WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Increasing Grip Strength Part 3: Intense Weight Lifting for Grip Strength

Here it is, the third part in my increasing grip strength series. In part one, How to Increase Your Grip Strength, I shared a few simple exercises for increasing grip strength with items you may have at home. In my article, Increasing Grip Strength Part 2: Hand Strengthening Tools, I found and recommended small tools for the job. Finally, in Increasing Grip Strength Part 3: Intense Weight Lifting for Grip Strength, I’m sharing with you exercises with free weights that I learned from Melanie DeVaugh, a licensed and registered occupational therapist who helped me with this series. 

Springfield Armory Hellcat banner for WON

Sponsored by Springfield Armory

For many of us, winter is the time of year when we’re often stuck inside. Since we can’t get out to the range, this is a great time to begin your grip strengthening regime (if you haven’t already). Then, when the competition season starts back up, or you’re ready to take some firearms training classes, you won’t have to worry about building your hand strength back up because it never diminished. 

Springfield armory 911 9mm range

The following information is just suggestions to get you started. As with any new strength training regime, consult with your physician first. Note: if you have arthritis, these exercises should NOT be done when you are in the inflammation stage. 

Intense Weight Lifting for Grip Strength

weight lifting tips Plate Pinches

Plate Pinches 

Use two plates (or maybe even books) that are flat on one side that you can pinch together (flat side out). Begin by pinching two of the lowest weight plates you have for 30 seconds at a time. Do this for a couple of sets if possible. When that begins to get too easy, increase the weight, time or reps. Only change one variable at a time. 

weight lifting tips Fat Gripz

Open Grip

Periodically use Fat Gripz, (or make your own with cut pool noodles) to increase the strength of your open grip. 

weight lifting tips HEX holds grip strength

Hex Holds

Use hex style dumbbells, (or any canned food that is a similar size) and hold a grip for thirty-seconds at a time. Gradually increasing reps or time. 

writing in notebook

Regardless of what you decide to do for your grip strengthening program, take the time to write everything down: weight, reps, time, etc. By keeping track of this information, you’ll be able to monitor your progress and know what to change when your training exercises get too easy. I suggest a notebook, or if you have the room, make a chart out of poster board and hang it on the wall. Either way, once springtime comes around, you’ll enjoy reading back through your charts and seeing all the progress you made. 

Springfield pistol grip
  • About Michelle Cerino

    Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, entered the firearms industry in 2011 when Cerino Training Group was established. She immediately began competing in both 3-Gun and NRA Action Pistol, becoming a sponsored shooter. Michelle is currently a columnist and Managing Editor of Women’s Outdoor News, as well as owner of Pervenio LLC. She also manages social media for Vera Koo and GTM Original. Michelle encourages others to step out of the comforts of home and explore.


The Conversation