How to Increase Hand Strength With Hand Grip Exercises

If you’re involved in combat sports of any kind, your hands are extremely precious particularly to boxers. Brittle hands equals less power and more pain when punching. Increasing hand strength will benefit you not only in the sporting field, but also in everyday activities from carrying heavy objects to pushing and pulling things.

Increase Your Hand Strength With the Top 5 Best Hand Grippers

In the following sections, Lee Hayward demonstrates the right and wrong way to use a hand gripper, and how to get strong hands by utilizing the different techniques of hand grip exercises.

The Right and Wrong Way

I want to share some hand gripper training techniques, how to properly close and use the heavy grips hand grippers…I actually have a hand gripper training manual that I give out for free with every hand gripper order.

Please bear in mind that Lee is referring to any type of squeeze and close hand grippers, but particularly his own brand Heavy Grips which you can buy here.

Now you may be thinking that a manual is not really necessary since it does appear to be real simple to someone who is not experienced in hand gripper training. At the end of the day, you just have to hold it and squeeze it.

However, there are different methods of holding and squeezing it to work on all the different tendons and ligaments within your hand and forearms, which Lee explains.

Holding the Gripper

When you look at the hand gripper, one side of the gripper (of the spring) is straighter than the other and the other side is a bit rounder…This is because when the gripper gets made, the straight side [is held in place] and the spring gets coiled around.

Heavy Grips Hand Grippers

The leg of the straight side of the spring is supposed to be held against the palm of your hand.

The reason why I want to mention that is because the leg with the straight side is what we consider the ‘dog leg’ and that’s the side we want to have in the palm of our hand. The other side you want to have facing outwards. So that’s one little tip that not many people are aware of when they start gripper training.

Another thing is, when you’re holding the grippers to set up for them, you want to hold them high in your hands. The reason for this is because you want to be able to close the gripper shut and your fingers only bend at a 90 degree angle…So if the gripper is not shut by the time your fingers are bent at a 90 degree angle, then it’s not going to shut.

Setting the gripper

Set the gripper by using your free hand.

So that’s why you got to hold the gripper high in your hand, push your thumb forward and we actually use our free hand to what we actually call, ‘set the gripper’. So you pull your fingers in so that your fingers are all wrapped around it, and then we can mash the gripper shut.

Just to recap of how to properly hold and close the hand gripper:

  1. Hold the leg with the straight sided spring against your palm with the other side facing outwards.
  2. Make sure that the hand gripper is held high in your hands to enable proper closing.
  3. Push your thumb forward and use your free hand to ‘set the gripper’ (ensuring your fingers are wrapped around it).

Inverted Closes

You can also do what we call inverted closes, closing the gripper upside down. This works different muscles of the hands, and different ways of hitting the tendons and ligaments.

Finger Strengthening

Finger strengthening

You can strengthen your fingers by doing the inverted close technique.

You can also work individual fingers. Hold it down and you can work the bottom three fingers…or the last two fingers.

…And when it comes to gripper training, it’s the last two fingers, your pinky and your ring finger, that are actually the weak link when it comes to mashing the gripper shut. When you’re working on those harder grippers, very often if you can strengthen your pink and ring finger, that could be the little edge that you need to move up to the next level gripper.

All this stuff actually carries over not only to gripper training, but to your weight training workouts as well. When your grip is strong, you’re going to feel a lot more secure when you’re doing all your barbell and dumbbell exercises. You’re going to be able to hold on, feel stronger and get more reps.

Best Hand Grippers

As you can see it’s relatively simple to use a hand gripper but it’s the most effective when used correctly. Hayward demonstrated with his own set of Heavy Grips, but there are actually specialized hand grips designed to work individual fingers as well as the entire hand.

Perhaps the best brand that produces these models is Grip Master which you can check out here. They are designed for athletes as well as people who play instruments.

If you have issues with your hands, then I highly recommend that you invest in a hand gripper and begin increasing your hand strength through a variety of different hand grip exercises everyday.


To get the most out of your training, I highly recommend the following articles:

How to Increase Punching Power
10 Tips to Improve Boxing Footwork
Boxing Basics
Top 10 Best Heavy Punching Bags
Top 10 Best Boxing Gloves