Looking for a rehabilitation aid or a piece of equipment to strengthen your hand, wrist, and arm muscles? Consider a grip strengthener, or ‘grippers’, which have been manufactured since the 20th century and only improved with age.
Whether you’re an absolute beginner or looking to try out for World’s Strongest Man, there’s a strengthener you can utilize as part of your daily routine, each proffering different resistance levels for an easier or a tougher test.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of similar products available to buy, so picking out a gripper that actually serves its purpose can be difficult. Unless you’re here! We’ve picked out five of the best on the market right now, and one is sure to suit you.
Want to learn more about the benefits of using a grip strengthener as part of your exercise regimen or when recovering from an injury, as well as find out what features you should be looking out for? Just check out our clear and focused Buyer’s Guide.
Those with further questions, worries or anxieties may find reassurance in our set of FAQs, which we’ve saved for last. Hoping to provide some answer to the most frequently posed inquiries, it’s likely we’ve covered what you’re wondering, too!
Seeking Super Strength? Here’s Our Top Pick:
OUR TOP PICK
Allowing you to start at a level of resistance that suits you, then progress as your strength improves, the Iron Grip EXT 90 from GD aims to bring you a product that grows alongside you.
It won’t limit your progress after just a few months of use!
Why buy multiple hand strengtheners when ONE does the work of SIX?
Adjust the resistance with an excellent range of 55 to 198lb, helping you to attain those arm day goals without breaking the bank on expensive equipment.
It operates in complete silence, so you can quite literally work out anywhere, without disturbing anyone.
Get in a quick five minute session in the office, on public transport, commuting to work - just make sure it’s safe to do so.
As it generates its resistance by compressing a solid steel spring, rather than stretching one as competing products do, they have eliminated the risk of flying debris as a result of extreme tension on the gripper’s components.
Included extenders allow you to adjust the length of the handles, to ensure you have as much comfort and security when holding the grippers as possible.
Use this handy bit of kit whether you’re left or right handed - it works just as well in both.
- Adaptable, adjustable grippers that increase in resistance as you improve
- Works for both hands - no need to buy two (unless you want to!)
- Silent mechanisms, without annoying squeaks
- Solid aluminum construction that won’t let you down
- Hand wraps not included
With a totally silent solid steel compression string, the adjustable Death Grip gripper from MummyFit promises you’ll be able to get a challenging workout anywhere, from a product that adapts as you make progress.
Offering a versatile resistance range of 55 to 154 lbs, it’s simple to alter the level when you’re ready to move up to more pressure.
This enables you to see real progress when used on a regular basis and occasionally upping your game.
Built of quality steel and thermoplastic nylon, just by holding the Death Gripper you can tell it’s a well made piece of equipment, made to withstand even the most aggressive athlete. You’ll wear out before this bad boy does!
Avoiding the potentially dangerous ‘stretching’ spring design, their resistance is created by compression instead, to ensure you and everybody around you will be perfectly safe, even after years of repetitive use.
If you’re not satisfied with your new Death Grip - though this seems highly unlikely - you can receive a 100% guaranteed refund.
That’s how certain the folks at MummyFit are that you’ll love this new toy.
- Tough aluminum and steel construction withstands vigorous use
- Adjust your resistance range to suit your abilities
- Totally silent when in use
- One hundred percent money back guarantee on every purchase
- Smooth handles could be improved with some texture for added grip
Providing you with three hand trainers for the price of one, Heavy Sports are helping you break through those physical limits, by offering three varied resistances of 100, 150 and 200 lbs in each respective gripper, all all of them will last a lifetime.
With a pre warning like “our grip handles weren’t built for dainty little hands,” you can expect a mighty workout from this trio of grippers, boasting knurled aluminum for added texture, and certainly one that isn’t for the faint hearted.
Light enough to carry around with you, and quiet enough in their function that nobody in your vicinity will be bothered, this is equipment that you can use wherever you are, even on the go.
