Skip to content

In The Arena Blog

Exercises to Strengthen Your Grip

Get 30 Days Free At The Arena Gym in San Diego

Grip strength is very important for Jiu Jitsu, Submission Grappling and Wrestling, so this week Strength and Conditioning Coach Jason Salazar goes over several exercises to help strengthen your grip.


Jason Salazar:
Hi, my name is Jason. I’m the strength and conditioning coach here at the arena. Today I was going to give you a couple tips on improving your grip strength for grapplers in Jiu Jitsu.

I’m going to do some T-bar rows. Just flat back, pull up, bring it back down, pull it up, bring it back down. Once again, this requires a lot of grip. It’s a thick rope. It’s not a skinny little pole.

We can use the same rope. We’re going to do some pull ups, which requires a lot of grip strength. Just nice, pull up, all the way down, really squeeze on that rope.

Another really good grip exercise is just hanging from the bar. Now, to move it up, bump it up a little bit, if you can get your hands on a dip belt, we call it the dip belt. We’ll add a weight to it. Just add this kettlebell right here. I’m going to pop up, grab onto that bar, and just hang. Now, you can hang all the way down, which gets kind of uncomfortable, or you activate that scapula, which means pull those shoulder blades back. Hold it right here. I recommend you do this more than just the dead hang. You’ll get a little extra work in there, or you can just do little sets just like this.

Now I’m going to do a pretty basic exercise that everyone’s probably familiar with, a thruster. But, to intensify it for my grip, add two kettlebells. I’m going to hold them bottoms up. When you hold them bottoms up, you’ve really got to squeeze the whole time. Just go down into your squat, come back up, push overhead, back down. See, all how bells are starting to wobble around on me a little bit? Requires a lot of grip strength right here.

All right. Another important aspect of our grip strength is our extensors. Extensors is how we open our hands, those little muscles that extend our hand open. We’ve really got to work those. So, open as hard as you can, then squeeze, then open, then squeeze.

Let’s not just think of grip strength as being in our forearms, but we need to strengthen those fingers, as well. So if you adapt these exercises I showed you right here, put them into your workout at least three times a week, you’re going to improve your grip strength. You’re going to feel it when you’re rolling in Jiu Jitsu or grabbing someone when you’re grappling.

By providing your phone number, you agree to receive text messages from The Arena Gym. Message and data rates may apply. Message frequency varies. You can opt-out at any time by texting STOP, or HELP for any help. View our Privacy Policy.