Fit and fine by Kamal Singh CSCS: Get a grip, guys! - Part 2
Here’s how you can strengthen the forearms and grip without having to hit the gymUpdated: Jul 12, 2020 08:40 IST
This column is in response to a reader’s question – how would somebody, who does not have access to a gym, strengthen their forearms and grip. The reader felt that the only way to strengthen the two would be grippers as these are easily available anywhere. But you do not even need commercially-available grippers to work on your grip!
Everyday items to the rescue
Your home is full of things that can be used for getting a rocking workout for your forearms, fingers and thumb. All you need is, a bit of creativity and patience. Please remember that Indian wrestlers have been training their grip for hundreds of years with these methods and I am not going to get into an argument with them about how to make your hands strong.
1.The most basic one, which you can use anywhere, is to squeeze your own fist. Make a tight fist with your left hand and now wrap your right hand over the left fist and squeeze. You can do this for time – squeeze and hold for 30 seconds or do reps - squeeze and release 15 times. These can be done for multiple sets. You should alternate between left and right hands.
2.Take the day’s newspaper, spread it open on a table. Using one hand squeeze each page into a ball. So if the daily newspaper has 20 pages, you would make 10 balls each for right and left hand. Initially you may want to not use the entire paper as this exercise tends to create quite a bit of cramping in the hands and forearms. So, go easy and build up slowly.
3.Soak a large towel in a bucket of water and squeeze the water out, repeat. This exercise can be done maybe twice or the most thrice a week as it causes large amount of fatigue in the forearm muscles. So, recover from the fatigue and then repeat. If you are truly hardcore and do not care for the texture of the skin on your palms, you can use a gunny sack instead of a beach towel. But you have been fore-warned! Squeezing the water out of wet and rough gunny sack tends to obliterate the skin of your palms. By the way this is one of the favorite methods of desi wrestlers!
4.Finger tip push-ups are the go to exercise for strengthening the fingers. For most people, start the exercise against the wall. Once you can do 20 finger tip push-ups against a wall, then get lower to a table and then finally the floor. Strong guys can do push-ups on two fingers – so I guess all of us have a long way to go!
5.An interesting way to work the fingers is take an urn, fill with either uncooked rice or dal. Grab across the rim with your fingers and walk around the house. Be careful not to drop the urn as your fingers get tired. You can increase the amount of rice or dal in the urn as you get stronger!
6.It’s pretty easy to work the pinch grip – grab two thick books between your thumb and fingers. Hold for 30-40 seconds. Do these holds, 2-3 times.
There you go, simple ways to work your grip while away from the gym. Please remember simple does not mean that these methods are easy to do. They would require as much diligence, patience and consistency as any other method if you want results. Now try these out and let me know.
Kamal Singh is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist who has been coaching for 15 years
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