Building a Better Wrist: All About the Grip
By Gary Picariello
At the turn of the 19th centur,y when there was a certain mystique regarding lifting weights and being a strong man, Eugene Sandow was known throughout the U.S., if not the world, for his feats of daring-do. One of his hooks was that he did not look physically imposing. He would often wear a large overcoat and then challenge the audience to best him in all sorts of things, one of which was breaking bricks and coconuts with his bare hands. He could do this because he had a phenomenal grip.
I'm not saying you need to go around crushing rocks in your bare hands, but when lifting, you need a strong grip and strong wrist strength to maintain good form while holding the bar and weights. Wrist exercises should therefore be a routine part of your workout regimen. Remember, the key to positive gains in wrist exercises isn't the weight, it's all about form and repetitions.
A Few Words About Form
Of course, you can spend upwards to $40 or more for a “hand-gripper,” but you can get the same workout by squeezing a rubber ball. Not convinced? Try three sets of 70 reps for each hand and then try to hold your water bottle. That is if you can even pick it up.
Benefits of Wrist Curls
Wrist curls are performed with either a barbell or dumbbells. Rest your forearms on your thighs with your hands on your knees (palms up). Curl/raise the bar up and down. You can reverse your palms (down) and this way you work out the top and bottom of your forearms as well while at the same time improving your grip and wrist strength.
Wrist wraps are always a good idea when lifting; because they may actually restrict your movement while performing wrist curls, you can get by without them in this particular instance. However, for everything else done in the gym, using wrist wraps on a regular basis provides additional support to the forearm.
Strong wrists really are the key to everything you want to accomplish in the gym. Strong wrists help you maintain good form while lifting. And good form is what will enable you to make great gains in muscle and strength!