A proper grip isn’t just essential. It can be lifesaving if you happen to find yourself hanging off a rooftop by your knuckles while being chased by bad guys who wouldn’t hesitate a moment to step on your hands and send you sailing off that ledge. Melodrama aside, we concur with Mark Barroso whose article for Aaptiv.com reminds all of us that grip matters.
“Grip strength is your hands’ ability to be mostly responsible for the proper execution of a movement,” he explains. “Grocery shopping, carrying kids, and shoveling snow all require grip strength.”
What’s the best way to achieve a powerful grip?
They’re small, convenient and likely the most inexpensive investment you’ll make to keep your hands strong and in control of whatever gambits you take. The products in this review offer you an extraordinary price range — from $7 to $73 – so if you don’t find what you want, it may not exist.
This Captains of Crush hand gripper has pulled off an accomplishment competitors envy: Lots of 5-star ratings. The company calls this “The World’s Leading Hand Strengthener,” and who are we to refute that lofty claim?
Made in the U.S.A. by an industry leader that’s been around since 1988, this product does more than build stronger grips; it can also prevent and reduce the possibility of a hand injury and even help with recovery.
Crafted of billet aluminum and alloy steel, adjust this gripper so you can run through 11 different strength levels – an optimal benefit if you’re starting from scratch and want to build your hand strength gradually.
Those levels are diverse and run from a beginner setting to one that IronMind calls “World’s Strongest Man” setting. Of course, we take issue with this last statement because women keen on developing a crushing grip to choose this product, too.
This hand exerciser resembles a medieval torture tool, but the Prohands Gripmaster Hand Exerciser is nothing of the sort. Spring-loaded, this unit’s finger-piston system isolates and exercises each finger and users can choose between 4 strengths and lots of colors.
A favorite of professionals – from musicians to athletes to rehab specialists — this hand exerciser is made of ABS plastic and fitted with stainless steel springs.
Whether your goal is endurance, strength or both, tone and condition hand muscles to improve dexterity while building wrist and forearm muscle. Are you troubled by poor circulation, carpal tunnel or arthritis?
The Gripmaster-Rehab version is designed to help improve hand function that’s been weakened by debilitating illnesses. Pick the one you need to solve you grip dilemma (VIA; Gripmaster; Gripmaster-Rehab and Pro) but be aware of the fact that each type has a different price tag so be sure to order the version that meets your needs.
This FitBeast Hand grip workout kit offers you lots of goodies within a carry bag that include a hand gripper, finger exerciser, finger stretcher, grip ring and stress relief grip ball. Affordable and versatile, it’s hard to imagine anything about powering up your grip that isn’t included in this tidy bundle.
Favored by rock climbers, tennis players and musicians seeking improved flexibility, items in this kit are comfortable to use because they’re all ergonomically sound and you get a resistance range that runs from 22- to 132-pounds.
Items in this kit are recommended for hand injury rehab, sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis, carpal tunnel and tendovaginitis plus rehabbing fractured bones and tendons.
If you’ve had customer service issues in the past and worry that by purchasing this kit you’ll be left to your own devices, brand fans rave about “wonderful after-sale customer service,” and FitBeast offers free tutorial videos to help you put together a customized training plan. Call them 24/7. Apparently, FitBeast folks never sleep.
This pair of hand grip strengthener meets your needs and at a price that’s less than the cost of two Starbucks coffees. Will you be able to set these grips to meet FitBeast’s 132-pound max strength? Pretty close, and at half the cost.
This Luxon contains 2 adjustable handgrip exercisers designed to work out your hands, forearms, and fingers. What won’t this dynamic duo do? Take care of your Starbuck’s run.
If your goals include improving your fine and gross motor skills, enhancing your dexterity and helping your hands reach max endurance levels, this pair will do the job, and since they are lightweight and easy to clean and store, you can carry one in your pocket or handbag.
Take them everywhere you go (standing in line at Starbuck’s, for example) to maximize your hand workout time and if you are prescribed hand strength exercises for a medical condition, you’ll already be equipped to start rehab.
This 3-piece Heavy Grips Set happens to be so popular, they could be sold out when you browse your favorite online resource or retailer. Engineered to be used by beginners and professionals alike, these three grippers allow you to gradually build strength by starting at 200-pounds and increasing in 250- and 300-pound increments.
