Pinch Grip – 4 Simple ways to Greatly Improve it
- Pinching Strength – Empower your biggest lifts – Improving your pinch grip is inseparable part of impressive physique
- Healthier hands – Muscles are great to protect your body – The stronger your hands are, the less risk there is for injury
- Powerful Thumbs – Improving your WEAKEST link = The very Key to Success = Results for each of your lift will improve
- List of fun feats – Pinch grip just about anything, deliver stronger handshakes, have nutcracker skills, rip a deck of cards
Do you want to be able to lift some really big weights? Or climb a mountain? Pinch grip is simply must have part of your grip.
Improve the weakest link in your grip – Your thumb – Power up your thumbs to truly empower your overall physique.
So, what exactly is pinch grip? The pinch gripping is your ability to hold something between your thumb & fingers. While pinching, your fingers are on one side of an object & your thumb is on the other. Usually, objects lifted in a pinch gripping style won’t touch your palms, but not always.
Couple of amazing feats of pinch gripping strength include ripping a deck of cards or a phone book in half.
Pinch gripping is generally considered a weaker if not the weakest grip position out of four major hand specific movements. The reason for this is simple – our thumbs are usually the weakest links in our grip strength.
By pinching, your thumb applies an inward force which is balanced by one, two or more fingers applying a force back towards your thumb. This type of grip is used when grabbing something like a weight plate, pinch block, blob or very thick bar.
If your goal is to lift some serious weights, having a tuned up thumbs as well as great overall pinch grip strength, this can be a game turner for you. Pinching is an important, though often overlooked, component of strength in sports.
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 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.
If you’re planning to get a new gripper, always get a High-Quality one. Here’s why.
- 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.
- 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.
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 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.
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.
- Warm-up gripper – No matter what, your every exercise should start with a proper warm-up set
- Regular training gripper – Every-day, main hand gripper to get your workouts in effectively
- 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.
More Specialty Tools to Tune up Your Pinch Grip
Another 3 Simple Ways
Here are another 3 simple ways how you can train & improve your pinch grip strength.
Most of this type of equipment is quite easy to access & portable as well, so you can take it with you as you hit the gym.
- Thick bars – Thick handles / Axle barbells
- Pinch blocks – Standard pinch blocks / Hub style pinch blocks / Rock climbing balls / Blobs
- Standard plates – Regular barbell plates / Standard Olympic plates
#1 – Thick Bars
Thick Bars/ Axle lifts
#1 Thick Bars – For thick bar lifting you can use either specialty equipment such as Apollon’s Axle or..
..the Fat Gripz handles which are cheap yet very convenient way to turn almost any regular bar into fat thick bars.
There has recently been something of a re-discovery of thick bar training.
A training style which Old-Time Strongmen knew all about & used to great effect but which has almost been forgotten in modern times.
Thick bars are great for deadlifts, rows & pull-ups..
The most widely recognized feat of thick bar strength is the Thomas Inch Replica Dumbbell, weighing roughly 172 lbs & having a nearly 2.5-inch thick handle. As the handle of a dumbbell thickens it becomes much harder to lift.
All one unit with non-rotating globe heads, as soon as the bells leave the ground the entire unit starts to spin, peeling your grip open. This one is named after a challenge dumbbell used by the strongman performer Thomas Inch in the 19th century.
#2 – Pinch Blocks
Pinch Blocks / Hub Style Pinch
#2 Pinch Blocks – Block Weights make you lift with an open hand, so your fingertips & thumbs work much harder compared to training on regular barbells & dumbbells.
There are also two options to perform Hub style pinch lift: 1. Pinch blocks / Hub specialty equipment 2. Using single plate
To Use specialty equipment like Pinch Blocks:
1. Use a loading pin to add weights
2. Attach loading pin to Pinch Block
3. Lift Pinch Block as you would lift plates
How do you compare? If you can do:
35 lb. – average
50 lb. – accomplished
70 lb. – world-class
Additionally, pinch blocks make your wrists & forearms work harder. It’s challenging & fun way to strengthen your grip.
With a single plate – Get an Olympic plate & put it on its back with the center hub pointing up. Squeeze the hub using your thumb & fingers to lift it from the floor.
Do a static hold with plate for a few seconds, put it back down and repeat. Start with a 10 lb or 25 lb plate and lift to failure. Lifting a 45 lb Olympic plate is considered a great feat.
Using Hub-Style specialty equipment:
1. Use a loading pin to add weights
2. Attach loading pin to Hub
3. Lift Hub as you would lift a single plate
How do you compare? If you can do:
30 lb. – average
50 lb. – accomplished
80 lb. – world-class
Simulates the classic York feat of strength. A staple at grip competitions & part of the “Crushed-to-Dust!” challenge. The Hub lets you build your pinch grip in this classic feat of grip strength.
#3 – Standard Plates
Perform a Plate Pinch
#3 Standard Plates – For this exercise you’ll need two standard or Olympic plates. If possible use wide rimmed plates with smooth sides. It’s good to start out light (10 lbs plates are excellent).
For starting position, put the two of them together & start lifting from the floor by grasping the plates with your fingers on the outside & your thumb on the inside.
You’re set, now hold your elbow slightly bent & pick plates up off the ground as you stand up.
Depending on your goal, you can lift it for repetitions or maintain the static hold as long as you can. Put plates down, switch to other hand. Rinse & repeat.
Remember, safety first: Be careful, as your grip is starting to get fatigued, not to drop the plates on your toes.
Plate pinch exercise in 5 steps:
- Grab two plates & put them together – Hold plates together by pinch gripping.
- Starting position – Grip the outside part of the plate with your fingers & the inside with your thumb.
- Lift – Squeeze the plates with your fingers & thumb. Do reps or perform static hold in this position for as long as you can.
- Switch arms & repeat the movements.
- Rinse & repeat – Follow your workout program.
Caution: As you attempt to hold the weighted plates for long time, your hands get tired & it can cause you to drop the plates. As a result, it may cause an injury if it lands on your feet.
To add variety to this exercise you can also try:
1. Plate pinch curls
2. Plate pinch farmers walk
3. Plate pinch finger-walking
4. Two hand plate pinch
Always note that training to muscle failure can be risky. One way to do it, is the moment when you feel like the weight is about to slip out of your hand, to bend your knees while keeping your back straight & safely put the plates on the floor.
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