If you’re serious about increasing your strength, then it’s crucial that you pay attention to your grip strength. Training your grip strength is actually one of the most effective ways to increase your performance on every other lift in the gym and is incredibly ‘functional’ in that it can help you in a range of scenarios in ‘real life’ as well.
Grip strength is crucial because it’s needed in order to hold onto the very weights you intend to lift. If you’re performing bench press, rows or pull ups and your grip gives out, you’ll no longer be able to perform reps. Likewise, we need our grip to open jam jars, to rip open boxes and to carry… anything. If you have weak grip, it will be the weak link in your armor that hurts your performance across the board.
That’s why the ‘old time strongmen’ always treated grip training as a top priority and it’s why you should do the same.
And to that end, you might consider investing in a hand dynamometer.
What Is a Dynamometer?
A dynamometer is a device that you can buy online that measures force. This means you can squeeze it and then see how much force you’re generating in kg.
The reason this is so useful, is that it allows you to measure progress in grip strength. There’s an old adage in fitness tracking that says ‘that which is measured, improves’ and largely it holds up to be true.
How can you be sure if your training methods are working effectively, if you can’t see whether or not you’re improving in the domains you’re targeting? With a dynamometer, you can measure precisely whether or not your hand strength is improving and thereby use more of the training that’s working.
Most dynamometers are capable of measuring up to 100kg and will inform you as to whether your strength is good, normal or lacking.
At the same time, a dynamometer also has a number of other uses for strength athletes and others. For instance, a dynamometer can be used as a grip trainer in itself. Whereas many other grip trainers are only capable of measuring up to 20kg (if that), a dynamometer can go up to 100kg. There’s no reason you can’t use it for sets and reps then, or even to use it to measure how precisely you can control your force – it would be awesome to see something like this for the chest press and other body parts too!
Another handy use for the dynamometer is for measuring recovery. There is some consensus on the idea that grip strength can be used as a good indicator of testosterone and recovery – especially when measured first thing in the morning. If you measure your grip strength first thing in the morning, it can be a useful way to check your recovery and decide whether you’re ready to train again.
Dynamometers are relatively cheap and a great addition to your training arsenal, so consider picking one up.