As you master each, experience physical limit breakthroughs using a progressive system to target your forearms, fingers and wrists. Use these grips to rehabilitate your hands on the go by tucking them into your bag. You couldn’t lose your grip if you tried since the aluminum handles on each are knurled to provide a non-slip surface.
By the way, if you like these grippers and want to stick with the brand, you can order the 6-pack that advances you from 100 to 350 pounds. You’ll spend twice as much on the 6-pack but consider it the incentive you need not to give up early!
If you never met a rock you couldn’t climb, this affordable product is designed with you in mind. Weighing 3.3 ounces and measuring a discreet 7.25 x 4.75 x 1 inches, this unit is made to condition both your right and left hands.
Designed for experienced climbers, the VariGrip Sport PRO delivers adjustable resistance from 9 to 12 lbs. per finger with just the turn of the dial, so your grasping ability can go from wimpy to tenacious if you stick to your conditioning routine.
The Varigrip folks hired a certified hand therapist to test this affordable product and conclusions reached were that users will improve hand strength, endurance, dexterity, circulation and range of motion for each finger and thumb. The grip’s textured base is made for callous-building, yet the extra-wide, thick base distributes palm pressure evenly.
Users rave about the padded, contoured fingertips that are surprisingly comfortable. At half the cost of the HeavyGrips set, this product helps build strong fingers, hands, wrists and forearms — and plenty of confidence.
Relatively new on the market but as impressive as the earlier iteration of this hand strengthener, this Fat Gripz product is marketed as “The Simple Proven Way to Get Big Biceps & Forearms Fast.”
To prove the point, the Fat Gripz company points to Men’s Health magazine. Editors gave this product a 2020 Home Gym Award. Developed to wrap around the bars of your hand weights (barbells, dumbbells, chin-up bars), the increased diameter does all of the work for you. With every lift, your arms are supercharged.
Even body-building pros claim that these grips “force your arms to grow like never before,” and plenty of endorsements stand in support of these workout tools, including members of the NFL and NBA.
Because these grips are made of military-grade rubber and feature a slit that allows you to slip them over bars, nothing could be easier to install. If you don’t get it, consult the muscle-building video produced by Fat Gripz. The company claims that “a lifetime of results cost less than a month’s supply of protein,” and who can argue with that?
This tiny finger-specific TUG Gripper belongs atop your shortlist if you’ve got finger issues, but be prepared to make sizing decisions because there are 7 that range from #1 (very easy) to #7 (very hard). Why so many?
Because your fingers may not need as much pressure as the dude next door. Pricing on each of these units increases as you go from easy to hard, but since it’s only a matter of a buck or two, no need to start buying low-grade dog food for your pooch.
Simple and uncomplicated, these grippers work by training one or two fingers at a time (please include your thumbs so they don’t feel left out) and letting the oversized handles with hemi-ends do much of the strengthening work.
Fashioned of the combination of billet aluminum and alloy steel, these gems are precise and efficient, qualities you would expect from a company that’s been in the fitness business since 1988.
If your motto is “KISS” (Keep It Simple Stupid), this inexpensive, basic gripper could be the hand training exerciser you’ve been seeking. It’s sleek, streamlined, powerful and a favorite of both athletes and musicians.
Crafted of durable heavy-duty aluminum alloy, this grip enhancer has been tested and proved effective at toning and strengthening hands, fingers, wrists and forearms by availing you of 5 levels of adjustable resistance (50-75-100-125-150 pounds). You start where you’re comfortable and select each level as you advance.
Recommended by physiotherapists who work with patients suffering from muscle and bone stiffness, rheumatoid arthritis, arthropathy, tendonitis, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, finger and wrist injuries, this Kootek product relieves stress and rehabs upper extremities.
At just 5.5-inches and weighing less than half a pound, stow this gripper anywhere you like for fast retrieval. Unlike competitor models, there’s no need to release the handles completely to make resistance adjustments so if you like that kind of simplicity, you’ll like this Kootek.
As one of the least expensive strength trainers on our list, this is no cheap imitation of pricier products. This Basic Concepts trainer does a lot, acting as a grip strength trainer, adjustable hand strengthener, forearm exerciser, finger strengthener trainer and wrist/forearm workout tool ready to improve hand weakness.
This small, portable tool is both convenient and lightweight. Made in the U.S. of reinforced stainless steel tension springs and high-quality durable plastic, this affordable grip trainer is loaded with value.
