Beginner Training – Effective Ways to Build Powerful Grip

  1. Setting your awesome initial goals – You want to get strong & healthy, you want to get started FAST, let’s do this
  2. Choosing right training equipment – To be effective & avoid injuries – Get quality stuff that is not too expensive
  3. Basic exercise routines – What to do, when to do, how much to do – Training routines that you can tailor for you
  4. Recovering – Get those aching muscles out of the way. Know when to rest & how to speed up your recovery time
  5. Taking it to next level – Once you know the drill, you wish to discover more options: Where to go from there
Your First Step Towards Powerful Grip..

1. Setting Your Awesome Initial Goals

1 Your Individual Goals
First of all, ask from yourself, what is your goal. You should have a reason why you train with specific exercises.

Take a moment, think about it & ask yourself what do you like to achieve.

Set a baseline & think about which one would you like to become – Recreational or Professional – Why?

2 Include long-term goals
For example, picture yourself & your progress in 1 week, in 1 month & in 1 year from here..

..5 years from here, 10 ?
It gives you general direction & much better sense about your path that you’re going to choose for yourself.

Once you do that, everything will become much easier & more coordinated – You’ll know exactly what you want, you’re ready to pick up the right tools & exercises to get what you’re after.

3 Your area of expertise
It’s also great if you think about your background – The respective sport you come from & that you’re currently interested in. Let’s leverage from it!

It’s also okay, if you currently don’t have one, you can simply pick up grip training itself.
It’s for the best if your grip training revolves precisely around your current abilities & goals – It helps you to focus on building your grip strength towards it & benefits directly to your chosen area of expertise..

Whether it is heavier deadlifts you’re after.. hand health, stronger handshake, open hand strength, increased size of forearms, endurance, muscle balance OR boosting your overall strength.

Let’s Get You Strated & Learn about:
Types of Grip Strength

Types of Grip:#1 The Pinching Grip#2 The Pinching Grip#3 The Supporting Grip#4 The Extending Grip

 There are four major hand specific movements you can focus on
Crushing, Pinching, SupportingExtending

hands

1 The Crushing Grip can be defined as the action of closing the fingers against a resistance. This is the place where usually grip training for beginners starts – It covers the most fundamental aspects of hand strength.

Whether it’s stronger handshake you’re looking for, or better endurance & ability to lift bigger weights, training with hand grippers is the fastest route to improve your crushing grip.

Very similar in nature but often forgotten are clamping as wrapping the fingers around object & squeezing it toward the palm, & crimping which is directing force with the fingers toward the callous line.

Working your crushing grip is also one of the primary grip movements that improve your overall forearms resilience & is important in any contact sports.

Benefit from it, to build even more competitive edge for your grip, or simply crush a can of soda for fun.

2 The Pinching Grip is the ability to hold something between the thumb & fingers. Your thumb applies an inward force to an object which is counter-balanced by one or more fingers by applying a force back towards the thumb.

Pinching can also be the action of holding onto an object in a static manner while squeezing it with just your fingertips & not letting it to drop.

Therefore pinch grip can also be defined as the act of pinching something together with just using your fingertips.

3 The Supporting Grip is the most common type of grip strength – also called isometric grip OR static grip. Supporting grip is your forearms, hands & fingers ability to maintain a static hold on object of your choice.

It is used when holding on to something such as a hammer, a rock, a suitcase, a baseball bat, a shopping bag.. you name it!

..& of course, free weights. In other words, your supporting grip is also almost inseparable part of your everyday tasks.
Developing & improving supporting grip strength enables you to maintain a static hold, which in turn greatly supports your ability to lift heavier weights for longer periods of time.

The supporting grip entails lifting objects with the fingers taking the brunt of a load in an isometric fashion. It applies to deadlifts, rows, pull ups & kettlebell work.

It should be also noted that true supporting grip entails your fingers wrapping well around the bar. It’s referred to as open hand supporting, if the handle or bar is large enough that there is a space between the fingers & thumb.

4 The Extending Grip is mainly about working on your extensors muscles to achieve muscle balance. It’s tremendously important to work on extensors if you don’t want to break your hands & have healthy hands instead.

Complex extensor movements, in your wrists & fingers, to adjust your grip position, move opposite directions & to provide you with muscle balance

Everything Starts With Choosing the Right Tools..

2. Choosing Correct Training Equipment

Choosing Equipment:The Crush GripThe Pinch GripThe Support GripThe Extend GripThe Wrists
Basic, easy to access & obtain specialty equipment for beginners:
CoC Grippers - What They Are and How to Close Them

A lot of beginners are very attracted to all sorts of fancy tricks & feats of strengths. You don’t need any of that for now & they can be flat-out dangerous for you – What you need is the very basic.

