Time and time again, grip trainers have shown to be an effective way to improve the grip strength in your hands. They can even be used to help build muscle in your forearms. But what other benefits can these simple devices provide?
Here, we reviewed 9 quality products to help you find the best grip trainer so that you can finally get a better handle on things! We will also look at the benefits of using grip trainers, the right way to use them, and what to look for choosing one.
OUR TOP PICK
GD GRIP PRO-70
Spring Hand Grip Strengthener
If you are looking for a grip strengthener that will take you from beginner to advanced, then the GD Grip Pro-70 is an ideal choice. GD was actually the first company to develop a hand gripper such as this one, making them a leader in the industry.
What we liked most about this gripper was the safety in mind when designing the mechanism. Rather than having the spring inside stretched like most hand strengtheners on the market, they instead compressed it, therefore reducing the risk of flying debris if it decides to snap or break on you for whatever reason.
The grip strengthener can be adjusted from 55 to 154lbs, making it a great option if you want to advance without buying more equipment down the road. Your desired level can be adjusted using a metal knob located in the front. The tension level is also displayed on the side of the device, which is easy and simple to identify.
Overall this is a quality piece of hardware that is light and feels ergonomically comfortable in your hand. You’ll also find that the spring won’t make any squeaking noise over time, which is also a common problem with a lot of other spring type grip trainers.
Coil Grip Strengthener
If you are looking for a simple and reliable coil grip strengthener that will last, then Heavy Grips will definitely not disappoint. Here you get 3 grip trainers which provide you with tension levels of 100, 150 and 200 pounds.
These grippers are made from solid quality aluminum which helps make them lightweight and designed to last for decades. The handles are also knurled and coated in order to prevent your hands from slipping while using them.
If you are just getting started or have a really weak grip, I wouldn’t recommend going with this grip trainer. They start at 100lbs and can go all the way up to 350 if you you decide to upgrade later down the road. Conclusively, this is an excellent choice for professional weight lifters, bodybuilders and athletes who are serious about their grip and who want bigger, badder forearms.
Hand And Finger Exerciser
Our only hand and finger exerciser on the list, and for good reason! This hand strengthener is used by professional athletes and world-class musicians who require some form of moderate hand rehabilitation, or who simply want to strengthen their hands and fingers in the beginner stages. It is perfect for helping with discomfort caused by arthritis, carpal tunnel, and poor blood circulation.
This device uses individual spring-loaded finger resistors that are all pre-calibrated for precision which helps to better increase blood circulations to your joints and muscle tissues. They are attached to an ergonomic palm pad which makes holding the grip trainer comfortable and stable when using the hand strengthener.
As for materials, it is made from FDA-approved santoprene , which is a thermo-plastic rubber-like material that is free of any allergens and doesn’t cause irritation. The springs are made of stainless steel and are quite durable as well.
This device is perfect if you want to maintain healthy and strong hands or reduce pain caused by common hand conditions such as arthritis. If you are looking for an effective way to improve your grip for training or athletic purposes, I would not recommend using this product and would stick to either a coil or spring gripper.
Coil Hand Gripper Set
This set of 3 coil grip trainers are knurled and coated to help prevent your hand from slipping. These are similar to Heavy Grips, however, they are heavier because it uses a different type of aluminum for the handles.
Included you get a 100, 150 and a 200lbs grip trainer which fits most hand sizes, making them ideal for men and women. They use a machine sprung coil that is made from solid steel, so if you are planning to have these around for a while, then we definitely recommend adding these to your gym collection.
4 Pack hand Strengthener Set
Mandrill offers a 4 in 1 complete hand strengthening kit that includes a hand spring gripper, finger stretcher, a finger exerciser, and a grip ring. In addition to all these, you also get a carrying bag and a ‘how to E-Book, so you can get the most out of using all four of these devices.
Of course, where you gain quantity you will lack some quality. The materials may feel cheap when using them. However, they do get the job done, and we were actually surprised to see that there weren’t any issues in terms of functionality.
Overall, this 4 in 1 kit is a good choice for beginners. Because the spring gripper only provides from 22 to 88 pounds of tension, it is not the best option for those who desire ‘bone crushing’ hand strength.
