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We’ve all trained against that guy with the beastly grip strength. He latches on to your gi and for love nor money, you can’t shake him off. It’s like his hands are the lion and your poor gi is the gazelle. He ain’t letting go.
It’s time for the weekly no-gi class and you think it’s finally your time to shine and get the better of him. Until he grabs your wrist. It’s like a vice grip and yet again, there’s no breaking free.
We all want to be that guy. And the good news is that you can become him.
As you train, particularly with the gi, your grip strength will increase. But it will increase slowly, building up over years and years.
Luckily, there are quicker and more efficient ways out there to build grip strength. As you know, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is all about efficiency.
If you want to build that fabled grip strength, using a dedicated grip strengthener tool is the way to go.
A grip strengthener, or gripper, is a small hand-held tool that you can use anywhere to increase your grip strength. Most of them have adjustable strengths so you can start small and work your way up. No need to overdo it and/or injure your precious hands.
The Best Grip Strengtheners
In no particular order, here are what we believe are the best 5 grip strengtheners on the market:
+ Silicone Squeeze Rings
Norse Strength offer a bargain 3-in-1 package here. It comes with the standard hand grip strengthener and two silicone squeeze rings.
Like most grippers, it features an adjustable tension. It starts out with 22lbs of tension and can be tightened up to 88lbs.
You can start off easy and work your way up slowly and steady. No risk of jumping up in weight too quick and injuring yourself.
The silicone squeeze rings came in strengths of 50lbs and 60lbs. These rings are ideal to throw in your gym bag and use pre-training as a warm-up. Whilst using the gripper at home on your off-days. You could even keep a ring by your computer to ease your hands when they become strained from typing.
This gripper targets individual fingers rather than the hand as a whole. Your entire hand is getting a workout, not just certain parts.
With some grippers, you only end up using part of your hand to grip. This can lead to injury and un-even strength when some areas aren’t up to scratch.
Epitomie currently sell 5 different standard options of this strengthener, varying by tension-per-finger. They start at 1.5lbs of tension per finger at the lightest, all the way up to a mammoth 9lbs of tension per finger.
We would recommend purchasing either the light tension (5lbs) or the medium tension (7lbs) model. Anything less will be a waste of time and you may have build up to the heavy tension model.
ProCircle have created something a bit different from the other grippers out there. Their basic set comes with 3 silicone squeeze rings… and 3 finger stretchers.
The silicone rings are pretty standard. You squeeze the rings with your hands to increase the grip. When one ring becomes too easy, you move onto the higher-tension rings.
But the finger stretchers could be quite revolutionary for the BJJ practitioners.
You place your fingers in the corresponding holes so the rubber fits snug like a ring. A larger, outer rubber ring connects the others together. You then stretch your fingers outwards rather than inwards.
This helps increase finger flexibility and dexterity. It’s also useful to if any fingers are lagging behind in strength. Perfect for preventing injuries.
You could have the tightest grip known to man, but if you injure your fingers than it all slips away.
Fitness Insanity Hand Grip Strengthener
Fitness Insanity provide the cheapest gripper in our list but it is still incredibly effective.
It is a clamp model, similar to the Norse Strength hand gripper and likewise comes with an adjustable tension between 22lbs and 88lbs.
It comes in a vibrant lime-green colour wth light grey handles. The whole package includes the gripper, 4 online e-books filled with exercises and workouts for you to use and a waterproof carry case.
The gripper has solid steel hinges and enhanced springs so it will hold up to intense and frequent use.
These style of grip strengtheners are perfect for using absent-mindedly when chilling out in front of the TV.
Perhaps your grip is already tight. Maybe you’ve used grip strengtheners in the past but none of them have been anywhere near tough enough for you.
Enter: The MummyFit Death Grip.
It features a maximum tension of 154lbs, almost double that of most other grippers on the market. This is for the hardcore trainee who is seeking a tougher challenge. It’s adjustable like many others, but it starts at 55lbs.
MummyFit have forged the death grip with the strong, solid materials of steel and thermoplastic nylon. You don’t have to worry about the device breaking, no matter how hard you brutalise it.
It is almost silent to boot, so you can use it anywhere without annoying the people around you. No squeaking or creaking.
It’s hard to fault the death grip, but we must remind you that it is intended for only the serious trainee.
Any of the above grip strengtheners will serve you well on your journey to a vice-grip hold. Pick any of the five and you cannot go wrong.
With consistent use and effort, it won’t be long before you’re the guy in the gym who’s rag dolling everyone with his superior grip.