You need only basic, but at the same time it’s great if you can become much more knowledgeable right off the bat, & know your options – You can think about directions that you can take later on.

Check out the following, if you’re interested in & would like to add more variety.

This list also contains specialty equipment for example, for strongman, fighters & climbers, but can be easily & successfully transferred to any other sport.

It depends entirely on your goals & how enthusiastic you want to become about your grip training.

Crushing grip

  • Hand grippers
  • Polymer eggs
  • Eagle loops
  • Plate-loading grip machines

Pinching grip

  • Pinch blocks
  • Hub style pinch
  • Standard plates
  • Thick bar handles
  • Apollon’s Axle
  • Anvil horns
  • Blobs

Supporting grip

  • Eagle loops
  • Sandbag sets
  • Lifting Straps
  • Standard barbells
  • Dumbbells
  • Pull-up spheres
  • Pull-up globes
  • Farmer Walk Handles

Extensors & flexors

  • Hand bands
  • Wrist rollers
  • Olympic Ez-curl bar
  • Standard barbells
  • Dumbbells

What are the Best Tools to Improve Crush Grip?

The Best Default Choice

There’s one ultimate tool, to get quick results with crush grip strength..
No matter who you are, hand grippers will never go out of style – You can never go wrong here
There are multiple excellent grippers 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.

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 are the Best Tools to Improve Pinch Grip?

The Best Default Choice

At some point, IronMind came up with a great idea, there’s one ultimate default choice..
Specifically designed Utility Hand grippers to power up your thumbs – You can never go wrong with here
There’s a whole set of excellent grippers, with different difficulty levels ranging from Rank Amateur to World Strongest Man.

Planning to get a new 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

Use High-Quality Grippers for Safety & Consistency..

Using utility hand grippers is a great way to improve your pinch grip but why? The answer is simple: Grippers are portable.
You can take this training tool with you literally EVERYWHERE – No excuses anymore if you can train your thumbs & pinch grip..

..with dedicated set of grippers you can train your thumbs literally anywhere & at any time.

That’s also part of the reason, why it’s my Top #1 recommendation – It’s convenient yet very effective. You can get your pinch training in every time without worrying too much about access to specialty equipment.

If you’re serious about your progress – I suggest to get at least 3 hand grippers with different difficulty levels

Ideally, you want to get 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.


  1. Warm-up gripper – No matter what, your every exercise should start with a proper warm-up set
  2. Regular training gripper – Every-day, main hand gripper to get your workouts in effectively
  3. Challenge gripper – Once in a while when you feel strong, motivated, pumped-up – Try a challenge

It’s great to get you started, tune up your pinch grip & it’s probably all you need for a very long time. The biggest deciding factor here is you – The time & effort you put in, your personal progress & goals. Remember, goals are always individual.

 

Lifting Straps

Recovery for Hands/Improve Support 

Support your grip to lift even heavier than your own grip allows you to.. OR use them for recovery..
Lifting straps are widely known & used because of their effectiveness – There are 2 different styles of straps:
With no sewn loop & with sewn loop. Both are excellent for lifting heavy OR to use them speedy recovery for hands

You can use Lifting Straps for deadlifts, rows, pull-ups, snatches or clean pulls when you don’t want to be limited by your grip or..

..if you want to give the calluses on your palms a rest while you continue to get stronger.

No sewn loop version – Great for quick bailouts on lifts. These are specifically designed for Olympic style of weightlifters

Sewn loop version – To achieve even better grip & have more control over a weight you’re lifting.

The biggest benefit using lifting straps is when your hands are sore from training & you want to give your hands as much rest & recovery time as possible meanwhile you keep training.

Blue Twos Lifting Straps

Your forearms are one the smallest muscle groups in your whole body – It’s easy to over train your grip & to seriously injure your hands. This is where lifting straps can step in & help you a great deal. Instead of breaking your body, try & use lifting straps..

Giving Your Hands Rest – Part of Recovery ..

What are the Best Tools to Improve Extensor Muscles?

The Best Default Choice

One of the easiest & most effective tools to train extensors are rubber hand bands.
Hand band exercises are fun & easy to do yet they’re extremely important for your hand health.
These tools are portable – Simply put one into your pocket & use it whenever you need – No excuses to skip your exercise!

Planning to get a set of hand bands for yourself?
What are the long term benefits of using hand bands?

