Grip Strength Problem

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 07, 2008 11:40 AM GMT
    I've been lifting for a few years now and just this past year I've been noticing that my grip strength is somehow getting weaker. Particularly during back exercises, such as pull ups or cable pulldowns, my back muscles won't be entirely fatigued but I'll begin losing my grip on the apparatus. I focus on squeezing harder and I've tried both bare handed and with gloves, but the problem keeps going and I have to stop the exercise because I can't hold on anymore. Also, it seems like the problem is especially with 4th and 5th fingers on both hands.

    Any suggestions on exercises or methods of increasing my grip strength so I can keep hold longer?
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    Feb 07, 2008 2:03 PM GMT
    Try increasing your grip strength with one of those squishy balls, like The Gripp. If that's not enough, get a pair of Versa Gripps:

    http://www.versagripps.com/

  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Feb 07, 2008 3:47 PM GMT
    Most sporting goods stores sell inexpensive hand grippers in a variety of resistances to squeeze regularly and therefore build grip strength. I ended up getting a pair of those in high school when one of my big problems in tennis was my racquet twisting in my hand when returning a hard serve. I've actually been thinking about getting a pair of heavier resistance ones now, as I also run into problems with grip strength altering how much weight I can handle on certain exercises.
  • jc_online

    Posts: 487

    Feb 07, 2008 4:37 PM GMT
    I had the same problem. My trainer made me get lifting straps that wrap around your hand and wrist. They helped me finish the lifts when my hand/fingers fatigued.
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    Feb 07, 2008 6:46 PM GMT
    Does grip strength also come from your forearms as well as your hand? I need to develop both. I can't really lift over 80 pound in a dumbbell exercise for fear of losing my grip.
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    Feb 07, 2008 9:17 PM GMT
    If yuo dont want to buy extra equipment try barbell wrist curls or alternatively a broom handles some rope and a couple of bricks, hold the arms out straight and roll the broom handle to raise the bricks. Its the same effect.

    What I would add is the exercises you are performing are not there to strengthen grip. They are there to target much larger muscles and as such dont let the wrists be the limiting factor as its a prime case for using straps or grippers.

  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Feb 07, 2008 9:25 PM GMT
    Yes, a large portion of grip strength comes from the forearms, not from the hand. That being said, it's possible to have exceptionally strong hands without correspondingly strong forearms. A good friend of mine has the strongest grip of anyone I've ever known, despite being rail thin; years of playing gigantic stringed instruments have caused him to develop a phenomenal grip.
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    Feb 07, 2008 9:54 PM GMT
    bfg1 saidIf yuo dont want to buy extra equipment try barbell wrist curls or alternatively a broom handles some rope and a couple of bricks, hold the arms out straight and roll the broom handle to raise the bricks. Its the same effect.

    What I would add is the exercises you are performing are not there to strengthen grip. They are there to target much larger muscles and as such dont let the wrists be the limiting factor as its a prime case for using straps or grippers.



    I have the same problem. I made a similar apparatus using a vacuum cleaner tube, shoe string, and a dumb bell. I hold the tube at waist level, and rotate it both directions using just the muscles in my forearms. It has helped a lot. I found that a broom handle was too slim.

    Any other exercise suggestions?
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    Feb 08, 2008 7:20 AM GMT
    I'll throw something out there; any physical therapists can correct me.

    I recently started seeing a massage therapist off and on here in Memphis. She does deep tissue, and does it VERY well. I've really liked her. One thing that I really have her focus on is my forearms. She said that a lot of people have various problems due to muscle tension, mostly like carpel (sp?) tunnel, but also an apparent loss in the person's ability to grip.

    One thing you guys might wanna' try doing is going to someone who does real deep tissue massages and have them focus on your forearms and upper body a few sessions. Walking out of the place I feel better, especially after my first couple of sessions. I remember the first time I'd ever had a deep tissue done, she got to my forearms, and as she ran her fingers through the tissue, I could feel what felt like a bit like lots of tiny bubbles being pushed out. When I asked her what that was, she said it's lactic acid from A.) not hydrating enough, and B.) not stretching enough.

    *Shrug* Not saying it's a sure fix, but it's definitely something you guys might want to consider. As far as I know, I'm not sure grip is supposed to arbitrarily weaken. :/
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    Feb 08, 2008 10:38 PM GMT
    good point mtown on the carpel tunnel issues. Just look down now at your hand if its hovered over your mouse

    The hand is tensed yet you are keeping the grip slack. Might be worth googling physio treatment for that and seeing if there is any mileage in those suggested exercises
  • DrStorm

    Posts: 185

    Feb 09, 2008 12:22 AM GMT
    "mtown_nerd" has a point here. I recently started noticing that while biking that my grip strength was very weak in my right hand compared to my left hand when I would apply my brakes.

    So, I went to my PT/Sports medicine doctor genius who found the problem pretty quickly - severely over trained right forearm muscle (Brachioradalis Muscle) and it's associated tendon (from way to heavy barbell curl that my biceps can easily manage, but apparently NOT my forearm).

    This in turn resulted in the weakness in my right hand grip.

    And I should know better...Not only did over training with too heavy barbell curls screw up my forearms, they also killed my biceps tendon in both shoulders. .

    The common mistake in the gym is to work out the biceps and never really workout the forearms. More often than not your biceps CAN manage the weight you're lifting but you may be over training the forearms which ultimately will lead to injury as in my case.

    PREVENTION is better than cure, so if you don't think you have an injury, then work out your forearms to build up their strength. IF you think you have an injury go see a PT.

    PEACE

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