Grip Strength: The Hidden Key to Increase Power

Grip Strength

Hand Muscles Probably the one area that  directly increases your performance in a variety of functional fitness areas is grip strength. Yet the problem is most people go about it using less than effective methods. Instead of me telling you about the variety of ineffective methods for increasing grip strength I’m going to propose a very simple, straight forward program guaranteed to dramatically increase your grip strength with little chance of injury to your hand muscles or joints.

I got this program from my good friend Paul Wade, author of Convict Conditioning. Paul shared with me this simple yet amazingly effective approach to grip strength he was taught in prison. This is a surefire method we citizens can use on the outside. All you need is a pull-​​up bar or (for the more tactically inclined) a suspended 2“x4” that you can hang from.

Simply hang from the bar or 2“x4” with a shoulder width grip. Start counting with your goal being to count to 200. Counting to 200 equates to approximately 2 minutes. For most people simply getting to 200 will be a huge step. This workout consists of just one set and should be done no more than twice a week. I find it is a great finisher for any lower body workout.

The great thing about this workout is that each time you reach 200 you simply start using less fingers to hold on to the bar then start counting until you can hold for 200. So after you reach 200 using both hands you then grip without your pinky fingers. I usually just went down to my index and middle finger for a 200 count.

If you are enjoying the process and want to really work your grip you then may move on to one handed hangs for a 200 count. You can then go for mutant grip strength after reaching 200 with one hand by holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in your non-​​grip hand.  As you can see this simple workout can literally challenge you for years. But lets get back to reality because before I see you hanging one handed with 2 fingers whilst holding a 90lbs dumbbell lets see how many of you can “hang” with both hands for 200! Good luck and let me know how you do!



  1. Tim Thompson says:

    Grip strength is extremely important. During my time in the Army I became a body builder. I focused on forearms heavily for several months. The end result left me able to hit muscle failure and beyond with ever dropping the weights on my toes.
    Now, as a disabled vet [cervical spine injury] I still do forearm exercises to compensate for numb fingers and weak grip strength. I\‘m not sure I can do this one, but I am willing to find out the hard way. Thanks guys!

  2. jerrykee says:

    cool i like to read up on a lot of stuff thanks u help

  3. Rich says:

    People in prison have plenty of time on their hands. How about grip enhancing exercise for those want to build muscles quicker?

    • Buh says:

      I suppose you could try any of the thousands of other exercises listed online that really fry those tiny little forearm muscle fibers.

      But my personal recommendation is to develop some patience. Your forearms won\‘t grow any faster than they can. If you want immediate results, go rock climbing for a day, but you\‘ll still be taking the author\‘s advice: hanging for a long damn time and gradually increasing the amount of hang time.

  4. Pete says:

    I\‘ve been using this routine and my grip has come on in leaps and bounds! It\‘s amazing to me just how quick one can progress on a simple routine, with hardly any equipment…in fact maybe training is BETTER with less equipment.

    Your articles are a real inspiration, Tim. Best on the net, keep it up please!

  5. Daniel says:

    Hey Tim, this workout sounds good. I\‘ve tried hanging on a bar before to de-​​compress my spine, but felt discomfort in my elbows after hanging. Isn\‘t this bad for your elbow joints if your arms are locked out like that? Or do you bend your arms a bit? By bending you would be working your bi\‘s and back then.

  6. Jim says:

    I don’t get it. You’re saying just by hanging from the bar? Or are you implying not looping your fingers over the top of the bar so it is just the grip between your fingers fighting gravity?

  7. Taylor says:

    I am a Junior in High School and i have been doing this at home and i have been seeing results in my grip. I have been able to work all day hauling around 80lb bags of Cement mix. I am able to outwork my boss and all of his employees. Thanks for the advice

  8. Ninad says:

    Guys !! The way I was doing is to hang on a bar for 1/​2 min with the closed grip. Repeat it for 2 sets, increase the time for erach set by 20 secs and observe the end result.

    The other way is the squeze the washed cloths till the last drop of water gets out. Believe me friends, it works..

    watch for more home made tricks in mt next reply.

    till then..Happy Hanging !!

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Tim Larkin

For nearly 20 years TFT founder and creator, Tim Larkin, has been well known in the self defense & close-combat training world but ‘under-the-radar' to ordinary folks like you. He's the guy operations like the US Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces and the US Border Patrol call in behind-the-scenes to teach them when it's "kill-or-be-killed." During the last 20 years he's trained not only these elite military special forces and law enforcement units but corporate and civilian clientele in New York, Las Vegas, London and other cities around the world using a combination of live training sessions and DVDs. To learn more about Target Focus Training and Tim, check out