  1. Great Complement to Grippers – To improve your Crush Grip work on extensors. Extend-Your-Hand Bands are perfect Complement to Captains of Crush grippers. For each repetition you do on your hand gripper, do 1 repetition with hand bands to achieve balance. Once you get into proper routine, you’re deadlift results will go up like crazy in the next few months.

  2. Hand Health & Recovery – Excellent, if your hands are sore from repetitive motions. It’s a great tool to exercise your hand extending instead of flexing. Hand bands help you to relieve pain from your hands, recover & restore the muscle balance to keep you away from injuries. Quickly increases your hand dexterity & fingers strength – A great way to balance your exercise plan.

Always remember to start with a proper warm-up!
Don’t go crazy right off the bat – Start light, go from there

Set of Handbands by IronMind

Recover Faster & Boost Your Crush Grip Power..
More Specialty Tools – Tune up Your Wrists

Build Crazy Strong Wrists!

Another great tool & a simple way how you can improve your overall grip strength – This tool specifically focuses on your wrists. This type of equipment is very easy to obtain & it is portable. You can always take it with you as you hit the gym.

Wrist roller - "Twist Yo' Wrist" made by IronMind

Build Strong Wrists in All Directions – This little specialty tool produces a forearm workout unlike anything else out there – If your goal is to improve & build strong wrists in all directions, simply latch on to the Twist Yo’ Wrist & give it a spin.

It becomes extremely hard, & it doesn’t take much weight to achieve that..

Outstanding tool for you if you want a new way to pump up your forearms & you like to train your grip strength at the same time. Again, remember..

..this device doesn’t take much weight to become extremely hard, so don’t expect to load this up with as much weight as your regular wrist roller – You simply won’t be able to move it.

Even loading a light weight is actually enough to get in a basic workout & it works your hands in ways like nothing else will.

If you want a challenge, it also stands up for heavy weights to fit your preference. Always be cautious: Take a look at the rope & knot that secures weights, so you won’t experience unnecessary surprises if all of a sudden the rope comes out of the pulley & the weights crash on the ground.

This device comes with durable rope, but it’s also replaceable if it breaks.

Build Strong Wrists in All Directions..

3. Basic Exercise Routines

Basic Exercise Routines:The Crush GripThe Pinch GripThe Support GripThe Extend GripRecovery

  • For crushing grip – Hand Grippers & Exercise balls
  • For pinching grip – Utility Grippers, Fat Gripz Handles & Plate Pinches
  • For supporting grip – Hand Gripper holds, Dumbbell & Barbell Static holds
  • For extensors & wrists – Hand Bands & Wrist Rollers
  • For speedy recovery – Hand exercise balls 

Crush Grip

Basic training routine for Hand Grippers.
Recommended: 15 minutes, 1-2 times per week:

Training routine #1
(Hardest, for main workout)

1 set x 10 reps – Warm-up gripper
1 set x 10 reps – Warm-up gripper
1 set x 10 reps – Medium gripper
1 set x 3 reps – Very hard gripper
1 set x 3 reps – Very hard gripper
1 set x 3 reps – Very hard gripper

3grippers

Training routine #2
(Easier, can be used for deload)

1 set x 10 reps – Easiest warm-up
1 set x 10 reps – Warm-up gripper
1 set x 10 reps – Medium gripper
1 set x 5 reps – Hard gripper
1 set x 5 reps – Hard gripper
1 set x 5 reps – Hard gripper

Pinch Grip

Basic training routine for Plate pinch grip.
Recommended: 1-2 times per week:

Training routine #1
Plate pinch with 1 plate

1 set x 10 reps – Light
1 set x 10 reps – Light
1 set x 6 reps – Medium
1 set x 3 reps – Very heavy
1 set x 3 reps – Very heavy
1 set x 3 reps – Very heavy

black-steel-plates-45lb

Training routine #2
Multiple plate pinch

1 set x 10 reps – Very light
1 set x 10 reps – Light
1 set x 6 reps – Medium
1 set x 3 – Heavy
1 set x 3 – Heavy
1 set x 3 – Heavy

Support Grip

Basic training routine for Hand Gripper, Barbell & Dumbbells static holds
Recommended: 1-2 times per week:

Barbell

Training routine #1
for Support Grip

1 set x static hold – Light
1 set x static hold – Medium
1 set x static hold – Medium
1 set x static hold – Heavy
1 set x static hold – Heavy
1 set x static hold – Heavy

Flexors & Extensors

Basic training routine for Hand Bands & Wrist Rollers
Recommended: 3 times per week:

