Wrist Strengthening Exercises – How You Can Improve Grip Strength

Hey, guess what…

I bet you didn’t know this.

Your grip strength plays a vital role in your longevity.


That’s right.

According to a few different studies, improving your grip strength boosts your mortality.

But there’s more…

When it comes to pulling exercises, your grip strength is what I like to call your bottleneck – it is the weakest link in your chain of strength. Without strong wrists, strong hands, and an overall strong grip, you are limited in what you can lift and what you can pull.

But there is some good news.

Improving your grip strength can drastically improve your overall upper body strength.

It comes down to a phenomenon dubbed as irridation.

Irridation simply states that you are able to contract a muscle to a much greater extent if you also contract the muscles that surround it.

So, through irridation, improving the strength in your hands and wrists plays a key role in improving the strength of your upper body.

But how do we go about improving grip strength? What wrist strengthening exercises can we use to achieve this?

I got some good stuff for ya…

How To Get Bigger Wrists – Supplementary Wrist Strengthening Exercises

Dumbbells, Kettlebells, pull-up bars, barbells, jump rope… almost anything you use your hands for during a workout will be great for building grip strength.

These supplementary wrist strengthening exercises are meant to be done within your workout. It’s best to do them on the days you perform any sort of pulling movements (i.e. chin-ups, deadlifts, curls, etc.).

Kettlebell High Rep Single Arm Swings

When it comes to developing strength in your hands, wrists, and forearms the kettlebell is in a league of its own. This exercise is one of my favorites for improving grip strength.

These Kettlebell Swings will leave your grip burning. The objective of this exercise is to do 3 sets of 60 seconds on each arm. If you haven’t read our Beginners Guide To Kettlebell Training make sure to check that out before trying this exercise to ensure you have proper form.

Wrist Rollers

This is a classic wrist strengthening exercise that requires a wrist roller. A wrist roller is comprised of a short stick (or rod), a rope, and a plate (weight of your choice). With one end of the rope attached to the middle of the stick and the other end to the plate, all you do is hold the stick straight out in front of you and use your wrists to roll the string around the stick. If you’re completely lost, check out this video.

Make sure you change up which direction you roll the stick in. You can roll it away from you or towards you to challenge both your wrist extensors and flexors.

Dumbbell Hex Hold or Plate Holds

These exercises are more for improving the strength of your fingers than your wrists. But remember that by strengthening every facet of what constitutes your grip, you are strengthening that chain and eliminating the bottleneck.

Grab a dumbbell and grab it by its end (the really wide part). Obviously, you’ll have to use a weight that you can get your hand over. Once you do, simply hold it for as long as you can.

[Image Source: T-Nation]

You can also grab a few plates, slap them together and use your fingers to hold them together for as long as humanly possible.

Grip Strength Finishers

Grip strength finishers are wrist strengthening exercises that you would do at the end of your workout. They’re designed to completely fatigue the muscles you use to grip objects, so you would never use them before any sort of pulling exercises.

Grip Strength Finisher 1 – Dumbbell Hold

This one is simple enough. Grab yourself a set of heavy dumbbells and simply hold them by your side for as long as you can.

Make sure you stay near a rack or stand in an open area so you can drop the weights safely when you need to.

Grip Strength Finisher 2 – Supinated Barbell Hold

This is an intense grip strengthening exercise. Load a barbell in the squat rack and have it set up so it sits by your thigh level (for safety). Grab the barbell with your palms facing up (supinated grip), retract your shoulders back, keep your chest up and look forwards. Now hold that bar for as long as you can. Feel the burn baby.

The reason we go for a supinated grip is that it does a better job of activating the muscles in the forearms and in the back.

With the grip strength finishers, you want to always try to improve your hold times. Always look to beat your previous time. That’s how you maximize your grip strength.

Another great muscle group to mix into these routines is the forearm. We listed some of the Best Forearm Workouts that’ll not only leave your arms feeling pumped, but will also help improve your grip and wrist strength at the same time!

There you have it.

If you want to improve your lifts (and possibly extend your life), add these wrist strengthening exercises into your routine. Just prepare for that burrnnn!

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