Crush it – Fastest way to Build a Powerful Grip?

  • Functional strength – Inseparable part of impressive physique. More crush grip strength = The heavier stuff you can lift
  • Healthier hands – The stronger your hands are, the less risk there is for injury – Muscles are great to protect our bodies
  • Bigger forearms – You want to look great while you’re getting stronger – The stronger you are the bigger you likely get
  • List of fun feats – Deliver stronger handshakes, have nutcracker skills, crush soda cans, rip deck of cards, roll up pans
Crush it – Stronger Handshakes & Bigger Lifts..

Learn how to build a powerful foundation of your grip – It’s truly an inseparable part of impressive physique.
Ever heard of saying “you’re only as strong as your hands are”?

Do you know that feeling, when you walk up to a loaded deadlift bar & you have a weak grip? Yeah, feels like being handicapped..
So, what is the very first point of connection between you & the object you want to pick up? Yes, correct, that is your grip.

But how far are you going to take your crush grip strength?

Crush gripping is the most common & major hand movement. The stronger your crush grip strength gets.. The more powerful your ability to grab objects likely will be.
This is also the most dominant hand movement that you want focus on.. & train the most.

Doesn’t matter if you’re senior citizen who wants to feel safe enough, when grabbing handles in moving bus or train.. or a competitive powerlifter who wants to win a competition. Everyone of us needs to exercise crush grip enough to get our
daily tasks done. Healthy, strong hands are never a weakness.

To give you a live example, what happens, when you take grip strength to the extreme
Check out the grip of legendary strongman Derek Poundstone

The Four Major Hand Movements

  • Crushing grip – Grabbing & squeezing an object with your fingers – It’s the most basic hand movement, where you’ll be moving your fingers towards your palm
  • Pinching grip – Movement that involves your thumb to pinch grip an object – The idea is to always use your thumb in combination of any of your other 4 fingers
  • Supporting grip – Also called static grip, that focuses on holding onto something as long as you can while maintaining it
    in the exact same position the whole time
  • Extending grip – Complex extensor movements, in your wrists & fingers, to adjust your grip position, move opposite directions & to provide you with muscle balance

What are the Best Tools to Improve Crush Grip?

The Best Default Choice

Still, after many decades, there’s one ultimate default choice..
Hand grippers will never go out of style no matter who you are – This is the pick you can never go wrong with
There are tons of excellent grippers out there, with different difficulty levels ranging from Rank Amateur to World Strongest Man.

Looking for a Gripper? Always get a High-Quality one. Why?

  1. Strong spring – Cheap plastic grippers springs tend to snap much more easily – No, you don’t exactly want sharp shards to fly into your face in the middle of your exercise & injure you. That’s  the #1 reason to take a bit more expensive route – You want high-quality product to invest smarter & also AVOID INJURIES caused by cheap/faulty devices as much as possible.

  2. Consistency – You’re buying a hard to close, let’s say cheap 100-lbs plastic gripper, & couple of months later you’re closing it for reps like a master, like it’s nothing. It makes you feel like you’re tough guy & you’ve made a hell of a progress – Wrong, the reality is, this gripper spring likely just wore out. To monitor your progress better, the solution is High-Quality Gripper.

In short – High-Quality hand gripper = Safe & consistent

Captains of Crush - The Gold Standard of Hand Grippers

The safest road to go with is Captains of Crush grippers – These are deemed as the Gold Standard of hand grippers.

There are eleven (11) different strength levels to choose from.
It’s consistent across the board, well made & will probably last you a life-time.

Also, other Ironmind made hand grippers are excellent  – Whether they’re smooth Zenith grippers, CoC Left-Turn hand grippers OR IMTUG utility grippers. They’re perfect complements to Standard CoC grippers.

Besides CoC grippers, one of my favorites are Gillingham grippers – Incredibly beautiful & well made, world-class quality grippers that are affordable & sturdy to get the job done well.

There are many great options to choose from – To see the full list of grippers I recommend, click here to check them all out.
If you’re serious about grip training, you want to get multiple grippers – For warm-ups, regular training & some for challenge.

Use High-Quality Grippers for Safety & Consistency..

How many Hand Grippers should You Get?

3 Grippers are Great

Ideally, you want the whole set – But in reality, nothing’s really ideal.
So, I’d recommend you to get started with at least 3 different hand grippers.

This is great to get you started & it’s probably all you need for a very long time. But of course, the deciding factor here is you. The effort you put in, your personal progress & goals. It can be & likely is very different for everyone.

  1. Warm-up gripper – Every exercise should start with a proper warm-up set, no matter what
  2. Regular training gripper – Your main hand gripper to get your workouts in effectively
  3. Challenge gripper – For the days where you feel strong, motivated, pumped-up & need a challenge

With 3 different hand grippers you’ll cover most of your crush grip strength training.
You always want to start your training, doesn’t matter what exercise we’re talking about, with a proper warm-up set. It’s the bread & butter, standard drill to get your muscles going & ready for an intense workout. Warm-up sets also serve as a great way to lessen the chances of getting injured.