Training routine #1 for Extensors

1 set x 20 reps – Light hand band
1 set x 20 reps – Light hand band
1 set x 15 reps – Moderate hand band
1 set x 15 reps – Moderate hand band
1 set x 10 reps – Tougher hand band
1 set x 10 reps- Tougher hand band

ironmind-expand-your-hand-bands-10-pack

Training routine #2 for Wrists

1 x set – Light weight
1 x set – Light weight
1 x set – Medium weight
1 x set – Heavy weight
1 x set – Heavy weight
1 x set – Heavy weight

Twist-Yo_Wrist

Speedy recovery

Recovery between workouts
Two, three or four days per week (off-days)

This is for speedy recovery & active rest:

2 sets x 20 reps – light to moderate – Polymer Egg
2 sets x 20 reps – light to moderate – Hand Bands

IMegg

If you train, train..if your rest, rest – don’t do something in between.
It’s important that you won’t under-perform as well as not overdoing your routines.

Where to Go from Here..

4. Taking it to Next Level

The biggest limiting factor in grip training – Ligament, tendon & finger pulley strength which strengthen much more slowly than muscles, over the course of months not days. As beginner it’s great to start out slowly & take your time.

Build your strength up gradually.  Especially your grip strength – if you go quickly all out on heavy & intense you’ll very likely get inflammation in your muscles & tendons. It might lead up to severe injuries & it means game over for you.

Quality over quantity – Always strive for longevity.

We all know, that we live in society that likes to operate under the banner “here & right now”, we want to have everything “yesterday”, but it’s also important to lift & train with your brains as well as with your muscles. Be wise & take caution!

To push your limits mentally & physically, you should have 10-12 months of good overall grip base training under your belt before trying to advance & get the benefits without injury. Give enough time for yourself, & success will inevitably follow.

NB! Don’t fixate on your forearms only, focus on the rest of your physique as well – Balance is the key

Next step – Specialization programs – To expand your ideas of improving your grip, you can also check out grip training for:

  • Pole Dancer
  • Bodybuilder
  • Weightlifter
  • Rock Climber
  • Cross-Fitter
  • Tennis player
  • Golf Player
  • Guitar Player
  • Piano player
  • Drummer
  • Strongman
  • Arm Wrestler
  • Powerlifter
  • Gymnast
  • Calisthenics
  • Sport Shooter
  • Motocross Driver
  • Skier
  • Military Forces
  • Martial Artist

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

Cheers,
Henry

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 “Grip Training for Beginners

  1. The pictures were amazing and got my attention.
    Then I started reading the page and the information is very interesting and helpful.

    I never really thought about my grip before but I realize now that there are many disciplines that can benefit from grip training and perhaps I should give it a try!

    1. Absolutely Trisha,
      Keeping your hands healthy can be simple & fun
      It’s functional strength & beneficial even if you’re just using your hands for simple tasks such as typing on keyboard..

  2. Thats an inteesting and very different article than what I am used to.

    It was worth my time to learn about this niche area for beginners I would say as I put my grip limits to the test.

    I suppose I would use this in my workouts to generally stay in shape and let it rip!

    1. It’s always great to have something refreshing along the lines
      Fun fact: Talking about testing your limits – There’s also a certification program out there..
      Once you reach high enough difficulty level with hand grippers, you will be recognized as an athlete with world class grip & thus, receiving a diploma for your efforts

  3. I realized the dexterity of my hands is horrible. I have no grip.
    If I use straps I can deadlift 405 no problem. But without straps 315 slips through my hands.

    It is horrible and embarrassing to admit. I have been working hard to improve my grip!
    I will be giving all these tips a go

    1. Discovering a weakness is already an improvement.
      If weak grip is becoming an issue I’d prioritize & focus on forearms more.

      You’d be surprised how quickly grip strength goes up.

      ..also, I’d minimize the use of straps on deadlifts – & only use them for recovery purposes – When your hands are sore, OR you’ve already done your grip work.

  4. I always been interested in grip strength when I was young as I used to squeeze hand grips because having grip strength really comes in handy for everyday living.

    I found grip strength was helpful when I was playing competition sports like basketball, squash and football but I think grip strength is essential in just about any sport and it’s also comes in handy at work too.

    This is something I haven’t thought about much until I have come across your post which really gives some great info on how to develop a powerful grip, well done.

    1. Absolutely Adrian, I’m glad it’s all been helpful for you.

      It’s definitely great to re-discover something that is so essential, basically all the time before our eyes & involves almost our every daily activity.

      Whether it is for competitive reasons or..
      ..for general hand health, taking care of our grip always goes a long way.

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