Our Top Pick, And Why!
Our top pick for the best grip trainer is, of course, the GD Grip Pro-70. It is undeniably the best quality spring grip strengthener out there.
What we appreciated most was the attention to safety and design which accommodates all hand strength levels, from beginner to early-advanced individuals. Whether you are looking to get a better handle on your athletic endeavors, or simply want to tighten up the handshake, the GD will help you get the job done!
An alternative if you are not into the spring type trainers is the Heavy Sports grip strengthener. It is by far one of the most light weight options out there in comparison to other products, and delivers solid construction that will last for years to come.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Grip Strengthener?
Helps You Maximize Reps During Workouts!
Had you ever had a situation where you were on your last few repetitions while lifting weights, knowing you had the strength to get two or three more out, but just couldn’t because of that annoying pain in your hand?
If you don’t already know, those last few repetitions are the ones that actually count. So, if your grip is stopping you from getting them done, then maybe its time to consider strengthening those hands!
A stronger grip will help you get the most out of your workouts and can prevent a situation where you can’t go on anymore caused by discomfort in either your fingers, palm, wrist, or forearm. They can also help you handle more resistance and perform better when playing sports, such as tennis or hockey.
Can Help You Prevent Injuries
Aside from playing sports or lifting weights, research shows that strengthening your grip can help you prevent injury. This can include anything from from simple day to day tasks such as doing chores to basic everyday lifting.
It is no secret that stronger muscles and connective tissues simply result in a lower risk of injury. Conditioning your hands to grip better while making them strong can help you handle more stress against any sudden impact or any activity where your arms and hands are over-stressed.
Strengthening your grip can also help reduce inflammation and may prevent conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome. In addition, grip training can also help strengthen bone density in joints such as your wrists, elbows, and fingers.
Gives You Better And Stronger Forearms!
Improving your grip strength can help you increase the girth of your forearms. When you grip, blood flow in your forearm muscles increases, therefore causing muscle fibers to tear, just like when working out any other muscle in your body. Though, we all wish it was that simple.
Remember, about 80% of muscle gains are from the nutrients you intake. So, taking into account that you are getting enough quality sleep, are taking enough protein, and are getting all your essential’s from whole foods and multivitamins, using a grip trainer will cause your forearm muscles to grow.
Firmer Hand Shake!
What worse way is there to introduce yourself at a meeting or job interview than with a weak and floppy handshake?
If you want to give off a confident and positive first good impression, then a strong grip can certainly go a long way. Grip trainers can help you get that firm and respectable hand-shake that everyone will be impressed by, wherever you go!
Are Grip Trainers Good For Arthritis?
Arthritis in the hands can cause the cartilage of your joints to slowly wear away over time, which can result in inflammation and ultimately, arthritis in your hands. As a result, this can cause stiffness and pain while performing tasks such as typing on a keyboard, or cooking.
Using a grip trainer cannot reverse or eliminate arthritis. However, it can strengthen the hand muscles as well as improve the mobility, flexibility, and range of motion of your hand.
In addition, exercising your hand using a grip trainer can help reduce inflammation by increasing blood flow to the affected area. Using a grip trainer can also increase the production of synovial fluid. This fluid is necessary for lubricating and protecting your joints, which helps reduce the pain that is linked to arthritis.
How To Use A Grip Trainer, And How Often?
Below, Dr.Robert Fenell shows you a quick video on how to properly use a grip trainer using a coiled strengthener.
His suggestions are mostly focused on post-injury and pain, however, you can apply the same principals for increasing your hand and forearm strength.
The rule of thumb is to squeeze the gripping device in a slow and controlled manner for a minimum of 3 seconds. The same goes for when you are releasing. Count another 3 seconds when opening your hand in a slow and controlled manner.
For best results, you train for a minimum of 15 minutes a day, 4 to 5 times per week. Squeeze repetitively until you max out your repetitions. Give your hand a 45 – 60 second break between sets.
Remember, there is no such thing as too slow. The slower you go, them ore resistance you will face, meaning you are working your hand harder.
Two Simple Ways You Can Test Your Grip Strength
In order to determine what kind of grip trainer you need, or what to go for, you need to measure your grip strength!
