Strengthening your grip might not come to mind in the gym, but if it's weak, you might as well use your hand to wave goodbye to the job, because a weak handshake signals low self-esteem and indecisiveness. There's no excuse not to strengthen your grip, because it's easily done with hand grippers while standing, sitting, or lying down, or while watching television or chitchatting on the phone.
Place a hand gripper on the palm of your right hand, wrap your index, middle, ring and little finger over the nearest handle and wrap your thumb over the other handle. Imagine you're holding a one-hole puncher or stapler in your hand. If you're new to using hand grippers, use light resistance. As your grip gets stronger, gradually increase the resistance.
Pull your fingers toward the palm of your hand to bring the handles together and fully close the gripper. Exhale during this motion, really tighten your grip and don't move your arm or upper body -- move only your hand.
Pause half a second before slowly releasing your grip and inhaling while allowing the handles to separate. Perform as many repetitions as you can, and switch hands when your forearms give out. Do the same number of repetitions with your left hand.
- Warm-up your wrist with a low-resistance hand gripper before taking on a more challenging gripper.
- If you don't have a hand gripper, squeeze a tennis ball or use exercise putty.
- Need a challenge? Squeeze a moderately-challenging hand gripper and hold it closed for as long as you can, aiming for a duration of one minute. Clench a dollar bill between the handles to ensure the gripper is closed, indication a full range of motion. Once you've achieved this, lengthen the duration or use a gripper with a greater resistance.
- For a two-in-one workout, squeeze hand grippers while walking or jogging.
- Consult a doctor before taking on new exercise routine, especially if you have a medical condition or injury.
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.