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How to Improve Grip Strength and Wrist Mobility [17 Exercises]

Having a strong grip and good wrist mobility is essential for many daily activities and athletic endeavors. Whether you’re lifting weights, opening jars, or simply carrying groceries, your grip and wrist health plays a crucial role. If your grip strength is weak and you want to build grip strength, here’s an article for you.

Does Grip Strength Matter?

Yes, grip strength matters significantly. It’s more than having a strong handshake, it’s crucial for performing everyday tasks such as carrying groceries, opening jars, and lifting objects. Strong grip strength is also vital for athletic performance in sports like climbing, tennis, and weightlifting.

Moreover, it is a reliable indicator of overall muscle strength and health, often linked to reduced risk of injury and better longevity. A study published in the British Medical Journal suggested that having a poor grip was linked to a higher risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and death. Having enhanced grip strength contributes to better functional fitness and improved well-being and overall health.

If you have no idea of how strong your grip is, you can visit a physical therapist to help you out. They use a handheld dynamometer to measure the strength of a person’s grip.

Why Is My Grip Strength So Weak?

Having a weaker grip can be a combination of several factors, including:

Sedentary Lifestyle

A lack of regular physical activity can lead to overall muscle weakness, including in your hands and forearms.

Medical Conditions

Conditions such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or nerve damage can impair grip strength.

Overuse or Underuse

Overusing your hands in repetitive tasks without adequate breaks can lead to muscle fatigue and weakness. Conversely, underusing them can result in muscle atrophy.

Poor Technique

Improper lifting techniques or bad ergonomics can strain your hands and wrists, leading to weakness over time.

Can You Actually Strengthen Your Grip?

Yes, you can definitely improve hand grip strength! Your current grip strength is largely influenced by the muscles in your forearms, hands, and fingers. Like any other muscle group, these muscles can be trained and strengthened through targeted exercises and consistent practice.

How Quickly Can You Improve Grip Strength?

The timeline for improving grip strength varies depending on your starting point, consistency, and overall fitness level. However, most people can expect to see noticeable improvements within 4 to 6 weeks of regular practice. Beginners might see quicker gains as their muscles adapt to new stimuli, while those with a higher starting strength may experience more gradual progress.

It’s important to be patient and persistent. Gradual, consistent training will yield the best long-term results, reducing the risk of injury and ensuring sustainable improvements.

How Can I Make My Grip Stronger?

If you find your grip a limiting factor not only in the gym but also in everyday life, don’t worry, hope isn’t lost yet. To improve your grip strength, you’ll need to do a combination of direct grip exercises and overall strength training and ensure good wrist mobility.

When doing them, focus on increasing time under tension as doing so can help you work more on your grip. Here are some of the best exercises to get you started:

Wrist Mobility and Grip Strength Exercises

Reverse Wrist Curls

This great exercise works the forearm muscles to increase the strength of your grip. To do this, sit upright on a bench and hold a barbell in both hands with your palms facing away from you. Lean forward and position your forearms on your knees. Keep them on your legs and lift the weight, bending your wrists back. Slowly lower and let your wrists curl down.

Towel Wringing

Grab a hand towel and hold one end in each hand. Twist the towel in opposite directions as if you’re wringing water out of it. Reverse directions and repeat. Continue back and forth several times.

Hand Grippers

Hand grippers are a simple tool that can significantly improve grip strength. Hold a gripper in each hand with four fingers wrapped around one handle and your thumb around the other. Squeeze the gripper for a set number of repetitions and sets. Start with a manageable resistance and gradually increase as your strength improves.

Dead Hang

Hanging from a pull-up bar is an excellent way to not only enhance grip strength but also improve your upper body. Simply grab onto a pull-up bar with your palms and fingers forward over the bar and lift yourself or your legs and hang for as long as possible, maintaining a firm grip. Make sure that your arms are straight. Aim for multiple sets with increasing duration.


Strengthening your arms, shoulders, and torso can also help with your grip. Stand under a pull-up bar with your back straight. Raise your arms to grab the bar with an overhand grip and your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. 

