Grip Training Workout

So, you’re interested in grip training? I’ve become somewhat of  grip strength pro over the years, mostly because my favorite activities all involve hanging from my finger tips.  From being an aerialist and rock climber to competing on American Ninja Warrior, grip strength has come in handy. I’d love to share some exercises that help build different types of major grip strength, all using kitchen towels and and an over the door pull up bar*.

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Grip Training Workout Video

Full Finger – Horizontal Grip Training

Horizontal grip using the full finger is the easiest type of grip, examples are holding onto a pull up bar* or a big “jug” rock climbing hold. Holding a bar with straight arms and your feet off the ground for 10, 20 or 30 seconds is a good way to start if you have little experience with grip training.

More difficult full finger horizontal grip training would be doing pull ups and lock offs. Pull ups, with your fingers facing away, can be done in 3 sets, perhaps, with a number of repetitions that is challenging for you. Three lock off variations that work well together are a full lock off (simulating the top of your pull up), a 45 degree “V” and a 90 degree “L”. These can be done in sets for 10-15 seconds each.

Full Finger – Vertical Grip Training

Vertical grip strength! I find this is the most under trained type of grip. Vertical grip strength is used when climbing a rope, or perhaps when you’re doing aerial silks (like me), or grabbing an obstacle like a nun chuck. The easiest way to train full finger, or really full hand, vertical grip strength is by hanging towels on an over the door pull up bar*.

The same technique mentioned on the full finger horizontal grip training can be used here, by doing dead hangs, pull ups then lock offs.

Finger Tip – a.k.a. Crimpy – Horizontal Grip Training

Finger tip strength is something highly desirable for rock climbers. In fact, if you’re not climbing tiny ledges, I can’t think of a reason you’d need finger tip strength. Finger tip strength is typically trained using campus boards if you’re a rock climber and can be replicated at home on the top of a door frame. The same sequence of dead hang, pull ups and lock offs can be done here.

Finger Tip – a.k.a. Pinchy – Vertical Grip Training

Tiny vertical pinches may be less painful than horizontal crimps, but they are also more challenging.

An introductory pinchy exercise would be grabbing just a small piece of your towels hanging over the door way and hanging and doing pull ups. A more advanced version of this would be holding yourself up on a vertical ledge, say your door or door frame (think of the hanging doors in American Ninja Warrior), and just hanging, or doing pull ups or lock offs.


Why do you want to improve your grip strength? Let me know in the comments – – > 🙂


I share fitness inspiration for the daring and every day ways to get better on my blog, AcroCafe by Eliannah. I’m passionate about alternative fitness and doing what makes you feel alive.

Life is better upside down!

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