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4 Ways to Develop BETTER Grip Strength (My Favorite Brain-Based Exercise!)

Video Highlights

-- Grip Work
-- Develop Grip Strength
-- 4 Primary Positions

Hi, I am Dr. Cobb. Today we’re going to go through one of my very favorite grip exercise series so that you can develop more coordinated more mobile and stronger hands. Now, if you’re new to Z-Health we are a brain-based education company. One of the things that we have said for many years is that developing world-class practitioners whether they be doctors, therapists, or coaches is the main thing that we focus on we have students over 110 countries around the world. If that fits you, you’re an elite practitioner in the movement arts make sure that you subscribe to the channel and also check us out online.

So let’s talk about the brain and the hand really fast because grip work is critical for most people in terms of their long long term usefulness in life. Whenever we look at the research we know that people who have stronger grips often will live longer. Now that is not to say that just doing grip work will automatically increase your lifespan it’s probably just a correlative thing, people with stronger grip usually are more active. So we are not saying that solving group issues will make you live longer but it is a interesting biomarker that we can look at to say: “Hey are we being active enough and are we challenging ourselves enough to continue to maintain strength over time.”

So one of the things that I’ve noticed over the years of working with athletes and going people going through rehab is that a lot of people will do grip work but it’s kind of secondary to everything else they’re doing when dead lifting or whatever in terms of strength they’re doing a lot of pull-ups but what we tend to do is we tend to develop grip strength in a relatively neutral position and we wind up not making the hand and wrist more intelligent.

When we look at the brain a vast amount of brain space is devoted to controlling our hands knowing where they are in space and making sure that we have both mobility and strength in multiple positions.

So whenever we don’t regularly challenge our grip in unusual ways there are potentially areas of the brain that are not responding or not being activated as a result of that lack of activity. So this is a very simple series of exercises that you can do to really start to educate and improve coordination, mobility, and strength of your hands and wrist.

So to do this you just need to remember four primary positions: thumb up, thumb to the inside, thumb to the outside, thumb facing the ground. Those are going to be your four primary positions. We then have three secondary, so we have wrist in neutral, wrist flexed, wrist extended.

All right, so we have four primary and three secondary. This exercise is called grip spirals so what I’m going to do I’m going to take a club a stick something that’s going to give me just a little bit of resistance. This is about a two-pound metal club that I like to use for this particular exercise. You can go much heavier as you get stronger but honestly in the beginning most people don’t need anything more than like a you know paper towel roll or something very light because simply being in some of these positions is going to feel awkward you’re going to get a lot of strain stretching sensations so don’t go heavy in the beginning focus on the quality of the movement.

Here are the basic things that we need to do we’re going to get into a position make sure the arm is supported we’re going to begin in thumbs up position wrist in neutral and we’re going to be making a spiral with the tip of the club. We’re going to do three to five in each direction. That feels really super simple shouldn’t be any problem at all. Now we go to our next secondary position which is wrist flexion so I’m bringing my palm long toward me. I now need to maintain that as I go through my spirals again focusing on the hop of the stick and then I’m going to go into my extended position and I’m going to repeat those same spirals now what you’ll notice as you do this is your desire is going to be to come back to neutral every single time. So you really have to focus on maintaining those secondary positions as you go through the spirals.

From there go to the thumbs pointing in position wrist is in neutral and we’re going to repeat three in each direction and then we’re going to flex the wrist we’re going to let it and drop down hold that position and if you have enough weight in the stick you’re going to really feel this working you quite hard and then from there we’re going to go into an extended position maintain that extended position as we go through our circles. So now you got the idea it’s three to five repetitions in each direction of the circle in our four primary with three secondary positions.

It is not a lot of repetition the reason for that is that as most people get into these more constrained and weird positions if you have any weight at all in your hand you’re going to get a lot of stretching sensations and you may feel very uncoordinated. I promise you do this two or three times a week for the next month your wrist and hand are going to feel very different you’ll feel much more coordinated and you will be able to generate force in ways that you’ve not been able to and feel safe doing so. The last thing I want to point out as we do this is the thumbs-down position. This one can be very challenging because of the internal rotation of the shoulder. So when you’re doing this one feel free to let your scapula rotate around a little bit so that you’re not feeling a lot of stress in the shoulder itself. I sometimes will even have people brace this arm or use a band so that they can just focus on the movements happening in the wrist. That is a very important exercise that you focus on because I have seen so many injuries in my career of people reaching into the back seat of the car grabbing something trying to lift it up rotate it and bring it to the front seat. This is that thumbs-down position we need smart intelligent strong mobile hands and wrists in that position. So don’t leave that one out. Alright I hope you enjoy this! Give it a shot spend some time with it again your hands your wrist your arms and your brain will thank you.

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