6 Exercises That Build Grip and Forearm Strength Fast

If you can't hold it, you can't lift it. Get rid of the wrist straps and strengthen your hands and forearms. And don't forget about each finger and your thumbs either.

Incorporating forearm and grip strength training exercises into a program can appear overwhelming. They may even be something you overlook. But the small amount of time you spend on this area of your body can increase your strength gains substantially by helping you get that last rep before your hands give out.

Strong hands and forearms can increase your Bench Press, allow you to perform more Pull-Ups, and help you move more weight from the floor. And you'll gain confidence knowing that your hands won't slip when you need them most.

Enhance your strength program with these six exercises:

1. Squeeze and Extend

  • Squeeze the ball as tightly as possible.
  • Open your fingers as if you were waving goodbye with your fingers spread apart. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds.
  • Repeat.

Sets/Reps: 1-2 x 8-12, two times per week minimum.

2. Fat Roller

  • Grip a 3-inch PVC pipe (or larger if you have big hands) with only your fingertips touching the surface. Your palms cannot touch the pipe.
  • Complete five full range-of-motion wrist extensions (as if you were hitting the gas on a motorcycle handle).
  • Complete five full range-of-motion wrist flexions (opposite direction of extensions.)

Sets/Duration: 1-2 x 30-60 seconds, two times per week minimum.

3. Finger Roller

  • Use only one finger at a time on each hand to wrap around the 1-inch PVC pipe.
  • Roll the rope up, changing fingers as they fatigue during the exercise.

Sets/Reps: 1-2 x 2-5, two times per week minimum.

4. Crusher

  • For the first repetition, focus on squeezing your pointer finger to your thumb.
  • Next, focus on squeezing your middle finger to your thumb.
  • Continue with all fingers on both hands.

Note: Your other fingers can assist in the movement, but change your focus to exert more strength from each finger.

Reps: 2-5 per finger, two times per week minimum.

5. Pinch Grip Roller

  • Use only your fingertips on this 3/4 to 1-inch-wide board.
  • Complete five full range-of-motion wrist extensions.
  • Complete five full range-of-motion wrist flexions.

Reps: 2-5, two times per week minimum.

6. Triangle Roller

  • Use only your fingertips.
  • Complete full range-of-motion wrist extensions  until the resistance touches the pipe.
  • Control the range of motion with each wrist roll on the way down.
  • Rest.
  • Repeat sequence with full range-of-motion wrist flexion.

Reps: 2-5, two times per week minimum.

Learn even more grip strength exercises:

Editor's Note: Check out Coach Taylor's SMARTER Team Training Audio Interview Series here.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: FOREARMS | EXERCISE | GRIP STRENGTH | STRENGTH EXERCISES | PVC PIPE