Many times finishing a fight requires the ability to maintain a vice-like hold on your opponent over a prolonged period, which is why the importance of grin strength should not be taken lightly.
Grip strength is a general term used by grapplers and athletes to describe the muscular power and force that is generated with their hands.
Grip strength training can improve your game on the mats. It requires a different type of training regimen than other muscular training due to an interplay of the tendons and muscles and the lack of “down time” or rest that most people’s hands get especially during competition time.
Developing gripping strength is an asset when it come to grappling in the context of a martial arts or wrestling fight. It adds a quicker snap, and greater power, to a punch, giving strikers who practice gripping exercises an additional advantage as well.
In a fighting situation, the holding grip often used alternates between pinching or crushing, as ones opponent is being controlled. A crushing grip is demonstrated when one crushes a can for example. Used often in fighting when grabbing an opponent. Pinch grip involves the thumb, fingers and palm and is used for controlling an object such as a steering wheel or Gi. Holding a heavy plate between the thumb and fingers, as it hangs toward the ground, is a good demonstration of pinching strength.
Training grip strength does not just train your grip; it should also train your entire body and will have a beneficial effect on other parts of your fitness such as endurance and stamina. Try these Grip exercises.
1. Towel Chin-Up: Without tying any knots in the towel, throw it over a chin up bar. Whined up each side into your hands and hang on tight. Now perform as many chin-ups as you can. Repeat!
2. Plate Pinches: These improve finger strength. Grab a pair of 5-10 pound plates and place them together, smooth side out. Hold them with your finger tips and keep them pinched together as long as you can. If this is easy, up the weight.
3. Kettlebell Swinging: Great for endurance, try doing one-handed hook-grip swings and go until your grip is just about give out. Then I do the same number on the other hand without stopping,switching back and forth that way.
4. Bar Hang: Jump up to a chinning bar, hold on and hang there until you fall off. Add weight using a dipping belt or by holding a dumbbell between your ankles to make it more difficult.
5. Sandbag Deadlifts: Fill a few trash bags with sand and load them into a canvas duffel bag, or commercial sandbag. Do NOT use the handles of the sandbag. Instead, pick it up deadlift style, by pinching/crushing the material of the bag.
6. Rubber Band Extender: Get a bunch of thick rubber band, slip them over your fingers, and open your hand as wide as you can holding and then releasing. Add more rubber bands to make it more difficult.
Words by: Cindy Bertinato
MMA Figher, NoGi Grappler and Ring Girl and Grapplersplanet.com Contributor.
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