Sports science has established that grip strength can enhance performance in many sports. Even when it’s not actually proven in studies, such as the benefit of grip strength on batting speed in baseball, baseball players still participate in grip strength training – because it can’t hurt. It’s okay if you’re not a serious athlete; improving your grip leads to better workouts, which we all need to stay fit.
What Muscles to Work On
As you probably know, there are no large muscles on the hand. Hand muscles are used for fine motor controls of your fingers. It is the muscles on your forearms that supply the brute force needed for powerful grips.
The two muscles in question are the extensor (which runs along the top of the forearm) and the flexor (at the bottom of the forearm). The extensor is used to close your hand into a fist and the flexor is used to open the fist. Therefore, the extensor is more important for grip strength if your hand is not under any strain. However, when you’re working out or playing sports, you often have to flex your hand/fist inward or outward, and this action is the territory of the flexor and the extensor. For this reason, proper grip strength training includes strengthening both the extensors and the flexors on your forearms.
How Does Grip Strength Help?
Grip strength helps with all workouts and sports that involve gripping and hand supports. The sports include martial arts, racquet sports, major American professional sports, gymnastics, and even horseracing and pole dancing. The workouts include nearly all weight training and callisthenics such as pull-ups and push-ups.
When you’re lifting weights that you can barely handle, your hand is nearly always the first to give way. Furthermore, your forearms’ extensor and flexor muscles are precisely what you need to excel in pull-ups, which can be near impossible for those with poor grips.
In conclusion, improving your grip leads to better workouts. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work on your grip strength first, but you should always include grip strength training in your workout routines.