As a mobility cane user, a strong grip is imperative. And it isn’t too shabby for commanding respect when shaking someone’s hand for the first time. However, just manipulating a mobility cane isn’t enough to holistically build great grip. And while a gym is a nice luxury, there is a lot you can accomplish to help your grip at home. Today we will go over several at-home options with simple equipment to work your grip in often underworked ways which will also cause less interference and avoid overuse with your mobility cane usage.
At-Home Grip Exercise #1: Book Pinches
For your first grip exercise, all you need is a sturdy book. A phonebook, if that is still a thing, will work great. If you don’t have one, a hardcover will also work well. All you need to do is pinch one end with your left hand and the opposite side with your right hand. Once you are locked in, try to pull your hands in opposite directions, clinging on with your pinch grip. Do two warm-up sets of 5-10 seconds at 50% intensity for the first set and 75% for the second. After that, do a few sets of 10-15 seconds at maximal intensity. As the name implies, this variant will work your pinch grip power.
At-Home Grip Exercise #2: Tennis Ball Squeezes
This exercise will work spherical grip, one of your hand’s strongest grips. Simply grab a ball, covering it with your hand as much as possible. Imagine you are trying to crush the ball to a smaller diameter. Because of this cue, I like to use a tennis ball or racquetball to have the tactile squeeze. A baseball can work as well but won’t have the same give. As with the pinches, ease in with a couple sets of 50 and 75 percent efforts then try to crush the ball as hard as possible for 10-15 seconds. This isometric (static contraction) in a spherical grip will work your hands and forearms in a unique but highly effective way.
At- Home Grip Exercise #3: Broomstick Crush
Last is our crushing grip. Imagine having a pencil in your closed fist and trying to crush it into sawdust. While you could conceivably use your mobility cane to train this grip style, most canes are too thin and don’t fill your hand very well. Using a wooden broomstick can be a good substitution. Simply grip the broomstick in both hands with an overhand grip while standing. Leave your arms long and pointed towards the floor. Now grip the broomstick as hard as you can. That’s all there is to it! As with the previous exercises, you can ease in with lesser efforts to warm up. Feel free to mix up the object you crush. This could also be a barbell, thick pipe, really anything that can tolerate your crushing power.
Another option to work this grip style is to merely hang from a pullup bar if you have access to one. Feel free to progress up in duration, add weight or even hang with just one arm.
Although we could get really convoluted with programming, my concern is just consistency. To this end, try doing each of these exercises on their own on separate days. We can program each day the same for simplicity’s sake.
Each time you train any of these exercises, try:
1 set of 5-10 seconds at 50% effort
1 set of 5-10 seconds at 75% effort
3 to 5 of 10-15 seconds of 100% effort, rest as needed between sets
Day 1 will be your pinch exercise.
Day 2 will be your ball crush exercise.
Day 3 will be your broomstick crush exercise.
Cycle through these days ad nauseum and I am certain your grip will grow by leaps and bounds!
As always, reach out with any questions!