The folks at Basic Concepts are not modest about touting the superiority of their products. “Other hand strengthening equipment is made of low-quality materials that break over time,” they say, extolling the virtues of the high-quality materials they use that stand up to abuse and use.
Adapt this unit easily, using the resistance knob that adjusts from 11-to 132-pounds and offers you ergonomic non-slip surfaces that won’t let you down.
Types of Grip Strengtheners
While there are plenty of offbeat and unusual grip strengthening products on the market, the most popular ones, according to Powerballs.com, fit into four groups as represented by a majority of those on our review list. They are:
Simple. Rubber. Inexpensive. Ball trainers are one of “the most effective isometric exercisers in the world,” say reviewers at Powerballs.com because they focus on fingers, hand, wrist, forearm and shoulder.
Known for providing rehabilitation and pain relief benefits, ball strengtheners may all be round, but this category includes everything from sophisticated, tricked-out balls to fun products like “Scrunch” sacks. Carry one around and devote 3 to 5 minutes daily to dedicated squeezing and you will see results if you keep it up.
2. Grip strengtheners.
These products are likely the most familiar to you because they are known for precise engineering that promotes strength building in fingers, hands and forearms. One strength trainer insists that these products look like nutcrackers on steroids, albeit larger and with beefier features!
These grippers come in varying resistance levels and you can buy them singly or in sets that range between 50 and 350 pounds, depending upon the brand you choose and the resistance strength you seek.
3. Power grippers.
These handy workout tools are a step up from the average grip strengthener described above. Rather than giving you a single, maximum resistance limit, you set power grippers to the amount of resistance you desire by using an adjustment knob.
In addition to helping you rehab your muscles, these powerful products are said to drive more blood flow to tissues and often require only 30-second squeezes throughout the day to develop noticeable grip strength and strong fingers.
4. Isometric finger exercisers.
Designed specifically to enhance the power in fingers, hands and forearms, these exercisers resemble the valves on brass instruments, and in fact, isometric finger exercisers are favorites of musicians whose livelihoods depend upon dexterity.
Finger grippers can look strange, but they perform like pros. You press and hold buttons for short periods (usually 15-, 30- or 60-seconds) in order to build strength via isometric resistance.
Individual Fingers vs Full Grip
According to the Harvard Women’s Health Watch’s “Workout for Aching Hands” journal post, hand pain can impact every aspect of performance, and for athletes who rely upon their hands to do everything from getting a solid grip while strength training to rock climbing, both grip and finger strength are equally important – especially since wrist and hand ailments are exacerbated by demands made by “today’s computer-heavy workplace.”
Read more: Is Bouldering Harder Than Rock Climbing?
That stated, while taking advantage of grip strengtheners that condition the entire hand, in some cases – particularly people dedicated to climbing or playing musical instruments – picking a product that focuses on fingers alone can be a wise choice because these tools aren’t expensive and if you determine that you’d like to tone other parts of your hands, you can always add another of these inexpensive tools to your arsenal.
Fixed vs. Adjustable
Once again, this is your call, say grip strengthener reviewers writing for the website 99bolders.com who recommend the purchase of a fixed-tension product only if you intend to stop at the maximum amount of resistance the product is capable of delivering.
If you intend to keep going and expect to outgrow that number once you’ve achieved it, you will have to keep purchasing units to achieve the progressive toning experience you seek.
“If you’re serious about grip training, the static strengtheners are the more efficient and well-built group. They have fewer moving parts and are built to last — just be prepared for the cost,” say experts.
What professionals like about adjustable grip strengtheners is that they can be customized “for different hands and tension levels,” offering a bigger range that is welcome by those who are just getting started. Bottom line is that an adjustable product not only keeps you focused on improvement, but your wallet benefits, too.
Given the fact that your goal is building hand and finger strength and that the products profiled in this review offer you many options, it’s important to remember that at the heart of these exercise tools is your desire to master and surpass resistance levels to see how far you can take your effort to improve your grip.
For example, if you are able to accomplish 20 to 25 reps using a product that delivers 50 pounds of resistance, your obvious next step is to increase both reps and move on to the next weight level, whether you are using an adjustable grip strengthener or you’re relying on individual ones that max out at specific resistance pressures.
The secret to success is moving gradually so you neither injure your hands nor push yourself so hard, you dread using your grip strengthener. And after all of your hard work to make progress, why would you sabotage your efforts without putting up a fight to reach your personal goal?