Hand Grip: Benefits and Buying Guide
A hand grip or hand gripper is a lever-type exercise tool for increasing grip strength. Although most people use this device to build muscles in their arms, athletes use this to improve grip strength which enhances their overall sports performance. This tool is very easy to use and is sold at a very affordable price, which makes it a favorite among athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.
Below are some of the benefits of using hand grippers:
Increased Grip Strength
In almost any sport, good grip strength can positively complement ones basic training regimen and condition the muscles to improve overall performance. Hand grip exercises challenge your hand to increase the amount of force you can apply, which can really help you hold onto and effectively pass the ball in a basketball game, hitting a ball with a baseball bat, and even perfecting your swing when playing golf.
Outside the world of sports, many daily activities also require a good grip, like carrying heavy items, opening lids, holding on to the leash of your dog and grabbing on handle bars to support yourself as you get out of the tub or climb the stairs.
Once you learn how to exercise with hand grippers, you will find out that you can vary the amount of reps (how fast or slow) you can apply open and close the grips, which will improve your hand endurance. This can be very useful when you need to carry heavy luggage for extended periods.
Good hand endurance is also essential in weight training. Take for example doing a deadlift with a heavy barbell. If you have good grip strength, you will be able to easily lift the weight without fear of it slipping from your hands. It also eliminates the need to use wraps that sometimes affects the productivity of the workout.
Build Muscular Arms
Toned and muscular arms are not just good to look at, but they are also an indication that you have strong arms, which is a requirement in many sports. Wrestling, boxing, football, and weightlifting are just some of the sports that can benefit from having strong arms that can exert greater force when handling the ball, tackling opponents, or lifting heavy objects.
You can use the hand grips for exercising individual fingers too in order to improve dexterity. Having better control on the movement of each finger can be beneficial for sports like archery, basketball, and volleyball. Improved dexterity is useful for musicians in playing their instruments, for painters, and even typists.
Lower Blood Pressure
Several studies done on patients with high blood pressure have shown that doing hand grip workouts can lower the systolic blood pressure. One observation behind this is that it is probably because this type of exercise makes the carotid artery more flexible. The decreased rigidity of this artery allows better blood flow, thus the lowering of the blood pressure.
Considerations When Buying Hand Grippers
First, understand that there are two main types of grippers – the standard gripper and the adjustable type. The former has a fixed resistance, which means that you have to buy several pieces as you progress in your training. The latter, on the other hand, can be adjusted to increase the resistance, which can be a cost-effective choice since you only have to buy a single tool instead of buying several pieces.
Second, choose the right resistance. This can vary depending on your gender or any grip training that you may have previously had. Women, for instance, are recommended to start with the 100-lb gripper and then move up once your muscles adapt to the resistance. Men, usually start with the 150-lb or 200-lb hand grips. Some trainers recommend that you buy a complete set consisting of 5 grippers of varying resistance, but this can be difficult for people who are on a budget. Therefore, the best alternative is to buy one or two grippers and just add more as you progress in your training.
Third, look at the handle of the gripper. Choose a brand or model with smooth or cushioned handles for comfortable gripping. You certainly do not want any hard plastic digging into your palm while you do the grip exercises. You should also make sure that the material used in the handle is of good quality. Some cheap brands use brittle plastic that can break when pressure is applied. This can cause injury to your hand. Remember the golden rule in fitness – safety first.
A hand grip is a very simple device that is easy to use, yet provides a wide range of benefits not just in sports training but in daily activities and functions. The best part is that you can train your hands while you watch TV or reading a book. It is a “must” for all beginner athletes and fitness enthusiasts.