What is Crush Grip Strength

If you get injured = No workouts for you, for a long time. Always do warm-up sets no matter what!

The best gripper you have should be the regular training gripper – It’s your work-horse that probably gets used the most.

It should be well made across the board so it helps you to be consistent with your training.

For the days, where you feel great & pumped up, you should have at least 1 challenge gripper.

It’s optional to have one, but human nature is always very curious – It’s great to test yourself & your limits time to time. It’s fun, it’s challenging & heck.. it’s a key to bragging rights! You don’t want to miss out on that one!


What to Avoid when You Train Crush Grip?

Don’t Overdo Your Thing

So, you just got your brand new hand gripper & you’re super excited & motivated to start training. You want to do as much repetitions as you can & work your forearms as intensely as possible to get results quickly.

But is it the smartest choice to approach like that?
Yes & No! Why? Keep in mind that your forearms are one of the SMALLEST muscle groups in your whole body.. can easily get inflammation in your hands if you overdo your thing. Be careful!
DON’T go for hundreds of repetitions with grippers like some guys out there are doing – There’s a high chance you’re going to injure yourself! It’s not worth it, be reasonable!

Instead of long strenuous workouts.. You want to give your hands short yet intense workouts by using hand grippers:
Up to 5 sets & up to 15 repetitions in each set would be usually more than enough.
If you can do more than that, you need to get a more difficult gripper for yourself.

After workout, give your hands rest! If you train, train.. if you rest, rest. Do not do something in between.
Again, this is a small muscle group & you don’t want to fatigue it too much – No need to work harder, work SMARTER – Use short & intense workouts, then give your hands proper rest.

Unless you’re Mr.Special-Case or Wolverine himself, who can recuperate in no time, this is standard approach how to progress quickly & not to injure yourself at the same time, so you can keep training for years to come.

Always remember, getting stronger is a marathon not a race – Longevity is the name of the game.

Thanks for stopping by!
I hope you enjoyed reading my article & learned a lot about Crush Grip along the way.
Feel free to ask for assistance & share your thoughts by leaving a comment.



Greetings! I'm Henry & I'm a friendly fellow who started this website to help you to improve your strength game. I’m fascinated by calisthenics, strongman training & weightlifting – I’ve been a powerlifter & martial artist for more than decade. Being passionate about strength sports, I'd love to discuss about these topics.

8 thoughts on “Crush it – Build a Powerful Foundation of Your Grip

  1. Hi Henry,
    I really enjoyed reading your article and learning about how to improve your grip. I have a very weak grip due to an increase of pain.

    Would hand grippers work with a person who has arthritis or weak muscle conditions. It seems like it is a continuous roller coaster because if your grip is weak it affects your whole arm which then weakens your grip further.

    I would love to know what you think, this seems like a great way to increase steady strength and build endurance at a reasonable pace.

    1. Absolutely, having stronger hands & a bit more muscle mass due to regular exercising can go a long way & can be very beneficial for your overall hand health, & results in less chronic pain.
      The idea would be to decrease joint stress. How to do that?

      Focusing on muscle balance – Muscles are great to protect our bodies.
      Physical therapy would not only be a good idea but also recommended in many cases.

      Here’s a great manual I found called “Treat Your Own Hand & Thumb Osteoarthritis” by a certified physical therapist with over 25 years of experience..

      Depending on what kind of arthritis are we talking about & how severe the case.. Each case is unique & needs a medical professional evaluation.
      If we’re talking about osteoarthritis & pain in hands & wrists that has likely been caused by excessive repetitive motions, then focusing on achieving more muscle balance can bring positive results.

      Including to hand grippers.. The most simple & effective way is to use hand-bands like Expand-Your-Hand Bands by Ironmind OR FlexEx Finger Exerciser that works in conjunction with hand grippers to get your fingers stronger, agile & much more flexible.

      Why? Most people have way stronger flexor muscles in their hands than extensor muscles.

      They’ve never worked on their extensor muscles in their lives..
      That can be a recipe for disaster – We completely neglect the counter-movement, therefore we have strong muscles in one direction only.

      On top of that, taking care of your extensor muscles will also increase your overall crush grip strength – Hand-bands are great complement to hand grippers to keep you on track & achieve healthier hands.

      I hope this gives you some new ideas.

  2. Who knew? My daughter is a pianist and she uses the grippers for finger and arm strength to help her playing. I hope we got a good one, I’m looking at your list of quality ones.

    After reading your post, I realized I need them too!
    Opening a door, opening a jar are things in our life that we want to be able to continue to do and I think this is very important for quality of life as we get older.

    Thanks for posting!