Bend your elbows and lift your body until your chin is at or just above the bar. Hold for a moment and try to avoid swinging your body. Lower yourself down to the starting position. Repeat until your grip fails.

Farmers Walk

Hold heavy weights in each hand then stand up straight with your shoulders, back, and core tight. Walk a certain distance and back. This exercise not only strengthens your grip but also improves overall core stability and endurance.

Forearm Extensors

The muscles on the back of your forearm work together in order to open your fingers and extend your wrist backward. To train them, spread open your hands as wide as you can while bending your wrists back. Hold for 30 seconds, pause, then repeat.

Finger Flexion Putty

This workout can help increase finger strength and grip. Hold some putty in the palm of your hand and squeeze the putty with your fingers, then release. You can also mold the putty in different directions using your fingers.

Fingertip Push-Ups

If you can do push-ups with good form, you can perform them on your fingertips to help strengthen the supporting tendons in your lower arm. If a proper push-up using your fingertips is difficult and you can’t support your own weight, you can complete them on your knees instead.

Pinch Grip Exercise

You’ll need 2 weight places that are at least 10 pounds each for this exercise. To do this, stand up straight and hold one of the weight plates in your hand, pinching the edge with your fingers and thumb. Move the weight plate in front of your chest, maintaining the pinch grip. 

Grab the weight plate with your other hand using the same grip and remove your other hand from it, transferring it from one hand to the other. Lower the hand with the plate down to your side. Raise the hand with the plate back up to your chest and transfer the plate back to the other hand with the same grip. Repeat the transfer 10 times, 3 times a day.

Plate Pinches

Pinch two weight plates together with your fingers and hold them for as long as you can. This exercise targets the muscles in your fingers and thumbs specifically.

Dumbbell Head Grab

Here’s an exercise to increase hand strength and replicate picking up a pickle jar or something similar. All you need to do is put a dumbbell on its end and pick it up by the head. Be careful if the dumbbell is too big as your thumb can easily be strained if it’s stretched too far. Hold for 30 seconds then let go slowly.

Kettlebell Crush

Squeeze a kettlebell by its sides as if you’re trying to deflate a basketball. Hinge forward and do rows, pulling the weight to your chest, then lowering back slowly to the start. Maintain the tension in your grips throughout the movement.

Wrist Roller

Hold on to a dowel rod, stick bar, or rolling pin with your palms facing down while you sit or stand. Roll the dowel rod in one direction, and then the other. To make it more challenging, speed up the rolling.

Wrist Circles

Extend your arms in front of you and make circular motions with your wrists. Perform circles in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions to improve flexibility and mobility.

Wrist Flexor Stretch

Extend one arm in front with the palm facing up. Use your other hand to gently pull your fingers back towards your body. Hold for 20-30 seconds and switch hands.

Wrist Extensor Stretch

Extend one arm in front with the palm facing down. Use your other hand to gently push your fingers towards the ground. Hold for 20-30 seconds and switch hands.

Additional Tips to Increase Grip Strength

Adopt these tips to improve your grip strength.


A regular resistance and strengthening routine is key. Incorporate grip and wrist exercises into your workout routine several times a week.

Proper Technique

Ensure you use proper form during exercises to avoid strain and injury.

Rest and Recovery

Allow adequate rest between workouts to let your muscles recover and grow stronger.


Always warm up before engaging in grip-intensive activities to prepare your muscles and joints.


Having a stronger grip is achievable with strength training exercises and consistent practice. By understanding the causes of weak grip strength and incorporating specific exercises, you can significantly enhance your grip.

Additionally, incorporating wrist mobility exercises will support your overall hand and wrist health. Remember, progress takes time, but with dedication and proper technique, you can expect to see substantial improvements in a matter of weeks.

Tricia Montano

Tricia founded Pain Free Working in 2019 due to suffering from degenerative disc disease in her L5-S1 from working an office job for the past 18 years. She and her team strive on finding and reviewing the best office equipment to help fellow pain sufferers find relief and to enable people like her to do their jobs comfortably.