If you’re starting your no limits fitness journey, there’s one thing you can’t forget. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, good grip strength is key for completing any Tough Mudder course. Despite this it can often be overlooked when it come to pre-event training plans, as many people (rightly so) will focus on boosting their upper body strength and cardio fitness. But there are plenty of easy ways to boost your grip strength at home.
5 Signs You Should Be Working on Grip Strength
Having a Tough Mudder in the diary is a great reason to start working on your grip strength. As you read on though you’ll see there are plenty of reasons to focus on your hand muscles and many of them crop up in everyday life. So, if you find yourself getting hand cramp often, if you’re struggling to lift weights at the gym or grapple with heavy shopping bags and if you find simple tasks like typing or walking the dog are leaving your hands and arms fatigued, then increasing your grip strength should be a priority.
Benefits of Having Good Grip Strength
Funky Monkey, The Gauntlet, Everest, Mudderhorn, Hero Halls, all of these obstacles and plenty of others will demand grip strength from you on the course. But off the course great grip strength is beneficial too. Improving your grip strength will help you to get stronger overall as you’ll be able to lift heavier weights at the gym.
Putting training and exercise aside better grip strength will improve your fine motor skills which allow you to do…pretty much everything (think opening jars, throwing, catching. etc). Plus, it will even drop your chances of developing arthritis.
It can be tricky to know how to train this small but mighty part of our bodies though, especially without using gym equipment and when we’re at home. With this in mind we’ve compiled four simple at home grip strength exercises that can be done with objects that you’ll have lying around.
4 At Home Exercises to Build Grip Strength
Once you’ve caught up on all the news (or maybe beforehand depending on how you’re feeling) take a sheet of newspaper. Using one hand take one corner and start scrunching until it becomes a ball. Give this a few good squeezes. Do this until you feel a good burn in your forearm muscles then switch hands.
Tearing the newspaper into strips (using a few layers so its not too easy) is also good for strengthening the small muscles in your hand.
Wine Bottle Wrist Rotation
You can use a bottle of wine or a pan for this simple exercise. Grasp the wine bottle (unopened so its got some weight to it) by the neck, keep your upper arm close to your body and bend your elbow to 90 degrees. Rotate your wrist and the bottle until it’s horizontal, slowly bring it back to the top and go to the other side. Switch hands and go again. Start off with 10 reps of this and increase as your strength improves.
Nice and simple. Fill a bucket with water, rice or stones so that it’s heavy but you can carry it. Walk for 15 seconds, stop and rest. Try three to four sets and don’t forget to swap and do the other side too. As your strength improves you can increase the weight, distance and reps.
Wet Towel Wring
Submerge a towel (a tea towel or hand towel is best) fully in water until it’s saturated. Remove the towel and start wringing. Your aim is to squeeze and twist until every last drop of water has been wrung out of it. Try this once or twice a week, when you can get the bathroom to yourself.
If you weren’t working on your grip strength because you didn’t know how, or because you didn’t have the right kit, your excuses have just been destroyed. Work these easy exercises for improving grip strength at home into your training routine or when you’re completing a Tough Mudder Challenge and you’ll be swinging across Funky Monkey with ease – see you at an event this year Mudder.