Tips for Your Grips
Written by Cat Blatner
In the Sport of CrossFit, we focus a lot on having a strong grip strength. However, what steps are we taking to maintain balanced and health in our forearms and hands as well?
Every day you walk into a gym, chances are you will be grabbing something with a tight fist. Whether it be on barbells, pull-up bars, rings, ropes, kettlebells or dumbbells, we often tire our forearms and hands in the gym. Having strong grip strength will take you far in this sport, no doubt. So what steps are necessary in keeping your muscles balanced and healthy?
If we work on our biceps every single day and neglect to stretch them or work any strength in our triceps completely, we could eventually create an imbalance that will hinder the ability to efficiently lock out our arms. This, too, can be true for the balance and health of our grip strength. We need to be able to open up our hands in order to grip anything in the first place. So lets take a look at how we can keep our hands and forearms healthy and strong!
If you have ever completed a high rep barbell or pull-up workout, then you will know exactly what I am talking about. That moment you finish your workout and you feel like you can’t open up your hands because you have just completely tortured your grip. We are all too familiar with that burning in our forearms and hands. These workouts come up a lot, so here are a few steps we can follow to keep our grip healthy and strong!
Tip #1: Open and Stretch Your Hand and Forearms
A simple stretch to help after these workouts is just working our hands into extension again. Open up the hand and press against a surface to allow the muscles to elongate.
Tip #2: Roll Those Tight Muscles!
Next, it is important to release the tightening in the forearms. We can do this by simply massaging up our forearms with a lacrosse ball or tennis ball. Work both sides of the forearm to create balance and free the tightness in the muscles.
Tip #3: Added Resistance
Now here is the part that sees the most neglect when it comes to grip health. We can counter all of that grip work with proper finger extension work. The outer muscles of our hand help create balance and stability in our grip.
Simply find a rubber band and place it over your finger tips, as seen below. Complete 8-10 repetitions of opening and closing your hand against the rubber band on each hand for 3 rounds. As your strength progresses so will the width of the rubber band being used. You can also challenge yourself further by slowing down the tempo of hand extension and flexion.
So after you finish your next workout containing heavy deadlifts, pull-ups or farmers carries, go grab a rubber band and get some balance work in! It will save your grip and keep your hands healthy and strong!