    1. Exactly Linda, there are multiple seamless carryover effect to a real life what hand grippers can do for you. Thank you for bringing it up..

      ..a pianist is an excellent example of someone who could directly benefit from it.

      It’s wonderful to hear that my work has inspired & motivated you to pick up a gripper as well.
      Let us know how does it go for you, I’d love to hear about your progress!

  3. Great post!

    I always wondered how those martial artists in movies break a piece of wood…is that because of grip?

    Seriously this video with the guy rolling the pan was incredible! He didn’t squint from pain at all! Like seriously when you train like your grip to be this strong do you stop feeling pain? My hands hurt from just opening a tightly shut bottle cap (or I can’t even open it even with the tricks that I know).

    Another question: as a female, if I train my grip, are my hands and arms going to look strange? I assume that practicing grip will also be helpful in practicing pole fitness, am I right?

    1. Ironically, for top level strongman, rolling up a frying pan with bare hands is also merely a by-product & fun way to spend time.

      Pole fitness & Grip strength – These two are practically family members
      Tough wrists & even stronger grip are your “bread & butter” to potentially have more fun in pole fitness.
      The more control you have over the dancing pole due to stronger grip, the more technical moves you can perform.

      The thing with the martial artists is that some of them deliberately deaden the nerves in their hands by systematically hitting stuff.
      For example beating a sand-bag an hour a day. Once your hands heal up, it thickens the bones & ligaments.
      The results come through-out the years of steady practice – Eventually your body is going to be like a war-machine – You can punch the brick wall without feeling pain.

      Without a doubt, fighters have to have excellent grip strength..
      Especially, they need strong, versatile, flexible & mobile wrists in all directions, so their wrists won’t break once they hit something.
      Depending on a fighting style, if martial artist style includes grappling elements, just like in judo, then powerful pinch grip is something they value highly & want to have.

      As a female, the first thing you should always know is that you have naturally occurring estrogen.
      This is a Bonus in its own way..

      It means, you can train how much you want, where you want, & as frequently as you want without worrying getting anywhere near muscular. If that is what you meant by “strange”.
      This means even greater catabolic effect in your muscles – As a female, all the excess muscle will be simply broken down – You are made to be feminine, not big & muscular.
      Your own body takes care of that.

      Unless you start injecting yourself with male hormones regularly, like testosterone, to help to put on significant amount of muscle.
      There are thousands & thousands of guys going into gyms, day after day, HOPING to get barely ANY muscle on their bones – The whole process is agonizingly slow, they all know it, even regardless of fact they’re males & have tons of more testosterone, even naturally, compared to you as female.

      It’s also one of the reasons why supplement industry produces billions of dollars..
      None of that stuff actually works!

      It’s all placebo, but the human mind still hopes that there’s “the magic potion” they can drink & it does all the hard work for them.
      But the marketing part is likely always effective – It’s usually done by your typical steroid user, who has to maintain his/her lifestyle & 80 000$ juice bill that comes with it & is ready to lie into your face, to tell that stuff really works to cover their own expensive lifestyle no matter what.
      ALL of the top level athletes are enhanced athletes – Non of them is natural – This game simply doesn’t work any other way

      What does that mean for you?

      Casual user will be left confused:
      Males think if they take quick action, follow such advice, they get quick promised results & big muscles.
      Females think the same but act in opposite way – They hear that same advice, & dare not to take any action & go anywhere near that resembles gym or heavy weights, because they don’t want big muscles.
      In reality, both cases are so far from truth as it can be.

      That raises another question – If you as a female can’t get muscular, why should you train at all? The answer is simple: Functional strength.
      There are so many wonderful aspects in our everyday lives that involve having functional strength & it’s a great topic on its own.

      ..just like you said, opening a tightly shut bottle cap etc.

      Despite the fact of not achieving mass, you can improve your functional strength significantly..
      That also breaks another myth, that females are the weaker ones of the two sexes.
      Nonsense, females can be incredibly strong according to their own size.

      You can get leaner, much more agile, flexible, & get the ability to activate more muscle fibers due to regular training that contributes to yet another major feat – Preventing injuries!
      Your “engines” overall effectiveness increases.

      So, feel free to happily grab a gripper & grip away, it’s very beneficial for you in multiple ways.

  4. Interesting!
    The proof is in that video. I never thought our hands could be so strong.

    There are times when I lift things and realize how weak my hands are but I never thought Grippers would make them have such strength.

    1. Fortunately, it’s never too soon or too late to pick up a hand gripper..
      ..functional hand strength is something we always need to perform our everyday tasks.

      Simply pick one up & give it a try – Start off light, couple of minutes per training session, once or twice per week, to see if it makes any difference for you..

      Having a stronger, more functional body is always a strength

      Human beings, while being the most irrational creatures of them all in animal kingdom, can be simply amazing. Top level strongmen are easily a prime example, if it comes to monstrous grip strength..

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