Below are two easy ways to test the power of your grip:
With A Handgrip Dynamometer
One easy way to test your grip strength is with a handgrip dynamometer. These devices are one of the most accurate ways to test your grip and is used by squeezing the handle using maximum effort for 5 seconds.
An average grip for men is anywhere between 100 – 115, and for women, 55 – 65. If you find yourself below the lowest average, then you can continue to train your grip and re-measure every 2-3 weeks to see how well your grip is improving.
If you’re like most people and don’t have a handgrip dynamometer laying around, you can order one online or use one for free at your local fitness store or gym.
Using A Scale
If you don’t have access to fancy tools like a handgrip dynamometer, then you can still accurately test your grip strength by using only a few household items.
In order to test your grip using a scale, you will need a scale, a pull-up bar, and a stopwatch. If you don’t have a pull-up bar, you can also use a hanging board as an alternative.
Here is what you do:
1. Put the scale right underneath the pull-up bar/board. The bar/board should be above your shoulders.
2. Set your stopwatch to 5 seconds
3. Stand on the scale and put your hands on the pull-up bar/board.
4. Start to pull on the bar with maximum effort using just your hands. Do not bend your elbows, hands or knees when squeezing. The number on the scale should be less than your total weight.
5. Do this 5 times for 5 seconds. This is so you can get an average since each test will be slightly different.
6. Formula: your grip strength (in lbs) = your current weight – weight while gripping the bar/board.
Example: 150 (your total weight) – 50lbs (weight while gripping) = 100 (your grip strength)
7. Take the 5 results, add them up for a total, and divide it by the number of trials (5), to get an average of your grip strength.
How to Select the Best Grip Strengthener
The 3 Types Of Grip Strengtheners
The type of grip trainer you will want to choose may matter depending on whether or not you want your device to be adjustable. Otherwise, it all comes down to preference and what’s more comfortable to you.
Below is a list of 3 types of grip strengtheners you will encounter:
1. Coil Grip Strengtheners
These are the most simple and common design you will see. They are built around a metal coil which produces tension as a form of resistance when you squeeze the device. These cannot be adjusted as they are fixed by one set level of resistance. However, coil grip trainers are the most durable and reliable long term, therefore making them more valuable.
2.Spring Mechanism Grip Strengtheners
Spring grip trainers are separated by a hinge and are connected using a spring. The length of the spring determines the amount of resistance that you face when squeezing the device. They are often much more ergonomically friendly when holding them and can often be adjusted.
3. Articulated Grip Strengtheners
Articulated grip trainers are more advanced. They can allow each finger to be squeezed independently using a series of springs that are connected to a base that sits in the palm of your hand.
These types of grip strengtheners are great for people who want to increase overall blood circulation to their joints if they suffer from conditions such as arthritis, carpel tunnel, or inflammation in the hands.
Adjustable vs Fixed Grip Trainers
Thinking ahead of time and choosing a trainer that you can adjust can help you avoid having to purchase another one later down the road. As your hands become stronger, you will require more of a challenge in order to keep building your hand strength. However, they aren’t built as tough as fixed strengtheners, and the resistance levels may be limited for beginners to intermediate level individuals.
If you are a beginner, I would recommend going with an adjustable option. Interestingly enough, fixed trainers are often more pricey depending on how much resistance they offer. They do however last a lot longer due to their simple and durable construction, making them a great choice for long term use.
Levels Of Resistance
Owning a grip trainer that you can squeeze or can squeeze too easily, simply won’t do anything for you. If you are going with an adjustable strengthener, then be sure that you have a good range of resistance levels that can keep you advancing for as long as possible until you need to upgrade.
If you are going to be doing a ton of grip training for long periods of time, then going for a comfortable trainer should be in your best interest. Features such as soft padding and ergonomically friendly handles will allow you to perform more squeezes without putting up with unnecessary discomfort during your sessions.
In addition, make sure that you test out how well the gripper sits in your hand. Too often I see the mistake of people complaining that the tension is too much to handle, when the problem is actually the size of the grip trainer.
Did you try any of our reviewed and recommended products? We want to know your feedback. Leave us a comment below so we can learn more about your experience!