Hand Grippers

Hand grippers are primarily used for testing and increasing the strength of the hands; this specific form of grip strength has been called crushing grip. Most common varieties of hand grippers use an extension or torsion spring fitted with two handles. In 1990 the design was modified to improve the accuracy, durability and appearance of the gripper, while maintaining its focus on making grippers far beyond the strength of those made for the mass market.


The user holds the gripper in one hand and squeezes the two handles together until they touch. Once touched, the handles are released and the movement is repeated. Historically, users trained with grippers by doing high repetitions, but it has been argued that while this was necessary in the days before more challenging grippers were available, this is an inefficient way to increase strength, and that lower repetitions are preferred. Variations of this basic movement include negatives, and a variety of partial movements. For example, if the strength of the gripper is beyond that of the user, the user might apply maximum force, moving the handles as far as possible, even if the handles cannot be made to touch. Another partial movement involves using two hands to squeeze the handles within approximately 19 mm (3/4 inch) of each other, releasing one hand and then using the other hand to make the handles of the gripper touch each other. Negatives involve starting the gripper handles touching and then resisting as the gripper opens up, in an eccentric contraction.

Strength Levels

Grippers come in a range of strengths, suitable for everyone from beginners to World's Strongest Man winners such as Magnus Samuelsson. Grippers are commonly rated in such units as pounds per square inch to inch-pounds to inches.