Never waste another valuable moment!
Once you’ve done with these three, it’s possible to upgrade to the next set, which offer up to 350lb of resistance for the most grueling, yet advanced, hand, arm and finger workout you can achieve.
As they’re more affordable than competing brands, but still provide you with the endurance-building workout that you’re seeking, these can be a great stepping stone before investing in a more expensive set.
- Built tough to make you tough - not for beginners
- Three grippers for the price of one, with differing strengths
- Great for working out on the go
- Work in conjunction with another set that allows you even more improvement
- Multiple grippers, where competing manufacturers have single grippers with adjustable resistance
From the company that brought you Captains of Crush, the IronMind Zenith gripper is a 21st century hand exerciser created to increase your strength whilst keeping you comfortable. If you’re injured or starting from the beginning, look no further.
Powered by a proprietary alloy steel spring, you’ll get a steady, smooth level of resistance with every rep you pull.
The ergonomically shaped billet aluminum handles are shaped to follow your hand’s natural curve, fitting perfectly in your palm.
Thanks to their buttery-smooth surface, they’re almost soft to the touch, serving as a great warm up, cool-down or active rest when used in conjunction with your COC grippers, which are still their number one choice for maximum strength training.
Available in six different strengths, the Agility, Trainer, and Zeniths 1, 2, 3 and 4 - the higher you get, the more difficult it becomes to close these bad boys.
They might look different, but they work just as well as the classics.
When you’ve hurt your hands but don’t want to stop working out, or you’ve overexerted yourself in the previous session, a Zenith means you don’t need to skip that day’s exercise.
They’re gentle, but they definitely won’t impede your growth.
- Brand new batch of grippers from a reputable, respected company
- Different strengths to suit your ability level
- Soft and smooth surface - ideal for rehabilitation
- Built from tough, resistant materials, to last you for years
- Not the most exerting workout you can get, but that’s what they’re made for!
Last but not least, we have here another offering from the folks at IronMind, so you know you’re looking at a quality product.
If you’ve ever noticed that your fingers seem to differ in strength, and want to change that, this is how you do it.
Composed of alloy steel and billet aluminum, they match the industry-standard quality you’re used to with IronMind, and work excellently in conjunction with your Captains of Crush or Zenith grippers as a full-scale finger to whole arm workout.
Choose between training one or two fingers at once, and it even works on your thumb; the attractive design is not just good looking, but precise, for an incredibly focused set of reps targeting the areas you need to improve.
Available in seven different strengths, you can pick up one now and work your way up, or treat yourself to the whole set and prepare to see progress. Jump in at the deep end or dip your toe in, it’s entirely up to you.
Every purchase comes with a complete set of training information, and as always, is backed up by IronMind’s ready-to-assist customer service team, who are on hand when you need them to help with any problems you encounter.
- Specified workout dedicated to your fingers
- Seven different strengths to suit your needs
- Very high quality of construction
- An excellent little sister product to your existing grippers
- Some customers report that the INT 1 is too easy, even for beginners
Best Hand Grip Strengthener Buying Guide
Hand Strengtheners 101 - The Benefits
First and foremost, if you’ve suffered an injury to your arm, hand or fingers, a hand gripper can be an imperative tool in your rehabilitation. Gradually increasing the amount of resistance and taking a very slow start are highly recommended.
Being careful not to over exert yourself or otherwise aggravate your injuries, this slow and steady progress will help regenerate tissues and repair damage, faster than it would happen if you left your body to heal naturally.
Looking to get better at typing or playing a stringed instrument? You’ll notice that you can move your fingers much quicker and with a lot more deftness and dexterity after using a hand gripper, which is an excellent side effect you may not have known of!
It’s also possible to buy strengtheners like the IronMind Tug Gripper, an adorably small design that’s made specifically for finger training, if you want to focus on a particularly stiff digit that’s causing you trouble.
