A powerful grip is one of the most beneficial attributes many athletes can have. For a strength athlete, a stronger grip can improve their deadlift, farmer’s carry, any press movement, to name a few. A stronger grip also benefits the normal civilian who has to perform day to day tasks, such as twisting lids off jars, pulling open heavy doors, and carrying luggage.
The fitness industry continually advances the technology of helping people get stronger and the engineering of grip strengtheners is no exception. Although the tried and true original grip strengtheners still have their place, there are many other options to choose from. So let’s get a grip, and find the right grip strengthener for you.
GD GRIP Pro-70 Hand Grip Strengthener
- The pre-attached lanyard makes it more easily portable.
- Available weight range is wider than many comparable options.
- Only weighs 5.6 ounces.
- Compatible with athletes who have smaller hands.
- The range of movement decreases as the resistance increases.
- Handles do not have non-slip grip support.
The GD GRIP Pro-70 Hand Grip Strengthener is engineered with ultra-compressed steel springs and durable plastic. It has a resistance range of 55lb-154lb that is adjustable via a knob above the thumb when holding it in a standard grip.
IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper
- The range of motion is the same regardless of the amount of resistance.
- Four different handle width options is more than many competitors.
- Knurling on the handles offers a similar feeling of gripping a barbell.
- Handles may be prone to sliding off the coil if kept in colder environments for extended periods of time.
- Lack of padding on the handles may cause discomfort for those with more sensitive hands.
- Each strengthener only has one resistance weight.
IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper has two handles connected by a resistance coil. There are eleven different weight options that range from 60lb to 365lb and each is made of billet aluminium and alloy steel.
Best for Finger Strength
PROHANDS Gripmaster Hand Exerciser
- Finger pistons allow athletes to train each finger individually.
- May be a useful tool for rehabbing a hand injury (always speak with a physician first).
- Excellent option for rock climbers and any sport that requires finger strength in particular.
- On the more affordable end of the market.
- The resistance on each is much lower than many grip strengtheners on the market.
- May not be compatible with athletes who have larger hands.
- Hands must be entirely dry to avoid the strengthener from slipping as there is no texture on the handle or pistons.
THe PROHANDS Gripmaster Hand Exerciser is designed with a spring loaded handle toward the palm and four spring loaded pistons; each one aligned with one finger. There are four resistant options available ranging from 3lb to 9lb of tension per finger.
Best for Advanced Athletes
GD Iron Grip EXT 90 Hand Strengthener
- It is entirely silent which can make it easier to train on the go.
- The handles are adjustable to better match an athlete’s hand size.
- Handles come to parallel when squeezed allowing for better symmetrical training (some options on the market have handles that cross causing imbalance on one side.)
- The knurling can feel course for athletes not accustomed to it.
- On the far more expensive end of the market.
- At nearly 2lbs, it is heavier than comparable options.
The GD Iron Grip EXT 90 Hand Strengthener is an A-frame design that uses a solid steel compression spring to resist from 55lb to 198lb when squeezing the two handles together. The range of motion is over a full inch and the handles are knurled similar to a barbell.
Best Non-Handle Option
The Friendly Swede Hand Grip Strength Trainer
- Can be used between fingers as a way to strengthen finger strength.
- Sold as a set.
- Great for beginner and youth athletes and/or athletes who dislike knurling.
- Egg shape offers a more natural grip and can help relieve stress.
- May not be helpful for athletes who train with barbells.
- Only available in very bright colors (yellow, blue, and orange).
- The material can get sticky in warmer environments.
The Friendly Swede Hand Grip Strength Trainer is an egg shaped fidget ball made of skin-safe thermoplastic rubber and offered in three different levels of resistance; 20lb, 30lb, and 40lb.
This is without a doubt one of the major factors to consider when deciding between grip strengtheners. The first thing to be on the lookout for is what the texture of the handles are. Most commonly that will boil down to whether or not the handles have some degree of knurling.
If you are an athlete that trains a lot of barbell movements, then the knurling is likely a benefit. If you are training grip for barbell training, then having a grip that is functionally the same makes a lot of sense.
For athletes looking for a stronger grip but not necessarily in need of the knurling texture, then the options that have smooth handles are likely a better bet. The kinds of athletes non-knurled grips would be better for are baseball or tennis players; a strong grip is needed for a bat or racket, but conditioning grip with knurling is not needed.
A fairly obvious factor to account for, but an important one nonetheless. If you are leaning toward a grip strengthener that has the ability to increase or decrease resistance then it should be beneficial for beginners and advanced athletes alike.
When considering a grip strengthener that has a static resistance, be honest with your strength level. A strengthener that doesn’t have enough resistance will prove unhelpful in the goal of building a stronger grip. If too heavy, it will be hard to improve grip when the resistance is too difficult to train with.
Range of Motion
Assuming the athlete in question has an understanding of what volume of resistance they need, the range of motion a grip strengthener provides is key to be aware of. Some grip strengtheners that can increase or decrease their resistance do so at the expense of some amount of their range of motion.
Before making a purchase, make sure to check that when resistance is increased, the range of motion stays the same. The range of motion for most grip strengtheners on the market are around an inch from start to finish of the movement. Many options on the market will highlight a static range of motion across all resistances as a highlight, but if you are unsure, the design of a strengthener can provide some clues.
For example, if the resistance is increased or decreased by moving the point of flexion on the coil, then the range of motion is likely compromised. If the resistance is changed by moving the angle at which the coil is compressed, the range of motion is likely to remain unchanged.
Whether performing in the gym, on the field, or on the court, having a strong grip can pay lofty dividends in an athlete’s performance. Grip strengtheners are great tools for improving grip strength in a manageable way that doesn’t have to interrupt a normal training routine. Just remember to have an accurate assessment of your current grip strength before committing to a particular option, and your grip will improve fast.