach and lower back muscles stronger.

Monkey Bar

How to Do

  1. Stand under the bars and make sure there’s enough space for you to hang free.
  2. Reach up and grab the first bar with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
  3. Start moving your body forward, generating momentum.
  4. Start by moving your hands one at a time to the next bar.
  5. Keep swinging and transferring your hands as you go through the bars until you reach the end of the structure or do the number of repetitions you want to do.
  6. Once finished, safely dismount from the bars. Ensure a safe landing.

5. Crab Walk

The crab walk is a compound exercise that targets various muscle groups simultaneously. It primarily works the muscles of the upper body, including the arms, shoulders, and core, while also engaging the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings.

Supporting your body weight with the arms and hands during the crab walk helps develop upper body and grip strength

Crab Walk

How To Do Crab Walk

  1. Place your hands behind you, with fingers pointing backward, towards your feet.
  2. Lift your hips off the ground, supporting your weight with your hands and feet. Your body should resemble a tabletop position.
  3. Begin by stepping your left hand and right foot to the side, followed by your right hand and left foot.
  4. Continue moving in the crab walk pattern for a set distance or time.

Best Stretches Exercises for Grip Strength

You can do different stretching exercises to make your grip stronger. These stretches can help you get more flexible and move more freely, which can make it easier to hold objects.

1 Finger spread

This stretch helps to stretch the muscles in your fingers. To do this stretch, simply spread your fingers as wide as you can and hold for 30 seconds.

2. Finger Flexor Stretch

Extend one arm in front of you, palm facing away. Use the other hand to pull back the fingers, stretching the muscles in the palm and fingers. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other hand.

3. Finger Extensor Stretch

Extend one arm in front of you, palm facing toward you. Use the other hand to gently bend the fingers backward, feeling a stretch in the top of the hand and fingers. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other hand.

4. Wrist Circles

Stand or sit comfortably with your arms extended in front of you. Make circular motions with your wrists, rotating them clockwise and counterclockwise. Perform 10-15 circles in each direction.

5. Wrist Extension Stretch

Extend one arm in front of you with the palm facing up. With the other hand, gently pull back the fingers and hand, feeling a stretch in the wrist and forearm. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

6. Wrist Flexion Stretch

Extend one arm in front of you with the palm facing down. Use the other hand to gently push the fingers and hand downward, feeling a stretch in the wrist and forearm. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

7. Rice gripping

This exercise helps to strengthen the muscles in your hands and forearms. To do this exercise, simply fill a bowl with rice and grip handfuls of rice as tightly as you can.

8. Clenched fists

While seated, place your hands on your things with palms up. Close your fists and, with your forearms touching your legs, raise your fists off of your body, bending at the wrist. Hold for 10-20 seconds.

9. Tennis Ball squeezing

This exercise helps to strengthen the muscles in your hands and forearms. To do this exercise, simply squeeze a tennis ball as tightly as you can.

10. Thumb Stretch

Extend your arm out in front of you, and flex your wrist downward. Gently grasp your thumb with the opposite hand and pull it backward, away from your fingers, until you feel a stretch in the base of your thumb. Hold for 15-30 seconds and switch to the other hand.

How to Measure Your Grip Strength

An instrument called a dynamometer is used to measure grip strength. You can test your grip strength with a dynamometer by following these steps.

  1. Hold your arm with your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Squeeze the dynamometer as hard as possible.
  3. Apply grip force in a smooth motion. Avoid jerking.
  4. Repeat twice more for a total of three times.
  5. Your grip strength is the average of the three readings.
grip strength with a dynamometer

Grip Strength Chart

These values serve as general benchmarks for grip strength performance. It is important to note that other protocols may use the score from the dominant hand or compare the results between the left and right hand.

RatingMale (lbs)Male (kg)Female (lbs)Female (kg)
Excellent> 141> 64> 84> 38
Very Good123-14156-6475-8434-38
Above Average114-12252-5566-7430-33
Below Average96-10444-4749-5623-25
Very Poor< 88< 40< 44< 20

See more Hand Grip Strength Norms

Benefits of Strong Grip

A strong grip can help you in many ways, such as better hand function and a lower risk of certain conditions and injuries.

  1. Reduced risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  2. Enhanced fine motor skills.
  3. Improved resistance to arthritis.
  4. Reduced risk of tendinitis.
  5. Muscle mass gains through strength improvements.
  6. Decreased risk of gym-related injuries.
  7. Easier handling of objects during daily activities, such as shopping trips.

Grip Strengthening Training Program

Grip strengthening exercises should be performed at a frequency that is appropriate for each individuals’ fitness level, goals, and recovery ability.

Nevertheless, there are some general guidelines to help you get started.

1. No. Of Sets

  • Beginners: Start with 2-3 sets per exercise.
  • Intermediate: Aim for 3-4 sets per exercise.
  • Advanced: Perform 4-5 sets per exercise.

2. Frequency

  • Beginners: Start with 1-2 workouts per week, allowing ample recovery time between sessions.
  • Intermediate: Aim for 2-3 workouts per week, with at least two days of rest in between.
  • Advanced: Perform 3-4 workouts per week, incorporating variety in exercises and intensity levels.

Beginner Grip Strength Workout Routine

These grip strength workouts for beginners offer a structured regimen comprising specific exercises, sets, and durations/reps to aid individuals in gradually enhancing their grip strength.

Remember to change the weights, duration, or reps according to your fitness level and gradually increase the intensity of the workouts over time.

Workout #1

Farmer’s Carry330 seconds
Dead Hangs330 seconds
Fingertip Push-Ups (on knees)310 reps
Hand Gripper310 closes/hand

Workout #2

Dead Hangs330 seconds
Plate Pinches31 minute
Reverse Grip Dumbbell Curls310 reps
Dumbbell Twists310 reps

Intermediate Grip Strengthening Workout Routine

Workout #1

Farmer’s Carry530 seconds
Plate Pinches51 minute
Towel Pull-Ups35 reps
Hand Gripper310 closes/hand

Workout #2

Dumbbell Twists520 reps
Reverse Grip Barbell Curls520 reps
Plate Pinches51 minute
Dead Hangs3Till failure

Grip Strengthening Advance Workout Routine

Workout #1

Fingertip Push-Ups510 reps
Towel Push Up48-10 reps
Rope Climbs5 repsUp and Down-
Dumbbell Twists2 setsTill failure
Barbell Hold3Till failure

Workout #2

Hand Gripper410 closes/hand
Plate Pinches10 pinches1 minute
Rope Climber4Up and Down
Fingertip Push-Ups2 sets15 reps
Dumbbell Twists2 setsTill failure
Reverse Grip Barbell Curls2 setsTill failure
Dead Hangs330 seconds


Grip strength is an essential component of our physical abilities, and it plays a vital role in various activities we engage in every day.

Improving our grip strength offers numerous benefits beyond simply enhancing our ability to grip objects. It can reduce the risk of conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and arthritis.

Exercises like Farmer walk, Reverse curl, dead hangs, hand gripper training, and plate pinches are good for strengthening the muscles involved in grip.

It is also important to maintain flexibility and mobility in the hands, wrists, and forearms. Stretching exercises like wrist extensions, flexion, finger stretches, and forearm stretches can help keep your muscles strong, avoid accidents, and indirectly boost grip strength.


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  • Mark D Peterson. et al Low Normalized Grip Strength is a Biomarker for Cardiometabolic Disease and Physical Disabilities Among U.S. and Chinese Adults. Multicenter Study J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci2017 Oct 12;72(11):1525-1531. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glx031.
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