Increase Strength In Hands And Arms
Looking to get a better definition in your arm muscles? Pumping iron isn’t all you have to think about. Muscles in your forearm are connected to your hands, so working out the fingers and thumbs helps the whole system bulk up.
Likewise, you’ll also build up more strength in your wrists, palms and fingers, enabling you to lift weights and generate more power behind your movements in other areas of exercise.
If you find yourself full of rage and with a desire to scream and shout at the end of a busy day, consider taking up a hand grip strengthener instead! You’ll be able to put all of that pent-up anger and frustration to good use. Why waste the energy?
Not only will you finish your workout feeling calmer and less stressed than you were a few minutes earlier, but you’ll also get the added benefit of improved strength and dexterity in your hands and arms more generally.
Features To Consider
Okay, you’ve heard our arguments for the benefits of grip strengtheners. Now let’s go through the features that make a good one, to ensure you invest in a product that’s going to aid your training, not frustrate you.
Sure, you could shell out a chunk of money for a set of six different grippers, but why do that when you could get just one with adjustable resistance, for the same effect at a lower price? Most adaptable models range from between 50 and 150lb.
For a piece of kit that’s going to last long enough to help you build up your strength, durability is imperative. Look for grippers built from strong, sturdy metals like steel and aluminum, especially ones coated in powder for added resistance against scuffs.
Though many grippers will take a one size fits all approach, the size you opt for is certainly worth considering. Unfortunately, it’s believed that mostly men use these products, so they’re usually on the larger side for women.
Considering that some grippers are actually made to hurt your hands and cause calluses (whilst assisting you in grip), comfort might not be your top priority, but beginners should opt for a strengthener that isn’t so harsh, at least at first.
Don’t worry if your chosen gripper doesn’t come with its own set of hand wraps or foam covers, as it’s possible to buy covers for your grippers, that will help you hold on tightly and absorb sweat, without ripping your skin to shreds!
The method of resistance chosen is also important, as compression of a spring is much safer and less likely to end in breakage than stretching, which puts unnecessary tension on the metal and could lead to sharp debris flying around!
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should you use a hand strengthener?
That really depends on your personal strength, but funnily enough, the fewer reps you need to do with a gripper, the better it is. Optimally designed strengtheners offer enough resistance that endless squeezing to improve your strength is not necessary.
Aiming for two or three training sessions a week will have you making plenty of progress, avoiding the potential for strain or injury that comes as a result of overuse. You wouldn’t bench press with your legs every day - don’t do it to your hands!
Do hand strengtheners increase wrist size?
Unfortunately not. It’s pretty damn difficult to change the size of your natural bone structure, though doing weight and resistance training in general as part of your exercise regimen, paired with a balanced diet, will keep them nice and strong.
Whilst you can certainly increase the size of your forearm muscles with hand strengtheners and grip work, you’re never going to see a significant increase in the width of your wrist. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying!
Will using a hand strengthener make you punch harder?
As you clench and release, tensing the muscles in your hands, wrist and forearm, you’ll gradually increase the strength of all of these areas. This in itself will definitely aid you in increasing your punching power.
However, it’s a well known fact that you generate the power of your punch by using the whole of your body, so simply training your hands and arms isn’t good enough! Regular, full body workouts are your best bet for truly packing a mighty punch.
What can I use as a stand in for my hand gripper?
If you’re in a pinch and don’t want to skip your workout, see if you have any tennis balls, or similarly tough spheres, lying around. It has to offer resistance, so that stress ball in the back of your desk drawer isn’t going to cut it.
Try squeezing it as hard as you can, for as many reps as you can. Take regular 60-90 second rest intervals, and continue for the same amount of time you’d work out using a gripper. It’s not the same, but far better than nothing!
In a real bind, you could try wrapping a rubber band around each of your fingers and then trying to clench and unclench a fist as many times as you can. The good thing about this tip is that it’s a great way to get in a five minute training sesh at work!